Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Profar has been better, but here's why Odor will play

Rougned Odor or Jurickson Profar? The Rangers have made their selection, and it likely won't sit well with many fans.
Rougned Odor or Jurickson Profar? The Rangers have made their selection, and it likely won't sit well with many fans. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

One of the final text messages most of us who knew Richard Durrett received from him was a Happy Father's Day message, and, boy, did he love being a father.

One of things he enjoyed watching most each year was the final round of the U.S. Open.

Those two, Father's Day and the U.S. Open finale, converge every year. This year, they fell four years after Richard died at age 38.

From his unexpected passing came Do It For Durrett, which originally launched to support his family (they're doing very well, thanks for asking) and then morphed into a foundation that will hold its fifth event June 27.

The Do It For Durrett Foundation supports local families impacted buy the sudden loss of a mom or dad, and the event this month at Globe Life Park will push the foundation past $1 million in donations.

For those who are feeling charitable, donations can be made at doitfordurrett.com/shop, and VIP tickets (read: open bar) for Do It For Durrett Turns 5 are available at the same location.

On Sunday, Richard would have been keeping one eye on the U.S. Open while trying to keep the other on the Texas Rangers in their finale against the Colorado Rockies.

Here's some Rangers Reaction from a wild (and long) 13-12 victory.

1. If all things were equal, Jurickson Profar would be the Rangers' starting second baseman upon Elvis Andrus' return.

Profar has been a better player than Rougned Odor this season and probably would have been last season had the Rangers made a move as Odor waged a yearlong battle at the Mendoza Line.

But all things aren't equal, not with the Rangers sitting on a potential $49.5 million disaster. That's the guaranteed amount Odor will make over the life of his six-year contract, which has 4 1/2 more years of living to do.

He needs to play. In the majors. The Rangers need him to improve.

He has actually been playing better, albeit marginally.

Odor finished Sunday batting .217, but .263 with seven walks over his past 22 games. He's still stuck on one homer, hit last month, and his slugging percentage was .311 entering the day.

That's not good.

Profar, meanwhile, had been slugging at .520 over the 26 games before Sunday. Then, he hit a three-run homer in the sixth to give the Rangers a brief lead and collected an RBI double in the seventh to get the offense going again.

For those who value the RBI, as players do, Profar's 41 this season are third on the team.

He's experienced some hiccups on defense, but so has Odor.

If nothing else, manger Jeff Banister said that he can envision Profar playing five games a week at second, shortstop and third base, and the Rangers can know now that they don't need to go get shortstop if Elvis Andrus opts out of his contract and doesn't re-sign.

They also have a second baseman if Odor can't figure things out.

2. Yovani Gallardo will be in the Rangers' rotation until further notice.

That isn't the result of what he did Sunday in his first start for them this season, though he wasn't terrible, but the state of the rotation. Doug Fister was transferred to the 60-day disabled list with a right knee sprain that is going to take him into August.

Gallardo is going to pitch a lot like he did against the Rockies as he allowed five runs in five innings. The Rockies capitalized on his two walks and some soft contact, but Gallardo didn't let things go completely off the rails.

Gallardo will never be accused of being working too quickly, and he won't deviate from what he does well.

Hitters will see a lot of sinkers and curveballs, and they won't get many chances to hit the ball out of the park. Of course, D.J. LeMahieu started the game with a homer after Gallardo allowed one in his 10 starts for Triple A Round Rock.

"To start the game off with a homer that hits the foul pole is not a good way to begin," Gallardo said. "For me, it's having the opportunity to pitch at home and going out there and showing people that I can still do it. I've been feeling good. I've been feeling great."

The Rangers believe that Gallardo gives them a better chance at eating innings than rookie Ariel Jurado. With rookie Yohander Mendez also in the rotation, two rookies might end up placing even more of a burden on the bullpen.

The bullpen didn't have its finest day Sunday.

3. The bullpen had a massive hiccup in the seventh inning after Profar's big homer. It was from two of their stalwarts, and it nearly cost the Rangers the game.

Alex Claudio and Jose Leclerc allowed five runs and recorded only one out. Leclerc, who hadn't allowed the past 20 runners he had inherited to score, allowed two of Claudio's runners in and then three more of his own.

Jesse Chavez allowed two more runs in the ninth, but otherwise pitched well over 2 2/3 innings.

The bullpen has struggled the past eight games, allowing 19 earned runs, but had the league's sixth-best ERA entering Sunday.

Leclerc has been the key to it all, though having a the closer's role solidified with Keone Kela has helped. That allows the other six or seven relievers to know their role and have an idea of when they are going to pitch.

Leclerc and Kela might be the Rangers' two best candidates for the All-Star Game next month in Washington. Seriously. Cole Hamels will merit consideration based on his numbers but also his reputation.

With Shohei Ohtani injured and Shin-Soo Choo getting on base just about every game, perhaps he gets a look at a designated hitter. Third baseman Adrian Beltre is hitting .326, and it's possible he gets a lifetime achievement bid.

It's a pretty thin group of candidates, which shouldn't be unexpected.

The Rangers are in last place after all.

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