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07/30/08 8:13 PM ET
Blalock expects to remain at third
Injured infielder has no plans to change position upon return
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Hank Blalock, on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder, said he still plans to play third base when he gets back. "I'm going to keep trying to play third base to the best of my ability," Blalock said before Wednesday's game with the Mariners. Blalock played nine games at the hot corner after coming off the disabled list at the All-Star break. He started feeling pain and soreness in the shoulder last weekend in Oakland, which got progressively worse. He was scratched from Monday's lineup, and was subsequently placed on the disabled list. Blalock had surgery on the shoulder last year and was planning to move to first base earlier this season. He said he doesn't see his latest injury as a sign that his shoulder won't hold up at third base. "I don't like to think that way," Blalock said. "I try to block out those things from my mind, that I can't do something or others say I can't do something. I always think I'm capable of playing third base." Blalock volunteered to move to first base at the end of May, and the Rangers accepted his offer. They asked him to move back to third base at the All-Star break, however, because of Chris Davis' strong performance at first. Blalock doesn't blame his shoulder problems on that. "I look in the mirror and it is what it is," Blalock said. "They asked me to move to third base the day before we played Minnesota [after the All-Star break]. I moved over, I played as well as I could, and I got hurt. That's how it came down. I can't get frustrated. I did what they told me to do, I did my best and I got injured. It is what it is." Blalock said he feels his shoulder problem is similar to something he had in Spring Training that shut him down for 10 days. He was able to come back strong from that injury, and said he expects to do the same from this problem. He had a cortisone shot on Tuesday and right now is waiting for that to take effect. "Hopefully, I'll be ready to go when the 15 days are up," Blalock said. "I hope he comes back well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If he comes back well, I don't see why he can't be the third baseman. We did what we had to do at the time. I don't think anybody foresaw [that] the move would cause the shoulder pain. We felt we did the right thing at the time. If there are repercussions, I'll live with it." Chris Davis started at third base on Wednesday. The Rangers had to shift Ramon Vazquez to shortstop because Michael Young was feeling some pain and stiffness in the ring finger on his right hand. Young suffered a small fracture in the finger and is day-to-day.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.