Foul Territory

April 12, 2014

Rangers not concerned with Prince Fielder’s early struggles

The Rangers slugger went into Saturday’s game with a .150 batting average.

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Prince Fielder has gotten off to a slow start. He entered Saturday with a .150 average with no home runs, a .244 on-base percentage and a .200 slugging percentage.

But nobody within the Rangers organization is expressing too much concern over those early numbers.

“His timing is off,” manager Ron Washington said. “It’s a matter of just one of these days, one pitcher is going to step on that rubber and [Fielder] is going to be on time. Then we won’t have any more questions about Prince Fielder. Right now, it’s timing.”

Fielder is coming off a down year from his standards, batting .279 with 25 home runs and 106 RBIs in his second season with the Tigers. But that didn’t deter the Rangers from acquiring Fielder and a seven-year, $138 million obligation this off-season.

And the Rangers still believe better days are ahead for Fielder. General manager Jon Daniels pointed to how the Astros intentionally walked Fielder twice on Friday.

“You saw how other teams are approaching him ... I’m not worried about him at all,” Daniels said. “We’re 10 games in, I don’t think anything of anyone’s season so far.”

Washington and Daniels went on to praise the extra defensive work that Fielder has put in early on this season. Fielder got in early work fielding grounders and throws in the dirt before batting practice Saturday.

“There’s no limit to the percentage of how good you can get, so he’s 100 percent better and I want him to get 100 more percent better,” Washington said.

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