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Ron Washington admits, "It's a mess"

6241632ARLINGTON, Texas - Following the bouncing ball for your Texas Rangers' batting order ...

* Shortstop Elvis Andrus, who is at $15 mil' a year is supposed to hit second but can't because he is in a slump, should be batting eighth. But he can't because the Rangers have too many other hitters on this team who should be batting ninth ... or lower.

* Centerfielder Leonys Martin, whom Rangers manager Ron Washington wants to be a nine-hole hitter for an extended period, can't because there are too many other hitters on this team who should be batting ninth ... or lower.

* The Rangers have no real bat at catcher, so they should be batting ninth automatically.

* Mitch Moreland, who by now should be an everyday player, can't get into the lineup when the Rangers face left-handed pitchers.

* Because of a rash of injuries, the Rangers promoted prized prospect Rougned Odor from Double A to immediately play. Given his inexperience, he should be batting ninth.

So ... the Rangers have four players who, ideally, should be batting ninth.

Against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night:
6th: Leonys Martin
7th: Elvis Andrus
8th: Rougned Odor
9th: Robinson Chirinos

Ron_Washington_in_April_2011"Having (Shin Soo) Choo and Martin and Prince (Fielder) that close together it made it easier for them to bring in left handers, so I moved Martin to eighth and I kept him there for a long time," Wash' told me Thursday afternoon. "Now, with the moves that I had to make with the different people in my lineup, Martin is hitting sixth. I have no choice. Look at it."

I asked Wash' to walk me through how he juggled, and arranged, a bottom of a lineup that is now "stacked".

"I had Martin, Elvis, Odor and (catcher Robinson) Chirinos - that's who I had to choose to bat sixth," he said. "Elvis is struggling right now, he could find some more RBIs and it frustrates him more. After I decided that with Elvis, Chirinos and Odor? I'm not putting Odor out there, it's his first time. At least Martin is swinging the bat, so I don't have a choice.

"I'm not moving (Alex) Rios from the fifth spot because I have to have someone to protect Fielder."

I told him, this sounds like a mess.

"It is," he said. "It's a mess."

"My hands aren't tied, but it's a matter of us getting going offensively and (the order) wouldn't matter," Wash' continued. 

He said he does not think the way the bottom of the lineup is arranged has changed the way pitchers attack his team. Wash' believes that because the middle of the order has not found a rhythm has made the difference. 

"If everyone hits their clip - if you are a .270 hitter, and you are hitting .270, it's fine," he said. "If those guys hit their numbers, it's fine."

Right now, however ... it's a mess.

Facebook Mac Engel



18-17, and only two games out of first place. Considering the injuries and cold bats, the Rangers have done as well as could be expected hanging close with Oakland and Seattle. The question is whether they can hold the fort long enough to get their starters back. Once this Ranger team gets healthy, this mess will go away on its own.

Rob Tentoy

At least it isn't Nolan Ryan's mess

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