ARLINGTON, Texas — A Texas Rangers offense that is in need of a spark may have gotten it on Saturday.
The Rangers activated second baseman Ian Kinsler from the disabled list. Kinsler is leading off for the Rangers today and playing second base.
To clear room for Kinsler, the Rangers optioned Leury Garcia to Triple A Round Rock, which means the club is keeping Jurickson Profar with them. The plan is for Profar to play some second base, shortstop and third. He’ll also working with coach Gary Pettis in the outfield.
The original plan was for Kinsler to play three rehab games but he was ready to go after two. Kinsler went on the disabled list May 19 with a right intercostal strain. He was later diagnosed with a stress reaction in the rib area.
Kinsler went 0 for 8 with a walk in his two games with Double A Frisco and felt like he was ready to go and let the team know that after Frisco’s game Friday night.
“I’m healthy and that’s all that matters,” said Kinsler, who was hitting .302 with seven home runs and 20 RBI before he got hurt. “I’m ready to play and contribute to the team today. You sit out for a month you want to see some pitches and get some at-bats and get your brain working a little bit in the box, that’s really it. The nine at-bats I think I had are enough and I’m ready to go.”
Kinsler said it was tough to watch the Rangers struggle without him. Texas has scored just 36 runs this month and is 4-9 in June.
The Rangers felt like Garcia needed to be playing every day, which led to the decision to send him to Round Rock.
Texas manager Ron Washington has also been pleased with the way Profar has handled himself.
“He’s garnered a lot of credibility in that clubhouse,” Washington said. “He showed that he can play. He’s one of our best 25. Leury needed to play. The fact that he sat around up here and you saw his game went a little bit backwards, we knew we would eventually have to deal with that. Now he gets an opportunity to go play every day and continue to get better.”
Washington said Profar would see more playing time than Garcia did, and some of that playing time could eventually come in the outfield. He hasn’t played in the outfield since he was in Little League and the only action he’s seen there this year was shagging balls in January.
How long it takes for Profar to adapt to playing a corner outfield spot remains to be seen. General manager Jon Daniels is confident he can handle that job if the need arises.
“Is he going to be a Gold Glover right away? Probably not,” Daniels said. “I think he’s an athletic person, a smart person and I like his chances of being solid out there.”