Smolinski's batting average is .571, and he has a .786 slugging percentage. He's been a bright light in a dismal season for the Rangers. They lost Thursday's game to the Angels 15-6. It's the Rangers' fifth straight loss and their 19th in their last 22 games. Their 38-54 record is the worst in baseball.
Smolinski has made a positive impression on Rangers' manager Ron Washington. "The main thing with him is he has a very short stroke," says Washington. "He can use the whole field. It's not one pitch that affects him. He can hit the curve. He can hit the slider, and he can hit the fastball, so because he can do those things he's able to go up there and have good at bats. And in the outfield he can run a little bit. It looks like he gets good jumps on balls. So he is a bright spot. I just hope he can continue it."
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