Jurickson Profar didn’t want to miss another season of baseball. That’s why he declined surgery last season to repair his ailing throwing shoulder.
And his return to the Texas Rangers’ lineup will be sooner than later if he can help it.
Although Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said last week that Profar would most likely start 2015 in the minors to give him extra time to recover from the injury, Profar is not ruling out earning a roster spot at the end of March.
“We will see where I’m at in January, when I start throwing and doing all my stuff, and see when I’m ready to play,” Profar said after the team’s media luncheon at Bob’s Steak and Chop House at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. “I’m feeling better than I’ve been feeling before. No pain and I’m feeling stronger. I’ve done a lot of things, a lot of training.”
Profar begins a throwing program in January. He has added considerable bulk to his upper body, especially his right shoulder, courtesy of a weight-lifting regimen twice a week at Globe Life Park.
Profar said he declined surgery out of fear of missing another season and that he’s “very confident” his choice was the right one.
“For me, not even close,” he said. “It has been very hard missing a year. I’m confident in myself, and it’s just when I’m ready I’m going.”
DeShields has ‘edge’
Delino DeShields Jr. has something to prove. It’s a trait manager Jeff Banister loves to see because it reminds him of himself.
“I was that guy,” Banister said. “I didn’t reach the level of what these guys have, but I know when you have something to prove and have that burning desire inside of you, you’re going to be the guy that pushes yourself. You don’t typically need a lot of other people pushing you along.”
Banister said the one lingering question about DeShields, whether his work ethic lagged behind his talent, was dismissed by people he talked to in the Astros organization. The Rangers selected DeShields last week in the Rule 5 draft from Houston, where he played the first five years of his career in the minors.
“I’ve done some homework on him and talked to some coaches in the Astros organization that really dispelled a lot of that for me,” Banister said. “Every one of them had a glowing report. Actually, they talked about how he’s probably harder on himself than anybody else is.”
DeShields is following in the path of his father, who played in the big leagues from 1990 to 2002. It’s a daunting path, Banister said, that has tripped up many players.
“That’s tough sledding,” he said. “There’s a lot of guys who have tried that who got chewed up. He knows his place. He wants to walk in his own shoes.”
Banister was impressed with how quickly DeShields made it to Arlington after playing in Puerto Rico and learning he was joining the Rangers.
DeShields’ speed will not only help on the base paths, but also defensively, Banister said.
“I do like guys who can run and can set the table, can create offense when you’re not banging the ball out of the ballpark,” he said. “But also usable speed defensively where you can create a lock-down defense type of situation late in the game in the outfield.
“[It’s a luxury] in today’s game, with all the shifts and all the data you have as far as where to play guys.”
▪ Daniels said the club has no interest in former outfielder Josh Hamilton. Reports have the Angels trying to trade Hamilton.
▪ Left-hander Matt Harrison earned the 2014 Harold McKinney Good Guy Award from voters in the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
▪ Banister said he hopes to bring friends from coaching into spring training to give him an extra set of eyes on evaluating his roster.
▪ The Rangers signed right-hander Mitch Atkins to a minor league deal. He’ll be in minor league camp this spring. He was 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in the Braves’ organization in 2014.
▪ The Rangers collected 6,965 toys and 50 bicycles during their Cowboy Santas Toy Drive, which ended Tuesday at Globe Life Park. The program provides toys to low-income Tarrant County families.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760