Jurickson Profar returned to the diamond last week for the first time since shoulder surgery kept him out of the Texas Rangers’ lineup for a second consecutive season.
He went 2 for 7 in his first two games as the designated hitter for Low A Hickory.
“I felt good,” Profar told Mark Parker of the Hickory Daily Record. “It’s been awhile, but it felt the same. The first couple of ABs my timing was a little bit off, but by the third AB I got it. So it felt good to be back playing and doing what I love.”
Profar has progressed so well that the Rangers aren’t ruling out the possibility of using him in September if he continues to rebuild his timing at the plate.
“We are going to get him some at-bats on this rehab assignment and go from there,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “For the fall/winter, we are looking at other opportunities for him to make up some playing time.”
The infielder won’t be used defensively this fall until his shoulder has had more time to heal. He’s been on a throwing program and Profar, 22, said it’s going well.
“I just believe in myself, and when I’m ready it’s going to be the same or even better,” he said. “It wasn’t that hard because every day I go with a positive mind; every day is a day closer to playing.”
He’s getting a chance to play with his younger brother, Juremi, which is its own kind of reward.
“I remember the old days when we used to play in the backyard, and now we’re playing pro ball together,” Profar said.
Profar had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder in late February after missing the entire 2014 season with a torn teres major muscle in the same shoulder. He last played in a regular season game for the Rangers on Sept. 27, 2013.
“It’s been two years out of baseball, and I’ll come here and just play,” he said. “Now everything is going to be good. I’m just having fun playing day-to-day.”
Nomar Mazara continues to impress with Triple A Round Rock. The 20-year-old outfielder collected his sixth multi-hit game since being promoted from Double A Frisco.
Included in his 3-for-4 performance Friday night was his first Triple A homer. He’s hitting .364 with eight RBIs in 11 games at Round Rock.
He also has three outfield assists, including throwing out a runner at third from right field Friday. He hasn’t made an error in 18 chances at Triple A after committing eight in 201 chances for Frisco this season.
Ringing the Bell
Frisco left-hander Chad Bell held San Antonio to three hits and a walk in eight scoreless innings Friday.
It was his longest outing of the season and his longest since going 7 1/3 on May 27. He’s allowed just five earned runs in his last 26 innings — with 17 strikeouts and seven walks.
▪ Rangers OF/1B Kyle Blanks was 0 for 3 with a walk Friday as the designated hitter for Round Rock. It’s his first rehab game since missing much of the season with Achilles issues.
▪ Frisco RHP Adam Parks was placed on the seven-day disabled list.
▪ RHP Chad Smith signed a minor-league free-agent contract and was assigned to Frisco.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760