Jurickson Profar’s future in air as Ian Kinsler nears return

Posted Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Ian Kinsler will continue his recovery from a ribcage injury at Double A Frisco after being cleared Wednesday to begin a medical rehabilitation assignment Thursday.

Assuming all goes well, he could be back at second base as soon as Sunday afternoon, at which point the Texas Rangers will need to create a spot on the 25-man roster for him.

The easiest thing to do would be to option Jurickson Profar back to Triple A Round Rock. After all, he was the player who replaced Kinsler on the roster May 19.

But it might not be that easy. The Rangers are going to see if there’s a way to find Profar enough at-bats each week to keep from stunting his development.

To do so could mean sitting Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and designated hitter Lance Berkman once a week and third baseman Adrian Beltre once every couple weeks. A possible Nelson Cruz suspension could also impact the decision.

“How can Profar be here if Kinsler is back and Elvis is here? That’s a question I can’t answer,” manager Ron Washington said. “It’s not a decision we’ve made yet. It’s a decision we’re going to make. If you guys got any suggestions, please write them down so I can have them. I’ve got two All-Stars up the middle.”

Kinsler went through the full pregame warmup working with the rest of his teammates, including batting practice, and was examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister, who cleared Kinsler for game action.

He will be Frisco’s designated hitter Thursday and will play second base Friday and Saturday before the Rangers consider reinstating him from the 15-day disabled list.

Profar was in the starting lineup for the finale against Cleveland, though at shortstop as Andrus had a day’s rest. Asked if Profar could fill the utility role, Andrus deferred to management but said a true utility role would do Profar no good.

“He has too much talent to sit around and play once a week,” Andrus said. “I think the best thing for him right now is to keep playing and keep getting better in every part of his game. We’ll see what happens when [Kinsler] gets back.”

No results for Darvish

Yu Darvish will try to snap a four-start winless streak Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series against Toronto, but it’s not like the right-hander has been pitching poorly since his last win May 16.

He has a 2.28 ERA and has allowed 20 hits in his past 27 2/3 innings. Included in the stretch are 32 strikeouts and eight walks, but the Rangers are 1-3 in those games.

“It hasn’t really affected me,” Darvish said. “I think I’m doing my job. Wins and losses you can’t really control. I try to go deep in games and try to give the team a chance to win.”

The big problem has been run support. The Rangers have scored only eight runs in Darvish’s past four starts, and four of those came May 28 at Arizona. The Rangers were shut out 1-0 by Oakland on May 21 to start the stretch.

“I thought he’s thrown the ball well enough to win all of those ballgames,” Ron Washington said. “All a pitcher can do is keep you in the ballgame. He can’t control how many runs are scored for him.”

Briefly

• Third-round pick David Ledbetter, from Centerville University in Ohio, signed with the Rangers, who now have their first 10 picks under contract. They have also signed their 19th-rounder, Ledbetter’s twin brother, Ryan, who is also a right-hander.

• The Rangers used their 27th-round pick on Sherman Lacrus, a catcher from Western Oklahoma State. Lacrus is a native of Curacao and was a teammate of Jurickson Profar’s on the country’s Little League World Series team in 2005. “He was an outfielder then,” Profar recalled. “He’s good. He has some power.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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