ST. PETERSBURG -- It's only been a little more than a week, but September already hasn't been very kind to second baseman Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler has gone just 6-for-29 at the plate, including a three-strikeout outing against the Rays on Saturday night. Though the club has an off-day on Monday, manager Ron Washington doesn't believe that Kinsler needs it.
"He's just out of rhythm right now," Washington said. "It happens. You can get out of defensive rhythm, you can get out of rhythm on the basepaths, you can get out of rhythm hitting. Everything is rhythm."
As much as Kinsler has struggled at the dish, his biggest issue may have been illustrated with a defensive matchup in the eighth inning on Saturday. With a shift against him, Tampa Bay's Carlos Pena hit a sharp grounder right at Kinsler, who was playing past the edge of the infield and couldn't handle it.
Washington, a former infielder himself, said that it appeared Kinsler was thinking about throwing the ball instead of handling it.
Even so, Washington maintains his confidence in his 30-year-old veteran.
"This guy's a quality baseball player," he said. "He's going to fight through whatever issues he's having. I know he helps us win more games than he helps us lose."