Texas Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar has shoulder tendinitis that will force him to start spring training behind the rest of the infielders, but the club expects him to be ready for the start of the season.
General manager Jon Daniels said Wednesday that Profar can do all of the drills, including swinging a bat, but is still a week away from starting to throw. It means Profar likely won't be ready to play second base when Cactus League games begin in a few weeks, but he should be able to DH and then get into the infield at some point shortly after the spring training schedule gets going. The club believes he'll have enough time to get comfortable at second base to start the season.
"It's not expected to last beyond that," Daniels said. "The good thing is that majority of what the developmental guys wanted him to work at is the footwork -- around the bag and on the pivot. He’ll still be able to participate and do those things, (and) team fundamentals and all the things he needs to get ready."
Profar, the No. 1 prospect in baseball heading into last season according to ESPN.com's Keith Law, comes into spring as the club's starting second baseman after the Rangers dealt All-Star Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers to acquire Prince Fielder. At the time, Daniels said the team wanted Profar to compete for the job, but they don't really have any other second baseman to challenge him on the roster.
"We have not brought in anybody that’s guaranteed to be on the club, but have brought in a number of guys internally and externally that are capable of doing some things," Daniels said. "He’s got to get to where he’s 100 percent, but show he can do it."
Profar, who turns 21 next week, hit .234 with six homers and 26 RBIs in 2013 wile playing a variety of positions as a super-utility man. The Rangers hope that having him at one position with help him improve in 2014.