The longer-range future of the franchise at shortstop hasn't been decided as of yet, but the future is here in one form or another, because, per Gerry Fraley, the Rangers will formally purchase the contract of one Jurickson Profar from Double-A Frisco once rosters officially expand, and he will presumably join the active major league roster tomorrow in Cleveland for the second game of the Rangers' three-game set against the Indians. The organization has not yet publicly disclosed any further call-ups or promotions, but I assume those will begin to drop in the near future as the ballclub finalizes which minor leaguers will get the call during the month of September.
Profar, of course, may be the single most luminous prospect in all of baseball right now, as he netted recognition as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball from several eminent baseball writers at the mid-season mark (including Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein; Baseball America as a whole pegged Profar at No. 2, behind only the Orioles' Dylan Bundy), and has received expectedly high marks across the board for both baseball tools/skills (which are heavily intertwined, of course, but are not one and the same) and his high-caliber makeup, with the general consensus across the board being that he possesses the qualities of a perennial All-Star and possibly even a legit superstar, as well as far less flameout potential than what you would usually see with a 19-year-old shortstop.
And here, for the record, is how Profar has fared from a production standpoint across his three years of pro ball up through now:
The Profar situation has sparked considerable debate that has spanned the divide between traditional and "new" media, with several mainstream writers -- notably, Jean Jacques-Taylor -- arguing that Profar could provide immediate benefit to the ballclub by functioning in a utility role over the final month of the regular season and onward into the post-season, and noting that even if Ron Washington isn't on board with playing Profar, he would reap developmental rewards from being allowed to splash in the major league pool and being acclimatized to this environment sooner rather than later.
Washington, meanwhile, has created a stir by conveying a rather chilly attitude towards the idea of actually playing Profar, telling FOXSportsSouthwest.com last week that "the only way Profar would be playing for [Texas] is if would be playing for us is [the Rangers] were 10-15 games out." There has been some rational thought that Profar, even with his young age and the fact that 19-year-olds are going to make mistakes, is the overall best choice for the Rangers as far as filling their still-vacant utility role, but it remains to be seen whether that's a legitimate possibility, or if Washington will even utilize Profar beyond tossing him a token late-game PA or two down the stretch.
And yes, thanks to the quirky nature of baseball's post-season eligibility rules, and the fact that you can swap out any player in your organization for a guy on the disabled list and automatically render him eligible, Profar could occupy a spot on the post-season roster, even though he won't officially be added to the 25- or 40-man rosters until September 1st. With that said, though, I still harbor considerable doubts as far as Profar actually acquiring an October role -- I've already written my far-too-long treatise on the issue, but, really, the important question you have to ask is, "would Washington take Profar to war in October if he hardly uses him in September?" And the answer, as far as I see it, is "no, probably not." Perhaps I'm totally off base with that assumption, but ...
Update: In other September 1st-related news, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Rangers are also recalling left-hander Martin Perez, outfielder Leonys Martin, utility man Brandon Snyder (who isn't really a true utility man, given that he can't play up the middle), and right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama from Triple-A Round Rock, as well as placing Robbie Ross on the 15-day disabled list with a left forearm strain and recalling right-hander Tanner Scheppers, purchasing the contract of Tyler Tufts and adding him to the major league disabled list, and designating the mercurial left-hander Miguel De Los Santos for assignment.
There aren't too many surprises here, I don't think -- Perez, Martin, Snyder, and Tateyama all make abundant sense as depth guys, De Los Santos has gone backwards in an injury-marred season (unfortunately, Jason Cole believes that De Los Santos will be snapped up on waivers and/or traded and be lost for good), and adding Tufts to the major league disabled list affords Texas additional flexibility as far as its post-season roster (as I mentioned a few paragraphs above), while the otherwise curious Ross disabled-list assignment boils down to another bit of roster manipulation.
Under ordinary circumstances, there is no tangible benefit to putting a player on the disabled list after rosters have already expanded; doing so in this case, though, allows the Rangers to bring Scheppers back to the majors immediately, as opposed to waiting for another five days for his 10-day cooldown -- the 10 days that must pass before a team can call a player back up that it just optioned, which the Rangers did with Scheppers last Sunday -- to expire. That explains the procedural side of it; as far as the severity of Ross's injury, though, I have no idea what's going on, and that's going to be something that merits very close watching as we move forward.