September 2012

Pyrrhic fail.

At the start of the week, someone asked me on Twitter what I was hoping for in this week’s four-game set in Anaheim between the A’s and Angels.  My answer: “An epic, decimating, Pyrrhic, four-chapter attrition collision.”

Whoops.  Wrong address.

I suppose it’s fair to say the Oakland-LA series has been epic, if like me you’ve been pulling for the road team every night and the idea of something close to a killshot on the Angels’ season, and have gotten OAK 3-1, OAK 6-5, and OAK 4-1 midnight results going into this afternoon’s series finale that pits Jered Weaver against Brett Anderson.

Not sure that series has been decimating at all.  No extra frames, and while the bullpens have averaged a combined 89 pitches per game, only a third of those were thrown by A’s relievers.

Meanwhile, the Pyrrhic toll, if any, was nowhere near California.  Instead it was Texas 5, Cleveland 2 that could end up being circled as costlier as any of the Rangers’ eight losses in their last 26 games.

It was nothing new to see both Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton go deep in the same game – it was the 10th such occurrence this season, the fourth this month alone – but to see both pulled from a game that wasn’t out of hand, just three weeks before the ALDS . . . well, nothing on the scoreboard could have been as nauseating as the thought of Beltre (left shoulder strain) missing enough time to derail a level of baseball rhythm that doesn’t have a proper word to describe it, or the idea that Hamilton is going to go into yet another October held together with baling wire, this time dealing with a left knee that he evidently injured at some point last night.

Or perhaps it’s just been breaking down gradually.  I’m not sure I ever remember Hamilton’s left knee costing him time as a Ranger, unlike his left hamstring and rib cage and groin and abdomen and low back and right knee and right shoulder and intestines.

Ron Washington said he’s not worried about Hamilton’s knee, and he should be in tonight’s lineup.  Beltre’s history is that he plays through pain, but Texas can’t take any chances with its best player, and the last thing the club needs is for him to make things worse.  I’d be surprised if he didn’t sit tonight (the club will get MRI results today), leaving open the question of who plays third base in his absence.

It won’t be Mike Olt, who exacerbated the plantar fasciitis he’d been dealing with in his right foot while legging out an infield single in the seventh.

Maybe it will be Michael Young.  Or Brandon Snyder.

Or Jurickson Profar, who has one appearance at third base as a pro (July 13 this year for Frisco).

Or Ian Kinsler, who now has two (April 29, 2005 for Oklahoma, and last night).  Profar could play second base in that case, as he did last night after running for Olt.

That would be one way to get Profar’s bat in the lineup.  Tonight’s Cleveland starter, Zach McAllister, threw the four-seam fastball in Profar’s first big league at-bat that ended up in the seats.

And the changeup that Profar waited back on and shot to left for a double in his second big league at-bat.

Maybe Young plays third and Profar DH’s.

Unless Mike Napoli returns tonight.

Then there are Mike Adams, shut down for at least two or three days due to a trapezoid muscle in his upper back that tightened up in Tuesday night’s appearance, and Alexi Ogando (biceps soreness), who has pitched once since September 5 and wasn’t available last night.

The Rangers are going to the playoffs for the third straight year, and you want your rotation in order, your bullpen fresh, your lineup clicking and your defense crisp.  There shouldn’t be any concern about this team coasting, given that there’s still plenty on the line, but it was a lot less unsettling when the pesky little concern was the balance between getting some rest for your key players and keeping them in rhythm (or giving them opportunities to bust out of a funk).

The story line from last night should have been another Colby Lewis-like effort from Ryan Dempster, and the lockdown relief provided by Koji Uehara and Joe Nathan, and the power of Hamilton and Beltre, and a David Murphy season that now pushes up against the .900-OPS stratosphere, and a franchise attendance record that will boost its way over the three-million mark tonight.  Instead it was about injuries to important players, injuries whose extent won’t be known until later today.

If then.

The attrition collision I was hoping to write about late this week was supposed to staged in Southern California, and instead the image from Wednesday night that I can’t shake is that of Adrian Beltre being Adrian Beltre, homering in the first and, minutes later, making a highlight play to his left, snaring a ground ball headed toward the hole as he crashed down on his left shoulder, keeping something called Russ Canzler from denting the box score, and completing what we’ve come to appreciate as a basically routine 5-3 putout on a play that I hope to all that’s good isn’t one that we have to give another moment’s thought to once Cleveland is sent back home and Seattle shows up to take its place.

Pro’s con.

By now you’ve heard The Story, and you’ve seen it questioned, regarding its sincerity on one hand and the wisdom of pulling back the curtains at all on the other.

The narrative encapsulating the first pitch Kyle Farnsworth threw Jurickson Profar, and then the second, has had as much life as just about any Rangers narrative all season, and away it’s been tucked for our kids and grandkids to share with theirs one day.

Has it been debunked?

Or are we all just playing into Jurickson Profar’s hands, just as guilty of being duped as Farnsworth and Jose Molina were?

What if the con is that there was no con?

Maybe it’s true that the story doesn’t fully check out.  Maybe the second pitch wasn’t really the same pitch as the first, maybe Jurickson Profar didn’t manage to set the Rays up at all, maybe he actually was afraid of the situation.


Or maybe Jurickson Profar wanted Farnsworth and Molina and the Rays and the Indians and the UN to believe he thinks he outsmarted a veteran battery on Saturday, when he really didn’t and doesn’t, and now we clearly can’t choose the wine in front of us, and sometimes the debunker gets bunked, and nobody knows where the narrative goes next, save perhaps for Jurickson Profar, Texas Ranger, Potentially Supernatural.

