Second baseman Ian Kinsler just keeps surprising us all this spring. Already he has hit five home runs during his 10 Spring Training games with his fifth being in the 5-5 tie against the Cincinnati Reds Friday as a two-run homer. He is currently leading the Major Leagues in home runs this spring. He has nine total runs batted in with a .393 batting average. He’s heading into the season as the team’s leadoff hitter and is developing his bat to complement that. Washington is pleased with Kinsler’s progress thus far.
“He’s seeing the ball well and when pitchers are making mistakes, he’s not missing,” Washington said. “When you’re locked in, that’s what happens. He’s working at it. He deserves to see the ball well because he’s working hard to see it well.”
Starting pitcher Colby Lewis, who pretty much has a guaranteed starting spot in the starting rotation for the Texas Rangers for the upcoming 2011 MLB season, may have given up three runs in his four innings, but he was no less thrilled about his performance than he would have been had he not given up any runs – well, maybe that’s stretching the truth a little bit, but you get my drift.
Lewis threw a total of 55 pitches, 39 of which were for strikes, and allowed five total hits, a single walk and delivered three solid strikeouts. For this spring, his earned run average is now at 4.00. This is what Lewis had to say about his pitching Friday:
“I felt really good. I was actually excited about today. My curveball was sharp, I was getting ahead of hitters, and I felt like everything was in sync.”
Michael Kirkman pitched four innings of Friday’s game allowing two hits with one run. He didn’t give up a single walk and threw six strikeouts. He is in contention for one of the final three spots in the starting rotation for the Rangers and not a single one of those that are competing are backing down from the challenge.
The Rangers next Cactus League game will be on Saturday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona, when they face off against the Chicago White Sox. Matt Harrison, who has been pretty impressive this spring, will be the starting pitcher against the White Sox’s starting pitcher Homer Bailey who like Harrison is trying to earn a spot in Chicago’s starting rotation.