Borbon eager to show his wares this spring
FEB 14, 2013 3:38p ET
Borbon, the starting Opening Day centerfielder for the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011, knows that if he doesn't make the roster for the Rangers this season that the club will have to designate him for assignment, freeing him up to join another organization.
It gives Borbon more certainly about his career than he's had in the last couple of seasons.
"I'm not going to worry about the outcome," Borbon said. "I'm going to look at is as I'm preparing for the year, my season. Where is the season? Nobody knows. I'm happy. I'm excited."
When the Rangers begin full workouts Saturday, Borbon will likely be behind Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin in the pecking order in centerfield. While that would seem like it would put Borbon in a dire situation, he doesn't see it that way.
This will be Borbon's sixth camp with the Rangers and his approach won't be any different once workouts begin.
"It's a pretty uncharacteristic situation here with the outfielders," said Borbon, who was a first –round pick in 2007. "There's no telling or predicting anything at this point other than just performing. I've had overall a good run of spring trainings. There's not going to be anything I need to come and change in terms of that. I've just got to go out and play hard."
He's also well rested.
Borbon normally spends his offseason playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. While that was an option for him again, he opted not to play. Instead he spent most of his time off in California working out at a facility for Scott Boras clients.
He said he's put on 12 to 15 pounds and feels fresh after a 2012 season in Round Rock in which he had 584 at-bats and hit .304.
"I was drained," said. "I had never played a full year in the PCL. Last year was a little bit of a tougher year in terms of playing every day. I knew it (resting in the offseason) was the best thing at the end of the day. I just needed to get away and come in here as refreshed as possible. It's a new thing for me."
Borbon hasn't had an at-bat with the Rangers since May 13, 2011. He hurt his hamstring in a game against the Los Angeles Angels and went on the disabled list the next day. Once he was healthy enough to return to the team, the Rangers sent him to Triple A. He started playing well for Round Rock but then he hurt his ankle and required surgery that cost him the remainder of the season. Last year he spent the entire year in Round Rock after getting beat out for a job in spring training.
He was hitting .270 for the Rangers when he got hurt the first time and had hit in 10-consecutive games going into the contest against Los Angeles. He thinks the injury played a part in his losing a spot with the Rangers.
The club hasn't closed the door on him yet though. There's no doubt Borbon can hit, but his arm isn't as strong as either Martin's or Gentry's. The team can live with that. But Borbon continue to work on his in-game focus.
"Focus is a whole spring training and a whole season," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Just losing focus out there, throwing to the wrong bag, missing the cut-off man, getting picked off. We've just got to wait and see. He certainly is talented."
Borbon was talented enough in 2012 to get a September call-up. His name was considered but general manager Jon Daniels said there wouldn't be any point in rewarded Borbon if he wasn't going to play and with the club in the midst of a playoff chase, that wasn't going to happen.
The Rangers had no need for Borbon before that because Gentry played well in center and Josh Hamilton also played there too and the Rangers remained healthy in centerfield throughout the season.
"At the end of the day the way things went it was kind of tough to see myself fitting there because of the way things were going for the team," Borbon said. "The guys stayed healthy on the field. For me, that was the main thing. I figured that (an injury) was going to be my only way in there. The rest of the guys did their job and did what they were supposed to do. In that sense, it's not anything I should be shocked about."
Borbon's focus now is having a good spring and that's all he can control. He's had solid springs the in the past and had an idea of where he was headed once the season starts. That's not the case right now but he's good with that.
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