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CF Position Fixed, For Now At Least

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CF Position Fixed, For Now At Least

Photo composition of Craig Gentry (L) and Endy Chavez (R), both of the Texas Rangers.

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Starting the season, the Texas Rangers wanted to try to keep Josh Hamilton out of center field, his natural position, to help curb the chances of the reigning AL MVP getting injured.

Turns out, that didn't matter as Hamilton was hurt on a head first slide into home and missed a month. So that meant Julio Borbon was the team's annointed starter in center entering the season, and that experiment didn't go so well.

Borbon hit .270 and stole six bases in 89 at-bats before going on the disabled list, which opened the door for two career minor leaguers to step into a rotation in his absence.

Since then, Craig Gentry and Endy Chavez have hit the ground running and haven't looked back.

And Borbon was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock after coming off the DL.

Chavez, who's 33 years old, got off to a really hot start before cooling down a bit but he's still hitting .333 in an albeit limited number of at-bats (72), including a big RBI triple in Tuesday night's extra innings win over Houston.

Gentry is 27 and on Monday night became just the eighth No. 9 hitter in the majors since 1972 to have three hits and three stolen bases in a game in the Rangers' win over the Astros.

In the past couple of weeks, he's gone 10-for-27 with five doubles, and both players are playing an admirable center field.

So while two career minor leaguers might not be the long-term solution in center field, they are more than capable fill-ins for the remainder of the season while the center fielder of the future (Cuban defector Leonys Martin) is marinating in Frisco.

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