Washington wants Byrd back in center in 2010

Rangers manager Ron Washington talked about his outfield at length before Saturday’s game against the Rays. Among Wahington’s thoughts:

* He wants Marlon Byrd back in 2010. Byrd is a free agent and the Rangers would like to re-sign him. He also wants to come back and has told the Rangers that. But it’s still uncertain if they will be able to re-sign him.

“I think it’s important for a lot of reasons,” Washington said. “He’s a very good defensive player, he’s a leader, he shows up and plays every day and he’s productive. I hope the organization does every thing they can to keep him.”

Byrd.jpgByrd went into Saturday’s game hitting .280 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI, which is tied with Ian Kinsler for the most on the team.

* Washington said re-signing Byrd would allow the Rangers to move Josh Hamilton to a corner spot.

“Would that take some wear and tear off him?” Washington said. “Yeah. I’d like to have him in (either left or right). There is a lot of wear and tear in center field and that’s a big body. It would be easy to do as long as we have someone to play center. We were very fortunate to have Marlon.

“If Josh ends up as our center fielder, he’ll play. But if we can get somebody to take a load off him, we will.”

* Washington wants to get Julio Borbon time in center field before the season ends but is not sure if he’s ready to play out there every day. He still needs work with outfield coach Gary Pettis on getting jumps, reading the ball and running good routes.

“He’s made good progress in left field but center field is a different animal,” Washington said. “If we put him out there, we have to make sure he’s ready. We can’t let him start hurting our pitching.”

Borbon is expected to play Winter ball in the Dominican Republic this off-season.

* Nelson Cruz was out of the lineup on Saturday for the third straight game. Washington said Cruz will start on Sunday against left-hander David Price. Cruz is hitting .260 with a club-leading 32 home runs and 74 RBI but is hitting .146 with one home run and three RBI in his last 14 games.

“I thought he’s had a pretty good year,” Washington said. “I just think at the end he ran out of gas. He just found out some times you to learn to play the game with your mentality rather than your physical ability. There were periods when he was amazing and periods when he was not so amazing. But, for the most part, as a first-time full-timer, he did well.”

* The Rangers hottest outfielder down the stretch has been David Murphy. He went in Saturday’s game hitting .429 (9-for-21) in his last six games and .338 with four home runs and 14 RBI in his last 18 games. After starting the season with that 0-for-23 slump, Murphy is hitting .276 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI.

“I thought he grinded it out,” Washington said. “He got off to a terrible start but picked it up and has really been huge for us down the stretch. I played him against everybody and he wasn’t fazed.”



I just wanted to comment on the fact that whether we win any
more this year or not, this has been a great season. I hope everybody will appreciate Wash’s job, I know they won’t but
true baseballers will especially appreciate what he did with the new kids on the block……Holland, Feliz, Borbon, Andrus, Davis, Gentry,etc. This team is still being built but it’s real close. I pray the team resigns Byrd because he is the centerfielder that’s needed. Josh needs to be that right fielder with the terminator cannon that is the true equalizer against taking an extra base. I still say Nelson Cruz is a
young Vlad with discipline and Murphy is the best 4th outfielder/designated hitter in the business. A lot of baseballers have said it as well as me that Mike Young is the leader on this team and I still pay money to see him. Thank God for what Omar and Pudge have added to this team this season and there is a pitcher still rehabbing in
Dallas we need to sign. As far as manager of the year
goes, I still think its Tracy in Colorado for the National league and Wash for the American league. I’m thinking that after 40 years in baseball, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Anyway, just a few thoughts……..

I guess Saturday Night for most ment clubs & corousing. The crowd in stands at the Temps were on fire. Down to the wire.
Still real baseball left for the true fan. What a game to be at, during the RACE.

I don’t know where the $$ is going to come from, but BYRD needs to be back in a Ranger uniform 2010. I love that guy.

It is highly unlikely the Rangers re-sign Byrd unless the club is sold to someone who has money and is willing to spend it. Even if that were the case, there may be bigger priorities for the available funds. I am pretty comfortable with Hamilton, Cruz, Murphy and Borbon as the top 4 OF, Davis / Smoak at first, Young, Andrus and Kinsler in the infield and Salty / Teagarden behind the plate. Assuming Blalock and Jones will be gone, it would be nice to get a big bat at 1B / OF / DH. Maybe they can get Milton Bradley with the Cubs eating most of his salary? Then you could also get another 1B / OF / DH guy looking to revitalize his career in the ballpark.

We should grab all the middle relief guys we can. If Feliz is going to be a starter, the bullpen was overworked with him.

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