Rangers fans will argue the point until they're blue in the face, regardless of which side they're on: Who should be the leadoff man for the Texas Rangers? Ian Kinsler or anyone but Ian Kinsler?
Kinsler, who's known to turn in the most inopportune pop-ups, seemed to be off to the beginning of a career year before straining his rib cage a couple of weeks ago against the Detroit Tigers and hitting the disabled list before undergoing a minor setback last week. Now, it seems he won't be back in the Rangers' lineup until at least the end of June, and while fans are rejoicing (rightfully so) at the play of über prospect Jurickson Profar, the Rangers' offense is struggling without Kinsler atop the lineup.
Elvis Andrus has taken over as the club's leadoff man and is in the midst of a horrible slump. In nine of the 17 games Kinsler has missed, the Rangers have failed to score more than three runs. When he left the lineup, Kinsler was hitting .302 with a .369 on-base percentage, seven homers, 20 RBIs and had scored 24 runs in 40 games.
Andrus is hitting .261 with a .311 on-base percentage with 14 steals and 35 runs scored in 58 games — far from satisfactory numbers for a leadoff man and numbers that had everyone up in arms about Kinsler in the past. Since entering the leadoff spot, Andrus is hitting .242 with a .301 on-base percentage.
So Rangers fans, be glad that Profar is showing so well at age 20. It's awesome. But don't take for granted what Kinsler means to this team and realize when he gets back, he is the club's second baseman.