Solid at second base, Kinsler optimistic
ARLINGTON, Texas – Ian Kinsler is looking to have a bounce back season for the Texas Rangers.
He's happy he'll have the chance to do it at second base.
After an offseason that included talk of moving Kinsler to first base to make room for Jurickson Profar, the club decided keeping Kinsler at second was the best option for the team. Kinsler, who found out he was staying at second before Christmas, is ready to move forward and put a bad 2012 behind him.
"I want to bounce back," Kinsler said. "It's motivating. You don't want to have a bad year just to motivate yourself. But when it happens you're motivated to bounce back and play well."
Kinsler said he never demanded that the club keep him at second base, but he thought it would be the best position for him to help the Rangers.
"Second base is where I'm most comfortable and that's a good feeling to have," Kinsler said. "We had some discussions and obviously JD (Jon Daniels) came out and after all those discussions and I guess he decided second base was probably the best way to go. It's nice where I'm at a position where I think I'm going to help us win."
When the possible move to first initially came up, Kinsler didn't want to make waves and was willing to do it if that's what the club wanted.
"I don't want to be this resistance to maybe something that is bigger than me or someone sees something from the outside that I don't see," Kinsler said. "I didn't want to be that resistance at all."
Kinsler, who is entering the first season of a five-year deal, is eager to put 2012 behind him. He hit just .256 and his on-base percentage dropped from .355 in 2011 to a career-low .326. He also matched his career high with 18 errors.
Kinsler, who is healthy after struggling with right ankle problems last season, knows he's capable of more in 2013.
"I don't think that changes the way I work," he said. "I'm preparing to have the best season I can possibly have. You look on the back of anyone's baseball card and there's always a bad year. My goal now is to rebound and have an MVP-caliber season I'm expected to have."