Mark DeRosa has been red hot. Ian Kinsler had been red hot.
Something will have to give.
Kinsler, a rookie who opened the season at second base for the Rangers, was hitting a sizzling .476 when he went down with a dislocated left thumb on April 11. His recovery has gone smoothly and he took full batting practice Saturday for the first time since the injury.
Kinsler is scheduled to play a simulated game Monday at extended Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz., and a real game Tuesday. If all goes well, he will then be sent to the Minors -- probably Triple-A Oklahoma -- for a rehab assignment, and could be back with the Rangers within a week.
But it might not be so easy to get him back into the lineup. In his absence, DeRosa had hit .455 in the six games heading into Saturday night's game against the Yankees, with eight runs scored, six RBIs, four doubles and two home runs, including a 12th-inning game-winner against the Orioles on Wednesday.
So what happens when Kinsler gets back?
"We're still a week away from being to that point," manager Buck Showalter said. "When Ian comes back, we'll sit down and think about where we are. ... Let's just get to the point where it is perceived as an issue before we make it one."
Update [2006-5-6 23:0:56 by Adam J. Morris]: -- Incidentally, for those keeping score at home, the "red hot" Mark DeRosa is now 0 for his last 8.