It’s supposed to a crisp 46 degrees and clear when the Rangers’ pitchers, catchers and assorted early-reporting position players take the field Wednesday morning for the first “official” workout of spring training. Couldn’t be much more beautiful. Cool enough to wake you up, warm enough in the sunshine to make it feel like spring.
Well, enough poetry of baseball.
Let’s get down to business. A few thoughts as camp opens:
1. Julio Borbon spent the weekend in Catalina Island, then two days at the Boras (as in Scott) Sports Training Institute in Southern California and will be in camp either today or tomorrow for what figures to be his last stand as a Ranger. Borbon is out of minor league options, meaning the team would have to expose the speedy Borbon to waivers before it could send him back to the minor leagues for another year.
Usually guys without options, such as pitcher Michael Kirkman, get every chance in the world to make a team. Clubs are deathly afraid they may lose a late-bloomer to waivers if they don’t keep him. Kirkman, the only other player in camp without options, will almost certainly make the team for just that reason.
Borbon? Not so much.
Barring injury, it would appear Borbon’s only shot to make the team is as a fifth outfielder. And that would seem to be a long shot.
He’s stuck behind the center field duo of Craig Gentry, a far superior defensive player with better instincts, and Leonys Martin, who may be as raw as Borbon, but offers more overall offense and is getting paid $3.2 million this year. Gentry, a right-handed batter, hit .304 last year and proved he could handle the platoon side of the job against lefties. Martin, like Borbon, is a left-handed hitter, but, as if it needs repeating, one with a much higher guaranteed salary. He’s also younger.
Sunrise in Surprise: Julio Borbon is out of options – and maybe chances
Dallas Morning News | Feb 13