Blanco ready for extra playing time

Blanco ready for extra playing time

ARLINGTON -- Andres Blanco drew the start Saturday at shortstop, and was expected to play there again on Sunday. Michael Young, who played shortstop for the Rangers as recent as 2009, would only play there in an emergency.

Blanco has struggled recently at the plate -- he entered Saturday's game hitless in his last 18 at-bats -- but he's proven to be an adequate emergency starter in the past, especially last August when second baseman Ian Kinsler missed 11 games with a strained left hamstring. Blanco batted .318 with seven doubles and five RBIs then.

"[You] keep your fingers crossed and hope that he gives us the spark he gave us when Kinsler was out [last season]," manager Ron Washington said. "He expects it out of himself."

Washington said Blanco is able to handle the utility role because of his demeanor. Blanco, 26, has never played more than the career-high 68 games he played in last season. He has started just 10 games this season.

"It takes an even-keeled mind kid, and he's even-keeled," Washington said. "He knows what his job is here."