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Borbon called up for big league debut

Borbon called up for big league debut

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, looking for something to get their offense going, have brought up outfielder Julio Borbon from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

He may just be here until Josh Hamilton is ready to come off the disabled list. He may end up being here longer. But he is going to play while he is here.

"We didn't bring him up here to sit," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's swinging the bat well so I'm going to give him a shot."

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Borbon was the RedHawks' leadoff man and center fielder at Oklahoma City, but made his first start on Monday with the Rangers at designated hitter. He was batting in the sixth spot in his Major League debut. He could start in left field on Tuesday.

"This definitely caught me off-guard," Borbon said. "This is a dream come true. I'm ready to go."

Borbon, 23, a left-handed hitter, was hitting .298 with two home runs, 11 doubles, five triples and 28 RBIs over 71 games at Triple-A. He had a .365 on-base percentage and 19 steals in 23 attempts. His two home runs have both come in the last week and he was hitting .323 in June.

"Obviously I just need to do what I'm capable of doing," Borbon said. "Make things happen with my speed, put the ball in play, get my bunts down, do what I've been doing in the Minor Leagues."

Borbon, the 35th player taken in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, joins a lineup that is hitting .220 for the month of June. Right now that's the lowest in a single month for the Rangers since they hit .183 in September of 1972.

"We're not trying to send a message," Washington said. "We brought up one of our top prospects and we didn't bring him up to sit around. We had to get another guy and he was their hottest hitter. We need offensive help so we brought him up and we'll see what he has to offer.

"We brought him up until Hamilton gets back, but if he asserts himself, that could change."

Hamilton, who has been on the disabled list since the beginning of June, began his medical rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Frisco on Monday. He'll join Oklahoma City on Wednesday and play at least three games for them. He could be activated as early as Saturday.

Borbon replaces reliever Willie Eyre, who was optioned to Oklahoma City. Eyre pitched a scoreless inning on Friday after being activated off the disabled list but is being sent down so he can build up strength and endurance. The Rangers need him as a long reliever.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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