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Rangers Option Borbon To AAA

Per Jeff Wilson, Julio Borbon is ready to come off the 15 day disabled list, and is being sent down to AAA Round Rock.

Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry will play centerfield in the Majors for the time being, either as a platoon or with Gentry as the back-up. It's an understandable move.

While the results weren't quite there for Borbon yet through 98 plate appearances this season, but there had been some good signs, with an improved contact rate, and a much improved rate of line drive contact; two improvements which usually can be trusted early in the season. The reason the offense was still down was thanks to a career low rate of balls falling in for hits. It was only about 100 times at the plate, but Borbon was giving indications he may have been on his way to being a solid every day centerfielder.

The thing is, in the meantime, Endy Chavez has been stupid good with a .415/.455/.683 slash line. His .508 weighted On Base Average has been better than Jose Bautista, and even in just 45 plate appearances, that's been good enough for FanGraphs to evaluate him as already having been worth a full win for the Rangers above a scrub player. It's unlikely Chavez will continue to be one of the best hitters in baseball, but he's been so good -- both in results and peripheral skills -- the Rangers have a good reason to give him a longer look. Even if he does regress to his normal career numbers, over his time in baseball he's been about as good as Borbon at the plate, anyway. Age and injury have probably made sure Borbon is the better fielder, but the downside to riding Chavez is likely negligible, and the upside would seem to be a potential career year.

This makes Borbon expendable on the active roster, as there's no need for two left handed centerfielders with the right handed Craig Gentry around. Borbon will get a chance to continue to work on his improved approach with regular plate appearances, and serve as depth should something happen to Chavez; be it falling off a cliff or getting hurt. Coupled with the destructive route Leonys Martin is carving, the Rangers appear to actually have centerfield depth suddenly.

Maybe now we can be done with seeing balls fly over David Murphy's head.

Baseball Time in Arlington's Joey Matschulat has a good take on the situation, including a belief that we may be underrating Chavez. Adam Morris commented on Matschulat's take in this morning's AM post at Lone Star Ball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.