Hank Blalock is 11 for 16 in the last four games. Seven of those 11 hits have gone for extra bases, including home runs in three straight games (something he also did two weeks ago). He's using all fields, and looks as locked in now as he looked out of rhythm over the first four weeks of his return to action.
Six of Blalock's 10 home runs this year have tied the game or given Texas a lead. Half of his homers have come off lefthanders.
I don't know what position Blalock will play in April, and I'm not even sure whose uniform he'll be wearing, but he's looking in this snapshot like the hitter that we thought five years ago he was going to be, and one thing is starting to feel like a lock: Texas has almost got to exercise that club option for 2009, whether the idea is to make him the first baseman next season, the third baseman, the designated hitter, or a trade chip to get a young starting pitcher.
The player we're seeing right now is not one you'd dump onto the free agent market.
P.S. One local media outlet is reporting that Nolan Ryan indicated on Tuesday that he expects both Ron Washington and Jon Daniels back in 2009.
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(c) Jamey Newberg
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