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Battle Brewing at First Base For Rangers

    • 213 posts
    December 4, 2022 7:21 AM EST

    Look at a list of the Texas Rangers top prospects and youll see two positions by Sam Huffs name. The first is catcher. The second is first base. On Wednesday in Anaheim, the Rangers threw up a test balloon to see how Huff might fare was a Major League first baseman. Sam HuffNathaniel LoweNathaniel LoweThe reason? Nathaniel Lowes offense isnt quite where the Rangers want it.Lowe was back in the lineup , even though he saw his five-game Albert Pujols Jersey hit streak snapped against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. He was hitting .316 in his past six games going into his start on Thursday. That pushed his average from a season-low .233 to .250. On Thursday, Lowe went 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run home run in the ninth inning, a proper response to being benched on Wednesday for a rookie. Custom Jersey But a larger sample size reveals that Lowe had been hitting .132 in his last 22 games to drop his average from .381 to .245. Plus, Lowe has offered little in the way of power, as 28 of his 34 hits in that span had been singles. Lowe was the Rangers Player of the Month in April after he hit .313 with a home run and nine RBI in 21 games. He had an eight-game hitting streak in that month, too. Now, hes left an opening for Huff, as the Rangers are at least exploring their options. Scroll to ContinueThe Rangers want to find playing time for Huff, who entered Thursdays game on the bench, but hitting .407 in the Majors. He has at least one hit in every start and at least one hit in 13 straight MLB games dating back to Sept. 18, 2020. Hes not showing much power in the big leagues yet, but his work in the minors specifically the seven home runs he hit in 19 games this season at Triple A Round Rock shows the kind of power he Alex Verdugo Jersey can eventually provide. First base is a power position. His experience behind the plate will be an a set in picking throws out of the dirt. And playing Huff at first allows the Rangers to get all three of their bats behind the plate in the lineup on nights when they and Mitch Garver at designated hitter. Thats the configuration for the time being, since Garver cant play catcher due to his flexor tendon. Garvers bat is coming around, and thats a factor, too. His average is picking up. He was hitting .220 going into Thursdays game and had three straight games with a home run on the road trip. The home-run streak ended with an 0-for-4 outing against the As. Texas manager Chris Woodward has to find a way to get the hot bats in the lineup. And, right now, Lowe isnt hitting at a level that matches those three players. Before Wednesdays game, he cited Lowes lagging bat and three errors in the field as reasons to give Huff a spin at first base. Jonah Will Smith Jersey HeimJonah HeimMitch Garver and Taylor HearnBally Sports Southwests Dave Raymond said during Thursdays broadcast that Huff told him that Lowe was offering encouragement and advice throughout Wednesdays game. Does that mean the rookie will get regular turns on the corner? Woodward told MLB.com that he hasnt committed to anything more except he wants Huff to get more at-bats. Its worth noting that two weeks after Woodward declared speedy left fielder Eli White the leadoff man for the foreseeable future, Trevor Bauer Jersey second baseman Marcus Semien has been the leadoff hitter in each of the past three games. The situation is clearly fluid. The Rangers will likely continue to give the pair chances at the corner. What they do may determine what the Rangers do when other roster i sues force them to make a move.