05/06/10 9:51 PM ET
Smoak working on fielding poor throws
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
Smoak has struggled scooping throws in the dirt. He failed to come up with a low throw by third baseman Michael Young in Wednesday's 4-1 loss at Oakland.
Smoak said Washington told him to work on making sure his glove "is more open" when fielding throws. Smoak has the difficult task of following Chris Davis at first base. Davis has a knack for coming up with throws in the dirt.
"I feel great out there," Smoak said. "I'm working on some things. I've just got to catch the ball."
Young now No. 2 on Rangers' all-time hit list
ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Michael Young moved past Rafael Palmeiro into second place on the Rangers' all-time career hits list with a single to center field in the fourth inning of Thursday night's game against Kansas City.
Young collected hit No. 1,693, leaving him 56 shy of passing Ivan Rodriguez for the all-time team lead. Rodriguez had 1,747 hits in two stints with the Rangers from 1991-2002 and 2009.
Young is in his 11th season with the Rangers.
Rangers not giving up on Borbon yet
ARLINGTON -- There is no Julio Borbon watch as far as a demotion goes, at least not yet, despite the center fielder's struggles at the plate a month into the season.
The 24-year-old, in what the Rangers want to be his first full season in the Major Leagues, had a 3-for-16 road trip in Seattle and Oakland. He is batting .193 and has a subpar .212 on-base percentage, which is why he started the season batting leadoff and has made his last 13 starts hitting ninth.
Borbon was in the starting lineup again Thursday night against Kansas City, and the Rangers seem prepared to give Borbon the same treatment they gave first baseman Chris Davis last year
Davis didn't get sent to the Minors until July 6 while suffering through similar hitting woes. "We'd like to see Borbon do better," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But beyond that, I've got no comment on the Borbon situation right now. He's in the lineup tonight and we've got confidence in him."
Washington said initially Thursday that Borbon's situation was different from Davis', but then also compared Davis' 2009 start to Borbon's 2010 beginning with both players playing well in the field but not hitting. Davis had 258 at-bats before getting sent down with a .202 batting average. Borbon has 83 at-bats so far.
"I gave Chris a good while, too," Washington said. "That's my M.O."
The Rangers will have a roster move to make next Wednesday when Nelson Cruz is expected to come off the disabled list. As of Thursday they weren't considering Borbon to be sent to the Minors. They could use Craig Gentry as a fourth outfielder and put him in center field along with Josh Hamilton.
But it's Borbon for the foreseeable future, Washington said.
"We're not panicking," Washington said. "I'm not panicking. When we decide Borbon doesn't need to be out there you guys will know about it."
Feldman puts focus on mechanics
ARLINGTON -- Scott Feldman worked on his mechanics in a bullpen session Thursday as he continues to search for the consistency that made him a 17-game winner last year.
Feldman had an up-and-down start Tuesday, getting hit hard and allowing seven runs in the first four innings and then finishing with three shutout innings and saving the bullpen in a 7-6 loss to Oakland.
Feldman said he didn't do anything different at the end of Tuesday's game. He just wanted to make sure everything is in order Thursday as he prepares to face Kansas City on Sunday.
"I'm just trying to get better," Feldman said. "Ironing out a few things. You want to work on it during a bullpen so you don't think about it [during a start]."
Washington talks to former player Bradley
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Thursday he has talked to former Rangers outfielder Milton Bradley since the Seattle Mariner asked the team for help dealing with emotional issues.
Bradley, who is hitting .214 with two home runs and 12 RBIs, was removed from Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay after two strikeouts.
"I talked to him, but it's not up for conversation," Washington said.
Washington said he just wants to see Bradley do well. Bradley had a close relationship with Washington during his 2008 season with the Rangers, one of the most productive of his career.
"It's nice that Seattle has his back," Washington said.
Manager Ron Washington said he doesn't have an answer for shortstop Elvis Andrus' success so far on the road and his struggles at home. Andrus is batting .362 on the road and has a lofty .492 on-base average. He started Thursday's seven-game homestand with a .227 home batting average and a .320 onbase average. "It's hard to see with Elvis," Washington said. "He's hot and cold." ... The Rangers began a stretch Thursday of playing 14 of their next 17 games at home.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.