The Texas Rangers are on somewhat of a hot streak, having won seven of their last nine games, including an 8-5 win over the New York Yankees in the Big Apple on Wednesday night. That contest marked the first time Engel Beltre played in a major-league game and he’ll play a lot more on Thursday in the final contest of a three-game series against the Yankees. He’ll also be playing alongside another youngster in Jurickson Profar, who will get the start at third base.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about Profar playing in the outfield so the Rangers can get his bat in the lineup without removing the likes of Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and/or Adrian Beltre. Rangers manager Ron Washington says that will eventually happen, but Profar is “not ready” for that yet. So on Thursday, the elder Beltre will be the designated hitter, batting in his usual No. 4 slot.
The younger Beltre is the real story in the final game against the Yankees in this series as he’ll start in center field with Craig Gentry on the 15-day disabled list with a broken foot in his bone and Leonys Martin getting a rest in the midst of the hottest hitting streak of his career. Indeed, the Rangers have figured out that Martin is their best option in center and he’ll be the full-time starter from now on, so with Gentry out, Beltre will get the chance to show what he can do as he still awaits his first major-league at-bat.
The Rangers are still in a tough situation with Profar, but he’s the best backup infielder in MLB, although he’s going to be much more than that very soon, whether it’s in Texas or somewhere else. Meanwhile, the younger Beltre may give the Rangers another trade option if he plays well in his chance against the Bronx Bombers. After all the questions the Rangers faced in the offseason, a lot more are about to be asked, especially if Beltre plays well on Thursday.