Infielder has hit .364 with 2 homers in 7 games since callup
By Ryan Posner
ARLINGTON -- Even with the activation of second baseman Rougned Odor from his suspension before Saturday's game against the Mariners, the Rangers have decided to keep Jurickson Profar in the Major Leagues.
Profar has impressed with his .364 average and two home runs during the seven-game stint, and has played quality defense as well.
The main question was whether the team would be able to get him regular at-bats. The answer, for at least in Saturday's 10-4 win, was to give him a start at designated hitter, and in the leadoff spot, in place of the struggling Prince Fielder. Profar went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and manager Jeff Banister wouldn't go any farther than that, though.
"He's playing right now. We're going to find opportunities for Profar to play while he's here," Banister said. "Now is that on an everyday basis? I'm not willing to go into that just yet. We're talking about a guy who hasn't played for two years."
The Rangers didn't have to make room for Odor on the roster, as they have been playing with 24 players over the last seven games per the rules of his suspension.
"Jurickson could be here for an extended period, and something else might present itself and he might not be. It's just the nature of the game," Daniels said.
One thing Banister and Daniels did say was that Profar would remain in the infield and not shift to the outfield.
For Profar, who has hit safely in every game since being recalled, he's just happy to be in the Major Leagues another day.
"I'm always positive. You rarely see me mad. I'm just enjoying everything," he said.
As for Fielder, Banister has used the "unplug" method to get struggling hitters going in the past.
He is batting just .183, the third-lowest qualifying batting average in the American League, and is 1-for-13 since Monday's win over the Indians. But Banister is fully confident he will get things back on track. "The impact of having Prince in our lineup is significant," he said, "There comes a time where I make a decision as a manager to unplug certain guys and give them the opportunity to exhale, refresh. Hope is we can bring him back and reset the trap."
• Right-hander A.J. Griffin threw 47 pitches over three simulated innings before Saturday's game. It was the first time he's thrown to hitters since being placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder stiffness on May 8. If everything goes well, he could begin a rehab stint next Thursday.
• After serving a seven-game suspension, Odor was back in the lineup and batting fifth for Saturday's game. He said it was very hard for him to just watch the games on TV for the past week.
"We did everything in our power [to keep him fresh], short of playing some sandlot game in North Dallas," 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.