Odor Sparks Big Inning, Shows Weakness

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Rougned Odor's struggles this season haven't really been a surprise.

The 21-year-old was rushed to the bigs last year after the struggles of Josh Wilson and Donnie Murphy — both long gone now — and became the Rangers' everyday second baseman as a 20-year-old who happened to be the youngest everyday player in the majors.

This year, he's hit a sophomore slump, and he's done it in a big way after putting up a pretty respectable .259 batting average with seven triples, nine homers and 48 RBIs. There were also some alarms going off — his .297 on-base percentage, his seven caught-stealings to just four stolen bases and his 17 walks next to his 71 strikeouts.

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This year, all of those bad things have come to a head, and Odor is struggling to get by and getting benched more and more often by the day, it seems.

In Odor's 28 games this year, he has 13 hits — good for a .144 batting average and .252 on-base percentage. His slugging percentage has dipped to an awful .233 after it was pretty nice last year for a young middle infielder.

On Thursday night, Odor once again showed that he needs to be demoted, and sooner rather than later. His mistake, however, led to a big inning for the Rangers.

With two outs and runners on second and third, Odor struck out swinging on a breaking ball that landed a foot in front of the plate. The pitch was so bad, it skipped past the Rays catcher and to the backstop, allowing Odor to make it down to first base. That was followed by two bases-loaded walks and Elvis Andrus' big two-run single.

Odor shouldn't have been in Arlington last year, he just hid it well enough. This year, it's blatantly obvious he isn't ready to be here, and that is OK. He's just 21 years old and is still a promising prospect, but there's no point in ruining him.

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