Is Odor Hitting Leadoff a Sign? | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Is Odor Hitting Leadoff a Sign?

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Delino DeShields #3 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Kansas City Royals during the cactus leauge spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Could Delino DeShields possibly be losing grip of another one of the roles he carved out for himself last season?

    He has already seen Ian Desmond not only convert to left field from shortstop but also play well enough in center field to where some people are wondering if he and DeShields will swap roles sooner rather than later and push DeShields out of center and into left.

    On Wednesday in the Rangers' Cactus League finale, both DeShields and second baseman Rougned Odor were in the lineup, but instead of his usual leadoff spot in the batting order, DeShields hit second behind Odor.

    What's that mean for the future? Well, we're not certain, but DeShields did struggle down the stretch last year to close out a fine rookie season while Odor was one of the best hitters in baseball. Odor has been on a tear all spring, as well. Could it mean games at leadoff in the future for Odor?

    "I just wanted to get them in and out of there quickly," manager Jeff Banister told reporters when asked about the lineup.

    OK, so you put them in the top two spots. But why in that order? When Banister was asked to elaborate, he replied with the same answer.

    The one advantage DeShields has over Odor is speed. Not that Odor is slow by any means, but DeShields has top-two or top-three speed in the game and can get on base in so many different ways, doing a ton of damage once he's there.

    Odor has made a point to become a better base-stealer this year, and he has the speed to do it.

    Really, regardless of who hits where, the Rangers will have some serious weapons this year. Banister just has to figure out how to best utilize them.