Ron Washington intends to use Ian Kinsler out of the leadoff spot this season

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Rangers manager Ron Washington raised some eyebrows earlier this week when he used Ian Kinsler out of the leadoff spot in the team’s intersquad game.

While Washington warned against looking too much into the decision at the time, he confirmed to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News today that Kinsler will indeed be his leadoff hitter this season.

“This just gives me versatility in the lineup,” Washington said. “I think I can get more out of it like this.”

Kinsler has a .284/.350/.492 career batting line in 1,248 plate appearances out of the leadoff spot. He was the team’s primary leadoff hitter from 2008-09. Elvis Andrus, who had 632 plate appearances out of the leadoff spot last season, will bat out of the No. 2 hole this year, while Michael Young will bat sixth.

While this is Washington’s ideal lineup on paper, Kinsler’s extensive injury history suggests that the Texas skipper might have to make some adjustments at certain points of the season.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.