Over the last eleven seasons nothing in the Rangers organization has been more consistent than third baseman Michael Young. During this time, Pudge Rodriguez whom holds most of the Rangers offensive records was there to start the decade before moving on and eventually being traded back last season before leaving again in free agency to play for the Washington Nationals.
Young was also there for the three years in which Alex Rodriguez was a Ranger, he was there when Alfonso Soriano was also a Ranger before he was traded to the Nationals and eventually signed with the Cubs once he reached free agency. Another huge name which ended up leaving the Rangers for big dollars in free agency was that of Mark Teixeira. In eleven seasons Young has played under four different managers, although only one owner at least for the next couple of weeks. Through all this Young has remained a Ranger, but he has shifted positions.
He started off playing second base, then after Tom Hicks realized he made a huge mistake by signing A-Rod and he was traded away, they shuffled Young to shortstop to fill the gap. After the Rangers realized that they couldn’t afford Teixiera they traded him and Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves for a group of four players.
The highlight of that group was an up and coming short stop by the name of Elvis Andrus. After one season in the minors after arriving to the Rangers, it was decided that for the long term it would be best to have Andrus play shortstop. The only issue with that is that Young was their shortstop since 2004 and he had already swapped a position to fill a gap for the team. So it was not like Young wasn’t a team player, although after some disagreement between Young and the Rangers, it was resolved and he moved to third base opening up short stop for Andrus.
So with a little flexibility on the part of the Rangers and Young he has spent the last eleven seasons in a Rangers uniform. He is approaching the all time Rangers hit record currently held by Pudge, although tonight in the loss against the Yankees he surpassed Pudge for the leader in Rangers multi-hit games at 431. Young is currently signed through the 2013 season which would make him 36 years old, so he may sign a one or two year deal with the Rangers after that contract, but this maybe his last contract and he may retire as a Rangers. Personally I hope that no matter what happens Young never plays for another team.
Tonight’s second game against the Yankees was a rough start for Ace Scott Feldman in which he didn’t even make it out of the third inning. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits with two walks and 2 strike outs. He was then relieved by Doug Mathis who pitched 3+ innings giving up six more hits and 3 more runs with two more strike outs.
Chris Ray then pitched one full inning being very stingy and not giving up anything, Frank Francisco then followed his lead also not giving up anything. The loss tonight dropped the Rangers to 5-6 and are currently 2-3 on the first road trip of the season. It doesn’t get any easier after the finale tomorrow against the Yankees, after an off day on Monday, the Rangers head to Boston to face the Red Sox in a 3-game series before returning home to face the Tigers.
A couple of positives from tonight’s game, Nelson Cruz hit his 7th home run of the season in only 11 games. If he were to keep up this pace for the entire season he would finish with 103 homers, obviously not going to happen, although he is off to a great start. Also after missing two games this week with the stomach flu, catcher Taylor Teagarden is now 0-18 on the season with 13 strike outs. He has been serving as the Rangers primary catcher since Jarrod Saltlamacchiawent on the 15 day dl early in the season, but once Saltlamacchia returns Teagardens playing time may decrease greatly if his batting doesn’t improve.