JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here’s the latest news on several MLB players:

Youkilis may switch back to 3B in 2011

Boston Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis, whose season-ending thumb injury helped scuttle the team’s playoff hopes year, says he’s ready to switch back to 3B if needed in 2011. It’s a possibility because Red Sox 3B Adrian Beltre has opted for free agency.

As you may recall, Youkilis began his MLB career at 3B, in 2004. The Bosox switched him to 1B in 2006, and in a remarkable demonstration of versatility, Youkilis won a Gold Glove at 1B in 2007, only his second year at the position. In 2010 he started all but two games at 1B.

Kinsler to work on speed in off-season

No one in Texas is complaining about Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler these days. After an injury-shortened regular season, Kinsler was a post-season star in 2010 (or at least until the World Series). But the 28-year-old isn’t happy with his stolen-base output, which totaled 15 in 20 tries this year. It was the fewest steals since his rookie year in 2006, although to be fair Kinsler had just 391 at-bats in 2010, his fewest ever, and began the season on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Here’s what he told Sports Illustrated recently:

“I just need to get my speed back,” he said. “I didn’t steal as many bases as I’d like this year. I didn’t really feel comfortable stealing bases because I wasn’t able to catch up with my speed after the spring training injury.”

Interestingly, Kinsler suffered a bigger drop-off in power in 2010 than he did in speed, hitting just 9 HRs after averaging 21 in his first four MLB seasons.

Knee surgery will delay Feldman’s 2011 debut

Texas Rangers SP Scott Feldman recently had surgery on his right knee and will have a limited role at 2011 spring training, reported.

Feldman, who was the Rangers’ pitcher of the year in 2009 and opening-day starter this year, had a dismal season, going 7-11 with a 5.48 ERA. He was moved to the bullpen mid-season and went on the 15-day disabled list in August for a bone bruise to the same knee.

Kapler is a free agent

Tampa Bay Rays RF Gabe Kapler is one of 10 Rays players to opt for free agency this Fall. Whether the weak-hitting defensive specialist will be picked up is unclear. Kapler hit .210 in 124 at-bats this year, with 2 HRs and 14 RBIs.