SURPRISE, Ariz. — Jurickson Profar, the prized prospect who was supposed to be the opening day second baseman for the Texas Rangers, will be out an estimated 10 to 12 weeks with a muscle tear in his right shoulder.
Assistant general manager Thad Levine made the announcement Sunday. Profar was a late scratch against the San Diego Padres and an MRI revealed the tear, which will not require surgery.
“He was going to be our everyday second baseman and is a guy we hoped would take a meaningful step forward,” Levine said. “We hope he can get better and be a weapon for us in the second half, if not a bit before.”
Levine said the switch-hitting Profar would have limited baseball activity for the next four to six weeks. He was injured while making the relay throw on an attempted double play Saturday against Kansas City.
The 21-year-old Profar struggled in a part-time role as a rookie last season, hitting .234 in 85 games. But the Rangers cleared the way for him at second when they traded fan favourite Ian Kinsler to Detroit for slugger Prince Fielder in the off-season.
News of Profar's injury came a day after Texas assigned Brent Lillibridge to minor league camp, apparently leaving Adam Rosales and Josh Wilson as the leading candidates for the role of utility infielder.
Now, the Rangers must decide whether to fill the void at second base with those players or look elsewhere.
"This just gives someone else an opportunity to show what they can do," manager Ron Washington said after an 11-7 loss to the Padres. "Our job is to keep (the) clubhouse in order and do the best we can to help them continue to believe, because I believe."
Profar's injury comes with shortstop Elvis Andrus battling forearm soreness throughout spring training and catcher Geovany Soto having trouble with his right knee. The rotation is unsettled because of injuries and other issues.
"We have been dealing with a number of injuries, but we feel like if we can weather the early storm, we're going to have guys coming back in waves as the season progresses," Levine said.