Friday, September 27, 2013
Buzz: Experience invaluable for Profar
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jurickson Profar has said many times during this season that it's been nothing but a positive experience being in the big leagues all season, as opposed to getting everyday at-bats in Triple-A.
His manager, Ron Washington, has seen the growth too, well before the 20-year-old infielder produced one of the biggest moments of the season, a walk-off home run to beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-5 on Thursday night.
"It's been invaluable," Washington said of Profar's time with this year's club.
The numbers might not show it. Profar is batting .235 with six home runs and 26 RBIs. He has a .309 on-base percentage.
He's only played in two of the last 18 games and last started on Sept. 18 at Tampa Bay. But Profar showed Thursday night none of this seems to be fazing him.
"He's not afraid," Washington said. "Even to this point, if you look at the production and the struggles he's had, he's been a big part of us being able to play like we are right now with a chance to make it to the playoffs. And last night was just a little bit of icing on the cake that he was able to come through for us. He has to grow from it. He'll be a better player for it."
Profar said he will play winter ball, joining Licey at some point in the Dominican League season. He's likely to stick to second base and shortstop.
"We'll determine what he does in winter ball when that time comes," Washington said. "I don't think he'll play one position. That's in his mind, not mine. I don't want him moving around at third base. I don't mind him going back and forth in the middle."
Playing in the morning: The Rangers wanted no part of dealing with rainy weather and the potential for a doubleheader Sunday, so they moved up Saturday's start time to 11:05 a.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest.
Rangers scheduled starting pitcher Derek Holland said he'll deal with the early morning wake-up call.
"I'd probably just be getting up," Holland said of the 11 a.m. start. "Or be at The Pancake House."
Washington didn't want to play a doubleheader.
"I hate doubleheaders," he said. "It's too easy to lose."
Frasor sends messages: Rangers reliever Jason Frasor, who played eight seasons in Toronto, typed up a couple of text messages to former teammates Casey Janssen and J.P. Arencibia before Friday's game.
"Need ya," Frasor said in the messages.
The Blue Jays are hosting Tampa Bay for the final three games of the season. The Rangers trail the Rays by two games for the first wild-card spot.
Washington trusts managers: Washington has no doubts that the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins will put their best effort into competing with Tampa Bay and Cleveland, the two teams the Rangers are chasing in the wild-card race.
Washington has trust in the managers.
"I can tell you this, with Ron Gardenhire being the manager of the Minnesota Twins, that answered that question," Washington said. "And with John Gibbons being the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, that answers that question. They're not going to just throw gloves out there.
"That's just professionalism. It's pride. That's all that is."
Berkman available: Designated hitter Lance Berkman was on deck in the bottom of the eighth and would have hit as a pinch hitter had Craig Gentry reached base with two outs.
Washington went with Profar in the bottom of the ninth with the game still tied at 5, thinking he needed a base-runner. Profar delivered a walk-off home run instead.
Berkman hasn't appeared in a game since last Tuesday at Tampa Bay. He is hitless in his last 22 at-bats.