Smoak, Borbon getting benefit of doubt

Smoak, Borbon getting benefit of doubt

KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers right now are sending signals that they will continue to be patient with first baseman Justin Smoak and center fielder Julio Borbon as they try to get untracked offensively.

Smoak had an eighth-inning single on Tuesday night to snap an 0-for-13 slump, but entered Wednesday's game with the Royals hitting .168 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 31 games.

Chris Davis was hitting .188 with one home run and five RBIs in 15 games when he was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma in April. Davis is currently hitting .312 with two home runs and 22 RBIs at Oklahoma City but there are no plans at this point to make a change.

"It's an offensive position and obviously we haven't been particularly productive at that spot," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "This is Justin's first go-around. I've been generally encouraged by the quality of his at-bats. We'll execute patience the same way we have other guys in the past. He's capable of producing in that spot."

Borbon was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, on Tuesday, and is hitting .234 for the season in 40 games. He hit .312 in 46 games for the Rangers last year. However, he is hitting .285 in May after starting off .191 in April, and he is hitting .289 since being dropped to the No. 9 spot in the order.

"He has shown signs of what he's capable of," Daniels said. "He's certainly not as consistent as we've seen in the past. We want to give him an opportunity to make some adjustments and get out of it. This week he's going to see a string of right-handers. That's an opportunity to do just that."