Not a day has gone by this week at Progressive Field when the immediate future of Jurickson Profar wasn’t a topic during Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister’s daily pregame session with the media.
On Wednesday, ahead of the series finale against the Cleveland Indians, Banister said that the Rangers would likely need to find four games a week for Profar if they decide to keep him on the roster long term after Rougned Odor returns from a seven-game suspension.
A short-term bench role, though, likely wouldn’t be detrimental to Profar’s development as he continues to need to pile up at-bats and adjust his body to playing every day after missing the past two seasons.
.348 Jurickson Profar’s batting average (8 for 23) after his first five games this season
“In Jurickson’s case, I think the concern and need with him is the everyday process,” Banister said. “When you haven’t played every day for two years, getting the body back up to speed to play every day and continue to play every day, we need to make sure we monitor that.
“I don’t think we want Jurickson sitting on the bench for a long period of time. The best thing for him is to continue to play.”
Banister said that four games a week would allow Profar to stay sharp and for his body to continue to feel the grind of a baseball season. The Rangers don’t seem inclined to put him in the outfield or a third base, so it’s hard to imagine Profar getting four games a week between second base, shortstop and designated hitter.
But Profar has been a cog in the Rangers’ attack while Odor has been out. He has collected a hit in all five of his games this season, and on Tuesday homered, singled and scored twice as the Rangers won their fourth straight game.
Odor can return Saturday after serving the penalty for punching Jose Bautista on May 15.