Fielder out of the starting lineup again

Fielder out of the starting lineup again

ARLINGTON -- Rangers designated hitter Prince Fielder said he felt fine physically after seeing his name left off the lineup card for the second-straight game against the Mariners. He did say one thing was hurt, though.

"My heart, my feelings," he quipped.

Outside of the playful nature of that statement, Fielder was not elated that Rangers manager Jeff Banister benched him for consecutive games. But he understood his decision.

The 11-year veteran said he's never gone through a slump like this before in his career. He had the second-lowest qualifying batting average in the American League entering Saturday's game (.187) and is 1-for-14 since the team's win over the Indians on Monday.

"I'm trying to get hits, man. I'm hitting .180. You guys can have the homers. I'm trying to get hits, I'm trying to drive in runs, I'm trying not to get benched for two days, you know? I'm just trying to play baseball. I'm not trying to hit homers. I'm just trying to not have this [expletive deleted] happen again," Fielder said.

Where has Fielder gotten into trouble?

"I've been chasing. Even 2-0, they're just not going to serve it up to me. Last year they did in the first half. Now they're pitching me like I'm able to do something, so I have to get used to it," he said.

The "unplug" method used by Banister is not really Fielder's style.

"I play every day," he said. "That's fine, it might work. That's not something I want to do, but that's the manager's call."

That attitude is fine with Banister. In fact, it's what he expects.

"I don't expect him to [agree]," Banister said. "I don't want any of them to necessarily agree with being unplugged. That doesn't bother me. I would encourage him to not want to unplug."

Banister said how impressive it is, though, that's this is the first time in Fielder's career he's gone through a slump like this.

"Incredble. Eleven years -- never. And he's actually taking some heavy criticism for something that's happened for the very first time," Banister said. "And it's true. Yet he continues to work, continues to grind and has been sandpapered raw. I believe in Prince."

Throughout the slump, Banister has lauded Fielder's ability to pick up his teammates and keep a positive attitude, calling him one of the most "selfless" players on the team.

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.