The Texas Rangers were supposed to have found a solution for their surplus of middle infielders last offseason when they dealt longtime second baseman Ian Kinsler to Detroit for slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.
That was to open the door for super prospect Jurickson Profar. Instead, Profar was hurt in the spring and never played a game for the Rangers. In the meantime, 20-year-old Rougned Odor was rushed to the big leagues and has more than held his own given his age and his situation.
Add in guys like Luis Sardinas, obviously Elvis Andrus and even Ryan Rua, and the Rangers are once again loaded up the middle and will be trying to figure out how to open up playing time for everyone. The thought is obviously the Rangers could trade a couple of guys, or have guys have have played significant innings in the bigs being sent to the minors for extended stays in 2015.
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Tim Bogar could be the guy who has to help make those decisions, as he's having success as the Rangers' interim manager and currently has them on a six-game win streak — their longest of the season. Even if he's not the manager, he's still under contract as a bench coach, but of course could leave to go elsewhere if it was for a managerial job.
“That’s an interesting thought,” Bogar said Thursday, in the Star-Telegram, before the Rangers swept the A's. “I’d like to have that problem of having to find those two guys playing time.”
The Rangers plan on having Profar, who took a huge step back in his development by missing his age 21 season, play in both the Arizona Fall League and in winter league ball in the Dominican Republic.
While Profar was missing the entire season with a torn shoulder, Odor was succeeding despite being rushed to the majors, and he's really picked up his game and changed his approach for the better in the last couple of weeks — a good sign moving forward for the 20-year-old.
With Odor having the leg up in big-league experience now, you'd have to think he'll be given top priority in 2015, and Profar could start the season in the minors and have to earn his way back to Arlington. Not exactly the way we saw this whole thing working at this point last year, huh?