Rougned Odor comes back today. What a difference a seven-game suspension makes.
When Odor left he was the second-most beloved player in Texas Rangers history, behind only Nolan Ryan.
Seven games later, he may have became the second-favorite second baseman on the team.
It’s no fault of Odor’s. It’s just that Jurickson Profar came, and Jurickson Profar conquered. Odor won’t be the Wally Pipp of our generation, but his absence did punch Profar’s ticket.
For so long Rangers fans have heard about Profar and his skills. Forgive us for being skeptical. We heard the same thing about so many other hitters from the fertile Rangers farm system. Before this season, one of them actually panned out. The first basemen. For Baltimore.
The difference with Profar, though, is that he was rated the number one prospect in all of baseball. That’s pretty high praise. And it may have been right.
But after losing two seasons to the same frustrating injury over and over again, Profar came up and made a name for himself immediately.
The switch-hitting Profar picked up a hit in all seven games he started at second. In five of them, he got two. In those seven games he batted. 364 with two home runs and an OPS of 1.000. More important, the Rangers were 5–2 in that span.
If Profar is indeed the real thing, that gives the Rangers two “rookies” (it seems like Profar is a rookie, even though he isn’t) who can totally revitalize the offense, along with Nomar Mazara. And Odor is only twenty-two himself.
Now it’s decision time.
Do you send down your hottest hitter? Do you send down your best defensive second baseman? Do you send down the best leadoff hitter you have anywhere in your system? And if you don’t send him down, do you bench your offensive spark plug?
I’m glad I don’t have to make that call.
Nathan Karns (5-1, 3.43) vs. Martin Perez (3-4, 3.12)
Game time: 8:05 pm
How the Mariners hit against Perez.
How the Rangers hit against Karns.
R.I.P. Muhammad Ali, 1942 to 2016