How much longer will the Rangers hit Michael Young fifth?
There are 178 players with at least 150 plate appearances against right-handed pitching this season. Michael Young ranks 172nd in the group in OPS:
169. Rickie Weeks (Mil): .580
170. Sean Rodriguez (TB): .576
171. Danny Espinosa (Was): .575
172. Michael Young (Tex): .566
173. Jamey Carroll (Min): .565
174. Orlando Hudson (SD/ChW): .562
175. Brendan Ryan (Sea): .530
176. Alexei Ramirez (ChW): .520
177. Clint Barmes (Pit): .493
178. Kurt Suzuki (Oak): .492
It’s safe to say no one else in that group would be hitting fifth for the Rangers ahead of Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli. Ron Washington keeps batting Young there, though.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News supplies some reasons for the Rangers to stick with Young as a No. 5 hitter.
Personally, I’m not buying it. Young is coming off an excellent 2011 season, but he’s 35 and barring a remarkable turnaround, 2012 will be the fourth time in six seasons that he’s finished with a sub-.800 OPS. That doesn’t mean he’s useless. He’s still hitting lefties very well this season (.361/.393/.458), and he seems like a fine choice to bat fifth against them. Versus righties, though, the Rangers are hurting themselves by continuing to bat him in the heart of the lineup. It’s past time for Washington to turn to Napoli.