Buck Showalter thought Alfonso Soriano needed a day off after bruising his left knee while diving for a ball in Monday night’s game.
Soriano emphatically disagreed. Showalter called Soriano in Tuesday morning to tell him he would not be in the lineup for the first time this season. When Soriano, who is almost always upbeat, walked out of Showalter’s office and into the Rangers clubhouse, he was so upset that he kicked over a trash can then kicked a laundry cart.
“If I come to the ballpark to play, I want to play,” Soriano said. “I come here to play. I don’t come here to sit and watch other players. If I am all right physically, I think I can play. If I’m healthy, then I want to play.”
Said Showalter: “I hope so. That’s why you like him so much. He’s a very durable guy who loves to play. You want guys like that.”
“I always like to play,” said Soriano, who played 156-plus games each of his first three full major league seasons. “I can play 162 games.”
But not this year. Soriano hit his knee twice during the fifth inning in Monday’s game, when diving for a line drive and on a slide into second base on his leadoff double. Showalter took him out after seven innings, and Mark DeRosa, who started at second base Tuesday, homered in the ninth inning. DeRosa was 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch Tuesday, but played well in the field.