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Baker Providing Punch



    When Jeff Baker was brought in by the Texas Rangers on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, it was a pretty quiet signing not worthy of much discussion.

    When Baker had a huge spring training it started bringing a little more attention to the signing as the Rangers have struggled to put a solid bench together in the past — something that's come back to bite them in the postseason.

    Now, Baker is getting plenty of playing time, especially now with Mitch Moreland on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, and the nine-year big-league vet has made the most of his opportunity.

    Baker homered on Monday, his ninth of the season in just 77 at-bats and his eighth against left-handed pitching — a major league-leading number.

    "I'm all about staying within myself and preparing right," Baker told ESPN Dallas. "Results are good reinforcement for what you're doing."

    Imagine what this lineup could look like when guys start getting healthy. Then, the Rangers have a proven power bat in Baker sitting on the bench ready to get a couple of games a week and be ready to roll late in games otherwise. For now though, he'll continue to have an impact as basically an everyday player.