Saturday, March 30, 2013
Opening Day lineup has a new look
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' lineup obviously will have a much different look for Sunday's season opener against Houston with Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli on other teams.
But even without those stalwarts, Rangers manager Ron Washington is comfortable with the names he'll put down on his lineup card. In fact, he was a little defiant Thursday night when asked about his offense.
The Rangers will lean more on first baseman Mitch Moreland and center fielder Craig Gentry, both having torrid springs.
"Mitch is healthy," Washington said. "Gentry has shown he can be someone in the lineup to be reckoned with. There's nothing you've seen Murphy do that you haven't seen him do before."
Newcomers Lance Berkman and A.J. Pierzynski will be asked to replace the offensive hole created by Young's departure to Philadelphia and Napoli to Boston.
And the top of the lineup has Ian Kinsler, ready for a bounce-back season, Elvis Andrus, who gets better offensively every year and Adrian Beltre, who was the backbone of last year's lineup, not Hamilton or Young.
"Beltre, proven. Berkman, proven. Pierzynski, proven. Kinsler, proven. Elvis, proven. We have a proven team."
Most of the regulars had the day off for Saturday's final exhibition game in San Antonio. Only Moreland, Gentry and Gentry's center-field platoon partner Leonys Martin were in the lineup against San Diego.