Rangers second baseman Jurickson Profar suffered a torn teres muscle towards the end of March, a big blow to a team already decimated by injuries. The diagnosis estimated his absence at 10-12 weeks, pointing to a June return.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that Profar participated in fielding drills with manager Ron Washington and teammate Donnie Murphy on Saturday. Profar still isn’t cleared to throw and won’t swing a bat for two more weeks, Wilson adds.
Profar was to take over at second base following the Ian Kinsler-Prince Fielder swap with the Tigers over the off-season. In Profar’s absence, the Rangers have started Murphy and Josh Wilson twice each. Wilson will make his third start tonight against the Rays.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.
Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.
When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.
The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.