Profar begins work in outfield

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jurickson Profar started shagging fly balls in the outfield on Saturday.

So how quickly can he be ready to play out there?

Rangers manager Ron Washington said on Saturday that third-base coach Gary Pettis, who works with the outfielders, will make that call. Pettis was working with Profar on footwork in left field before Saturday's game against Toronto.

"He'll let me know when we can trust him out there," Washington said.

The decision to keep Profar in the big leagues comes with a caveat -- the Rangers have to find a way to get him playing time. The outfield could be a way.

Profar is behind All-Stars at second base and shortstop with Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus. He'll play occasionally at third base, but the Rangers have an All-Star there in Adrian Beltre.

The obvious opening could come at a corner outfield spot with left fielder David Murphy struggling and the potential to lose right fielder Nelson Cruz at some point this season to a 50-game suspension because of his name coming up in regards to the Miami biogenesis clinic.

Profar told reporters Friday night that he hasn't played in the outfield since he was 6 years old.

"He's an athletic person; he's a smart person," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "I like his chances of being pretty solid out there."