Lone Star State Of MindThursday, June 13, 2013
While a handful of baseball's young, exciting prospects have arrived on the scene recently, one may be on the verge of exile once again.
Jurickson Profar was recalled to play second base when Ian Kinsler went down with an intercostal strain on May 19. In his time with the Rangers, Profar has hit .292 while recording at least one hit in 14 of his 19 games played. It hasn't been all good -- he's got a 15:5 K:BB ratio, and he's been caught on both of his stolen base attempts -- but the 20-year-old has been largely as advertised at the dish.
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It still may not be enough. Kinsler begins a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Thursday, and when he returns early next week Profar may be on the outside looking in. Rangers manager Ron Washington admitted there may not be a place for Profar, no matter how well he's playing, when his starting second baseman returns to the lineup.
"How can Profar be here if Kinsler is back and Elvis (Andrus) is here? That's a question I can't answer," Washington told the Star-Telegram. "It's not a decision we've made yet. It's a decision we're going to make. If you guys got any suggestions, please write them down so I can have them. I've got two All-Stars up the middle."
The alternative, likely the preferred one for those who own Profar in fantasy leagues, is to keep Profar and utilize him in a utility role. He could help Kinsler ease back into the lineup, spell Andrus on occasion and possibly even get guys like Adrian Beltre a day off from time to time. It would also be a way to keep the young infielder from being overexposed in his first extended stay in the big leagues.
One way or another the situation will be resolved in the coming days and, when the dust settles, we'll find out if this town is big enough for the both of them.
Ryan Braun is still waiting to receive the thumbs up on his thumb injury.
Braun hasn't played since Sunday and has yet to even swing a bat since the injury forced him to leave in the third inning. That leaves his status very much up in the air heading into the weekend, with Braun possibly facing a trip to the disabled list if he doesn't show improvement soon.
"If things Friday and Saturday don't go well, then we will see about (the DL)," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told MLB.com.
It's been a rough go of it so far for Braun, who dealt with a neck injury early in the season before the thumb soreness popped up on Sunday. Despite his ailments, the left fielder has still managed to hit .304/.380/.509 with nine home runs in 57 games.
Twins Sizing Up Sizemore?
The Twins already have their 5-tool center fielder of the future in Byron Buxton. Now they may be interested in one from the past as well.
It was reported Wednesday that the Twins have interest in former Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore. Sizemore hasn't played since 2011 due to injury and hasn't logged more than 106 games in a season since 2008, but he recently resumed baseball activities and could look to sign with a team in the near future.
Although it's a long shot, Sizemore is still just 30 and was once one of the premier offensive threats in the game. From 2005 to 2008 he never scored fewer than 101 runs, never hit fewer than 22 homers and never stole fewer than 22 bases.
How much of that skill still remains is for teams to decide -- the Yankees were reported to have interest earlier this season as well -- but if Sizemore can return to contribute in some meaningful fashion, it would be one of the great comeback stories in recent history.
National League Quick Hits: Yasiel Puig was scratched from Wednesday's game with a sore right shoulder. With Wednesday's game serving as the finale of the Diamondbacks-Dodgers series, the off day was probably beneficial on a few levels ... Hanley Ramirez (hamstring) ran the bases before Wednesday's game. He should be ready to play by Friday ... the Rockies designated Eric Young Jr. for assignment. It would be a shock if the speedster clears waivers ... Despite being eligible to return, Angel Pagan (hamstring) won't be activated from the disabled list this weekend. The outfielder hasn't done any baseball-related activities and has no timetable for a return ... Michael Cuddyer (ribs) will return to the Rockies lineup on Thursday. He's missed a week with the injury ... Dillon Gee revealed after Wednesday's start that he's been dealing with flexor tendonitis all season. It was strange timing for the revelation, as Gee has a 1.29 ERA over his last three starts ... Carlos Gomez tripled twice and collected four hits against the Marlins. He's hitting .326/.366/.594 this year ... David Freese had his 20-game hitting streak snapped, going 0-for-4 against starter Dillon Gee and Co. ... the Rockies signed their first-round pick and No. 3 overall selection Jonathan Gray. The right-hander could be pitching in Coors a year from now if things go well ... Erik Kratz underwent surgery to repair the medial meniscus in his left knee. The injury will keep him out 6 to 8 weeks ... Wilson Ramos (hamstring) suffered a setback in his recovery and will now be out until after the All-Star break.
American League Quick Hits: Matt Harrison (back) is scheduled to begin a throwing program on Monday. Despite the progress, the Rangers don't expect the southpaw back until September ... Justin Smoak (oblique) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday. He's on track to return early next week, barring a setback ... Smoak's teammate Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) continued his rehab assignment on Wednesday. He was backed off the assignment earlier in June ... Jose Valverde suffered his third blown save of the season against the Royals, surrendering a two-run home run to Lorenzo Cain ... Clay Buchholz will likely have his start pushed from Sunday to Tuesday after feeling some lingering stiffness in his neck while playing catch on Wednesday. The right-hander is in the midst of a Cy Young-worthy season.