Blanks Moves to Outfield to Stay in Lineup

Before Mitch Moreland injured his elbow and hit the 15-day disabled list, he was the Rangers' second-best hitter behind Prince Fielder.

So when Moreland returned from the DL last week, he had himself a spot in the lineup not to mention the fact he's the team's best defensive option at first base. His replacement while he was out was Triple-A call-up Kyle Blanks, who ended up sporting a hot bat himself.

So in order to keep Blanks' bat an option every day, the Rangers decided to shift Blanks to left field — a position he'd played before even though he's a primary first baseman — as Fielder is still occupying the full-time DH role, deferring to the better defender in Moreland.

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Since Blanks' season debut, in which he went 0-for-3, Blanks has been red-hot, hitting .346 with a .970 OPS, three doubles, three homers and six RBIs. His last game, which was on Friday against Cleveland, was Blanks' first game this year in left field, and he went 2-for-4 with three putouts in left.

With Delino DeShields also playing very well and being able to play center field, and Josh Hamilton set to make his Rangers return within the next week, the outfield spots are growing slim, but it's hard to envision demoting Blanks again. It's almost certainly going to be outfielder Carlos Peguero hitting the road when Hamilton arrives, but Blanks will likely be relegated to a nice option off the bench who could start a couple of days a week.

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