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.

Report: Tigers sign Jordy Mercer to one-year, $5.25 million deal

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On Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million with shortstop Jordy Mercer, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Mercer, 32, hit .251/.315/.381 with six home runs and 39 RBI in 436 plate appearances for the Pirates last season. His triple-slash line from 2018 is pretty close to his career triple-slash line, so that’s about what the Tigers should expect from him.

Mercer will take over as the full-time shortstop for the Tigers, who lost José Iglesias to free agency. Mercer does have versatility, with the ability to play first, second, and third base as well as the corner outfield in a pinch.