SURPRISE, Ariz. — This time, it was easy.Jurickson Profar made a difficult decision earlier this spring to forgo joining the Netherlands for the first two rounds of the World Baseball Classic and stay in big-league camp with the Texas Rangers. But with the Netherlands in the championship round and a spot available because of an injury, Profar jumped at the chance to the join the Dutch.Profar spent Thursday morning at the Rangers’ spring training complex and then headed to nearby Peoria for an exhibition game between the Netherlands and the Padres.“It’s a great opportunity to play with my friends and it’s great,” said Profar, who is from the Dutch territory Curacao.Profar will play second base for the Dutch, whose shortstop is the Braves’ Andrelton Simmons.Profar, regarded as the game’s top prospect, leaves camp without knowing his role for the 2013 season. Most signs point to him starting the season at Triple A Round Rock, where the 20-year-old would play every day as opposed to being a bench piece for the Rangers.Manager Ron Washington said the Rangers haven’t made a decision, but that Profar has shown them enough this spring. Going into Thursday’s game, Profar was batting .222 with two extra-base hits, five RBIs and seven walks in a team-high 36 plate appearances.Profar admitted he would have liked to have better offensive results, but felt he has made good contact with the bat. Profar doesn’t know what decision the team will make yet, but said he would be “good” with whatever one they decide.“Our decision is going to be what’s best for him and what’s best for the organization,” Washington said. “We haven’t come to that conclusion yet. He hasn’t been X’d out, he hasn’t been X’d in.”Lowe readyDerek Lowe will make his spring debut today against the Giants, as the 39-year-old right-hander is scheduled to throw two innings and 35 pitches.Lowe, who signed a minor-league deal on March 6, is competing for a bullpen spot and has felt good throwing bullpen sessions and live batting practice. But he knows he doesn’t have the luxury of easing into it after signing halfway through camp.“It’s a little tough because you’ve got to go out and make the team,” Lowe said. “I’ve got a chance to earn a spot and that’s the exciting part. It’s like when you were a rookie and you had to earn a spot or another time out.”Lowe has spent the majority of his 16-year career in a starting role, but finished last season in a relief role with the Yankees. He had a 3.04 ERA over 17 outings.More bullpen mattersRon Washington would like to see players begin to step up, particularly his right-handed relief candidates.Tanner Scheppers, Evan Meek and Josh Lindblom have all gotten off to slow starts this spring. Scheppers has allowed four runs on seven hits over three innings; Meek has given up 10 runs (nine earned) on 12 hits over 6 2/3 innings; and Lindblom has a 7.11 ERA over six appearances.“I’d like to see them step up, and they’re going to get some opportunities,” Washington said.Washington, however, reiterated that he is open to the idea of carrying more left-handers in the bullpen if those are the most deserving players, but he won’t carry lefty specialists.Briefly• Ron Washington said Lance Berkman would “soon” be playing first base this spring. The Rangers have no intentions of using Berkman in the outfield, though. “He’ll see the outfield grass when he walks around it,” Washington said.• Relievers Joe Nathan and Evan Meek each threw scoreless innings in a minor-league game Thursday. Jason Frasor struggled, though, lasting only two-thirds of an inning. He allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits including a homer with two walks over a 27-pitch outing.• Nick Tepesch and Robbie Ross are the scheduled Saturday-Sunday starters for the Rangers’ split-squad weekend trip to Las Vegas to face the Cubs. Matt Harrison and Justin Grimm will start the games in Arizona.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison