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08/09/08 7:07 PM ET
Thanks to injuries, Ellison gets chance
30-year-old Rangers outfielder gets first start of 2008
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- With David Murphy on the disabled list with a right knee sprain, Brandon Boggs earned a chance to play regularly. So far, however, Boggs' sore shoulder has prevented that. He was the designated hitter on Friday and out of the starting lineup altogether on Saturday, as manager Ron Washington wanted to use Josh Hamilton at DH instead. Hamilton has started six of the Rangers' past 12 games at DH to give him a little rest. "Brandon's just sore," Washington said. "I don't want to take a chance with him in the outfield. I don't want him to have to make a throw he doesn't need to make." In his stead, Jason Ellison gets his first start of 2008. He was recalled from Triple A-Oklahoma on Thursday, where he was hitting .242 with 21 doubles, two home runs, 44 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Ellison, who was with the Rangers in Spring Training on a Minor League contract, is with his fourth organization and still hoping to find a place to play every day. His only real chance was with the Giants as a rookie in 2005, when he was hitting .279 with 46 runs scored and 12 stolen bases in 308 at-bats on July 30. But the Giants traded for veteran outfielder Randy Winn, and Ellison was out of a job. "When I was with the Giants, they had a veteran mind-set," Ellison said. "With Barry Bonds there, the pressure was to win. He wanted to win, so they were going to surround him with guys who could give him that opportunity. But it seemed like every veteran that came in would get an injury and it wouldn't work out." Ellison split time last year with the Mariners and the Reds as a fourth outfielder. "I know I can play," Ellison said. "I've always been able to play the game. I'm just trying to find an opportunity. That's what has avoided me the past four years."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.