Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 4/2/12
ROUND ROCK, Texas The Texas Rangers took steps to finalizing their Opening Day roster Monday with Alberto Gonzalez, Brandon Snyder and Craig Gentry likely on the team for Friday's season opener. Gonzalez beat out Luis Hernandez for the team's utility-infielder spot. Snyder hit .303 this spring and will be one of the team's right-handed hitters off the bench for now. Gentry will play in centerfielder mainly against left-handers. The team told both Hernandez and outfielder Julio Borbon that they would be playing for Triple A Round Rock. Hernandez will be the shortstop for the Express while Borbon and Leonys Martin will divvy up time in center. The experience Gonzalez had serving as a utility infielder played a big role in the Texas decision to keep him up over Hernandez. Gonzalez has been in the majors each of the last two seasons but hasn't had more than 247 at-bats in either of those years. "I think they both played evenly but Gonzalez has had more time sitting around at the major-league level," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We felt that Hernandez needed to continue to play. It came down to more or less experience." Borbon, who made the team's Opening Day roster each of the last two years, took the news well according to Washington. The biggest thing he had working against him this spring was that he's left-handed and Texas needed another right-handed bat. Texas plans to use Josh Hamilton and Gentry in center and the Rangers want Borbon to have a chance to play on a daily basis. "We needed a centerfielder that was right-handed," said Washington, who lauded Borbon's maturity. "If I decide I'm going to put Josh over there with regularity, I need someone that can play centerfield that's right-handed. That's Gentry." Borbon batted .250 this spring and Gentry hit .139 but was slowed by a virus and wrist injury. This will mark the first time Gentry has made an Opening Day roster. Washington said the Rangers will use David Murphy in left field against some left-handers and that centerfield would not be a platoon situation with Hamilton and Gentry. Snyder was acquired from Baltimore in January. He came to Round Rock on a roll, going 7 for his last 18 to raise his spring average to .303. Texas still has to decide what to do with right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama and lefty Neal Cotts. Both are battling injuries. Tateyama hasn't pitched since last Thursday because of back stiffness. Cotts has a strained left lat muscle. Tateyama said Monday that his back was feeling better. He hasn't pitched since last Thursday. Opening plans The Rangers will have 13 members of the 1972 team participate in the first-pitch ceremonies before Friday's season opener against Chicago. The first-pitch ceremony, which will include Tom Grieve and Toby Harrah, marks the beginning of the club's celebration of their 40th season in Texas. The club also announced that country-music group Reckless Kelly would sing the National Anthem. Parking lots Friday will open at 8 a.m. and gates open at 10.
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