Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers scores on a hit by Josh Hamilton in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.
There isn't a more polarizing player on the Texas Rangers roster than — well, check that.
There isn't a more polarizing player, other than Josh Hamilton, on the Texas Rangers roster than Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler got a lot of hate from Rangers fans this year after having an awful season and failing, for the most part, as a leadoff hitter. Perhaps the most infuriating thing about Kinsler's season was his defensive regression which saw him go from seven and 11 errors in the past two seasons back to 18 in 2012. Yuck.
Almost all of his offensive numbers were at or near career lows, and there's a guy named Jurickson Profar, who by all accounts is ready to open the 2013 season as a big-league regular for the Rangers.
When Kinsler signed a long-term extension before the 2012 season he was asked about Profar and said he'd be willing to move positions to allow for the youngster to come up. On Thursday, he reiterated that thought to ESPN Dallas writer Richard Durrett.
"It's not my job to think about that," Kinsler said of where he'd be playing in 2013. "It's my job to play baseball."
The obvious solution to get Profar on the field would be to play him at second base and move Kinsler to the outfield, but that's a fairly crowded situation itself with David Murphy, Craig Gentry, Leonys Martin and Nelson Cruz already there, and I guess the possibility of Hamilton returning, which won't happen but nothing's official yet. There's also been thought of moving Kinsler to first base, but you have to remember as a first baseman or outfielder, Kinsler's offensive numbers would be average. They're great as a second baseman.
Not so sure how easy this is going to be to figure out, but the Rangers will figure out some way to make it work. There's been talk of trading Kinsler but his value is at an all-time low and he could easily have a bounce-back season in 2013 and he's proven to be a very good player when he's right.