Saturday, June 15, 2013
Rangers activate Ian Kinsler
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was activated and hit leadoff in Saturday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Rangers also have decided to keep 20-year-old infielder Jurickson Profar on the club, in a roster move that has been anticipated all week. Utility man Leury Garcia has been optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.
The Rangers had planned on Kinsler doing a third straight rehab game Saturday with Double-A Frisco. But with the offense slumping badly -- Texas has scored five runs in four consecutive losses -- the decision was made to bring Kinsler back a day early. He was 0 for 8 in two rehab games for Double-A Frisco.
"He's ready to go," Rangers manager Ron Washington said before Saturday's game. "We'll let him figure it out here."
The Rangers' offense has missed its leadoff man. The Rangers are 11-14 without Kinsler, and it has shown up especially this week. Kinsler was batting .302 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs when he went on the 15-day disabled list May 19 with a rib cage injury.
Kinsler, who played in a 12-inning game for Frisco on Friday night, said he talked to Washington on Friday night and told him he was ready to come back. Kinsler said the offense's recent struggles did factor into him talking to his manager.
"I wanted to play as soon as possible," Kinsler said. "That was one of the reasons. I've had a couple of rehab games, played 12 innings last night. I'm ready to go."
The decision on keeping Profar in the big leagues had been a subject of debate for several days within the organization. Profar, ranked Major League Baseball's top prospect by ESPN.com, is batting .278 with seven RBIs in 21 games.
With two All-Stars in front of Profar in Kinsler and shortstop Elvis Andrus, there was some thinking the Rangers' organization that Profar may be better off playing every day in Triple-A. But the decision was made to keep him in the big leagues for now and play him as much as possible.
"He's earned credibility in the clubhouse," Washington said. "He showed us he needs to play."
Profar will play second base, shortstop and third base. He also will begin to get work before games in the outfield, a position he said he hasn't played since Little League. Left fielder David Murphy has struggled all season, batting .208, so playing time could open up there for Profar.
Washington said that before the game that no decision has been made on how much Profar will play each week. The manager did say Profar will play more than Garcia, who played in 25 of 67 games, some of that because of injuries.
Profar was happy with the decision, even with the potential to only play a few times a week.
"I want to be here," he said. "(Washington) told me he's going to do the best he can."