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Now is not time to promote Rougned Odor

3/24/2014

It didn't take long, after the Texas Rangers announced that Jurickson Profar would miss 10 to 12 weeks with a torn muscle in his shoulder for the tweets to come in asking about promoting Rougned Odor to the big leagues.

Odor has had a solid spring. He's hitting .294 (5-for-17) and has played well at second base. He's another one of the club's prospects that scouts really like and believe has a bright future.

But is that future now?

No. Not yet, anyway. And it's a feeling the Rangers share as general manager Jon Daniels told reporters in Arizona today that Odor will stay in the minors.

I know it's tempting to put the 20-year-old in the lineup while Profar is out and see what he can do, especially with some internal options that aren't overwhelming. But this would clearly be a case of rushing things.

Odor has a total of 30 games played in Double-A Frisco. He hit .306 in those games, but it was a small sample against better pitching. Odor must prove he can handle it for a little while longer before he moves up to Triple-A or makes the Rangers think about promoting him to the big leagues. The 20-year-old has just a total of 296 minor league games in rookie ball, Class A and Double-A. He needs a little more seasoning.

The alternatives, right now, aren't great. There's no doubt the club is looking at every external option, but this late in camp, that's going to be a reserve infielder from another team that wasn't quite able to make their roster. That's just the way it goes.

Internally, Josh Wilson, Kensuke Tanaka and Adam Rosales will get looks. Wilson is a right-handed hitter whom Washington likes for his defense. Wilson is 12-for-46 (.261) in 21 Cactus League games. Tanaka, a left-handed hitter, was sent to minor league camp recently, but is back on the big league side and starting at second base today. He's 32 years old and with limited big league experience. At this point, two of the three internal candidates could make the roster if the Rangers don't find someone externally.

The easy, knee-jerk would be to promote Odor with a lack of solid options available. But it's too soon to do that. We'll see Odor in Arlington in the near future -- just not on Opening Day.