Well, Here’s Another Fine Mess
In 2009, Julio Borbon made his first appearance for the Texas Rangers. In 46 games, Borbon tantalized Rangers fans with the promise of things to come: 30 runs scored, 20 driven in, 19 steals, 4 home runs, all in 157 at bats.
Flash forward two years and take a look at this line over 41 at bats: 10 runs, 3 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs, 4 RBI and 3 steals, all while playing exceptional center field defense.
Rangers fans are finally seeing a glimpse of the promise of Julio Borbon. Only problem is, the second set of statistics belong to Endy Chavez. Borbon, for the year, is at a more pedestrian .270 in 98 at bats with no homers, one double, 3 triples and 11 RBI. His defense has also been more questionable in 2011.
Since arriving in Arlington to replace Borbon, who went on the DL with a hamstring injury, Chavez looked bad in his first two games, but has been nothing short of amazing ever since. In Thursday’s 7-4 win over the Indians, Chavez went 4-4 with a triple, two infield hits, two runs, an RBI and a steal. Chavez is now hitting a robust .415, including an incredible .536 on the road.
Borbon is slated to come off the DL on Monday, which puts the Rangers in an interesting quandary. They can’t send Chavez down to AAA without having to try getting him through waivers first. If they send Craig Gentry down to make room for Borbon, Texas will have four lefthanders out of five outfielders (5 of 6 if you include Mitch Moreland as another outfield option), not an optimal decision.
Texas could decide to leave Borbon down at AAA Round Rock, at least until Chavez cools off. Doing that, however, lowers whatever trade value Borbon may have at this point.
For Borbon, the dilemma is this. Chavez has been outperforming him at the big league level, while new sign Leonys Martin, currently playing at AA Frisco, is already being touted as the center fielder of the future for the Rangers, perhaps as soon as 2012.
At one time, Borbon was thought to be the centerfielder of the future. Right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either him or Chavez playing for another big league team at this time next week, with maybe a new member of the Rangers bullpen in return.
3PM CDT Update: For now, the CF job belongs to Endy Chavez. Julio Borbon this afternoon was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to AAA Round Rock. I imagine Borbon will stay there until A) he’s traded; B) Chavez is traded; or C) Chavez stops producing.