Jurickson Profar returned to the Rangers’ clubhouse two days after having all four wisdom teeth removed, though only long enough to hit in the cage and play catch.
Even though he’s taking pain-killers, he said he’s ready to resume activities and should be able to play in the field for the first time this spring next week.
“They told me three to five days, but I’m feeling good,” he said. “Hopefully tomorrow I can to everything.”
Manager Ron Washington, though, said the Rangers will take it slow with Profar, the projected Opening Day second baseman. The Rangers want to see how Profar’s mouth feels after he starts bouncing around a little more.
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“You can talk one way once you get out of that dentist’s chair,” Washington said. “But once the pressure starts building up from being heated up or getting your heart rate up, you don’t know what it’s going to do. We’re going to move him slow.”
The Rangers needed only two pitchers to cover eight Friday night against the Reds, Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross.
The relief duo impressed again as they work as starters this spring, and Ross provided four scoreless innings after picking up for Scheppers. They remain candidates for the two available rotation spots, though they seem destined for the bullpen.
They should soon know their 2014 roles. Ross, for one, isn’t sweating it. He knows he will be on that team, and that’s good enough for him even though he wants to be a major-league starting pitcher.
“I just feel like we’re all in here trying to work to get a spot, whether it be starter or in the bullpen,” Ross said. “I think we’re being graded not just for whether we’re doing well as a starter, but also how we’re doing just pitching.”
Manager Ron Washington said that the competition is still going, so he didn’t eliminate Ross, Scheppers or anyone else when given a chance Saturday.
“Right now, they’re getting work as starters,” Washington said. “The bullpen will take care of itself once we sort through the rotation.”
Third baseman Adrian Beltre was going to test his tight left quadriceps muscle by running. He took batting practice for a second straight day and could return today.
Right-hander Daniel Bard, recovering from surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, hopes to throw off a mound next week.
Center fielders Leonys Martin and Engel Beltre will spend the weekend leading off every inning of minor-league games in an effort to help them find their comfort zone at the plate. “We’ll get them a quick 20 [at-bats], and they should be fine,” Washington said.