ARLINGTON, Texas -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler could return from a rib cage injury as early as Sunday, which means the Rangers will have a decision to make about top prospect Jurickson Profar in the next few days.
Should he return to Triple-A Round Rock where he can play every day, or is he better off staying with the Rangers and backing up Kinsler and shortstop Elvis Andrus and getting more experience at the big league level?
A discussion among the Rangers' top brass should come soon on Profar, who was batting leadoff and playing shortstop Wednesday to give Andrus a day off.
"It's not a decision we've made yet," manager Ron Washington said.
Profar was batting .370 on May 30, and had a go-ahead home run against the Kansas City Royals on June 2 in a 3-1 victory.
But he has struggled of late, notching only eight hits in his last 40 at-bats to see his batting average dip to .269. He has one RBI in his last 11 games.
Kinsler took batting practice Wednesday and if all goes well, he will start a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Thursday. Kinsler said he hopes to return to the Rangers on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Andrus gets day off: Andrus was given Wednesday's game off as he continues to slump at the plate. He has nine hits in his last 50 at-bats.
"We needed to give him a break," Washington said. "He looked tired. I must be correct because he hasn't stepped in (my office) at all."
Andrus has a 34-game hitting streak against the Indians, so that could be in jeopardy should he pinch hit in the late innings.
Kirkman on 60-day DL: The Rangers put Michael Kirkman (skin cancer) on the 60-day disabled list and optioned right-hander Justin Miller, who was on injury rehab assignment, to Double-A Frisco.
Defense slumping: Two of the Rangers' seven multi-error games have come in the last four games as the defense has fallen into a mini tailspin.
The Rangers are still a plus-7 in runs saved this season, best in the American League West and well ahead of the second best, the Houston Astros, who are a minus-5.