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Brad Snyder gets crash course at 1B

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Such is the state of affairs at first base for the Texas Rangers that they've got a guy who's played two professional games at the position -- the last two days in Triple-A Round Rock -- starting there tonight.

Brad Snyder is either Plan C or Plan D, depending on how you look at it, at first base, but that's just the way things are on a team dealing with one injury after another.

For the 32-year-old veteran, it's an opportunity to get back to the big leagues for the first time since he had nine at-bats for the Chicago Cubs in 2011.

Snyder said he spent a few days in batting practice and before games working out at first base before he played the position in two games. The last time he's played first was a few times in winter ball and in college.

Snyder's power numbers intrigued the Rangers. He has 18 homers so far this season at Triple-A Round Rock to go along with 81 strikeouts in 232 at-bats. But he's also got 11 doubles and has driven in 51 runs with a .284 batting average.

"I'm staying aggressive," Snyder said. "I made it a point, consciously this year, to try and hit more homers. Basically, being ready to hit anything in the zone. It's been a pretty successful approach. [Hitting] .300 with a handful of homers is OK, but I really wanted to set career-highs for myself this year. I wanted to increase my power numbers for sure."

Snyder said Triple-A hitting coach Justin Mashore helped him "fine-tune" things.

"He's worked with [Joey] Gallo and has a feel for that kind of swing," Snyder said. "He gave me a few pointers about staying back and driving through my heel. I've been mostly a front-foot hitter my career and putting balls in play. It was basically change a few things in my legs and my setup."

Snyder says he "goes for power every at-bat."

"Obviously, there are situations in the game where you kind of tone your swing down and put a ball in play and get a guy in," Snyder said.

Snyder spent some time prior to Tuesday's game working with Tim Bogar, the bench coach and infield instructor.

"I feel like it's something I'm going to be comfortable at," Snyder said. "I've got pretty good hands. I'm new to the position and it's going to take a little bit of time, but I've been working at it and getting a lot of reps and fundamental stuff.

"Bogie is going to help me a lot. He's great for that. He's going to be in my back pocket until I get the hang of things."

Snyder played for Bogar in the minors and is familiar with his style and teaching ability, so that helps make the adjustment a bit easier.

Manager Ron Washington doesn't want Snyder putting any added pressure on himself.

"If he just plays the position well and gets some base hits in some RBI situations and a couple of them go out of the ballpark, I'll be [happy] with it," Washington said. "I'm not looking for him to come up here and hit 20 bombs. If he does, great. I just want him to help us."