ARLINGTON -- More playing time has made Jurickson Profar a more confident player.The Rangers' utility man, who has taken on an everyday role this season, played in his 100th game Tuesday, his most in any season. He also hit a three-run home run off Mariners starter Felix Hernandez in the
ARLINGTON -- More playing time has made Jurickson Profar a more confident player.
The Rangers' utility man, who has taken on an everyday role this season, played in his 100th game Tuesday, his most in any season. He also hit a three-run home run off Mariners starter Felix Hernandez in the sixth inning, one of three Texas homers in the 11-4 win.
Knowing he'll be in the lineup every day has made Profar more relaxed in every facet of his game.
"I always knew that I can be a good player, but early [in my career], the not playing [makes you doubt that] a little bit," Profar said. "This year, praise God, I've played a lot and [it has] let me find myself. And I keep trying to find ways to get better."
One area where Profar has shown marked improvement is his offense. Profar is batting .314 (16-for-51) in his last 15 games, and he has 14 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 45 RBIs in his last 61 games.
The stolen bases have also improved. Profar has nine stolen bases after having just five career stolen bases entering the season.
"Playing years ago, I would try to steal a base, and you get thrown out and then you start doubting," Profar said. "'Am I slow or am I fast?' But by doing it and being successful, just keep getting better, keep improving."
Defensively, Profar has started 59 games at shortstop, 17 at third base, eight at second base and 10 at first base.
Though he came up as a shortstop, Profar said he doesn't mind being a utility player if it means he can help contribute on a daily basis.
"My thought on Profar is that he just likes being in the lineup," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "He wants to play every day, so he's OK with that."
Banister said outfielder Nomar Mazara could begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock as early as Thursday against Omaha. Mazara has been on the disabled list since the All-Star break with a sprained right thumb.
The Rangers claimed left-hander Zac Curtis off waivers from the Phillies on Tuesday and optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock. Curtis had spent most of the season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but had a 1.86 ERA in seven games with the Phillies. Brandon Mann was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
Rougned Odor and Elvis Andrus each entered Tuesday with 24 hits since the All-Star break, which are the most in the American League during that span. Odor was also three walks shy of tying his career high of 32 from last season.
Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.