Rangers activate Kinsler, keep Profar in Majors

Rangers activate Kinsler, keep Profar in Majors

Rangers activate Kinsler, keep Profar in Majors

ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler told the Rangers that he was ready, so the team activated him off the disabled list on Saturday. The Rangers also kept infielder and top prospect Jurickson Profar on the Major League roster and optioned Leury Garcia to Triple-A Round Rock.

Profar will serve as the Rangers' utility infielder, backing up Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and third baseman Adrian Beltre. He could also see time in the outfield once he gets some training from outfield coach Gary Pettis. They had their first session out there on Saturday afternoon during batting practice.

Manager Ron Washington said he does not know how much Profar will play, but it will be more than Garcia did as the utility infielder. Profar could play as much as 3-4 times a week as the Rangers start giving time off to their regulars during the hot summer months.

"[Profar's] gained a lot of credibility in that clubhouse," manager Ron Washington said. "He's showed he can play. He's one of our best 25. We'll just figure it out how we're going to do it.

"There is no set number. When I decide it's time for him to play, he's going to play. Those guys know he can help us win."

Beltre and Kinsler could also get days at designated hitter to give Lance Berkman time off. Berkman has been the Rangers' regular designated hitter, but he went into Saturday's game hitting .203 with a .285 slugging percentage, two home runs and six RBIs in his last 20 games.

"We wouldn't have kept him if he wasn't going to play," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I'm not saying every day, but if he wouldn't be in the mix on a semi-regular basis, it wouldn't have made sense to keep him here. We didn't make too much about how many at-bats or how many games.

"We're trying to win games. We're trying to put the best club out there, give Wash options. We're a little banged up and not playing as well as we're capable of. We're going to try to keep our best roster up here in the big leagues. It'll play itself out, I'm confident in that."

Profar is also a switch-hitter, which adds to his versatility. He went into Saturday's game batting .278 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 21 games. He was called up on May 19 after Kinsler went on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his right ribcage.

"This what I want ... I want to be here," Profar said. "[Washington] just said he would do his best to get me in there."

Kinsler was activated after going 0-for-8 with a walk in two games with Double-A Frisco on a medical rehabilitation assignment. He was used as the designated hitter on Thursday and at second base on Friday. The original plan was for Kinsler to play on Saturday night for Frisco, but he convinced the Rangers to activate him instead.

"There is no point playing nine innings at Double-A when I can play nine innings here," Kinsler said. "I voiced that before my rehab assignment, although it was useful to get some at-bats. I'm healthy and that's all that matters. I'm ready to play."

"He feels good physically, and our medical staff was confident he was as healthy as he's going to be," Daniels said. "Normally we'd like a few more at-bats from a timing standpoint, but we're scuffling a little bit right now. He sees that, and he wants to be here. We're on the same mindset. If we can get him back to give a little lift to the club, we're all for it."

Kinsler immediately went into the leadoff spot in the lineup, with Andrus back in the No. 2 spot. Going into Saturday, the Rangers were 26-14 when Kinsler is in the lineup. They were 11-14 in 25 games while he was on the disabled list.

"He means a lot to us," Andrus said. "He makes our lineup a whole lot different. I've always said he's one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. He gets on base a lot and makes it better for the rest of us."

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.