Profar to play second base in Odor's absence

Rangers' former top prospect collects first MLB hit since 2013

Profar to play second base in Odor's absence

ARLINGTON -- Jurickson Profar is back with the Rangers for the first time since 2013, and manager Jeff Banister will use him as the team's starting second baseman while Rougned Odor serves his seven-game suspension.

"He is going to be emotional. It's been two-plus years. It will be emotional for him," Banister said. "There will be excitement and anxiety. He is better equipped to handle it. He has been here before."

Banister said the Rangers haven't decided whether Profar will stay with the team as a utility player once Odor returns, or if he will go back to Triple-A Round Rock to play shortstop.

Profar hit leadoff and played second in the Rangers' 9-1 loss to the Pirates on Friday, going 1-for-5.

Profar missed all 2014-15 with a torn muscle in his right shoulder. Before the 2013 season, he was named the Rangers' top prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

"I'm glad to be back here. It's been long, but I'm ready to go and try to help the team win." Profar said.

The 23-year-old infielder was batting .284 with 26 RBIs and a .356 on-base percentage through 41 games with Triple-A Round Rock this season.

"I'm very happy with how I was doing down there," Profar said. "It's been a long, long wait. I've worked hard and I'm very proud of myself.

Worth noting

• Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Tuesday and plans to spend a week there.

If all goes well, he will return to the team on June 9, the first day he's eligible to return from the 60-day disabled list. He has been sidelined with a fractured right forearm.

"Catching-wise I feel great … it's mostly getting my hitting back and feeling comfortable," Chirinos said.

Chirinos took batting practice on the field Friday for the first time since getting hit by a pitch on the forearm by Angels right-hander Garrett Richards on April 9. The series opener against the Pirates is the 42nd game he's missed this season.

Chirinos gets hit on his swing

• The Rangers will honor the 20-year anniversary of their 1996 American League West Championship team, the first team to win a division title in franchise history, on June 21 against the Reds. Over 20 players and coaches from the team are expected to be in attendance, including Rangers Hall-of-Famers Ivan Rodriguez, Rusty Greer, Jeff Russell and former team President Tom Schieffer. Will Clark and Rodriguez will also participate in the Rangers Evening With a Legend Series prior to the pre-game ceremonies.

• Along with Chirinos, outfielders Shin-soo Choo and Drew Stubbs took early batting practice on the field. Both are currently on the 15-day disabled list -- Choo with a strained left hamstring, and Stubbs with a toe sprain in his left foot.

• Banister will deliver the lineup card to home-plate umpire Ed Hickox before Friday's game, something he does for every series opener. However, this one will have a different meaning as he will be standing across from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. Banister spent four seasons (2011-14) as the Pirates' bench coach under Hurdle.

"It will be fun. It will be a great time for him as much as it is for me," Banister said.

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