Would-be starter Wally Pipp, er, Jurickson Profar, wants to make a statement to the Texas Rangers that he is their everyday second baseman. Sitting out for a week trying to rehab a nagging shoulder injury is not the statement he had in mind. The team says that Profar will not throw or swing a bat during that time. Meanwhile, Rougned Odor, playing the part of Lou Gehrig in this burgeoning drama, continues to work out at full speed.
A few years ago, Profar was considered by many to be the organization’s top prospect and a guy who could challenge either Ian Kinsler or Elvis Andrus for a middle-infield spot on the big club. The team was initially hesitant to bring up Profar in a utility role, preferring that he play every day in Frisco or Round Rock and continue to develop. But he did have an extended major league audition (85 games) last season. Profar responded with a very mediocre .234/.308/.644. Then, Kinsler went to the Detroit Tigers in the Prince Fielder trade and Profar was handed his chance.
There were already whispers that Profar was a quadruple-A player (a guy who tears up AAA and the minor leagues but is over-matched in the major leagues). The fact that he injured his shoulder while lifting weights, suggesting that the shoulder was already hurt to begin with after little more than a half-season, added fuel to the fire.
Odor is inexperienced, but the 21-year-old Profar, who has yet to play a full major league season, is not exactly a wily veteran himself. General manager Jon Daniels took the “abundance-of-caution” line in taking Profar out of workouts. Why not take it a step further, start Profar on the disabled list and see what Odor can do? Can he be any worse than Profar?