Chavez-Gentry platoon is sticking in Texas

Chavez-Gentry platoon is sticking in Texas

Chavez-Gentry platoon is sticking in Texas
SEATTLE -- The Rangers' platoon situation of Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry in center field plunges into the second half of the season. With Julio Borbon opting to have surgery on his injured left ankle, that's the way the Rangers will work it for the foreseeable future.

Borbon will likely be out for six to eight weeks. Gentry started in center on Thursday night and Chavez was there on Friday with right-hander Doug Fister pitching for the Mariners.

"I feel real good about those two," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They can catch the ball, they can both throw, they both have speed and both can cover ground."

They are also contributing offensively. Chavez went into Friday's game hitting .327 in 34 games and 107 at-bats. He was also hitting .340 while playing the outfield as opposed to a 1-for-7 as a pinch-hitter.

That .340 batting average is the highest of any Major League outfielder with at least 100 at-bats this season. That's not bad for a 33-year-old who missed almost two years with a torn ACL in his right knee, an injury that was sustained while playing for the Mariners in 2009.

Chavez injured the knee in a collision with Mariners shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt on June 19, 2009. The Rangers signed him last season, but he had multiple setbacks in the Minor Leagues and couldn't get back to the Majors. He stayed with it, re-signed and got the call in mid-May when Borbon went down.

"At first, I doubted if I would continue to play baseball, but the knee started feeling better and the skills were still there," Chavez said. "It was tough and disappointing because I was playing good that year. I thought my career was over. But it has worked out."

Gentry has also had to overcome multiple injuries from running into outfield walls, both last season and Spring Training. He has shown to be a standout defensive player but he is also contributing offensively. He is hitting .260 with a .325 on-base percentage and is 11-for-11 in stolen bases.

He is starting mainly against left-handed pitchers, but he is hitting .343 (12-for-35) against right-handers. The platoon still remains.

"Any player wants to play every day, but you have to pay your dues," Gentry said. "This is a chance to establish myself. Hopefully the day will come when I can play every day, but if not, I know my role and I need to do my job."

Gentry is considered the Rangers' best defensive outfielder, but Washington said Chavez is not far behind even after the injury.

"He might be a step slower because you do lose power out of your leg with that injury," Washington said. "But he has quickness and runs perfect routes. He always hits the cutoff man, never a low throw or a high throw."