To fill the hole, Texas purchased the contract of 28-year-old Thomas Field from Round Rock. Field draws the start at second base and bats eighth in tonight’s 7:05 p.m. CT start against the Kansas City Royals at Globe Life Park.
Odor’s .144 batting average, brought on by a tendency to chase pitches out of his lanes and zones, prompted manager Jeff Banister’s decision.
“The at-bats were not going the way he wanted or we wanted,’’ Banister said. “This is not unusual for players who are up at an early age.’’
In 29 games and 90 at-bats, Odor’s strikeouts (25) were more than three times higher than his walk total (seven).
With Odor in swing mode, Banister pointed out opposing pitchers often did not even have to throw a strike.
Banister said his message to Odor was to take this time to find the hard-working, blue-collar mentality that prompted the Rangers to promote him from the minors last May.
In his final start, a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday, Odor struck out three times.
“Our feeling is Rougned is going to be part of a winning formula here in Arlington for a while,’’ said Banister. “I felt it was time for Rudy to go down and become the kind of player that got him here.’’
The Rangers began 2014 with a pair of veteran second basemen, but a month into the season they dipped into the farm system.
Odor batted a respectable .259 as a rookie. His 71 strikeouts (in 386 at-bats) were a concern, but he showed surprising power with 14 doubles, seven triples and nine home runs. So far this season, he has three doubles, one triple and one home run.
There is work also to be done on defense. Banister wants Odor to be a better “routine defender,’’ executing the routine plays and double plays. The manager said even if Odor is not a Gold Glover and proves no more than adequate, “he can still be a part of a winning formula,’’ as long as the blue-collar attitude returns.
Banister said delivering the bad news to a player is never easy.
“The player hurts. He should hurt. I tell them, 'If it makes you angry, then be angry. But at some point, you have to get over it and move on.' ’’
Field, a Texan, hit .224 in 33 major league games for the Rockies (2011-12) and Angels (2013). Born in Austin, he is a product of Waco Midway High and Texas State University. He resides in Hewitt, Texas.
With Round Rock this season, the right-handed-hitting Field was batting .298 with five home runs, eight doubles and 13 RBIs in 28 games.
In spring training with the Rangers as a non-roster invitee, Field batted .250 with two home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs in 24 games.
Home again: The Rangers (13-18) return home tonight after a 5-2 road trip to Houston and Tampa Bay. At home this season, the Rangers are 3-9. This is the opener of a four-game series against the 2014 American League champions.