The Texas Rangers orchestrated a pretty special moment during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Kansas City Royals. For the first time in their baseball careers, brothers Rougned Odor and Rougned Odor — yes, they have the same first and last name — were allowed to share the field as teammates.
In the sixth inning, Rangers manager Jeff Banister inserted Rougned Jose Odor, a 20-year-old minor league infielder, into the game to play shortstop. His older brother, 24-year-old Rougned Roberto Odor, remained in the game at second base. So not only were the brothers on the field together, they were a temporary double play combination.
The arrangement lasted for two innings. That’s when Banister removed the elder Odor from the game and moved his brother over to second base. So they played together, then the younger Odor got the distinction of replacing a two-time 30 home run hitter in MLB, who again, also happens to be his older brother.
That’s pretty awesome.
Obviously, this will go down as a memorable game for the entire family. With that said, it might have actually held a little more significance for big brother Rougned. Not only had he never played a game alongside his brother, those two innings marked the first he’s been able to watch his younger brother play baseball since 2013, when he signed his first professional contract.
“I was really happy,” the senior Odor told the Dallas Morning News. “I know my mom and dad were really happy for this. And I hope it happens again.”
Rougned Roberto has been the Rangers starting second baseman since 2014. His game is power-oriented, as evidenced by the 63 homers he’s hit over the last two seasons. He supported that with a solid batting average over his first three seasons, but saw his batting line dip to .204/.252/.397 in 2017. That was the cause for concern coming into the new season, and his .171 average so far this spring isn’t helping.
Rougned Jose was signed as a second baseman out of Venezuela in 2015. He’s spent the last three seasons playing for the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League affiliate, but has yet to make a real mark. He hit just .232/.359/.268 in 47 games and is not on the prospect radar right now.
“There are not many times you can have brothers playing together happen,” Banister said. “So we made sure it could.”
Both players had a good showing on Saturday, collecting one hit apiece in the Rangers 7-6 loss. But the reality is there might not be many more chances to make this arrangement a reality. It’s great that Banister and the Rangers made this moment happen for the Odors.
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