Rangers notes: Jurickson Profar helping keep team fresh down the stretch

Posted Monday, Aug. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Ron Washington felt he might have run his everyday players into the ground last season, leading to the Texas Rangers’ collapse down the stretch.

This year, he feels his team is fresher and part of the reason is the emergence of rookie Jurickson Profar. He started for the 10th time in the last 11 games Monday afternoon, starting at second base for the second time in that stretch. He has started three games at short, three at DH and two at third.

“It certainly looks like it’s helping because we look fresher going down the stretch,” Washington said. “When we kept him, we kept him because he gained credibility in that clubhouse and we felt he could help us win ballgames.”

Profar’s offensive numbers might not be too impressive, but he has held his own at the plate and made several nice defensive plays at the various infield positions.

“That’s a tough job and he’s doing it well,” Washington said.

The Rangers have been able to get Profar regular playing time because they can rotate through the designated hitter spot, although that might not be an option whenever Lance Berkman is ready to come off the disabled list.

“We’ll deal with that when Berkman gets back,” Washington said. “I’m not going to predetermine what’s going to happen.”

Rosales reclaimed

Adam Rosales is back with the organization after the team claimed him off waivers Monday for the second time in 10 days from the Athletics. The 30-year-old infielder has been on the waiver wire four times this month, almost comically going back-and-forth between the A’s and Rangers.

He was with the Rangers for their three-game series against the A’s from Aug. 2-4, but didn’t play and was designated for assignment Aug. 5. That’s the day Nelson Cruz accepted a 50-game suspension for his ties to the Biogenesis of America scandal, and the Rangers felt they had to fill the void by recalling Engel Beltre and purchasing the contract of Joey Butler.

But a few days later, they acquired Alex Rios from the White Sox, which made an extra utility infielder such as Rosales make more sense than the additional outfielder. The Rangers also don’t have a clear-cut utility infielder to call up in September after sending Leury Garcia to the White Sox in the Rios trade.

“Adam is a quality big league infielder,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “We’ve always liked the way he goes about the game, and the energy he brings. As our circumstances have changed over the past week or so, it changed our ability to carry him. We’re glad to get a second chance at it.”

Rosales, 30, is expected to join the team Tuesday in Arlington when a corresponding move will be made. Beltre is the likely candidate to be sent down.

Injury updates

Lance Berkman took Monday off after playing Saturday and Sunday at Triple A Round Rock. He will continue his medical rehabilitation assignment Tuesday and Wednesday at Double A Frisco, and could be ready to return Friday.

Berkman, 37, spent a month on the DL with left hip inflammation.

Neftali Feliz, rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery at Round Rock, tried to warm up Sunday but couldn’t get loose enough to go into the game. He is listed as day-to-day with mild triceps tendinitis, which the team does not consider serious.

Platoon at first?

Jeff Baker made his second consecutive start at first base Monday with the Astros starting another left-hander. Ron Washington didn’t directly say first base has become a platoon position between Baker and Mitch Moreland, but that’s the best spot for Baker to get at-bats against a lefty.

Baker hasn’t had as much success since coming off the disabled list (sprained right thumb) July 19, but had a hit Sunday. He believes his timing is close to returning, though.

“When you’re out for that long, you can’t replicate game situations and game at-bats,” Baker said. “I’m 100 percent healthy. It’s just a matter of getting my timing back and going out there and competing.”

Briefly

• Ron Washington will be honored before today’s game for becoming the franchise’s winningest manager. Washington won his 582nd game last week, breaking the record set by Bobby Valentine.

• Alexi Ogando hasn’t pitched more than five innings in four starts since coming off the disabled list, but Washington isn’t panicking over it. “I’m just watching Ogando pitch and get better,” he said. “As far as going deep in games, that’ll happen when it happens.”

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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