Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff paused briefly Monday between stretching and preparing to hit in the batting cages to reflect on being named the American League Player of the Week.
“That’s cool,” he said before rushing off.
But Kouzmanoff returned to talk more about the honor, earned after leading the league in RBIs (eight) and total bases (20) over seven games last week. He tied for second in homers (two) and tied for third in hits (10) with a .690 slugging percentage that was fourth-best.
He was playing his first full week since ending a two-year drought without a big-league at-bat.
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“It feels good to come back and have and impact,” said Kouzmanoff, who batted .345 and had a 10-game hitting streak that was snapped Sunday. “It’s not only me, but it’s my teammates around me.”
Playing time, though, could become scarce for Kouzmanoff when Adrian Beltre comes off the disabled list Friday. Manager Ron Washington said that he will try to keep Kouzmanoff engaged and likes the idea of having a player with Kouzmanoff’s experience on the bench.
But Kouzmanoff’s value the past two weeks hasn’t been lost on Washington.
“He’s been a Godsend to take over for Beltre and perform like that,” Washington said. “He is a pro.”