Michael Young: Still Here. Still Hitting.

Categories: Texas Rangers

Michael Young - Spring 11.jpg
Don't know what else to call it, I'm just getting a weird vibe here in Surprise, Arizona.

The defending American League champion Texas Rangers somehow only have two starters (C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis) inked into the rotation. Their elite closer (Neftali Feliz) might be a starter but his replacement (Alexi Ogando) got lit up for three late runs in yesterday's loss to the Dodgers. Owner Chuck Greenberg is gone. And strangest of all, on Monday afternoon, the Rangers took the field and Michael Young trotted out ... to first base.

We've seen No. 10 at second, short and third during his career. But he's at first. Well, for now at least.

"It's still baseball, but it's different," Young said. "Strange as it is for fans, it's just as strange for me to be there."

To make room for new third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Rangers have diminished Young's role to something called designated hitter/super utility man. He's learning first base, a position crowded by starter Mitch Moreland and backup Mike Napoli. In spring training, he's played in 12 of Texas' 17 games, mostly hitting sixth in a spot designed for him to not have to be as patient as last year when he batted second. In the sixth hole, especially at DH, his job is to drive in runs.

So far, so good.

Young leads all Rangers regulars with a .407 average, going 11 of 27 with two doubles and two triples. In five games in the field at first and second base, he's made one error in seven total chances. On Monday he handled a hot grounder at first and smoothly jogged to first for the unassisted put out.

While Young continues to hit and learn how to use a new glove, the Rangers are still attempting to trade him. But, according to Jon Daniels, breaking camp with Young still a Ranger is a distinct possibility.

"Absolutely," Daniels said. "I'd have no problem with that scenario at all. Michael's a great baseball player."

While Greenberg and Nolan Ryan parted last week after a colossal difference in management philosophies, Young and Daniels have at least hit pause on their disagreements. Saying he'd been lied to by Daniels, the Rangers' captain demanded a trade last month.

Daniels admits the rocky relationship and it's awkward when GM and captain are avoiding each other.

"We haven't," Daniels said when asked if he's sat down to talk with Young this spring. "At some point that probably needs to happen."

Michael Young, first baseman.

Weird.


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7 comments
Mishon
Mishon

Can somebody please tell me again, why in the hell did we trade frankie francisco for a fat catcher/first baseman? That may have been the dumbest move they made all off season...and they made a few of them. I am very worried about this season.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Chris Davis more or less asked to be traded if he's not going to be on the opening day roster.

Yeah, I'd rather have Young at first than Davis right now. Davis could very well develop into a great hitter, but I don't see him getting much activity ahead of Young, Mitch, and Napoli. Crush could be a good part of a package to pick up a starting pitcher.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

Hes doing what he needs to do, putting his 16 mil in the bank and shutting the fuck up and playing ball. Its bidness mike, thats the way the front office go.

Kergo
Kergo

ahhh haaaa! I told you all the Napoli for Frankie deal was bad....anyone need a fat catcher who can hit .225? Good point Mishon! Good point.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Players that want to be traded aren't worth much on the market, even if he's packaged, what is he really worth. It sucks because I like this guy but he just loses it when he gets back up to the Bigs.

Kergo
Kergo

The guy is good for .300 with 20/80+, and can play any infield position......this guy is an assest. He won't bitch now. They should trade C.David and Napoli for a new pitchers mound.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

The Cubs have been rather interested in him for the future, after they realize they grossly overpaid Carlos Pena to hit .200 for them.

Don't underestimate the value a strong defensive first baseman with potential for good power numbers has on the market. He may not be the best fit for this team, but I'd bet half the league would be interested in kicking the tires on him.

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