Kinsler gets a partial day off
Held out of Wednesday's lineup, second baseman pinch-hits
TORONTO -- There were a few changes to the Rangers' lineup for Wednesday's tilt against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. The most noticeable was the absence of regular leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler.
Manager Ron Washington was quick to note before the game that he was simply giving his 25-year-old second baseman some rest.
But Washington couldn't afford to stick with his plan for long, as he used Kinsler as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.
Giving Kinsler -- who had played in each of Texas' 14 games prior to Wednesday -- some rest was something that Washington wanted to do last weekend in Texas.
"I wanted to try to get Kinsler a day while we were home, but he started swinging the bat pretty good," Washington said. "We weren't playing very good, and I didn't want to take his offense out of there."
Kinsler, who is in his third year in the Majors, played in 130 games last year and 120 the year before. With him out of the lineup, left fielder Frank Catalanotto batted leadoff, with Ramon Vazquez starting at second base and batting ninth.
Another change to the lineup saw regular center fielder Josh Hamilton start in right field, Milton Bradley's usual position. Bradley was moved to the designated hitter's role. Washington said that both moves were made because of the artificial turf at Rogers Centre.
"That turf really takes its toll on you," said Washington, who believes that having Hamilton play right field would be less taxing on his legs than if he were to play in center.
"I thought, if I'm going to play Josh today," Washington said, "it's better than him roaming out in center field. So I'll put him in right field."
Hamilton played in just 90 games last season with the Reds, and Washington wants to make sure that the 26-year-old will be able to stay healthy throughout the season.
Washington is also doing his best to preserve Bradley, who had offseason surgery on his right knee.
"I'm not going to put Milton on that field," he said. "He's just going to DH."
Washington added that he would give Bradley the day off on Thursday.
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.