Rangers plan to start with Kinsler on DL

Updated: April 2, 2010, 9:51 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The Texas Rangers expect to place second baseman Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list prior to Opening Day on Monday, general manager Jon Daniels acknowledged Friday.

"That's the plan," Daniels said via text message.

The club hasn't officially made the move, but it will finalize its roster this weekend in preparation for Monday's 2:05 p.m. ET game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Kinsler hasn't played in a Cactus League game since suffering a high ankle sprain during drills March 12. He has lifted weights, taken some swings and thrown the ball, but he hasn't done much in terms of lateral movement.

The club can list his trip to the DL retroactive to March 26, meaning Kinsler would be eligible to return as early as April 10.

"We want him back as soon as he's ready, but we're going to be smart about it," Daniels said. "We don't want this to be an issue later in the year."

Andres Blanco, the Rangers' utility infielder, probably will start the season at second base.

This would mark the fifth consecutive season that Kinsler has spent time on the disabled list. He hit .253 with 31 homers, 31 stolen bases and 86 RBIs in 144 games last season. When he returns, Kinsler is expected to hit fifth in the batting order, behind Vladimir Guerrero.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

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