OAKLAND -- Rangers center fielder Endy Chavez was 2-for-4 on Tuesday against the Athletics and is 8-for-16 in his last five games. That has raised his batting average to .305 on the season.
He is also hitting .313 in 208 at-bats this year as a center fielder. That is the second highest for an American League center fielder with at least 50 at-bats at the position. Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox leads with a .317 average.
"Really? I didn't know that," Chavez said. "I'm really fighting right now. Honestly I just want to be productive for the team. I know if I can keep my average in that area, I'm helping the team. We're fighting to make the playoffs and I'm happy that I can contribute."
He has. The Rangers have used four center fielders -- Chavez, Craig Gentry, Josh Hamilton and Julio Borbon -- and they combined to hit .282, the third highest in center field for any AL team. Chavez has the most at-bats at the position on the team and has put himself into the running for Comeback Player of the Year after being out of the Major Leagues for almost two full years while recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee.
"This season has meant a lot to me," Chavez said. "It has been very special, especially coming back after two years. I feel very happy to do this, get healthy for the whole year and play the way I've been playing."
Chavez said part of his success comes from the way manager Ron Washington has used him. Chavez, 33, has been platooning lately with Gentry in center field and has been given regular time off so he does not get worn down.
"He has taken care of me," Chavez said. "All the time he makes sure I'm ready to play. He has been very good in that. He understands I didn't play for a long time. We're on the same page."