When the Rangers signed declining shortstop Ian Desmond, a former all-star for the Nationals, this winter to a one-year deal for $8 million, it was seen as a pretty big risk but also a pretty nice bargain for a guy with his pedigree.
Not only is the idea of moving him to the outfield not really being seen as a risk anymore, now the question is where in the outfield he'll play.
Desmond got yet another start in center field on Sunday, where he's been seeing more and more time. The results? They've been mostly good — sometimes great. Last week in one game, Desmond had two outfield assists from center, including a highlight reel basket catch at the wall, after which he turned and fired to double up a Cubs base runner.
Desmond has been so adequate, he could be changing the Rangers' plan in the outfield. Left field is usually seen as the easiest of the spots with center being the hardest, and Desmond could be pushing his way into center and moving Delino DeShields to left.
DeShields has the speed to be an elite center fielder, but has a severe lack of arm strength compared to what Desmond has shown this spring. While Desmond might be incredibly raw, he's shown enough athleticism, arm strength and aggressiveness to work his way into being a good outfielder on the fly with a chance to be a great one.