Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News wrote today that Julio Borbon would not be in the Rangers starting lineup for the third time in the last four games. David Murphy is receiving the start in center field while Mitch Moreland plays in right vs. the Kansas City Royals
Manager Ron Washington was asked before the game whether this was an indication that the Rangers were moving on to a life without Julio Borbon in the lineup.
“It’s all according to the pitcher,” Washington said. “Francis is an offspeed pitcher and it comes down to who do I think can stay on that offspeed pitch longer. I think Moreland has a better chance to do that.”
Washington is just being nice. Borbon has been mired in a terrible slump of late and is batting just .179 on the season and has not stolen a base. Borbon is in the lineup to get on base and cause problems on the basepaths for the defense. With no stolen bases, Borbon has lost his edge over his competitors like Mitch Moreland and David Murphy. Both possess more power than Borbon and have higher averages on this young season.
At the beginning of the season, Julio Borbon was playing center field because he was a better fielder than David Murphy, and Josh Hamilton was less prone to injury in left field. Hamilton is not injured and the offensive difference is too much to place Borbon in center field over the consistent David Murphy.
Furthermore since Borbon has drawn only two walks on the season, his on-base-percentage is barely higher than his batting average.
Reality is that the Rangers may have finally realized that Julio Borbon is never going to be the consistent hitter and base stealer that many thought he could be in Texas. I would not be surprised if Borbon is traded at the deadline to open up a roster spot, and could be used in a package to acquire a position of need. For example, with the struggling relief situation currently and with Ron Washington’s comments that they have not thought about moving Alexi Ogando back to the bullpen, a deadline deal that includes Borbon for relief help could be in the cards.
With the acquisition of Mike Napoli, the Rangers afforded themselves the ability to use Moreland in the outfield as well as at first base, and both Napoli and catcher Yorvit Torrealba have hit very well this season. Chris Davis is also on the roster to fill in at first base if Mitch Moreland goes to the outfield, but so far in the major leagues, Chris Davis has been next to useless.
In my mind, the Julio Borbon experiment needs to end. He needs a change of scenery and could for sure help another team, but he may be out of luck the rest of the way in Texas. I wish Julio the best since he attended the University of Tennessee (great choice by Julio), but we may not see much of him on the field in Arlington the rest of the summer.
Topics: AL West, Alexi Ogando, Chris Davis, David Murphy, Evan Grant, Josh Hamilton, Julio Borbon, Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball, Mike Napoli, Mitch Moreland, Rangers, Rangers Baseball, Rangers Vs. Royals, Ron Washington, Royals Baseball, Texas Rangers, University Of Tennessee, Yorvit Torrealba