Delino DeShields will be in the Texas Rangers’ starting lineup Thursday in the series finale at Camden Yards, by virtue of left-hander Wade Miley starting for the Baltimore Orioles.
Facing a lefty is the only way DeShields, as a right-handed hitter, can get into the lineup, with the lefty-hitting Drew Robinson gobbling up at-bats against right-handed pitchers that could have been going to DeShields.
So, he’s been trying to not collect any rust waiting for a lefty while also still believing that he is an everyday big-league outfielder.
“Obviously I want to play every day,” DeShields said. “I feel when I’ve played I have produced. I still take the mindset that I am playing every day and prepare that way. Get my work in and get extra work in the outfield, stay on top of my game and try to be as ready as I can be when my time comes.”
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DeShields has a higher batting average against righties this season (.288 to .273) in twice as many at-bats, but his on-base percentage against lefties is significantly higher (.368 to .326).
DeShields was the Rangers’ Rookie of the Year in 2015 as an everyday player and spark plug for the offense. He believes he can be that player again.
“I firmly believe it is in front of me and the hard work I put in during the off-season, spring training and this year is going to pay off,” DeShields said. “Nobody thought I would come back this well. I am proud of that, and it doesn’t stop even though I’m not playing as much as I want.”