The defending American League Champion Texas Rangers have come out of the offseason with what can be deemed as some good news and some bad news. Let’s start with the good news being the signing of free agent acquisition, Adrian Beltre [6-years/$96 million], to play third base down in the Lone Star State. Now on for the bad news. The Rangers lost out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes as General Manager, Jon Daniels, did all he could, but the most coveted free agent pitching prospect on the market decided his heart belonged back in Philadelphia. Another component of the bad news brought about from the Adrian Beltre signing is the role of Michael Young. The 11-year veteran has done whatever is best for the ball club playing second base, third base and designated hitter over the years. The arrival of Beltre brings another power bat in the Rangers lineup and it forces Ron Washington to have to juggle the lineup and positions a little bit. It shouldn’t be a tall task according to Washington though because Young is “A professional and he has to have his time to deal with it. I can tell you this: Once we hit spring training Michael Young will be there all business ready to help us defend our championship.” Ron Washington joined ESPN Radio Dallas with Galloway and Company to discuss if he expects Michael Young to be onthe team come game one of the season, why is there so much media and fan base debate regarding Michael Young’s role on the Texas Rangers, if he expects to play Michael Young at a multitude of positions, whether he talked to Michael Young about his new position and is he content, and after losing Cliff Lee is there some worry regarding not knowing who your number one, two, and three starters will be this upcoming season.
Come April 1st against the Boston Red Sox game one, do you expect to have Michael Young?
“I expect to have Michael Young if everyone else is healthy he’ll be the DH.”
Why is there so much media and fan base debate about Michael Young regarding his future with the team after this Mike Napoli trade?
“Well it certainly did not come out of the Texas Rangers camp, so I don’t know how of all that got started. We’re just trying to make our team better, but Michael Young will be at DH [Designated Hitter] come opening day, April 1st.”
This season do you expect Michael Young to get playing time at first base? Second base? Some at Third Base? A little at Shortstop? A lot at DH as well?
“That is my expectation and you know it’s hard to predict how a season will go injuries withstanding. That’s exactly the way I’ll do it. We certainly are going to work hard this year to make sure we can keep everyone healthy, so Michael [Young] gives us a lot of flexibility with his versatility.”
Have you talked to Michael Young about this change. I’m sure he’s not happy about it, but is he content?
“Well you know Michael is a guy that shows up everyday and expects to be out there playing. You know with the addition of Adrian Beltre you know we have to make some adjustments. The professional that Mike is you know he assured us that he’s willing to make whatever adjustment he has to make to help us win as long as he can continue to get his at-bats. Like I said barring injuries I don’t foresee anything stepping in the way of that and Michael will get some time out on the field. As I said I’m not going to play every one of those guys in the infield 162 games that’s for sure, so you know I don’t expect Michael… I mean human nature says you can’t be overjoyed about something like that, but Michael is a professional and he has to have his time to deal with it. I can tell you this once we hit spring training Michael Young will be there all business ready to help us defend our championship.”
After losing Cliff Lee in the offseason there’s got be some worry regarding not knowing who you’re number one, two, or three starters will be?
“Well you know guys have to step up. I mean we were doing okay before we got Cliff Lee. You know any team will miss the quality that Cliff Lee brings even if he’s not successful as far as W’s and L’s go. Just his presence and the way he goes about his business makes a difference, so of course we’ll miss that, but we do believe in what we have left. We do think that C.J. [Wilson] is ready to step up and gives us what we need. It certainly wasn’t a lack of trying to get a number one. A real number one into our rotation. It didn’t happen, but one thing we’ve always been able to do Randy [Galloway] is deal with what we got and not be concerned with what we don’t have. If we got to weld these guys to do better we will. We certainly will prepare them to do better and we expect them to be better and they expect themselves to be better. So you know we got C.J., Colby Lewis. We got Brandon Webb. I know it’s a question mark, but this guy has a pedigree. We’re gonna trust that his pedigree is going to come around. You know he may not be the Cy Young type guy, but he’d be good enough to win us some ball games as long as we can keep him healthy. We will allow him to come along at his own pace and then we got our young kids. Tommy Hunter. It’s time for him to step up. It’s time for Derek Holland to step up. Kirkman [Michael] is on the scene. We still got Matt Harrison. You know we got Neftali who we are going to stretch out down there in spring training, so we do have some options. We got some depth that we haven’t had in the past. We feel good about it and once again Randy we’re not going to worry about what we don’t have. We are just going to concern ourselves with what we do have.”