Rangers give Murphy first night off of season
CHICAGO -- Outfielder David Murphy, who was hitting .160 going into Tuesday's game, was out of the Rangers' lineup for the first time this season. With left-hander Travis Wood on the mound for the Cubs, Jeff Baker made his first start in left field for Texas.
"I'm trying to get everybody a break," manager Ron Washington said.
Adrian Beltre is the only Rangers player to start in the field for all 14 games. Nelson Cruz has started every game, but was used once at designated hitter. There is no DH in the National League park so Murphy got the day off.
"We obviously had a day off [on Monday], so physically I don't need it and I don't want a day off," Murphy said. "But I can see where it would be beneficial, so I'll use it to take a mental break and be ready to play late in the game and be ready to play tomorrow."
Lance Berkman was also out of the lineup against the Cubs, so Beltre hit in the third spot and Cruz batted cleanup. Cruz has a career OPS of .777 in the cleanup spot. He has an .809 OPS batting fifth, an .847 OPS batting sixth and a .928 OPS in the seventh spot. Those are the four spots where he has at least 150 at-bats during his career.
"The only thing that matters to me is to be in the lineup," Cruz said. "What the manager thinks is the best spot to help the team win, that's where I want to be. They are going to pitch me the same no matter where I'm going to be."