Hitting fourth and playing third base, #29, Adrian Beltre

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers poses during spring training photo day on February 28, 2012 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Per the S-T blog, Ron Washington says that Adrian Beltre will be the Rangers' cleanup hitter in 2012.

Beltre hit cleanup most of 2011, but after returning from his hamstring injury, he dropped to the #5 spot, with Michael Young hitting #4 for the rest of the season.

The indications are that the 1-2-3-4 spots are likely to be filled by the same players who filled those roles in the lineup most of last season -- Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, and Adrian Beltre.

In fact, given that the Rangers are basically returning the starting lineup intact (other than Julio Borbon likely replacing Endy Chavez as the guy sharing the centerfield role with Craig Gentry), it would be reasonable to assume that we'll see pretty much the same lineup as the Rangers ran out most of last season.

Also, get used to seeing the photos like the one at right throughout the season. I think they are awesome and plan on recycling them once the season starts.

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