Odor, Rosales to share second-base duties

Rangers rank last in AL at position with .138 BA

Odor, Rosales to share second-base duties

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he is deciding who will play second base on a day-to-day proposition. On Thursday, Rougned Odor was back in the lineup as he tries to overcome a .151 batting average after 27 games.

Banister has been using Adam Rosales there as well, but he is only hitting .161. Rangers second basemen combined were hitting .138 entering Thursday, the lowest average in the American League. The Yankees have the next lowest at .174.

The Rangers appear torn with Odor. There has been thought to give him some time off for extra work with hitting coach Dave Magadan. But they also need his left-handed bat in the lineup, especially against Rays starter Chris Archer on Thursday night. Right-handers were hitting .167 off Archer in his first six starts.

"Look, when Odor is swinging the bat well, we are a better ballclub," Banister said. "We need for him to be swinging the bat consistently, so we'll look at the matchups and find the best direction. I thought it was best for us tonight to have Rougned's bat in there from the left side."

Odor legs out a triple

The Rangers have also had Delino DeShields start taking ground balls at second base. He has played the position in the Minor Leagues to be ready in case of a sudden need. Rosales and Odor are going to share the position.

Worth noting:

• Outfielder Josh Hamilton took live batting practice on Thursday in extended spring training. Matt Harrison was among the pitchers that Hamilton faced. Hamilton is scheduled to play in an extended spring training game against the Mariners on Friday and then the Rangers will evaluate his next step.

• Harrison, recovering from spinal fusion surgery, threw three sets of 15 pitches and reported it went well. His velocity was clocked at 89 mph. Harrison's next step will be to pitch in an extended spring game on Wednesday.

• The Rangers have released LHP Kevin Matthews, their 33rd overall pick from the 2011 Draft. Matthews was charged with one misdemeanor count of driving while impaired on Wednesday morning in Hickory, N.C. He had a 6.48 ERA in six games with the Crawdads and club officials said he was likely to be released at some point in the near future.

• Right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz, who was the 30th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, has been assigned from extended spring to Class A Hickory.

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.