Nobody is saying it, so I will: Hank Blalock is done. The former third baseman who decided to become a first baseman has seen his best days in a Rangers uniform.
I’m not a baseball general manager. I’m no scout, but I do watch Rangers Live with John Rhadigan and Mark McLemore on FSN Southwest and I know that we never see Blalock in a game because he’s always hurt.
The former All Star has played in 22 games this year. He lives on the disabled list.
Blalock was put on the DL April 29 with a partially torn left hamstring. Friday he underwent surgery on his right wrist to relieve the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.
Last year, injuries limited Blalock to 58 games. So the Rangers have received a whopping 13 home runs and 40 RBI in almost a year and a half. He has missed 138 games, and if or when Blalock comes back, he will try to learn how to be a major league first baseman.
The way his career has gone downhill, it would be wise for the club to decline his 2009 option and just let him go.
General manager Jon Daniels missed a great opportunity in December 2005 to send Blalock and minor league pitcher John Danks to the Florida Marlins for pitcher Josh Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell. The story goes Daniels wanted some time to mull over the deal.
Boston swooped in and traded for Beckett, who was the ace of last year’s World Series winner. Danks was dealt to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who happens to stay on the DL longer than Blalock.
And Hank…. he’s just a player in decline. Time to move on and reshuffle the infield.
I’ve heard the talk of moving Michael Young to third base or even back to second base. Elvis Andrus or Joaquin Arias are the logical organizational heirs to shortstop, and it’s hoped that Chris Davis would become the everyday first baseman. These are 2009 moves, but it’s not too early to think about next year.
Rangers manager Ron Washington was nearly fired for the club’s poor 7-16 start. Local sportswriters and talk show hosts were calling for his head as well.
Now give the man some credit for the turnaround. Wash has left me scratching my head a few times with his in-game moves, but he’s earned the right to finish the season.
Earlier this decade the media were calling for Gary Patterson’s head at TCU. Given time and a fair shake, Patterson has become one of the top coaches in college football.
Sometimes patience pays off.
Newy Scruggs is the sports director at NBC 5.