Phil Nevin, who has only 12 at-bats in September, acknowledged growing frustration over his lack of a role with the Rangers.
Nevin started out as the team's designated hitter after his July 30th acquisition, but quickly fell out of that role as the team started to look at rookies Adrian Gonzalez and Jason Botts. Botts started Saturday.
"I guess my job is to come out and do well in batting practice," said Nevin, who is hitting .189 for the Rangers. "I'm going to work hard and be a professional. But I'm definitely not ready to be a role player."
Manager Buck Showalter said that Nevin, who is signed through 2006, is "going to have a great year for us next year," but declined to discuss how much playing time the veteran would get over the final two weeks.
"Phil's got a track record of being a contributor," Showalter said. "The other guys don't."
My take on all this...given that Nevin now appears to have fallen behind Mark DeRosa in the RH DH/PH pecking order, given that he's had just 2 ABs -- both Ks -- in the past week and a half, the writing appears to be on the wall.
The most Nevin could hope for in 2006 would be to DH against lefties, a role that, based on his comments today (and the last couple of weeks), he's not likely to be happy with.
Buck's comments notwithstanding, I think Nevin's pretty much done as a Ranger. He had a reputation for being a problem in the clubhouse while with the Padres, something that Buck generally takes a dim view on, and he can't hit anymore.
I think the Rangers continue to talk about how great he'll be next season while quietly trying to foist him off on any team that will give them a Matt Lorenzo-level prospect in return, even if it means paying all his 2006 salary. And if they can't, I think he gets released right before spring training.