Notes: Young not worried about slump
All-Star shorstop embraces offensive struggles as challenge
ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Michael Young, during Monday's game, hit a line drive off Twins pitcher Carlos Silva's posterior and ended up getting thrown out at first base.That caused manager Ron Washington to say afterward, "I feel sorry for Michael Young right now. I don't know if there's anybody hitting the ball harder in America without anything to show for it." But Young's not looking for sympathy from anybody and is not distressing over the .232 batting average that he took into Tuesday's game. "That doesn't impact me at all," Young said. "If the season ended today, it would impact me. But in a weird way, that's what I love about baseball. You never have this game figured out. I'm taking this as a challenge that will make me better." Young said that, if anything, this has been a test of his ability to trust himself and his approach at the plate. His focus has always been approach, not results, and he has tried to keep that in mind as he goes through this. "I don't believe in slumps," Young said. "When a game is over, it's over. I don't worry about what happened a month ago in Cleveland. My mantra has always been to trust myself, and I say that over and over again. I believe it. I believe in my approach as a hitter and my ability to make adjustments. "As long as I stay in an attack mode and try to build on that every day, at the end of the season I'm going to be proud of what I've done." Young said what he has or hasn't done offensively has nothing to do with any pressure from the five-year, $85 million contract extension that he signed in Spring Training. "That has nothing to do with it," Young said. "That's not my nature. That's the farthest thing from my mind. It's not in my nature to think about things like that. If anything, my mentality is to help the team win, and when we're not, I may press trying to pick everybody up. But I can't do that. I have to do my job. You try and help everybody, but I can't do everybody's job for them." Washington backing off: Washington said one of the mistakes he made early in the season is trying to be too hands-on with his players. Now, he's backing off and letting his coaches do the work. For example, Washington used to take an active role in the hitters' scouting meetings held before every series. Now, he says he sits in the back, shuts up and let's hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo do the talking. "Rudy knows these guys better than anybody," Washington said. "I decided it was best to let the hitting instructor handle it instead of me. Sometimes when you're the manager and you have something to say, you say it. But I decided in Tampa that I'll let it come through my coaches. "It's part of the adjustments I have to make. If I'm wrong, I'll stand up and admit that I'm wrong." Millwood going off mound: Pitcher Kevin Millwood is planning to throw off the mound in the bullpen on Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring muscle. The Rangers should have a better idea after that session when Millwood will be ready to return to the rotation. He said the injured hamstring is starting to feel good again. "I just have normal soreness from working out," Millwood said. "There's no soreness in the spot where it was hurting." Rangers sign Holland: The Rangers have reached an agreement with left-handed pitcher Derek Holland, their 25th-round pick from the 2006 draft who was at the top of their draft-and-follow list. Holland was 9-2 with a 1.82 ERA and 10.17 strikeouts per nine innings for Wallace (Ala.) State and had made an oral commitment to Arizona State University. Monday's Minor stars: Top performances from the Rangers Minor League teams on Monday: Gold: Left-hander Kasey Kiker, the Rangers' top pick in the 2006 draft, made his first start for Class A Clinton, throwing five scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out nine. Silver: Outfielder K.C. Herren and third baseman John Whittleman were both 2-for-4 for Clinton in the LumberKings' 6-2 loss to Fort Wayne. Bronze: Catcher Guillermo Quiroz was 2-for-3 for the second straight game for Triple-A Oklahoma. He has taken over as the RedHawks' No. 1 catcher because Miguel Ojeda is out with a broken thumb. Briefly: Washington said he's planning on using Mark Teixeira at designated hitter on Wednesday. Sammy Sosa will get the day off. So, too, will Frank Catalanotto unless he tells Washington that he's ready to return to the outfield. ... Washington said Matt Kata will start at first base. ... Double-A Frisco infielder Emerson Frostad has been placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. ... Former No. 1 draft pick Colby Lewis is in line to start for the Oakland Athletics on Monday when they open a three-game series against the Rangers. Up next: Right-hander Robinson Tejeda pitches for the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. CT Wednesday against the Twins. Right-hander Boof Bonser pitches for the Twins.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.