Buzz: Profar leading off, playing third


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jurickson Profar was leading off and playing third base on Sunday for the reeling Rangers.

Just another day in the baseball life of the Rangers' 20-year old prodigy.

Profar was slated to start his first game at third base Sunday against Toronto with the Rangers trying to snap out of a five-game losing streak that has seen them score a paltry six runs.

Profar, usually full of short answers, did offer up this gem about playing third.

"As long as it's baseball, I can play anywhere," Profar said.

So why Profar at third?

It was a planned day off for designated hitter Lance Berkman, Rangers manager Ron Washington said, and playing Profar there gave him a chance to give Adrian Beltre some time off his feet. And with Jeff Baker out with a sprained left thumb, this was the best way to get Profar in the lineup.

With the Rangers making the decision to keep Profar in the big leagues, Washington will be looking for ways to get his young player into the lineup. This was the best way Sunday.

There are no concerns about Profar playing third base, Washington said, even though he has gotten little work at the position. Profar went through some pregame drills with first base coach Dave Anderson, who oversees infield defense. They went over signs. His positioning will be taken care of from the dugout.

"It's a catch-and-throw position," Washington said. "He can handle that."

Profar was also batting at the top of the Rangers lineup with one of baseball's best leadoff men, Ian Kinsler, batting third.

"Profar's been hitting leadoff a few games, so I put Kinsler third," Washington said. ""This keeps everyone else where they are."

Harrison to throw Monday: Left-hander Matt Harrison will play catch on Monday, throwing from 45 feet as he begins the long road back that has him hoping to return to the Rangers' rotation in mid-August.

Harrison, rehabbing after two back surgeries, said he expects it to take him about four weeks of throwing on flat ground before he can move to a pitching mound.

Tepesch moves on: Nick Tepesch, who starts Monday's series opener against Oakland, said fine-tuning his sinker has been his objective in between starts. He allowed five runs in five innings in a loss Wednesday to Cleveland.

Tepesch said he was "yanking his pitches," which wasn't allowing him to throw his sinker where he wanted to against the Indians. Cleveland had two home runs off him.

"I just made bad pitches," Tepesch said.

Minor news: High Class-A Rangers affiliate Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League clinched the Southern Division first-half title when it split a doubleheader with Carolina on Saturday night. Low Class-A Hickory can clinch the Northern Division title of the South Atlantic League with a win Sunday against Delmarva.