Remember when Mike Olt was called up at the beginning of August as a hot-hitting young prospect who could play first base, third base and also be available for use as a designated hitter if Ron Washington wanted to use him that way?
Back then, it was clear that the move was made in response to the Texas Rangers' all-time leader in just about everything, Michael Young, not performing up to his career standards this year with a low average and an even worse on-base percentage and OPS.
But the move didn't prove to mean too much for Young so far, as he's started every game since Olt was called up — some at DH, some at second base, heck, even one at shortstop.
Yes, it's clear Washington has a soft spot for Young, who really hasn't given him much this year, but as we all know, Washington is loyal to a fault and sticks with his veterans. Well, in this case, it might be starting to pay off now.
Young's season average is now at .271, but since July 4, a span of 32 games (all starts), Young is starting to hit at a better clip, as he's posted a .286 average in that span with 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored. He's still not getting many extra-base hits with only five doubles, but recently he's started going the other way with pitches which has always been Young's signature swing.
Sometimes Washington's loyalty never pays off (see Mike Napoli this season), but it looks like it might be starting to pay some dividends with Young, who could be a big part of the offense down the stretch if he can continue his turnaround, which includes a recent nine-game hitting streak.