Dugout Digest: Ian Kinsler Showing Off The Power/Speed Combo

DugoutDigest

The Rangers lost 3-2 to the White Sox yesterday, but that was largely because Ian Kinsler couldn’t get any offensive help. Kinsler homered twice (both solo shots, obviously), giving him 20 longballs on the season as part of a .246/.349/.446 line that looks pretty darn good considering he has only a .244 batting average on balls in play.

Combined with his 21 stolen bases, it also puts him into the 20-20 club once again – for the third time in his career. After going 20-23 in 2007, Kinsler just missed in 2008 with his 18-26 in only 121 games. If he had been able to stay healthy, it’s very likely he would have done deep twice more. In ’09 Kinsler not only went 20-20, but took it to the next level (31-31). Last year missed time and a drop-off in power left him well short. And now in 2011 he’s back in the club.

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The three 20-20 season ties Kinsler for the most in the majors for a second-baseman since 1980, with Ryan Sandberg (retired), Craig Biggio (retired), Alfonso Soriano (no longer a second-baseman), and Brandon Phillips (hasn’t had wither part of the 20-20 since 2009). In fact, Kinsler is only one away from the all-time record, held by Joe Morgan – and at only 29 years old, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll get there if not surpass the Hall of Famer’s mark. It’s already an impressive accomplishment though, as only 12 second-basemen have ever done it (and Kinsler is one of only three to go 30-30, with Soriano doing it 3 times and Phillips getting there once).

Also last night: The Angels put up 3 in the bottom of the 12th to pick up a 9-8 win over the O’s; not content to go only 12, the Dodgers and Rockies each scored 2 in the 12th inning before Colorado walked off in the bottom of the 13th; no extras needed in San Diego, as the Padres beat the Marlins 14-1;  and much more.

What to watch tonight: Former top prospect Jerome Williams makes his first major league since all the way back in 2007, going for the Angels against the Orioles; Roy Halladay looks to pick up his NL leading 16th win versus the Nationals; and Ubaldo Jimenez tries to keep the Indians in the race against the Tigers. Full schedule with probable pitchers here.

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