Since the first month of the season, when it seemed every player in the Texas Rangers' lineup was swinging a hot bat, Michael Young has been in a progressive nosedive.
Young hit .326 in April and has since watched his average decrease at the end of every subsequent month all the way until the end of July when he looked up and saw his average had dipped to .269, which is just not Michael Young-esque.
The career .302 hitter is obviously on the decline in his career at 35 years old but the so-called face of the Rangers' franchise better get things going pretty quickly or he'll be finding himself on the bench instead of being the club's super utility man — a role he filled last year beautifully when he hit .338 and led the league with 213 hits, driving in a career-high 106 runs after demanding a trade in the winter preceding the 2011 season.
Now he'll be really upset if he's transformed from a super utility man who plays at first base, second base, third base or as a designated hitter every day to being a guy who plays 2-3 days a week to give guys a day off here and there.
And that is becoming a strong possibility with the return of Mitch Moreland from the disabled list. Moreland will immediately step in to become the everyday first baseman against right-handed pitching and depending on how he performs he could see time against lefties, as well. Mike Napoli can also play first base and DH when newly acquired Geovany Soto is catching.
So the ball is Young's court. He did go 2 for 3 in Tuesday's loss to the Angels. He's done a ton for this franchise, but he's 35 and this team isn't about being good to its legends, it's about winning a World Series. It's about time for Young to step up or get out of the way.