Daily Dose: Profar in Training

D.J. Short
Seth Trachtman looks at 2018 sleepers for batting average, including former top Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar

2018 Category Sleepers - BA

Seth Trachtman looks at 2018 sleepers for batting average, including former top Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar

The Rangers were originally expected to send Jurickson Profar back to Triple-A Round Rock when Ian Kinsler returned from the disabled list, but that time came and went over the weekend and the 20-year-old was still with the big club. The Rangers aren't about to move Kinsler off second base in the middle of the season, so it could be a challenge to find Profar enough at-bats to justify keeping him in the majors. With that in mind, they are currently giving him a crash course in the outfield.

That's right. According to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, Rangers manager Ron Washington said Monday that the club plans to make Profar a "functional left fielder." It's not clear when he'll get his first chance in a live game, but Andro speculates that he could be ready within 7-10 days.

Profar has never played the outfield, not even in Little League, so it's a bold move to have him make the transition at the highest level. However, it's not the worst idea on paper, as Profar is a fantastic athlete and primary left fielder David Murphy is batting just .212/.271/.377 through 67 games this season. Profar will ideally be playing second base or shortstop next season -- in Texas or elsewhere -- but fantasy owners shouldn't complain about the experiment. He has the potential to be an impact performer if the playing time is there.

Read Matthew Pouliot's thoughts on the Dodgers' closer situation in this week's Strike Zone column. And make sure you follow @Rotoworld_BB if you're on Twitter.

Shutdown for Sanchez

Anibal Sanchez had to be scratched from a start earlier this month due to right shoulder stiffness, but the Tigers opted against placing him on the disabled list. It was a surprising decision for a variety of reasons, including his previous shoulder surgery and his big-money contract, but the Tigers were convinced that the issue was minor. However, it's obvious that something isn't quite right.

Sanchez lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his return Saturday against the Twins and showed diminished velocity in the process, after which Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that he was "a little concerned." While an MRI has ruled out any structural damage, the Tigers placed him on the disabled list Monday. As of now, the hope is that he'll be ready to return as soon as he's eligible in two weeks. Jose Alvarez, who tossed six innings of one-run ball in his major league debut against the Indians on June 9, will take his place in the starting rotation once again.

The shoulder issue is a tough break for Sanchez, as he is off to the best start of his career. Even after Saturday's abbreviated start, the 29-year-old right-hander owns a 2.76 ERA and 101/23 K/BB ratio in 81 2/3 innings through 13 starts this season. Fantasy owners will have to hope that the rest will prove beneficial.

Tex Could Be DL-Bound

When Mark Teixeira left Saturday's game after aggravating his right wrist, it was easy to think the worst. However, an MRI on Sunday revealed no new structural damage and he was given a cortisone shot to deal with the inflammation. While it appears that the Yankees dodged a bullet, general manager Brian Cashman said Monday that he's leaning toward placing Teixeira back on the disabled list.

Teixeira made his season debut on May 31 and is batting just .151 with 19 strikeouts through his first 53 at-bats. The 33-year-old first baseman showed some early power, but he's clearly not near 100 percent. It makes sense to give him some extended rest so that he can strengthen the wrist, but there's no guarantee that he'll be able to avoid making things worse.

It's difficult to ignore the parallels with Jose Bautista's wrist injury from last season, as the Toronto slugger rehabbed through some stops and starts before aggravating the injury and undergoing season-ending surgery. As for Teixeira, the possibility of surgery is still very much in play. In fact, Cashman told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he would prefer the option of surgery over having Teixeira as a part-time player. Something will have to give at some point, but fantasy owners should consider it a pleasant surprise if he makes it through the entire season. It's just impossible to count on him.

National League Quick Hits: Bryce Harper has been cleared to resume physical activity and will begin with walking without the use of a knee brace … Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Zack Cozart all hit solo homers in Monday's win over the Pirates … Giancarlo Stanton launched two home runs -- including the game-winner -- Monday against the Diamondbacks … Pablo Sandoval (foot) hopes to begin a rehab assignment Friday … Shelby Miller left Monday's start against the Cubs after five innings with a right leg cramp, but should be fine for his next outing … Freddie Freeman launched a walk-off two-run homer in Monday's win over the Mets … Marco Scutaro (thumb) said Monday that he hopes to return "soon" … Chase Utley (oblique) could begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday … Domonic Brown had a walk-off RBI single Monday against the Nationals … Angel Pagan (hamstring) is nearing a rehab assignment … Mike Leake spun seven innings of one-run ball in Monday's win over the Pirates … J.J. Putz (elbow) felt good during a bullpen session Monday and could begin a rehab assignment later this week … Ryan Howard went 3-for-3 with his first home runs since May 29 in Monday's win over the Nationals … Ian Kennedy dropped the appeal of his 10-game suspension … Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) is slated to throw a bullpen session Tuesday … Denard Span was held out of Monday's lineup after fouling a ball off his foot on Sunday … Roy Oswalt is expected to join the Rockies' rotation on Wednesday or Thursday … Lucas Duda started at first base Monday for the first time this season and went 4-for-4 with a double … The Marlins have demoted Kevin Slowey to the bullpen … Reds manager Dusty Baker confirmed Monday that left-hander Tony Cingrani will remain in the majors as a reliever …

American League Quick Hits: Albert Pujols went 4-for-5 with an RBI double Monday against the Mariners and pulled his batting average up to its highest point (.266) since April 26 … Jose Reyes (ankle) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and played five innings at shortstop Monday in his first rehab game with High-A Dunedin … Chris Davis launched his major-league leading 24th homer in Monday's loss to the Orioles … Max Scherzer struck out 10 and allowed one run in six innings Monday against the Orioles to become the American League's first 10-game winner … Mike Napoli (illness) is expected to play in at least one game in Tuesday's doubleheader against the Rays … James Shields tossed six innings of one-run ball Monday against the Indians, but remains winless since April 30 … Curtis Granderson will have the pin removed from his fractured left pinkie finger on Thursday … Josh Johnson (blister) struck out 10 batters over 7 1/3 scoreless innings Monday against the Rockies … Nelson Cruz launched two home runs and drove in four runs in Monday's win over the Athletics … The Orioles have scratched Jason Hammel (illness) from Tuesday's start against the Tigers and will call up Zach Britton to fill in … Nick Swisher received a cortisone shot in his left shoulder Monday and is likely to be sidelined until at least Friday … A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run home run and an RBI double Monday against the Athletics and is batting .357 this month … Brandon Morrow allowed three runs on five hits and one walk over two innings in his first rehab start with High-A Dunedin … Alex Rodriguez will face live pitching Tuesday in Tampa for the first time since his hip surgery … Chris Perez (shoulder) is expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday … Alexi Ogando is still dealing with some soreness in his shoulder and remains limited to flat-ground throwing … Dayan Viciedo delivered a bases-loaded triple to lead the White Sox past the Astros on Monday … Matt Harrison played catch Monday for the first time since his back surgery, but isn't expected to return until September … The Tigers placed Alex Avila on the disabled list with a deep contusion on his left forearm … Ryan Madson (elbow) could resume throwing from a mound this weekend or early next week … The Astros optioned Jimmy Paredes to Triple-A Oklahoma City and will activate Justin Maxwell (hand) from the disabled list Tuesday …

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