Designated hitter is no longer a position for players who are inferior defensively, as the out-of-work Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui discovered over the off-season.

Teams have learned how valuable it is to be able to run several players through the spot for restful days, and to have a primary DH who can play multiple positions.

The Rangers, with Michael Young, might be the blueprint that other American League teams try to follow. Young has played second base twice this season, giving Ian Kinsler a lighter load for a game at DH, and Young will likely play first base and third this weekend.

Manager Ron Washington plans to give Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre a day apiece at DH as he continues to rest key contributors early in the 2012 season.

"At the end of spring training, I grind these guys down and into the season," Washington said. "If I can get them a day here and there early, I'm going to do it."