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Jeff Baker Makes the Rangers' Opening Day Roster

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Ron Washington has told non-roster invitee Jeff Baker that he has made the team's Opening Day roster

Jeff Baker, Texas Ranger
Jeff Baker, Texas Ranger
USA TODAY Sports

Ron Washington says that he told Jeff Baker this morning that Baker had made the Rangers' Opening Day roster.

Baker, 31, has spent most of his career as a bench player, playing in 231 games for the Rockies, 283 games for the Cubs, and then fifteen games and fourteen games with the Tigers and Braves, respectively, in 2012.

Baker is a career .266/.316/.428 hitter, although after posting a 685 OPS in 2011 and a 656 OPS in 2012, there's some question about whether he can still hit enough to provide value.

However, a strong spring, in which he put up a .423/.464/.558 line in 56 plate appearances, was sufficient to earn him a spot as the team's righthanded bench bat. He will likely be a backup at each of the four corner spots, and could also get some time at second base.

Baker has a career line of .296/.344/.498 against lefthanded pitchers, and while he didn't hit lefties well in 2012, he did have an 812 OPS against them in 2011. If Baker can hit lefties like he did before last season, he can be an asset in a bench role.

And if he doesn't, the Rangers will, once again, be looking for a righthanded hitting bench bat this summer.