Washington prefers bullpen setup to extra hitter

Washington prefers bullpen setup to extra hitter

ANAHEIM -- Brandon Snyder struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Friday's 4-2 loss to the Angels. That left Rangers pinch-hitters 5-for-38 on the season with a .128 batting average, third-lowest in the league.

Snyder, who is still a rookie, is 2-for-6 with one home run as a pinch-hitter. But manager Ron Washington said the best pinch-hitters are veterans who understand how to handle the role and not playing every day.

The Rangers are still exploring the possibility of adding a right-handed bat off the bench.

"It's a very tough role for Brandon," Washington said. "He has a good attitude and works hard and has improved since Spring Training. But it's a tough role because it might be a while before you see the field.

"A veteran is the best-case scenario because he has been through everything ... an everyday player whose role has been reduced but his knowledge and ability hasn't been reduced. You'd like to have a veteran, but everybody is looking for the same thing. There are not that many out there."

The Rangers do have Ryan Spilborghs at Triple-A Round Rock and he went into Saturday's game hitting .384 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in 26 games. He has a .466 on-base percentage and a .596 slugging percentage.

He has also played in 619 Major League games with the Rockies from 2005-11 with a career batting average of .272 along with a .345 on-base percentage and a .423 slugging percentage.

"He's doing very well, but we haven't discussed any moves yet," Washington said.

Part of the Rangers' problem is they use a seven-man bullpen and that leaves them with just four players off the bench. Washington is more adamant about keeping seven relievers than he is strengthening the bench.

"Our bullpen has been a little beat up," Washington said. "I'll stick with what I've got and keep the excess pitching."