Roadblocked by Ian Kinsler at second base and Elvis Andrus at shortstop, Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar will likely begin the season with Triple-A Round Rock, according to T.R. Sullivan:
The Rangers are leaning heavily on keeping Leury Garcia as their utility infielder so that Profar can play every day at Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers are going to do that even though Profar has exceeded expectations this spring.
Profar drew one walk and otherwise went hitless in four plate appearances for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. He had posted an .820 OPS with Double-A Frisco prior to being promoted to the big leagues in September, where he made 17 trips to the plate.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.