<
>

Ron Washington: 'Knew we were going to come out slow'

2/26/2013

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- While runs figured to be harder to come by with Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young no longer playing for the Texas Rangers, it's hard to ignore their offensive struggles through the early part of the 2013 Cactus League season.

Through their first four spring games, the Rangers are hitting just .215 as a team. Only the Milwaukee Brewers (.205) are worse. And when the Rangers have gotten men on base, they are not crossing the plate that often, as the team is hitting 4-for-32 with runners in scoring position.

"We're aware of it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his team's offensive woes. "Once again, it’s spring training. I knew we were going to come out slow.”

He pointed to the early start to Cactus League games due to scheduling conflicts with the World Baseball Classic.

“I figure by the time we reach March 4 or 5 we'll start getting it done,” Washington said, “because that would have been about the regular time we would have begun playing games.

"We're behind offensively. [Other teams are] ahead of us, but we'll catch up."

One bright spot has been the play of rookie outfielder Leonys Martin, who is 5-for-9 (.556) with back-to-back two-hit games. Martin is the favorite to win the starting center field job, so a strong spring performance from him could potentially replace some of the lost offense due to those key departures.

The Rangers will look to get their offense on track on Tuesday when they host the Chicago White Sox at 2:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium.