Olt optioned to Triple-A so he'll see time every day

Olt optioned to Triple-A so he'll see time every day

MESA, Ariz. -- The Rangers sent third baseman Mike Olt to Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday, so he'll get the chance to play every day. He will continue at third base and right field. Olt came to camp with the chance to make the team as a reserve right-handed bat.

But Jeff Baker, who took a .467 batting average into Tuesday's game with the Cubs, is likely to win that spot. Baker can play first, second, third and both corner outfield spots.

The Rangers also know that with Nelson Cruz and David Murphy eligible for free agency after the season, Olt is their best power-hitting prospect at the upper levels of the Minor Leagues. He should be a candidate to replace one of them in the lineup next year, and they want to make sure he continues his offensive development at Round Rock.

"It's good in that I will get more [at-bats] and get back on track," Olt said. "I view this as a positive. They want me here as an everyday guy, not as a bench guy. So I'll go down, get my [at-bats] and get back on track."

Olt went into Tuesday's game against the Cubs hitting .194 with two home runs and five RBIs. In 31 at-bats he has six walks and 12 strikeouts. But he also played excellent defense at third and showed he could play right field as well. The Rangers liked what they saw from him out there as well.

"He did well. He did extremely well," manager Ron Washington said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.