Washington shakes it up, sends Vlad to right

Washington shakes it up, sends Vlad to right

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers manager Ron Washington switched things up in right field on Tuesday night with Vladimir Guerrero getting the start for just the 11th time this season. Washington said it was an opportunity to give the eight-time All-Star an opportunity to contribute both in the field and at the plate.

"It's just to get him in the mix more, give him a chance to be more involved," Washington said. "It's a way for him to help more. Sometimes, as a player, you have to be in the field for things to get going with the bat."

Guerrero, who has made 93 starts as the designated hitter this season (with one start in left field), is 2-for-11 in the last three games and is batting .169 (11-for-65) over the last 15 contests to drop from a .307 average to .288, matching his lowest average this year since May 17.

Up until last season, Guerrero had played most of his career in the field, with just 178 of 1,750 career games occurring in the designated-hitter spot. Except for his first season with the Expos when he was called up from the Minor Leagues in 1996, Guerrero batted over .300 in each year up until 2009, when he played only twice in the field and finished the season with a .295 average with the Angels.