Jurickson Profar plays first major-league game at third base

Posted Sunday, Jun. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Based on Sunday’s lineup, manager Ron Washington wasn’t just saying what people wanted to hear when he said that Jurickson Profar is going to play and Texas Rangers veterans are going to rest.

Washington gave Lance Berkman a day off in the finale against Toronto and spelled Adrian Beltre with a day at designated hitter. To fill in for Beltre in the field, Profar was given his first career game at third.

Second baseman Ian Kinsler took over the third spot in the order for Berkman, and Profar was in the leadoff spot.

Their spots in the order were nothing new, but it was a new look for a lineup that has struggled all month. And it was the first piece of solid evidence that Profar is going to play more than the usual utility man gets, and in a variety of positions.

“As long as it’s baseball, I’ll play anywhere,” said Profar, who worked before the game at third with infield coach Dave Anderson. “There’s no challenge. Catch the ball and throw the ball.”

Washington said that Profar, who started at third base once last year at Double A Frisco, should have no problem when he plays third because it’s a “catch-and-throw position.”

“He can handle that,” Washington said.

Profar doesn’t even feel that the outfield will be much of an issue, even though he hasn’t played there since Little League. He said that he will begin working with outfield coach Gary Pettis on Monday during batting practice, and would prefer left field or center field over right field.

But the only position he said that he has no interest in playing is pitcher, even though that was seen as his strength by many organizations when he signed with the Rangers as a 16-year-old.

“He’s a baseball player,” Washington said. “He understands that his position up here right now is in a utility role. As I talked with him, it means there’s a lot more work you have to do than normal. He’s all for it.”

Moreland going out

Mitch Moreland will begin a medical rehabilitation assignment Monday night with Double A Frisco after team physician Dr. Keith Meister said that the first baseman’s strained right hamstring is good to go.

Moreland is expected to play three games with Frisco and is eligible to be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Friday for the start of a three-game series at St. Louis.

He said that he hasn’t felt any discomfort since the day he was injured, June 5 at Fenway Park, while legging out a double. He ran the bases Saturday for the first time since hitting the DL.

“Against Boston, second game, running to second,” he said. “I feel great. The running went well.”

Shot for Baker

Utility man Jeff Baker received a cortisone injection in his sprained right thumb Saturday, and the Rangers hope to have him available for their road trip to St. Louis and New York.

“We’re not going to DL him,” Ron Washington said. “He should be ready by at least Friday.”

Baker was injured Thursday when an “overexcited” teammate gave him a pregame high-five that bent his thumb back toward his wrist. He had started to see improvement Saturday.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

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