ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday that the starter in left field in the playoffs would be determined by the matchups, and the only guarantees in the outfield are Josh Hamilton in center field and Nelson Cruz in right field. "You could see [Craig] Gentry, you could see [David] Murphy, you could see [Endy] Chavez," Washington said. "There's no set [plan]. The only thing that's set is Hamilton and Cruz. The rest of it is flexible. You will see Hamilton out there and you will see Cruz out there." Washington, who had previously suggested that the left-field spot would belong to Murphy as long as he kept swinging the bat well, is now saying the matchup with the opposing starting pitcher will determine his starter in left field.
In Murphy's last eight games entering Sunday, he was batting .250 with a double and three RBIs. Cruz, who returned from a strained left hamstring on Sept. 13, had been playing solely as a designated hitter in his six starts. Washington said that in order to ease Cruz back into the stress of playing every day and managing his hamstring, he will only play six or seven innings for his first few games back in the outfield. "Cruzie is going to be the right fielder as long as he's healthy and in the lineup," Washington said. "We're going to start him out with six or seven [innings]."