Veteran Cora ready to contribute in any role

Veteran Cora ready to contribute in any role

ARLINGTON -- A year ago, Rangers third baseman Michael Young was asked what active Major League player would someday make a good manager.

His answer was Alex Cora. It still is.

"I've played against him a long time," Young said. "When you play against guys, it's pretty obvious the things that stand out. You can tell if a guy has a ton of ability, who has great instincts and who is just smart. Alex is on the top of that list. Assuming he wants to, he's going to be a big league manager, and he's going to be one for a long time.

"Smart guys are always a step ahead. The game doesn't take them by surprise. The game up here is played quickly, the speed of the game is different than in Triple-A, and guys like Alex are never in a hurry."

Cora was called up by the Rangers on Tuesday from Triple-A Oklahoma City. A 13-year veteran, he was hitting .207 for the Mets when he was released earlier this month. The Rangers signed him to a Minor League contract, and he was 4-for-22 with Oklahoma City before being recalled.

The Rangers need him, because Cristian Guzman and Ian Kinsler are on the disabled list. Although Andres Blanco remains the starting second baseman during their absence, Cora will provide depth.

"The way things happen in New York -- I have a lot of respect for the people there -- but they had to make a decision," Cora said. "I was sitting at home in Miami already making plans for September when the Rangers called. Hopefully I can contribute in the next four or five weeks."

At some point though the Rangers could have a logjam at second base when Kinsler and Guzman return in the next 7-10 days. Actually, Kinsler will be the starting second baseman, but the Rangers will have three candidates for the utility infield spot.

"I just want to contribute in whatever role," Cora said. "I don't worry about that. I don't worry about other situations with other players. The Rangers seemed interested from the get-go. I'm going to be here, I know what I can do and they know what I can do."