The injury bug has reared its ugly head in a big way over the last two days in Surprise, Ariz.
On Sunday afternoon it was announced that starting second baseman Jurickson Profar would miss 8-12 weeks after tearing a muscle in his shoulder for which surgery would not be required. On Monday morning, it was announced that starting catcher Geovany Soto would miss 10-12 weeks while requiring surgery to repair torn meniscus in his knee.
Not a good 24 hours for the Rangers, but it could have been a whole lot worse.
Of all the spots in the Rangers starting lineup, the injury bug picked probably the best-case scenario if given a choice of any two players to go after.
Catcher is a bit hairy only because of the chemistry with the pitchers and the ability to call a game, but the Rangers seem comfortable enough with Robinson Chirinos and J.P. Arencibia to make something out of it. Second base is probably the best place to lose a guy in this lineup. The two were slated to hit seventh and eighth in the Rangers lineup, respectively, as Leonys Martin's speed will probably still stay in the 9-hole to help transition to the top of the order.
There are plenty of veteran second basemen out there on the street to replace Profar for the short term. What the club doesn't need to do is overreact and go trade for someone to replace Profar for a few months.
Don't read this wrong. The Rangers will be hurt by Profar's absence, but at 20 years old, it's not likely the club was expecting a huge offensive season from him. Those veterans on the street, they know how to play defense at second base. That's the main concern here. An offensive downgrade is expected, as well, but it wouldn't be much of one if the Rangers go sign the right guy.
Lose someone like Adrian Beltre, Prince Fielder or Alex Rios? Then you're really in trouble.
The biggest downfall of all of this is that Profar's development will further be delayed after he spent the 2013 season as a utility man and was set to finally be a big-league regular with a concrete role. Now, that's delayed a few months, which means this season is basically a lost one for the former No. 1 prospect in baseball.