Odor stays confident despite struggles

Rangers second baseman spent day out of the lineup working on hitting

Odor stays confident despite struggles

HOUSTON -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor said his confidence is still strong despite taking a .146 batting average into Tuesday's game with the Astros.

The Rangers are sticking with him for now, and Odor was back in the lineup on Tuesday after getting Monday night off. Odor used the time to get extra work with hitting coaches Dave Magadan and Bobby Jones.

"We saw some things in the workout today that we liked in his bat path and direction," manager Jeff Banister said. "A very simple fundamental drill and it was an eye-opener for him. He could see the direction of his bat path was very pulled-oriented. He was able to work through the drill, go into the batting cage and put it in play."

Like most hitters, the Rangers want Odor to use the entire field rather than be overanxious and try to pull everything.

"I feel like I'm a little late and missing my pitch," Odor said. "My confidence is good, I always have confidence."

Odor legs out a triple

Odor, called up to the big leagues after just 62 games in Double-A, hit .259 in 114 games last season, with nine home runs, 48 RBIs, a .297 on-base percentage and a .402 slugging percentage. It may be that the league has caught up with him and found holes in his swing.

"This is the toughest baseball league on the planet," Banister said. "Anytime you don't perform the way you need to perform, your confidence does get chipped at. It's the job of me and the coaching staff to continue to build him up and keep that where it needs to be."

The Rangers have two middle infielders playing well at Triple-A Round Rock. Entering Tuesday, Ed Lucas was hitting .338 and Thomas Field was hitting .286. Both have big league experience.

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.