The Texas Rangers haven't even had a full-squad workout in Surprise, Ariz., yet. That will come on Thursday after four days of pitchers and catchers being on the field at spring training.
But on Wednesday, Ron Washington said he has his lineup set for Opening Day on March 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies, and it's exactly what we all envisioned.
1. Choo, lf; 2. Andrus, ss; 3. Fielder, 1b; 4. Beltre, 3b; 5. Rios, rf; 6. Moreland, dh; 7. Soto, c; 8: Profar, 2b; 9. Martin, cf.
There you go. No surprises there. Washington had previously said Yu Darvish would take the hill on Opening Day, presumably against former Rangers ace Cliff Lee.
The top five of that batting order is pretty stout, and Washington has said since the Rangers acquired Prince Fielder in November that he wanted to hit him third in the lineup and provide him some protection for the first time in his career.
“I’m set in stone with that,” Washington said, via The Dallas Morning News. “It is locked in. I do not want to move Beltre out of the four hole. And Prince, he’s been the protector all his career. I want him to be the protectee. People can pick their poison. If they don’t want to deal with Prince, then they can deal with Beltre. If they don’t want to deal with Beltre, then they can deal with Rios. And if they don’t want to deal with any of them, they can deal with Moreland.”