Last Call from the Desert…Ian Kinsler at the plate

KELY4626pSPhoto by Kelly Gavin

“I know I have a spot but I still have to get healthy and prove I belong. If someone is in the rotation and dealing and doing a good job…I still have to prove myself. I don’t want anything handed to me.”

Pitcher Colby Lewis, who the Rangers hope will be ready by June 1.

To pop up or not to pop up? That is the question for Ian Kinsler as he “works on a few things” this spring.

Kinsler knows he has a tendency to pop the ball up. So do the fans.

“Everyone says it,” Kinsler said.

Kinsler is trying to fix that in Spring Training with the help of hitting coach Dave Magadan. But this is not going to going to be a radical transformation.

“I’m not a ground ball hitter and never will be,” Kinsler said. “I hit the ball in the air. The goal is to drive the ball in the air as opposed to hit fly balls in the air. That’s what I’m working on. I’m not the type of hitter who hits the ball on the ground.”

What Kinsler needs to do is swing through the pitch rather than pull off it. He needs to square the pitch and swing through the baseball so that he can drive it rather than pop it up.

“I don’t think you ask a guy to go in the game and try to limit popups,” Magadan said. “It’s a process and he’s working very hard in the cage to get a little more on top of it, especially the pitch inside. Instead of getting underneath of it, that’s usually the pitch that he’s popping
up, the pitch on the inner half, so the results aren’t there yet but he took a good swing yesterday and got a base hit to left field, kept it fair which is important.”

One scout said Rangers third baseman Mike Olt looks “completely lost” at the plate. Said Olt looks like he is trying to pull everything and is putting too much pressure on himself.

Said manager Ron Washington, “He needs to get the bat off his shoulder. A swinging bat is dangerous. I never saw anybody get a hit with a bat on their shoulder. He needs to let that mechanism inside of him go. Just swing the bat. His bat is dangerous when he swings it. He just has to swing it.”

Jose Felix was back in camp on Monday after playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. As far as the big brawl with Canada, “It’s part of the game but I think we went a little over. I was trying to separate guys. I didn’t try to do anything. I was on the bench at the time.”

Kyle McClellan is expected to make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday against the Brewers. He is scheduled to pitch one inning but Rangers officials are eager to see him pitch and see if he can get back in the fifth-starter competition.


1 Comment

I still have high hopes for Olt; but, it will have to be his bat that gets him to the bigs, and it just isn’t happening this Spring. Maybe a year at AAA will do the trick; let’s see, by then he will be about 25.

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