Ryan: Hamilton is 'best option for center field'
ROUND ROCK, Texas – Texas president Nolan Ryan doesn't see an issue with outfielder Josh Hamilton playing in centerfield for the Rangers this season.
"It's what best for the ball club and when you look at our ball and I think we feel like he's our best option for center field," Ryan said. "That's where he wants to play. I think he's more engaged in the game. As an organization, we just feel like that's the best move."
Ryan said he feels like Hamilton, who has said he wants to play in center, makes the club better when he starts there in the outfield. The majority of Hamilton's starts in 2010 and 2011 came in left field.
The Rangers made it clear Hamilton will spend more time in center Monday when they decided to send Julio Borbon to Round Rock to start the season. That move frees up Hamilton to play more in center, especially against right-handed pitchers.
Ryan, who talked to the media before Monday's exhibition game between the Rangers and Round Rock, also hit on several other topics.
Here's what he had to say on several topics:
On the organization's decision to no longer show the Ryan-Robin Ventura fight video before games: "I don't think out of fairness to Robin that needs to be shown when they're in town. That's strictly up to Chuck (Morgan) but I think Chuck and I and everybody agree that's probably not the thing to do."
On his memories of that night: "I don't know. It's not something I think about. When Chuck shows it on the board, I find it interesting. You see something different about it. It's something that happened you don't give much thought too."
On the Rangers vs. Angels being the new Yankees vs. Red Sox: "Are we the West Coast version of that? I don't know. I don't think about it. I think the Angels obviously the fact we've won the division the last two years I think they kind of felt they had a lock on that. I think Arte (Moreno) stepped up and tried to do something about that. I think it will be good for our division. I think it will be good for baseball."
On his expectations for Yu Darvish: "We don't have any numbers we're putting with him. We think he'll pitch in the rotation and he should pitch a lot of innings. I think he's at the point in his career where he's accustomed to throwing 200-plus innings. Somewhere in that neighborhood I think would be that expectations."
On what impressed him most about Darvish this spring: "Making the adjustment to the overall situation. Coming in under the fanfare that he did and not speaking the language and the cultural changes and the changes with the baseball and new teammates. All of those things. I think he's fit right in and handled it well. I don't know how it could have gone any better."