Jurickson Profar is not going anywhere for the time being.
The infielder who filled in at second base while Rougned Odor served his seven-game suspension remained in the Rangers’ lineup Saturday night as the designated hitter in the leadoff spot.
Odor was reinstated before Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners and played second base.
Profar, the former top prospect in the Rangers’ organization who missed almost two full seasons with shoulder injuries, has been lighting it up at the plate since coming up from Triple A Round Rock. He entered Saturday hitting .364 with two homers, a double, a triple and nine runs scored in seven games.
The Rangers gave Prince Fielder the night off to keep Profar in the lineup. Fielder, who has struggled the first two months of the season, is likely to get a couple of games off to help him “unplug,” as manager Jeff Banister called it.
“We’re going to find opportunities for Profar to play while he’s here,” Banister said. “Now is that on an everyday basis? I’m not willing to go into that just yet. We’re talking about a guy who hasn’t played for two years.”
The club didn’t need to send Profar down Saturday because they were playing a man short during Odor’s suspension.
Catcher Robinson Chirinos is expected to come off the disabled list June 9 and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo expects to return from the DL on June 13, so more moves will be in order.
The Rangers recalled right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen from Triple A Round Rock and optioned utility infielder Hanser Alberto.
“It gave me an opportunity to just kind of remember how to pitch and how good I am, get after some things and pitch in lower-leverage situations,” said Wilhelmsen, who allowed one earned run in eight innings at Round Rock.
Alberto could use the frequent at-bats he’s not getting in the big leagues. Plus, with Profar here, the need for an extra infielder is unnecessary.
A.J. Griffin, who has been on the DL with shoulder soreness since May 8, threw his first live bullpen session before Saturday’s game. He threw three innings (47 pitches).
The right-hander will throw another bullpen Monday, and if he’s feeling good he expects to begin a rehab assignment Thursday.
Griffin said his shoulder feels good, and he’s been throwing off a mound for the past week.
Tepesch opts out
Nick Tepesch requested and was granted his unconditional release from the franchise. Tepesch has spent the season with Triple A Round Rock.