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.
We chronicled last week the effect Ian Kinsler's absence from the Texas Rangers' lineup is having on their lack of offensive punch. All of those folks who have questioned over the past few years whether Kinsler was the answer for the Rangers at the leadoff spot instead of Elvis Andrus have gotten an answer the hard way since Kinsler's been out with a rib injury.
Now, Kinsler is nearing a return after suffering a minor setback last week and could be back by next week, and back atop the Rangers' batting order.
The veteran second baseman has been taking infield with Rangers manager/infield defense extraordinare Ron Washington over the past couple of games and wanted to take batting practice on Tuesday before batting practice was canceled thanks to a sinkhole behind the pitchers' mound.
Now, Kinsler is hoping to stay on schedule and take BP prior to Wednesday's series finale against the Indians then head out on a rehab assignment over the weekend, either to Double-A Frisco or Triple-A Round Rock — most likely Frisco with both the Rough Riders and Rangers in town.
"I'd like to be taking BP by tomorrow," Kinsler told Fox Sports Southwest. "Hopefully just one day of BP and then rehab. Thursday would be nice. That would be ideal."
Kinsler has been on the DL since May 19 when the Rangers were 14 games over .500 and held a 6 1/2-game lead over Oakland. Now, the Rangers are 12 games over .500 and deadlocked in a first-place tie with the A's.