What to do with Jurickson Profar? What to do? That seems to be the million-dollar question this offseason.
Do you play him at first? There is talk of plugging him in at there, where he played last year to mixed results. Yes, he would get better if that were his regular position, but first isn’t his natural position.
Do you trade him for a quality starting pitcher? He wouldn’t fetch much of a return right now, after missing two years to injury and having a spotty season last year offensively, mainly due to lack of consistent playing time mainly due to not having a position.
Do you play him at second and trade Odor for starting pitching? That would net you a pretty good return on a quality starter, but the Rangers might be too afraid to trade a fan favorite. The Punch, it seems, greatly outweighs the two Knockouts.
Or, do you be bold and do this? Make Profar the everyday second baseman and move Rougned Odor to DH.
Those seem to be each player’s better defensive position. Profar is a true middle infielder, and an accomplished one at that.
After witnessing the outcome of ignoring defense in the last two playoff series the Rangers have gifted to Toronto, moving Odor to DH makes a lot of sense.
Odor’s defense has already directly affected the outcomes of two playoff elimination games, two years in a row. While Elvis Andrus is remembered for the three misplays on three consecutive plays that stuck the dagger in the heart of Game 5 against Toronto in 2015, it was Odor’s error that wasn’t ruled an error that sealed the deal. No run had scored as a result of Elvis’s bungling. Bases were loaded, though, with no outs. But the Rangers got a ground ball force out at home on the next play. Then they got a weak pop up to second for the second out. Only thing is, Odor forgot to catch it. He moved back into position. He stuck his glove in the air in the vicinity of the ball. He made all the proper moves a quality second baseman would make to catch an easy pop up. But he didn’t catch it. He wasn’t charged with an error because his defense was so bad he didn’t even touch the ball. The Blue Jays scored the tying run on that play and then, next batter, scored three more.
Then, of course, there was Odor’s error on the final play of Game 3 this year that eliminated Texas.
Two Knockout blows by Odor in consecutive seasons.
Desmond’s center field defense, especially in Game 1, was the opposite of acceptable as well.
Now that the Rangers have signed Carlos Gomez to play center, moving Profar to second would profoundly solidify their defense. Rangers management just needs to find the cajones to do it.
Depending on who they sign to play first, that’s a pretty good offense. And an vastly improved defense. Certainly good enough to win a third division crown in a row.
And Odor can still knock somebody out. But with his golden fists, not his leaden glove.