ARLINGTON, Texas -- Without the benefit of the designated hitter in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series at San Francisco, Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday he will start Vladimir Guerrero in the field in one of the first two games.
"I don't know yet. Haven't decided," Washington said of which game he might give his cleanup hitter the start. "We really haven't sat down and talked about it yet, but you can best believe we'll figure out a way to get Vlad in in there. In the starting lineup, some kind of way."
The San Francisco Giants will likely throw two right-handers in the first two games at AT&T Park. Tim Lincecum is the expected Game 1 starter with Matt Cain being the projected Game 2 starter. Guerrero is 1-for-1 off Lincecum in his career. He singled as a pinch-hitter last season during interleague play.
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Guerrero is 0-for-3 with a strikeout against Cain, but those matchups came in the 2006 season. Whichever game Guerrero does not start, he will be a valuable right-handed bat off the bench. National League rules typically demand greater use of pinch-hitters in the pitcher's spot of the order.
Guerrero hit .300 during the regular season with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs. He slumped during the ALDS and much of the ALCS, but came on strong in the Game 6 clincher against the New York Yankees, collecting three of his four postseason RBIs. He's hitting .267 in the postseason with three doubles and no home runs.
Jeff Caplan is a reporter and columnist for ESPNDallas.com.