Kinsler struggling, held out of Sunday's lineup

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Ian Kinsler headshot.jpgAccording to Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is not in Saturday’s starting lineup against the Brewers due to concerns about his ankle.  Combined with Monday’s scheduled off-day, it will give him close to 70 hours of consecutive rest.

Kinsler opened the season on the disabled list and has hit a lousy .270/.377/.345 with only one home run, four stolen bases and 14 RBI through 148 at-bats since being activated.  The ankle, which was sprained badly during spring training, has hampered Kinsler’s ability on the basepaths and on his initial steps out of the batter’s box.

The 27-year-old owns an 820 career OPS and belted 31 home runs last season while also tallying 31 stolen bases.  To say the least, 2010 has been a mess.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.