The Rangers could promote Double A Frisco infielder Jurickson Profar to the big leagues when they go back to a four-man bench. Club officials said Monday “it’s been discussed” and Profar is one of the candidates who could get the call.
The Rangers are currently going with a three-man bench since Friday when reliever Mark Lowe was activated off the disabled list and infielder Alberto Gonzalez was outrighted to Triple A Round Rock. The Rangers are carrying an extra pitcher through this roadtrip but will probably an infielder when they return home on Monday to face the Orioles.
Right now Michael Young is the Rangers backup middle infielder but they have even worked out Mike Olt at shortstop to be ready in case of emergency. Manager Ron Washington said he wants another middle infielder.
“I’ve got the outfield covered,” Washington said. “I’ve got first base and third base covered. I need second base and shortstop covered. We have Michael but we need more than just Michael.”
Meanwhile, over at the FWST blog, Wash says that Profar's name "never came up" as being under consideration, which may or may not run contradictory to what Sullivan's report indicates. That's kind of weird.
I will be surprised if Profar gets the call right now, because, ideally, you want him to log as much playing time as possible at Frisco (whose regular season doesn't end until September 3rd, and who will go to the Texas League playoffs by virtue of winning their division's first-half title), as opposed to bringing him up and having him ride pine as a single-position backup. I also figured that Wash and company would want a more veteran entity holding down that backup infielder spot down the stretch and into October, as opposed to a 19-year-old who has never played above AA-ball, but perhaps they don't see a readily available player on the market who can fill that role to their satisfaction, and so Profar's name has gained more traction in the discussion.
There are also service time/40-man roster considerations in play here that should theoreticially dissuade the Rangers from pulling this trigger, although it may be that Texas wants to get Profar up on the big league roster in September anyway -- particularly if the club believes that Profar could be a starting middle infielder as soon as next spring, and has designs on displacing one of Elvis/Kinsler this winter to accommodate Profar's arrival.
In other news, Alberto Gonzalez was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock, and based on how his situation was handled over the last 7-10 days, I really don't expect to see him back on the active roster this year.