Jurickson Profar not fazed by first start at first base
That didn’t take long.
Jurickson Profar started at first base for the Rangers on Tuesday night after just two days of early work at the position. One of those days included Tuesday afternoon when he took throws in the dirt from a pitching machine in the shortstop position.
Mitch Moreland was not in the starting lineup for the second consecutive game. Moreland replaced Prince Fielder at first in the seventh inning Monday night for defensive purposes. Fielder was back as the designated hitter Tuesday night.
Part of my job is making decisions and when the time is appropriate and when it’s right if there is a need to make different lineup adjustments.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
“It’s an opportunity to help the team. I’m ready for it,” Profar said. “I love it. It gives me confidence that they believe in me.”
Manager Jeff Banister said the move is not a long-term solution. Moreland, he said, is likely to be back playing first base against Astros right-hander Doug Fister Wednesday night. Banister suggested that Profar would get a game off soon.
17 Hits for Jurickson Profar through his first 10 games with the Rangers entering Tuesday. Profar extended his hitting streak to 11 with a single in the third inning on Tuesday.
He’s started 11 consecutive games, including Tuesday. That’s the most consecutive games he’s played at any level since returning this spring from missing all of 2014 and 2015 with shoulder injuries.
It’s an opportunity to help the team. I’m ready for it. I love it. It gives me confidence that they believe in me.
Jurickson Profar on playing first base
“I’m ultra sensitive to the two-years down,” Banister said. “There’s challenging decisions to make every single night. The challenging part of it is we’ve got a good ballclub. We have some guys who are performing very well. We have some guys we know who are going to get on track and perform. So the only way you can get on track and perform is to do what? Play.”
Right-hander A.J. Griffin is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Thursday for Double A Frisco in San Antonio. Griffin is scheduled to throw 45 to 50 pitches. It will be his first game since going on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness May 8.
Griffin expects to make at least three rehab starts, maybe four. If so, he’d be available to return between June 23-27.
Griffin missed most of the past two seasons after Tommy John surgery. He is 3-0 through his first six starts for the Rangers, the last coming May 7 when he left after 2 2/3 innings with the shoulder issue. Griffin missed some starts in August 2012 with Oakland but says there’s few similarities.
“Build up the pitch count and go out there and compete,” he said. “Each time is a little different. I’m just looking forward to getting back out there and being part of the team.”
Infielder Andy Ibanez was promoted from Low A Hickory to Double A Frisco. The Cuban native was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Rangers in July. He was hitting .324 with seven homers, 18 doubles and 35 RBIs for Hickory.