Profar key with Andrus playing through pain

Utility player has started at five positions for Rangers

Profar key with Andrus playing through pain

ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has been dealing with a left groin issue since the beginning of May. It's not considered serious, but it's another reason why the Rangers are glad they have Jurickson Profar as their utility player.

"I've been playing this year with a lot of pain in my legs," Andrus said. "My groin has been bothersome since the second month of the season. Nothing serious because I've been able to play. Sometimes they give me an extra day off, but sometimes I don't need it. I hate being on the bench, it's just miserable. But if they give you one, you just have to take it, I guess."

Profar was in the lineup on Monday at first base, the the fourth position he's started at in the last five days. He appeared to avoid serious injury in the first inning, when Athletics leadoff hitter Marcus Semien made contact with Profar's head on a close play at first base. 

Profar shaken up after collision

Overall, Profar has started 12 games at first, 11 at second, 10 at third, seven at shortstop and five in left field.

"You just try to focus," Profar said before the game. "It's good for my mind to be able to focus on the position and my at-bats the whole game. That's the way it should be. There is no day off with your mind. You mind has got to be there on every pitch on every at-bat."

Profar has struggled at the plate lately, hitting .172 in his last eight games. But he said that has nothing to do with being able to play multiple positions.

"I'm having good at-bats and killing the ball," Profar said. "The hits aren't there but they are going to come. Like [Sunday], I killed two balls and they were outs. They're going to be there. That's how baseball is."

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said it has not been hard to motivate Profar to play multiple positions after he missed two seasons because of the torn muscle in his right shoulder.

"When you haven't played for two years, you're going to scratch, claw and fight to be on the field," Banister said. "He has done that."

Detroit's Mike Aviles is the only other player to have started at least five games at five positions. He has done so at third, short, second, left and right field. Houston's Marwin Gonzalez has not played the outfield but has started at least five games at all four infield positions.

Beltran thrilled for Olympian Puig 

Rangers outfielder Carlos Beltran said he was "thrilled" to see fellow Puerto Rican Monica Puig win a gold medal in women's tennis at the Rio Olympics over the weekend. Puig is the first Puerto Rican to win a gold medal in the Olympics.

"It's great for the country," Beltran said. "Everybody is watching the Olympics, so it's a big deal for her and the country. It means a lot because right now the country is going through a tough process. Sports does a lot of good things for people in Puerto Rico."

Puig, 22, was unseeded going into the Olympics but defeated No. 2 Angelique Kerber in the final.

"I'm not a big tennis fan," Beltran said. "I went to a couple of tournaments when I was with the Mets to watch the U.S. Open. But she is gaining ground and playing well. She's proud to be a Puerto Rican and proud to be from Puerto Rico. She is young, too, and very dedicated. We are thrilled for her."

Rangers beat 

• Triple-A pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez is 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three starts for Round Rock.

• Right-hander Alex Speas, the Rangers' second-round pick in the 2016 Draft, from Powder Springs, Ga., made his professional debut Sunday for the Arizona Rookie League Rangers and pitched a scoreless inning.

• The Rangers were playing their 120th game on Monday night, the most in the American League. That's significant in that the Rangers will get more days off down the stretch than their competitors.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.