Strained hamstring lands Jones on DL
The Rangers placed Andruw Jones on the disabled list Tuesday and recalled Davis from the minors to take over at first down the stretch.
Jones was put on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Monday, before Texas opened a three-game series against the New York Yankees. The designated hitter-outfielder has a strained left hamstring that's been bothering him for a while. He is batting .217 with 17 homers and 41 RBIs in 74 games.
Davis, the team's Opening Day first baseman, was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and immediately inserted into the lineup. Asked what his plans are at first base for the rest of the season, manager Ron Washington said: "Chris Davis."
That decision puts Hank Blalock on the bench. Blalock took over at first when Davis was sent down but struggled on defense.
"He says he'll be ready to help us any way he can, and that's what I was looking for," Washington said. "He's done an admirable job."
An All-Star third baseman in 2003 and 2004 before injuries stalled his career, Blalock was hitting .238 this year with 23 homers and 57 RBIs. His solid power numbers were offset, however, by a paltry .274 on-base percentage and 94 strikeouts in 404 at-bats.
"This is a situation where the organization has made a decision," Blalock said. "They think we have a better chance to win with other guys in the lineup. As a player, I have to deal with it.
"Over the course of my career, I've been in difficult situations," he added. "It's how you handle them. I've been told I'm coming off the bench. I'm going to try and keep a positive attitude and help this team make the playoffs."
One of baseball's biggest surprises this season, Texas began the day 1½ games behind AL wild-card leading Boston and five back of the first-place Los Angeles Angels in the AL West.
Davis was hitting .202 with 15 homers and 33 RBIs when he was optioned to Oklahoma City on July 6. He was also leading the majors with 114 strikeouts, a record pace.
Davis said he was beating himself up a lot before he was sent down. His said his minor league coaches helped him make some adjustments at the plate and now he feels more comfortable.
"I just feel loose. I feel normal," Davis said. "It was clear that I wasn't making the adjustments up here and it was something that needed to be done."
Washington said he received positive reports on Davis from the minors.
"He's staying inside the baseball, using all parts of the field, not trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark. And we all know how impeccable his defense is," Washington said. "We got reports that they feel like he's ready to come back here and contribute. So we made the move."
Davis hit .327 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 44 games with Oklahoma City. He had a .418 on-base percentage and .521 slugging percentage.
"I'm definitely welcoming the opportunity. I'm excited to be back up here and I think it's going to be fun," he said.
As a rookie with the Rangers last season, Davis batted .285 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs.
"I don't consider Chris Davis a defensive first baseman. I consider Chris Davis a pretty good all-around player," Washington said.
With Jones out, Julio Borbon started at designated hitter and batted leadoff.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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