All is well in Rougned Odor’s world.
The Texas Rangers’ struggling second baseman insisted he’s not frustrated, or pressing, despite going into Tuesday’s game batting just .113 since coming off the disabled list on April 26.
“I’ve been feeling great. My mind is clear,” Odor said before the Rangers opened a three-game series at Kansas City.
“I’ve been feeling good. I’ve been swinging at good pitches. I’m just missing my pitch. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I know I’m really close to start hitting like how I hit.”
Early indications were promising on Tuesday night when Odor started the third inning with a double to right-center field, and scored on a double by Logan Forsythe. He had another double in the sixth inning for his first game with multiple extra-base hits on the season, and drew a two-out walk in the eighth.
Unfortunately, the Rangers dug themselves an early 9-0 deficit on the way to an 11-5 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Rangers have now lost five straight.
Texas right-hander Shelby Miller took the loss, surrendering eight runs and failing to make it out of the second inning.
But the silver lining is Odor finding his swing early on. He and the Rangers hope it’s a sign that better days are ahead.
If not, manager Chris Woodward acknowledged alternatives such as a demotion to Triple A Nashville would have to considered more heavily.
“At some point, if there is no results, you do have to make decisions. Tough ones,” Woodward said. “We’re not at that point just yet, but it’s something we talk about, think about.”
For now, Woodward and the Rangers coaching staff are doing the best they can to support Odor through his latest slump.
They’ve talked with Odor about having more success against fastballs. They’ve broached the topic of Odor possibly going to a lighter bat.
Odor doesn’t seem ready to make any drastic changes, though, believing it’s just a matter of time before he gets back on track.
Odor had consecutive days off with Woodward keeping him out of Sunday’s lineup, coupled with Monday’s off day. Did Odor feel like he needed it?
“No, not really,” said Odor, who is signed through the 2022 season (making $34 million the next three seasons 2020-22).
“My mind is clear. That’s how I am. I like to play every day.”
Tuesday’s results suggested the “rest” may have helped.
This is a guy who entered batting just .137 with a .212 on-base percentage. Since coming off the DL late last month, he has 29 strikeouts and four walks. His numbers on this road trip aren’t inspiring, either, batting .118 (2 for 17).
But he returned to the lineup on Tuesday night, batting seventh and delivering with a pair of doubles.
“Hitting is really hard,” Woodward said. “I want to see results, clearly, but all I can do right now is support him. We all have to support him and just keep putting our arms around him and saying, ‘Keep fighting.’
“It’s a really tough thing he’s going through. You look at his average and his numbers, he hates it. It’s everywhere. You can’t avoid it. At some point, I don’t know what the future holds, we’ll cross that bridge when we feel like we have to, but right now we’ve just got to support him through it.”
As far as Odor is concerned, his struggles aren’t alarming at this point. He’s determined to work his way through it, heading to the batting cage after doing early fielding drills on Tuesday.
“I’m not frustrated. I try to stay positive,” Odor said. “I think when you get frustrated, everything gets worse. I’m just trying to stay positive, don’t think about it, and just play the game.”
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus exited Tuesday’s game in the seventh inning with tightness in his right hamstring. Andrus pulled up running to first on a groundout. He’ll be evaluated further on Wednesday.