Rookie Kinsler starting day 2B for Rangers

Updated: March 26, 2006, 3:59 PM ET
Associated Press

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rookie second baseman Ian Kinsler will be the starter for the Texas Rangers, filling the spot vacated when four-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano was traded this winter.

"This wasn't a well-kept secret," manager Buck Showalter said Sunday. "We figured it was just time for him to graduate. ... We wanted him to know we trust him."

Kinsler will make his major league debut at home against Boston on April 3. He hit .238 with four home runs and eight RBIss in 17 spring training games before Sunday, when Mark DeRosa started at second base against Milwaukee.

"I didn't think I would hear anything until the last day," Kinsler said. "It's going to be nice to have four days in camp to get used to the idea."

DeRosa will fill a utility role this season.

Even though Kinsler hit .327 in 28 spring training games last year, there was no chance of starting with Soriano there. Kinsler spent 2005 at Triple-A Oklahoma, hitting .274 with 23 homers and 94 RBIss while playing his first full season as a second baseman.

Soriano was part of a four-player trade with Washington that brought outfielder and leadoff hitter Brad Wilkerson to Texas. The Nationals moved Soriano to left field, a position he initially refused to play, because they already had three-time All-Star second baseman Jose Vidro.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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