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June 07, 2010

Rangers pregame notes

Elvis Andrus is out of the lineup for a day off, which has produced a unique lineup. Manager Ron Washington has piled in a bunch of right-handed hitters against Seattle lefty Cliff Lee, starting with Craig Gentry in the leadoff spot. Joaquin Arias is back at first base for Justin Smoak. Andres Blanco, a switch-hitter, starts for Andrus at shortstop.

Josh Hamilton is back in the lineup, though in center field. Gentry is in left. Hamilton in left, especially coming off a cortisone shot in his right knee, would seem to make as sense as there is less ground to cover. Washington, though, said Hamilton's knee is fine and his mind is in a better place when he's playing center field when Julio Borbon has a night off.

There isn't yet a next step to report on Derek Holland (mildly inflamed left rotator cuff), though Washington said another session of long toss will likely come before he steps back on a mound. Nelson Cruz (strained left hamstring) continues to make progress without any setbacks.

The First-Year Player Draft starts in 90 minutes or so, and the Rangers are expected to make their first pick (No. 15 overall) around 7:30 p.m. and their second pick (No. 22 overall) just after 8. They have two more picks in the compensation round.

-- Jeff Wilson


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