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Beltre's Injury Hurts Young Plan

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Beltre's Injury Hurts Young Plan

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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: Michael Young #10 of the Texas Rangers reacts after a strike out in the ninth inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Michael Young is without a doubt the MVP of the Texas Rangers this season, and is a viable candidate for American League MVP honors, which considers just regular season performance.

That's a good thing for Young.

The veteran utility star has struggled mightily at the plate in the postseason in the clean-up spot for the Rangers, where he's been for most of the season and where he drove in more than 100 runs this season.

Young was 0-for-4 with three groundouts to shortstop, which just shows his struggles as Young is usually a guy that owns the opposite field and has his sweet stroke to right-center field. In the 2011 postseason now, Young is 3-for-27 with no RBIs.

Those aren't the numbers you expect or need from your No. 4 hitter.

So it's about time Ron Washington shakes up his lineup a bit to get something going offensively.

The only problem is that Washington said following Tuesday night's 5-2 loss to the Tigers in Game 3 of the ALCS that Young would not move in the order. It's a fault of Washington's at times, and at times a strength — he sticks with his guys. But is the ALCS the right time to let a guy work through something? I'd tend to think not.

Even if Washington wanted to move Young down in the lineup, who would he hit at No. 4? The obvious answer would be Adrian Beltre, who suffered a deep bruise to the knee on Tuesday when he fired a ball off his kneecap and was hindered the rest of the night and was basically immobile.

Nelson Cruz has been awful every time Washington has tried to put him in the 4-hole. Josh Hamilton is the prototypical No. 3 hitter and won't be a candidate, leaving Mike Napoli as the only viable candidate to hit fourth if Beltre isn't 100 percent today, which seems highly unlikely.

Either Young needs to figure out something really quickly, or the Washington has to make some kind of move. Otherwise, the Rangers might be in trouble.

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