Texas Rangers

Profar takes lead in left but DeShields, Rua will share duties

Jurickson Profar got the first shot in left field but Rangers manager Jeff Banister insists the position will be shared with Delino DeShields and Ryan Rua.

In fact, Banister said, DeShields or Rua will start there Tuesday against right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

Banister met with them together Sunday morning.

“We all deserve to be there. I worked very hard this off-season, they did the same,” said Profar, whose natural position is shortstop but is making his first Opening Day start in the outfield. “All three of us deserve to be playing [Monday], but I got the chance today and I’m going to make the most of it. If they got the start they would do the same.”

Profar is a switch hitter while Rua and DeShields bat right.

“I’ve got three guys we can roll out there and play left field at any given time,” Banister said. “They’re all going to get playing time.”

DeShields said he’ll be patient.

“We all could be in the lineup at any given time,” DeShields said. “We all bring a different skill set to the table. At this point, as an organization we want to win ball games, so as a manager he’s going to try to put the team in the best position to win as many games as we can. We all understand that. We all push for each other. We all want to see each other do great things when we get plugged in there.”

Rua was the Opening Day left-fielder in 2015 but was injured the first week of the season. DeShields started in center field on Opening Day a year ago, but he struggled and was eventually demoted to Triple A Round Rock.

“We’re a family at the end of the day,” DeShields said. “I support my team. I’m not starting but you never know, I could come in later in the game and help the team get a W.”

Profar concurred.

“We are a family. It’s good when teammates are doing good. We’re all here to win the World Series,” he said.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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