The problem with irregular playing time

T.R. Sullivan has a piece up about the Ranger bench being laden with younger players, and the problem that creates vis-a-vis getting them playing time and developing.  The particular focus is on German Duran:

Boggs has been able to get semi-regular playing time because of nagging injuries to other outfielders. But the biggest concern is Duran, 23, the Rangers' right-handed-hitting infielder who has been reduced to a platoon role at third base.

Washington admitted it's not the ideal situation for Duran, a natural second baseman who was supposed to play regularly at Triple-A Oklahoma this season. But he's here because he's one of the Rangers' 25 best players.

"Of course he's being hindered by his development," Washington said. "But this is where we are. If this is the way it is the rest of the year, we'll approach him about going to winter ball and making up for the lost at-bats."

Duran, going into Monday's game, had 149 at-bats on the season. By contrast, outfielder Jason Ellison, who has been playing regularly at Oklahoma, led the RedHawks with 326 at-bats. The Rangers are uneasy about Duran losing time in the field, but he's still platooning with Ramon Vazquez, who is hitting .326.

"This kid [Duran] is a natural second baseman," Washington said. "We've got him out of position at third base, and he's seeing the best pitching in baseball. He's fighting and he's strong mentally. But he's not getting a chance to develop his baseball instincts up here.

"I'm trying to do the best I can to get them all playing time during the week, so they don't sit and do nothing for a whole week. But they have to find a way to stay ready. They're not the first guys who had to play just once or twice a week and have to survive. But I can only play nine."

Duran playing once or twice a week isn't doing him any good.  I don't understand why Ryan Roberts -- a righty who apparently impressed folks in training camp -- isn't up here, instead.

Boggs is the other guy whose presence I wonder about.  Ron Washington seems hellbent on playing Marlon Byrd every day right now, and Boggs has started only 5 of the team's last 15 games.  Given that Washington refuses to sit David Murphy against lefties, and given that Byrd is apparently going to be out there pretty much every day, there's not much playing time for Boggs, who is just 25 and had never played above AA before this season.

Personally, my preference would be for Boggs to stay up and get more playing time, with Byrd sitting more against RHPs and Murphy more against LHPs, but if Washington isn't going to do that, then you have to wonder if it wouldn't be better for Boggs to head back down and play every day and see Jason Ellison or Nelson Cruz come up and handle the 5th outfielder job.  Especially with Max Ramirez presumably getting some DH ABs, when Milton Bradley is available to play in the field.

 

 

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