Don’t look now, but make it two days in a row for the Rangers and good news.
In the wake of getting a solid, veteran No. 3 starter in Yovani Gallardo without giving up a Top 5 prospect, the team today expects Jurickson Profar to finally again throw a baseball. Small, yet significant steps.
A year ago in mid-January Profar was the Rangers’ second baseman of the present and future and one of baseball’s hottest prospects. But when he arrived in Surprise, Arizona for Spring Training the shoulder he injured during winter ball was still sore. And it only got worse.
He tried rest. Weight-lifting. Light throwing. More rest. But, alas, the pain was so intense he couldn’t even play in a single game. The culprit was a torn muscle in his right shoulder. The Rangers pondered surgery, but instead decided on instead sitting out the entire 2014 season.
In Profar’s absence the Rangers found a player in Rookie of the Year Rougned Odor. But no doubt they need Profar to be the dazzling player they’ve been counting on for years. He showed flashes of brilliance at the plate and in the field at the end of 2013, though hitting only .234 in 85 games.
This week Profar will begin light throwing with the pitchers in Arlington. He’ll likely work his way into Spring Training and perhaps even start the season at Triple-A Round Rock.
Pitchers and catchers report to Surprise one month from today. And, if they hope to avoid another 95-loss season, at some point early in the season Gallardo needs to be on the mound, back by Profar at second base.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.