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Michael Young Keeps Proving He's a Great Designated Hitter

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There's been very little about the Michael Young saga that's made sense.

It didn't make sense that the Rangers, aware they were overpaying Young, refused to kick in any money to trade him when they wanted to do a deal during the offseason. It also didn't make any sense that Young was so offended by the notion that he should be a designated hitter/super utility player set to play nearly every day.

What makes the least sense of all is the Rangers' continued desire to play Young at second base when it is clear he can't play the position well enough.

That's not an argument against having Young in the lineup. He should be in there every day, but he should be in there as a designated hitter because his bat is the most valuable part of his game. His defense has eroded to the point that it isn't hard to see him balancing out any offensive contributions with poor work in the field.

Take Wednesday night's game for example. Young hit a two-run double in the six-run third inning that put the team up by four runs. In the top of the fourth, though, he did everything he could to hand the lead back to the Blue Jays.

On consecutive ground balls by Yunel Escobar and Mike McCoy, Young's lack of range was exposed as he flailed at balls already on their way past him into the outfield. We're not asking that he be a Gold Glover, but merely decent second basemen keep those balls in the infield so that runners aren't going wild on the basepaths. Young's misplays helped the Jays to a three-run inning that kept the game much closer than it needed to be over the final innings.

We get that the Rangers want Ian Kinsler to get some days off from playing the field. It would be best if they played Andres Blanco on those days and used Kinsler or Young at DH. Young is here, he's contributing and he seems content with his lot in life. Now's a good time to stop pushing everybody's luck by playing him in the middle of the infield.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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