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Hank Blalock, first baseman

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Hank Blalock is moving to first base.

Seriously.  When he comes off the d.l., he will be coming back as a full-time first baseman.

I don't get this.  I think this is a bad decision, although Ron Washington and Jon Daniels apparently think it will help the team.

But I don't see how having Blalock at first base, and a Ramon Vazquez/German Duran combo at third base, makes the team better than having Blalock at third base and a Cat/Shelton platoon at first base.

And it will be interesting to see who gets whacked to make room for Blalock.  I originally figured it would be Duran...but if Blalock is going to be a full-time first baseman, you can't really get rid of Duran, I don't imagine.  He (or Vazquez) will be your only backup infielders.

Chris Shelton would seem the obvious choice, but Shelton is one of your few righty bats on the bench.  Blalock, Cat, Murphy, and Vazquez are all going to have issues with lefty pitchers, which makes having a righty bench bat valuable.

Cat?  I don't know what they'd do with him...maybe they'd trade him, but I don't know what sort of deal is out there for him.  I doubt they'd just eat his contract and release him, since he is productive.

This also, though, seems to signal a couple of potential long-term effects.  First, Blalock changing positions opens the door for Michael Young to move to third base.  Young moving off of shortstop is inevitable, and given his defensive deficiencies, and the team's groundball, pitch-to-contact pitching staff orientation, the sooner that happens, the better.  Having no real long-term solution at third base, rather than Blalock, makes it a lot easier to slide Young over there.

And second...this seems to indicate Blalock isn't going to be a Ranger much longer.  He's a free agent after 2009 anyway, and Chris Davis has been thought to be moving into the first base job as soon as this August or September.  I'm guessing that this offseason is going to see Blalock dealt, and Chris Davis and Michael Young manning the corners come Opening Day, 2009.