Saturday, July 18, 2009

If the Texas Rangers are going to win their division, they need production from 2B

Two reasons the Rangers have a chance are that Kinsler could play like the best 2B in the AL, and Hamilton could play like the best OF. Neither has happened this season. Hamilton has been injured, and thus a neutral factor. When he has played, he has been average.

Conversely, Kinsler has been worse than neutral; has been worse than average. Kinsler has been horrible since the beginning of June, and arguably has been horrible since the second week of May, and thus has hurt the team for many weeks. Since the start of July, Kinsler is hitting .130 (i.e. worse than Chris Davis, who at least hit .210), and has not taken many bases on balls. For the season: Ian Kinsler, leadoff hitter, leads the AL in fly balls.

Amateur psychologist: I think Kinsler is hardheaded and petulant. He could, until his timing returns, just pop some well timed little line drives up the middle. He is not. The hardheadedness and petulance is what drove Ian Kinsler to the major leagues; is what kept him out of slow pitch softball leagues. The hardheadedness and competitive petulance are the secret to Ian Kinsler's success. However, any attribute, taken to extreme, becomes a liability.

The Rangers ought bench Kinsler for the rest of July. Let Vizquel save this part of the season by playing 2B and hitting Lead Off. Vizquel can do it, and he will do it. This has added benefit of allowing Elvis to play side by side with Vizquel during some game situations. It allows Elvis to notice, up close, from a standpoint of composure and concentration, how Vizquel approaches critical situations. It's like allowing a child to observe their parents.

Let Kinsler come back, in August, refreshed and hungry. I used to say the Texas heat couldn't wear Kinsler out, b/c he never thinks when he plays. I said Kinsler plays like a dog hunts: all instinct and hanging tongue and wagging tail; no brain involved. I was wrong. The heat, or something, has beaten Ian Kinsler down (which is no disgrace, if you've ever spent time in our heat). The lack of mental focus shows in his plate appearances. He is hurting the team, and has been for many weeks, and especially has been since July 1.

Ron Washinton fell into the trap of believing Kinsler could handle the heat as well as Michael Young does. To my recollection, Washington has played Kinsler every day this season except one. Someday, Kinsler might handle the heat as well as Michael Young. This season, he has not. Which, again, is no disgrace - this heat is vicious - but rather is merely what the facts look like from my end zone; from my vantage point. The fault rests as much with Ron Washington as with Ian Kinsler.


Dusty Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dusty Chris said...

I'm with you...if you aren't producing on the field, go down to AAA and get your groove back...then come back mid August ready to play.

gcotharn said...


Sending Kinsler to AAA did occur to me, yet I didn't have the cojones to suggest it! I think, upon further consideration, it is the best move. Let him get things worked out under less pressure. Here's a fun fact: Kinsler still has three minor league options!