Francoeur getting first base instruction

Francoeur getting first base instruction

SEATTLE -- Manager Ron Washington started giving Jeff Francoeur some individual instruction at first base on Friday. Francoeur has never played first base in professional baseball, and it's extremely unlikely that he will for the Rangers this season.

But the Rangers are at least looking at it.

"We just want to see what he looks like," Washington said. "I can't commit to anything until we see what he looks like. We're looking for versatility. We know he has a powerful right-handed bat..."

Asked if the odds were astronomical that Francoeur played first base in the playoffs, Washington said, "Is there anything higher than astronomical?"

Jorge Cantu has been the Rangers right-handed-hitting first baseman and he will start there on Saturday against Seattleleft-hander Jason Vargas. But he is hitting just .203 (13-for-64) without a home run or RBI since being acquired from the Marlins at the Trade Deadline, and there is no guarantee that he will be on the playoff roster.

But Washington made it clear that he's trying to get Cantu going against left-handers, considering there is a possibility they could face either Yankees ace CC Sabathia or Tampa Bay's David Price in the first game of the playoffs.

The other option would be to have Mitch Moreland start facing left-handers. He is just 4-for-17 off them since making his Major League debut on July 29.

"Maybe ... I haven't thought about that," Washington said. "I'm trying to keep Cantu engaged against left-handers."