Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Jurickson Profar not ready to play outfield
By Matt Ehalt | Special to ESPNDallas.com
NEW YORK -- Jurickson Profar is still not ready to start in the outfield, according to manager Ron Washington.
The Rangers are teaching Profar, a natural infielder who came into the year ranked as the top prospect in baseball, how to play the outfield in order to incorporate his bat into the lineup. The Rangers currently are set up the middle with Ian Kinsler at second and Elvis Andrus at short.
"He's not ready," Washington said of Profar. "He's progressing but he's not ready to go out in that outfield and run after some baseballs."
Washington said Profar is working hard with third base coach Gary Pettis to learn the intricacies of playing the outfield, and Washington will use Profar based off Pettis' timetable.
Profar is batting .263 with two homers and seven RBIs in 28 games. Washington said he plans to play Profar in Thursday's series finale, although he's not sure where. Profar last started on June 20.
House of horrors: Yankee Stadium hasn't treated Derek Holland well over the years.
Holland, who will start Thursday's matinee series finale against the Yankee, is 0-3 with an 8.06 ERA in five games (four starts) over his career at Yankee Stadium. The robust ERA is his second-highest in any park, only less than his 12.27 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
"It's there. I don't ever think about it. I know New York has been pretty tough to me," Holland said. "It's a new year, this is our first time out here and it's my job to not worry about that. Continue to turn the page and get myself ready for now and make something else happen this time."
The lefty is winless in his last four starts and enters Thursday off a seven-inning, four-run outing against St. Louis. The Cardinals tagged him for four runs in the first two innings, but Holland battled back and kept the Cardinals scoreless over the next five frames in an eventual Rangers win.
"You can never let something defeat you like that," Holland said. "You got to finish strong. You got to continue to go out there and do everything and not let one inning dictate how the rest of the game is going to go for you."
Other Beltre debut: Washington said that there's a good chance outfielder Engel Beltre, who was called up Sunday, will make his major league debut Thursday. Washington said the likely scenario would be Beltre manning center while center fielder Leonys Martin starts in a corner outfield spot.
Martin, who hit a pair of homers Tuesday night, is hitting .441 in his last 10 games.
"This guy has always hit everybody," Washington said. "I hope he can keep it up because this is what the organization said this kid can do."
Futures All-Stars: Catcher Joey Gallo and third baseman Jorge Alfaro will represent the Rangers in the All-Star Futures Game on July 14 at Citi Field. Alfaro and Gallo are ranked fifth and eighth in the Rangers' farm system, respectively, according to MLB.com. They both play for Single-A Hickory.