ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington is giving just about all of his players days off to try to keep them fresh all season long.
Julio Borbon was off on Saturday. Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus were given days off earlier in the week.Third baseman Michael Young is the exception. The veteran was back in the lineup on Saturday and remains the only Texas player to have started every game this season.
"That's the way I want it," Young said. "Wash gives me innings off here and there, but I haven't had a day off since 2003. If I wasn't playing, it's because I couldn't play physically. Right now I feel fine. If Wash wants to give me a day off, I'm sure we'll talk about it." Young has started 72 games at third base and one at designated hitter. The Rangers, going into Saturday's game against the Astros, had played 657 1/3 innings on defense -- and Young had been at third base for all but 21 of them. Andres Blanco started one game there and relieved Young in five other blowouts. "It's important for my teammates to be able to count on me being in the lineup," Young said. "At the same time, I recognize the importance of keeping my body healthy the whole season. If I felt I needed a day off, I wouldn't jeopardize my health or the team just for one day. But right now I feel fine." Young averaged playing 158 games per season from 2003-08 before playing in just 135 games in 2009, missing almost all of September because of a strained hamstring muscle. "Michael knows what he's doing," Washington said. "I don't see him playing 162 games, but I don't see him wearing down. He's mentally tough. Right now his body is holding up. At some point I may suggest a day off, but I don't see it right now. It may not happen until after the All-Star break."