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Rangers Magazine: Jon Daniels softens on Josh Hamilton in CF

When it comes to Josh Hamilton playing center field on a regular basis, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has maintained a consistent belief over the years that the bulk of Hamilton’s games should be played in left field in order to avoid the wear and tear on Hamilton’s body and get him through each season healthy. Has Daniels' stance on this topic softened?

“Yeah, it has,” Daniels said. “The bottom line is right now that’s our best team with him in center field. We want to get off to the best start we possibly can. My sense is that over the course of the year that other guys will work in there based on their own performances, but we do feel there’s a good chance that’s our best club. I know Wash hasn’t formally announced it yet, but you can tell by the lineups that he’s putting out there that’s getting strong consideration.”

Daniels said that Hamilton’s contract situation and the possibility of not re-signing with Texas has nothing to do with his change in mindset. Has the play of Julio Borbon and Craig Gentry this spring been disappointing to the point where it has factored into this decision process?

“We know what these guys are. I’m not big on riding the wave of spring training,” Daniels said. “We know what Julio is and what he can do. He’s a quality major league outfielder. Same with Craig. They both have strengths. They both have weaknesses. I don’t want to take anything away from Josh or David [Murphy], either. I mean, David’s had a really good spring. He’s improved his defense. He’s working on his approach against left-handers. Basically, we have some good options.”

Daniels was a guest on Rangers Magazine on Saturday morning on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. He also discussed Yu Darvish, Robbie Ross, the bench, trade talk, Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt. Listen to the podcast.

Bryan Dolgin, the host of Rangers Baseball Tonight and Rangers Magazine, can be followed on Twitter: @RangersRadioBD.