Because, Washington said, when a team is struggling like the Rangers are right now -- a seven-game losing streak and 21 defeats in the last 24 games -- it is very easy for a player to let down mentally.
“A big-time pro never lets down, no matter how bad the situation,’’ Washington said. “You hope it rubs off on other players.’’
Beltre and Yu Darvish will represent the Rangers in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
First, however, the Rangers will finish off what has been a disastrous seven-game homestand. First pitch against the Angels is 2:05 at Globe Life Park.
In comparing Darvish’s first half to his previous two seasons as a Ranger, Washington said he sees a pitcher who is more relaxed with a better idea of what he has to do.
“His communication is better,’’ Washington said.
Lineup moves: Shin-Soo Choo is not in the lineup today. The Rangers stacked their lineup with right-handed hitters against Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs. Second baseman Rougned Odor is Texas only left-handed hitting starter.
Choo is batting .152 with 11 strikeouts over his last eight games, a stretch that has seen his average drop to .244. Daniel Robertson will hit in Choo’s normal leadoff spot. Adam Rosales will handle the designated hitter role.
Home field disadvantage: At Globe Life Park, the Rangers have lost seven straight and are 9-26 in their last 35 after starting the season 9-3. The Rangers record for consecutive home losses is nine in 1990 at Arlington Stadium. The Rangers have won only one of their last 12 series and split three.