Blanco returns to backup role for Rangers

Blanco returns to backup role for Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Andres Blanco was out of the Rangers' starting lineup against the Yankees on Friday night. With shortstop Elvis Andrus and second baseman Ian Kinsler both healthy again, Blanco is back to his role as a utility infielder. He had started 22 of the Rangers' previous 27 games.

The Rangers have three utility infielders right now: Blanco, Cristian Guzman and Esteban German. If the club decides to carry just one in the playoffs, it appears Blanco will be that guy.

Manager Ron Washington was asked if Blanco has earned a spot on the postseason roster by virtue of the way he has played lately.

"I never had any doubts he was going to be on [the roster]," Washington said.

There seemed to be major doubts, though, after the Rangers acquired Guzman just before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. At that point, it appeared as if Guzman had the inside track on being the Rangers' utility infielder in the postseason. That no longer appears to be the case.

In 22 games since Aug. 13, Blanco has hit .338 with eight doubles, a triple, nine RBIs and eight runs scored.

"He's doing well," Washington said. "He's got a great work ethic. The way he worked when he wasn't playing is the reason why he's doing [well] now."