ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: David Murphy #7 of the Texas Rangers throws the ball in after Josh Hamilton #32 tripped trying to field the triple hit by Lance Berkman #17 of the New York Yankees in Game Six of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** David Murphy;Josh Hamilton
In Part 1 of a roster breakdown, just a week and a day before the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox take the field at Rangers Ballpark, we'll take a look at the Rangers outfield.
The trio combined for 66 home runs a year ago to go with 243 RBIs.
Julio Borbon hit .276 and stole just 15 bases despite the fact his base-stealing threat is one of his biggest advantages.
But Borbon gives the Rangers the best defensive outfield, right? That must be why he was guaranteed the job in center field before the spring even started, right?
Borbon has a ghastly five errors this spring, and that doesn't even count a couple of mental errors when he's just thrown to the wrong base after hits. Something isn't right, and the Rangers don't have time for him to learn on the fly as a World Series contender.
But the Rangers want to keep AL MVP Josh Hamilton healthy, so we must move him from center field, right?
Oops, wrong again.
Look, Hamilton goes a million miles per hour on the field, just like he used to go off the field (we prefer the former, by a mile). He's not going to rein in his style of play. He's going to dive for balls. He's going to run into walls.
Moving Hamilton to left field not only pushes Murphy out of the everyday lineup, it puts a subpar defensive outfield on the field. If Hamilton moves to left, aren't there two walls he could potentially crash into? Yup.
The Rangers will have Borbon on their big league roster when the season begins. But they shouldn't.
Here's what should happen: Hamilton, Cruz and Murphy are the everyday starting outfielders and Mitch Moreland is the fourth outfielder. Moreland has played a couple of games in right field this spring and has been better than average and has shown a great arm on some big throws to third base. When he plays in the outfield, you put Michael Young or Mike Napoli at first. Or hell, that could be your chance to get Chris Davis on the big league roster and see if this incredible spring can translate. If it does, you can keep him or trade him for some good value.
The Rangers are very versatile in the field. I'm pretty sure they can piece together an outfield that doesn't include Borbon.