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Saturday, April 7, 2012
Only concern for Rangers is depth

By Calvin Watkins

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels isn't that concerned with his lineup.

He shouldn't be.

He's got Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler among the core of a solid lineup that led the majors in batting average last year for the second consecutive season at .283.

The bench is the concern.

"Listen, no club is flawless, and not to suggest that's our only one, [but] we got some guys on the bench that have some ability," Daniels said on Opening Day. "They don't have the track record but we're going to give them an opportunity to step up and make contributions to the club, and we have reason to believe they will, and if it's something we need to address we've shown in the past we will."

Friday afternoon, manager Ron Washington made use of his bench late in the game when he inserted Craig Gentry into center field and moved Josh Hamilton to left field.

Gentry will see some time in center field this season to give Hamilton a break from time-to-time. The Rangers also have infielder Alberto Gonzalez, a 28-year old, who was one of the last players to make the roster. The Rangers have another infielder in Brandon Snyder, who was acquired in a trade from Baltimore in January.

Then there's guys like first baseman Mitch Moreland, who is coming off wrist surgery. Moreland will see significant time this season.

"There aren't a lot of guys you're going to hit for," Daniels said. "Realistically, you might get in a platoon situation where Wash has a matchup he wants to exploit. The bigger concern for me is just depth in case of an injury, not from an in-game move standpoint."