ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Olt isn’t up with the Texas Rangers to be a bat off the bench.
Olt, who was called up from Double A Frisco Thursday, was in the starting lineup against Los Angeles All-Star left-hander C.J. Wilson.
Texas manager Ron Washington said Olt will get most of his starts at first base and designated hitter against left-handed starters. He will be the starting third baseman when the club decides to give Adrian Beltre a day off at third.
Olt, who was coveted by many teams at the trade deadline, isn’t concerned with how the Rangers use him. The 23-year-old is just glad he’s in Arlington.
“I just want to come in here and contribute,” Olt said. “I want to come in here and get comfortable. Once I get comfortable I think I can do just what I’ve been doing.”
What Olt did for Frisco was hit for power and average. In 95 games for Frisco, Olt hit .288 with 28 home runs and 82 RBIs. A natural third baseman, Olt was also used at first base and the outfield.
Olt said he’s become more comfortable at first as the season has worn on. He said the biggest difference between playing the first and third is the footwork.
Olt’s call-up caps a quick rise through the Texas system. He was a supplemental pick in the 2010 draft and was playing Double-A ball for the first time this year. He was a Texas League All-Star and a member of the United States squad in the Futures Game.
While he has a glowing resume, Washington hasn’t seen Olt play since spring training. The club will work with Olt at first base and likely only use him in an emergency in the outfield.
“We’ll just see what he can do for us,” Washington said. “I told him it’s still baseball. Pitcher throws ball, you see it and you hit it. It’s simple.”
Washington said it’s too early to tell if the call-up of Olt will give him a chance to rest other position players because they aren’t sure what they have in him yet.