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March 26, 2011

Rangers CF Julio Borbon removed from game

Center fielder Julio Borbon, already mired in a turbulent spring, was pulled from Friday night's game against Colorado after the second inning for what manager Ron Washington called a "teachable moment."

Washington said that his decision does not affect Borbon's status on the team, and he will be in the lineup Saturday against the Cubs.

Borbon deferred comment to Washington, who wouldn't confirm what happened. Borbon, though, was late getting on deck with two outs in the second inning and the No. 7 hitter up. Borbon was to lead off the third inning, but Washington sent David Murphy to the plate as a pinch-hitter.

Borbon, who has committed five errors this spring, had a ball drop in front of him in the first inning for a single. He short-hopped a ball that he told coaches was knuckling as it went toward him. Washington said that the play wasn't the issue.

"He misjudged it," Washington said. "I'm glad he didn't let it get by him."

Washington and outfield coach Gary Pettis are said to be determined to keep Borbon focused during games because they believe he can be a quality defender who can help keep Josh Hamilton fresh in left field.

A team official said that Borbon is on the team unless something drastic happens the rest of the spring. There are some in the organization who believe Borbon should start the season in Triple A, a move that would create a roster spot for Chris Davis.

Borbon said on Thursday that his focus hasn't been as intense as it should be. While no reason was given for his removal from Friday's game, something went awry and Washington said Borbon has learned a lesson.

"I thought it was time to make it a teachable moment," Washington said.

-- Jeff Wilson

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