Monday, May 20, 2013
Buzz: Profar, Garcia will split time
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said 20-year-old Jurickson Profar and utility man Leury Garcia will split time at second base while subbing for the injured Ian Kinsler.
Profar was in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Oakland, his first game since being called up Sunday.
Washington touched again on wanting Profar to come in and not put pressure on himself to live up to being baseball's top prospect.
"I just want him to play baseball," Washington said. "He can be in the moment. I don't think he lets the hype get to him."
The fans will want to see Profar every day, but Washington said he wants to get Garcia starts to keep him fresh as the club's utility man.
"Leury's going to get some time there," Washington said. "So when you see Profar sitting, don't be surprised."
Bullpen restructuring: The Rangers restructured their bullpen before Monday's game, keeping right-hander Cory Burns and designating long reliever Derek Lowe for assignment.
The Rangers needed another right-hander to turn to in the later innings, and Burns had impressed in two outings, retiring all five batters he faced. Lowe had struggled in his past four games, allowing 11 runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was 1-0 overall with an 8.03 ERA.
Left-handed reliever Michael Kirkman, who has primarily started in the minor leagues, will slide into Lowe's spot as the long man out of the bullpen.
Washington said it wasn't easy to tell Lowe he was out, but there were no other choices. The Rangers weren't ready to send out lefty Joseph Ortiz, who has handled left-handed hitters. And they want to see more of righty Jason Frasor.
"It came down to numbers," Washington said. "This game doesn't work for you sometimes."
Burns stayed because he has an out pitch -- his changeup.
"We need right-handed help down there," Washington said. "[Burns] has out pitches right now."
Lindblom, young pitchers will miss Lowe: Monday starter Josh Lindblom, who is transitioning from being a reliever to being a starter, said he has had several conversations with Lowe, who also made the switch in Boston after the 2001 season. Lowe won 167 of his games after the move to being a starter.
That was one of the big values of having Lowe around, Washington said, for the young pitchers. The Rangers have two rookies and Lindblom currently in the starting rotation, plus another rookie, Ortiz, in the bullpen.
"It hurts because he had a presence," Washington said. "He brings value. It's something you can't buy. We had to make decisions. Not all are cut and dry."
Pierzynski still the No. 1 guy: Washington said he won't adjust the way he uses his catchers, with A.J. Pierzynski getting most of the starts and Geovany Soto playing one or two times a week.
Soto has been getting hot with regular playing time. He has five hits in 12 at-bats on the homestand with two home runs and four RBIs.
Pierzynski will start Tuesday when he's eligible to come off the disabled list.
Hickory pitchers dominate: The Low-A Hickory Crawdads allowed only one hit in 14 innings in a doubleheader sweep Sunday.
Right-hander C.J. Edwards went the distance in the first game, a 4-1 victory, allowing the lone hit. Four pitchers -- Luis Parra, Keone Kela, Ryan Bores and Alex Claudio -- combined for a no-hitter in the second game. Third baseman Joey Gallo hit his 12th home run in the first game.
Center fielder Lewis Brinson won the first game with a three-run homer in the seventh inning, his 10th of the year.