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Thursday, April 5, 2012
Notes: Opening Day lineup comes into view

By Richard Durrett

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington didn't have his Opening Day lineup completed yet, at least in terms of the order. But he did give some hints as to who would be in it:

* Yorvit Torrealba will catch Colby Lewis and Mike Napoli will be at first base. With both catchers in the lineup, it means Mitch Moreland won't be at first base (with Michael Young at DH). Washington said Moreland will play against some lefties, but he wanted his right-handers in the lineup against lefty John Danks.

* David Murphy is starting in left field. Washington likes his experience and notes that Murphy did hit left-handed pitchers pretty well during spring training. He's just 1-for-7 with three strikeouts against Danks, however. Murphy has focused this spring on improving against lefties. He hit just .215 against them in 2011.

* So the outfield alignment is as you'd expect with Josh Hamilton in center and Nelson Cruz in right. Hamilton will bat third. We'll see on the rest of the order on Friday. But this is how it will look before the bottom of the order:

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mike Napoli

That leaves Torrealba and Murphy left. Washington could change his mind.