Ron Washington, in an effort to jump-start the offense, is shaking things up yet again. Leonys Martin will bat leadoff today in the first game of the series in Arlington against the Angels. That moves Kinsler down to 3rd in the lineup, leaving us with this:
1. Martin - CF
2. Andrus - SS
3. Kinsler - 2B
4. Beltre, A. - 3B
5. Pierzynski - DH
6. Cruz - RF
7. Murphy - LF
8. Soto - C
9. Moreland - 1B
Taking the mound will be Matt Garza, making his second start in a Rangers uniform.
As far as the lineup change, I get it. Martin has shown some speed and an ability to get on base, and with Andrus hitting a little better over the last week or so, it's possible that Washington wants to try to get the speed on the bases right off the bat. With Kinsler struggling to steal many bases this season, it makes sense to move him down a bit and attempt to procure more value from his bat.
I am, however, somewhat surprised that Pierzynski is still in the 5th spot and ahead of Cruz. Over the weekend, Pierzynski showed little to no patience at the plate, and it showed in the results, as he was 2-for-12 in Cleveland with no walks and 3 strikeouts.
I'd still like to see Engel Beltre in left field over David Murphy right now, but I guess Washington is still showing some trust that Murphy can turn his season around. I'm not sure the lineup change will have any profound impact, but if the offense can at least get going early, I'll take whatever changes are necessary to make that happen.