Friday, July 18, 2008

Hank Blalock Makes Room for Rookie Chris Davis

As predicted more than two weeks ago by, Rangers manager Ron Washington has backtracked on his promise to use veteran Hank Blalock exclusively at first base, returning him to third in order to keep the bat of slugging first baseman Chris Davis in the lineup.

Blalock -- returning from a torn hamstring -- was originally a third baseman but moved to first base after Mark Teixiera was traded to Atlanta last July. Blalock agreed to make the switch on the condition that Washington keep him in one place.

But that was before the emergence of Davis, who was initially called up from the minors as a mere stopgap at first base when Blalock was injured.

Davis, 21 -- hitting in the .260 range -- has hit six homers, about one every 10 at-bats, a Ruthian pace that has gained him an unexpected attention.

It will be interesting to see how long Davis can keep it up. The former fifth round pick's power from the left side of the plate is well documented throughout the infancy of his career, but so is his streakiness.