KANSAS CITY -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus was activated off the disabled list on Monday, a move that leaves Jurickson Profar as the Rangers' utility infielder. The club also optioned Jose Trevino to Double-A Frisco, leaving Isiah Kiner-Falefa as the backup catcher.Rangers manager Jeff Banister met with all of his infielders
KANSAS CITY -- Shortstop Elvis Andrus was activated off the disabled list on Monday, a move that leaves Jurickson Profar as the Rangers' utility infielder. The club also optioned Jose Trevino to Double-A Frisco, leaving Isiah Kiner-Falefa as the backup catcher.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister met with all of his infielders on Monday to explain how he is going to use them. One goal is to get Profar into the lineup at least five times a week whether it be third, shortstop, second base or designated hitter. Right now, Banister is envisioning a setup where Adrian Beltre, Rougned Odor, Andrus and Profar all play about five times a week.
'It's going to be really hard," Banister said. "You equate it to a basketball team trying to find enough touches for everybody."
Profar started at second base on Monday against the Royals with Odor being the one out of the lineup for the series opener at Kauffman Stadium. But Odor is still the first-string second baseman even though Profar has the better offensive numbers this season. Banister said the Rangers still see Odor headed in the right direction as he entered Monday hitting .263 with a .345 on-base percentage in his past 22 games.
Odor is scheduled to start the next two games against the Royals with Profar moving to third on Tuesday and being used at designated hitter on Wednesday.
"I believe the areas we have challenged Odor with, he has gotten better," Banister said. "Defensively ... he is moving better, the routine plays have become a lot cleaner. At the plate, the at-bats have ticked up, we have seen the pitches per at-bat go up, he is going the other way, putting the ball on the ground, running the bases better."
The Rangers continue to be judicious in their use of Beltre, who has been on the disabled list twice this season with a strained left hamstring. He was at third on Monday, but he will be the DH on Tuesday.
Andrus will also get more time off, Banister said. He was 1-for-24 during his seven games on a rehab assignment before being activated. Monday was his first game since sustaining a fractured right elbow on April 11, when Angels reliever Keynan Middleton hit him with a pitch.
Kiner-Falefa welcomes catching
Kiner-Falefa took up catching two years ago when he was at Frisco. Now he is the Rangers' backup catcher and he's scheduled to start on Wednesday with Yohander Mendez on the mound. Kiner-Falefa has been used strictly as an infielder since being called up on April 10 and he has started 52 of the past 58 games. But he did catch in 67 games in the Minor Leagues.
"It's exciting," Kiner-Falefa said. "I really worked hard for this opportunity. Two years ago, I wouldn't even be able to talk about this. I have been doing everything I can to help this team and I think I have earned my spot. I'm excited to show everybody what the new utility is."
Rodriguez called up
The Rangers called up right-handed reliever Ricardo Rodriguez on Monday to reinforce the bullpen and give them eight relievers again. Rodriguez began the season on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right biceps, but he has pitched well since his return.
He pitched 13 1/3 innings over 12 appearances for Triple-A Round Rock and allowed just one unearned run on eight hits and two walks with 12 strikeouts. He had a 6.23 ERA in 16 games for the Rangers late last season.
"I was feeling great down there," Rodriguez said. "I was throwing the same, not doing anything different. As long they keep me healthy, I'm going to do the best I can."
• Round Rock pitcher William McGuire has been designated for assignment to make room for Andrus on the 40-man roster. McGuire was claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays last week and he allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings in his only appearance for Round Rock.
• The Rangers' 13-12 win over the Rockies on Sunday was their first when trailing by three or more runs in the ninth inning since a 4-3 victory over the Brewers on June 9, 2007. They trailed, 3-0, going into the ninth against Milwaukee before coming back and winning.
• Banister said the Rangers will keep their rotation in order despite Thursday's off-day. That means Mike Minor, Yovani Gallardo and Bartolo Colon will pitch the three-game series against the Twins this weekend.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.