Young starts in ninth straight opener
Rangers' outfield lineups have varied in past decade
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Michael Young was in the Rangers' Opening Day lineup for the ninth straight season on Monday against the Blue Jays. That ties Jim Sundberg for the second-longest streak in club history. Ivan Rodriguez was in 11 straight Opening Day lineups from 1992-2002.Rafael Palmeiro had 10 Opening Day starts for the Rangers in 1989-93 and 1999-2003. Toby Harrah also had nine Opening Day starts in 1972-78 and 1985-86. Ian Kinsler's sprained ankle kept him from being in the Opening Day lineup for the fifth straight year. Bump Wills was in the Rangers' Opening Day lineup for five straight years in 1977-81, the longest streak by a Rangers second baseman. Josh Hamilton got the start in left field for the Rangers. Since Rusty Greer started in left field in six straight Opening Days in 1996-2001, Hamilton is the eighth starting left fielder for the Rangers in the past nine years. The others are Gabe Kapler (2002), Carl Everett (2003), David Dellucci (2004), Kevin Mench (2005), Brad Wilkerson (2006-07), David Murphy (2008) and Marlon Byrd (2009). Vladimir Guerrero is the fifth cleanup hitter in the past five years for the Rangers, following Phil Nevin, Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock and Nelson Cruz. Julio Borbon is the 18th Opening Day center fielder in the last 23 years for the Rangers. The Rangers have not had a center fielder start three consecutive years on Opening Day since Oddibe McDowell in 1986-88.
Greenberg group takes in Opening Day
ARLINGTON -- Chuck Greenberg is not the Rangers' owner yet. His group of 12 investors has not completed its purchase of the Rangers from current owner Tom Hicks.But Greenberg was able to enjoy the Opening Day festivities and said most of his group was also in attendance for Monday's 5-4 win over the Blue Jays. "It's great," said Greenberg, who was wearing a new pair of black cowboy boots given to him by club president Nolan Ryan. "Opening Day is the best day of the year, and the long winter makes it even more so. I think I slept about an hour and a half last night. I couldn't wait for the bell to ring and get rolling." Greenberg's group reached an agreement with Hicks on Jan. 23 to buy the team. Greenberg said he still expects the sale to be completed the week of April 19. "It's not a matter of if, but when," Greenberg said. "It would have been nice to have it done, but it's not a matter of what might have been, but what will be. It's a long process and another few weeks won't matter."
Kinsler swings bat, but return uncertain
ARLINGTON -- Ian Kinsler swung a bat on Monday after taking three days off.That was it. He did not run, take ground balls or make any sharp lateral movements. He was at the Ballpark in Arlington to be a part of the Opening Day ceremonies, but he is also on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. He is not close to being ready to play. "It's not difficult, but it's pretty frustrating," Kinsler said. "I want to be a part of it. It will be pretty awkward standing with the relievers. I'll try to be the biggest cheerleader on the bench." That's about all he will be able to do for the time being. It appears that Kinsler will be out for longer than just the first few games to start the season. He will need at least several games on medical rehabilitation assignment before he's ready to rejoin the Rangers, and that's not going to happen anytime soon. Kinsler, at the earliest, won't play until sometime on the upcoming nine-game road trip to Cleveland, New York and Boston. "I'm feeling a lot better today and I was feeling a lot better yesterday," Kinsler said. "Hopefully it will clear up in the next week and I can start playing baseball again. Any injury you don't want to linger into the season but it's a pretty big deal when you're talking about an ankle."
Arias, Murphy to be in starting lineup
Manager Ron Washington said Joaquin Arias will start at second base on Wednesday. Andres Blanco was the starting second baseman on Opening Day, and Washington said he'll use both of them until regular second baseman Ian Kinsler is ready. Washington said David Murphy will likely get at least one start in the outfield against the Blue Jays. He's not sure if it will be Wednesday or Thursday. Murphy has the fourth-most games of any Rangers player over the past three seasons but has not been in the lineup in each of the last two Opening Days.
Veteran catcher earns praise from general manager
ARLINGTON -- After two years at Triple-A Oklahoma City, the Rangers have assigned veteran catcher Kevin Richardson to Double-A Frisco to start the season. General manager Jon Daniels said it's because the Rangers think highly of Richardson's ability to handle a pitching staff, and Frisco will have some of their top young pitchers including Tanner Scheppers, Blake Beavan, Kasey Kiker, Alexi Ogando, Evan Reed and Ben Snyder."It's not a demotion," Daniels said. "If anything we're asking more of him. He's very much on the radar."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.