Time to reassess Ian Kinsler's role

Josh Hamilton isn't the only player the Texas Rangers will have to make a decision on this offseason.

It just seems like he is, after Hamilton's awful end to the 2012 season and the fact that the lasting image of him is a dropped fly ball to shallow center field on a routine play in Oakland and an 0-for-4 showing that lasted all of eight pitches in the equivalent of a Game 7 in the new first round of the playoffs.

But what to do with the free-agent slugger is just one question that must be answered in the next few months. It's a long list that includes filling out the rest of the rotation, deciding what to do about catcher and plugging some holes in the bullpen.

Just as important as any of that: figuring out the proper role for Ian Kinsler.

How the club uses Kinsler next year can have all kinds of ripple effects. As general manager Jon Daniels, CEO Nolan Ryan and the front-office staff sit in meetings to analyze what caused the collapse and how to utilize the offseason to fix it, they must talk about what to do with Kinsler.

No, I don't mean trading him. He's signed a long-term deal here and is a versatile player who has also become one of the club's leaders.

But he didn't look like a leadoff hitter in 2012. So why should he get the chance again in 2013?

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