DETROIT – As expected, the Rangers altered the lineup for Game 3 of the AL Championship Series, shifting Michael Young to first base, Mike Napoli to designated hitter, Yorvit Torrealba to catcher and Endy Chavez to left field.
Mitch Moreland, who has started at first base in all but Game 1 of the AL Division Series, will be off the bench. He is 2-for-17 in the playoffs and 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in the ALCS.
The change also allows Napoli to get a break from catching and avoids having him behind the plate for four consecutive days, something he didn’t do in the regular season. It gives Torrealba his first action of these playoffs as well. He batted .273 in 113 games this season (396 at-bats) with seven homers and 37 RBIs. His playing time decreased some in the final weeks as Napoli’s bat started heating up and Nelson Cruz returned from the disabled list.
Endy Chavez, a left-handed hitter, gives the club some speed in a big outfield. Chavez hasn’t played at all so far this postseason. He filled in nicely during various outfield injuries in 2011 and hit .301 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 256 at-bats. He also stole 10 bases.
Young started 36 games at first base for Texas in 2011 and had three errors and a .989 fielding percentage.
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
1B Michael Young
DH Mike Napoli
RF Nelson Cruz
C Yorvit Torrealba
LF Endy Chavez
3B Don Kelly
LF Ryan Raburn
RF Andy Dirks