Gil LeBreton

Odor will sit a week, but Rangers are prepared

Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor saw his suspension reduced to seven games and will begin serving it immediately.
Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor saw his suspension reduced to seven games and will begin serving it immediately. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

Call me stupid, but I’m having a hard time imagining what the appeal hearing for Rougned Odor must have gone like.

Maybe something like this?

MLB Guy: You have been suspended for eight games for punching Jose Bautista and inciting a Facebook war between two countries. How do you plead?

Rougned: Not guilty, your honor.

MLB Guy: You don’t have to call me "your honor." I’m not a real judge.

Rougned: Good. Does that mean my suspension is thrown out?

MLB Guy: No, you’re thinking of Judge Judy. How can you plead not guilty? Your punch was shown on every TV show but Steve Harvey.

Rougned: Why didn’t he show it?

MLB Guy: Well, he thought he did, but instead he accidentally showed the one from Blazing Saddles where Mongo knocks out the horse.

Rougned: I like that scene.

MLB Guy: Me, too. I’ll shorten your suspension to seven games.

In truth, this is how all MLB hearings go, isn’t it?

The player appeals, the player and the MLB rep watch a five-minute slow-motion video of the play set to John Fogerty singing Centerfield, and as a parting gift the MLB dude takes a game or two off the suspension.

In any case, the Texas Rangers were prepared for Odor’s final verdict. The roster already included two second-base options, Hanser Alberto and Ryan Rua, but it’s as good a time as any to bring Jurickson Profar up for a look-see.

And frankly, Odor appears that he could use the rest. Odor was hitting .309 on May 10; his current average is .262.

And though he’s been batting in the lead-off position, his last base on balls came on April 29. He has amassed five for the season.

Profar, on the other hand, has walked 16 times for Triple-A Round Rock, so there’s that. He was batting .284 with a .782 OPS, but of more important note to the Rangers, Profar has remained healthy.

Manager Jeff Banister said that the Rangers are looking at ways to fill in for Rougned Odor after he is suspended (video by Jeff Wilson).

In a Rangers season that’s only been a bit of a tease so far, the subliminal message in the Rougned Odor suspension is that this team has been built to absorb it. Instead of crippling the Rangers, injuries have opened the door to intriguing options.

Nearly two months of the season have been played, and manager Jeff Banister has been able to write the names of Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Chirinos on the same lineup card only four times. Choo and rookie Nomar Mazara have played together only 2 ½ innings.

Yet, here the Mongo-proof Rangers are with a 27-20 record, with Yu Darvish scheduled to return Saturday night.

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