Ron Washington clearly will miss Ian Kinsler. He's been with Kinsler since he arrived in Texas and the two have kind of grown up and matured together in their respective positions. But now, Kinsler is in Detroit, and Washington is excited about adding some pop in his lineup by acquiring slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.
Washington spoke with several media this week at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, but he spoke about both players to The Detroit News, about what the Tigers are getting in Kinsler and what the Rangers' plans are for Fielder.
The No. 1 plan for Fielder, Washington said, is to give the big guy a breather from time to time.
Fielder has played 162 games in each of the last three seasons with the title of baseball's current Iron Man, having played 505 straight games heading into the 2014 season. That number will grow some, but eventually it'll come to an end.
"Definitely,” Washington said when asked about possible days off for Fielder. “We’ll run him through the DH slot, give him a day off here and there. It won’t be many, but we’ll do whatever we can do to keep him productive.”
As for Kinsler, Washington said the Tigers are getting a leader, which isn't surprising considering he was seen as one of the clubhouse leaders for the Rangers, especially since Michael Young departed following the 2012 season.
“Class, a leader, difference-maker, tremendous defensive player, tremendous base runner,” Washington told The Detroit News, listing attributes to describe Kinsler, who started at second base every year Washington’s been in Texas. “I think the deal helped the Tigers just as well as it helped us. They gave us quality and got quality in return.”