Washington lifts Borbon for 'teachable moment'

Washington lifts Borbon for 'teachable moment'

Washington lifts Borbon for 'teachable moment'
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said it was a "teachable moment."

That's all he said. After the game, outfielder Julio Borbon referred all questions to the manager, and then jogged to the visiting clubhouse after sitting on the bench for the final seven innings of the Rangers' 10-3 loss to the Rockies.

There was no explanation as to why Borbon was pulled after just two innings. He was replaced by David Murphy, who admitted he was not expecting to go into the game that early. But it was clear that there was more to Borbon's benching than misplaying a first-inning line-drive single.

"Manager's decision," Washington said. "I don't have anything more to say about it. He'll be in the lineup tomorrow."

Washington was asked if the incident could jeopardize Borbon's chances of making the team.

"No," the manager said. "It was just time to make it a teachable moment."

Borbon, who has five errors on the spring, had trouble with the twilight in the first inning. With a runner on third and two out, Troy Tulowitzki hit a liner to center field right at Borbon. He hesitated and the ball dropped in front of him for a hit, allowing a run to score.

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Washington did not indicate he had an issue with Borbon on that particular play.

"He said it was knuckling and he misjudged it," Washington said. "I'm glad he didn't let it get by him."

Added Washington, "It wasn't an issue."

That gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead against Rangers starter Derek Holland. They added two more runs later in the inning when left fielder Josh Hamilton lost Jose Lopez's high fly ball. The ball dropped on the warning track for a triple, bringing home two runs.

Hamilton said it is difficult to track fly balls in the main stadium at the Rockies' new complex. Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has had trouble here during the day, misplaying three fly balls in left.

"Oh my, was it bad, especially where the lights are placed," Hamilton said. "That first inning, I went back to the wall, where I thought it would be, and tried to block out the lights. By the time the ball came down, I couldn't get to it. It was tough. It was really tough. I guess if you play here, you get used to it, but this was the first time I played here."

Both Hamilton and Borbon went back to outfield for the bottom of the second inning. But when Borbon came up to bat in the third inning, Murphy hit for him.

So, something other than the defensive play in the first inning irked the manager, but he declined to explain it.

Borbon remained on the bench for the remainder of the game, including after the other starters came out in the seventh inning and headed for the clubhouse.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.