Maybe Jurickson Profar is just toying with us, all of us, and of course none of this happens, at least in this form, if he’d just listened to all those other teams three summers ago and agreed to become a pitcher.

Got ’em.

“You know, I was acting like I was scared,” he chuckled, “so he would throw me the same pitch.  And he did.  And I put a good swing on it.”


J Meric Getty Images


“That’s as surprised as I have ever been at a player’s answer on the postgame show,” said Eric Nadel, who has broadcasted over 5,000 Texas Rangers baseball games.  “I was thinking from the time it happened and he got the double [that] we’ve gotta ask him on the postgame show about the knockdown pitch as a prelude to the game-winning hit.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that that would be the answer.  I thought he’d say, maybe, ‘I was mad,’ or ‘No big deal,’ but for him to say he acted scared so he would get the same pitch again, that was amazing.

“You talk about a guy who has instincts for the game?  That’s brilliant.”

I watched the sequence again, several times.  The wince, the pained scowl as he walked away from the box to regather himself, the settling back in for the next Kyle Farnsworth pitch.

The swing.

Wash nudging Josh Hamilton in the dugout, at the front of a visitors’ dugout in St. Petersburg that I remember seeing look that alive last October.

Jurickson Profar crossed the plate after Hamilton was clipped in the foot with the bases full, and the dugout was still alive, messing with Profar like a bunch of 19-year-olds.

Later during the postgame interview that Nadel and Matt Hicks did with Profar, the man with two big league starts and two game-winning hits recalled what was going on his head as he awaited his final at-bat in the on-deck circle.

“As soon as Geo hit that double, I was thinking, ‘We got ’em.’”

Asked after the game what Profar has meant to the team since arriving a week earlier, Hamilton smiled and said, “He brings a lot of energy.”

And a lot more other stuff, too.


Saturday morning, 68-degree scattershot . . . .

This is not a kneejerk reaction after last night’s 10th and 11th innings: If rosters had to be set today, I’d take Tanner Scheppers with me to the ALDS ahead of Mark Lowe.

Lowe’s season numbers look fine, but since returning from the disabled list a month ago, he’s pitched eight times and allowed three earned runs (4.05 ERA) on eight hits (half for extra bases) and four walks in 6.2 innings, fanning only two.  The slash line in that stretch is an ugly .296/.387/.519.

Maybe he’ll get his command back and recapture his pre-injury form (22 hits and eight walks in 31.1 innings, 25 strikeouts, .198/.248/.324), and if that happens in the next three weeks, I’m open to changing my mind.

But in the meantime, here’s Scheppers (whose season line isn’t as good looking as Lowe’s) over the last two months: two earned runs (1.04 ERA) on 20 hits (four for extra bases) and three unintentional walks in 17.1 innings, with 16 strikeouts.  (He also faced six AAA hitters last week during his brief option, retiring all of them, four on strikes.)  He’s been as hittable as Lowe but not as prone to the free pass or extra-base hit (.294/.347/.382).

For now, Scheppers is on my playoff staff.

On a tangentially related point, Koji Uehara looked really good last night.  Because of his playoff collapse last October it may be difficult to remember Good Koji – opponents hit .191/.203/.471 off him (13 hits, one walk, 23 strikeouts in 18 innings) in his two regular-season months here after the trade – but he’s a key piece if he’s right.

Love what the Angels have done with 2011 third-rounder Nick Maronde, the University of Florida lefthander.  Drafted and developed as a starter, he’d never made a pro relief appearance until two weeks ago, when he came out of the AA Arkansas bullpen twice for a clear purpose: To prepare to get his arm to Anaheim, just to see what it looked like in short doses.  Probably a Scott Servais-driven move.

Maronde came up on September 1 and has faced four big league hitters: Seattle’s Carlos Peguero and Oakland’s Coco Crisp, Seth Smith, and Josh Reddick.

Strikeout.  Strikeout.  Strikeout.  Strikeout.

Remember Merkin Valdez a year ago?  Brought up in September just to see?

He wasn’t on the 40-man roster, and neither was Maronde until a week ago.

Wilmer Font is already on the Rangers’ 40-man roster.

He’s come back this year from October 2010 Tommy John surgery.  The tenet on those cases is generally 12 months before a return to the mound, but more like 18 months before command comes back.

Font sat out the 2011 season, rehabbing.  His command was shaky early this season, unsurprisingly.  Over the season’s first two months, though he’d punched out a blistering 49 Carolina League hitters in 36.2 innings and limited them to a .227 batting average, he’d issued 22 walks (5.4 per nine innings) and his ERA sat at 5.65.

Since then, a 3.09 Myrtle Beach ERA, 60 strikeouts in 46.2 innings, a .174 opponents’ average, and just 15 walks (2.9 per nine innings).

That included a transition from starter to reliever late in July: 6.1 innings, zero runs on zero hits and one walk, a stupid 13 strikeouts.

Then a promotion to the Frisco bullpen: five runs (3.00 ERA) on nine hits (.170 opponents’ average) and seven walks in 15 regular season innings, an absurd 29 strikeouts and a regular high-90s reading that reportedly touched triple digits a time or two.  He pitched twice in the RoughRiders’ playoff-opening sweep over Corpus Christi, fanning two and walking one in 1.2 innings of relief.

He still hasn’t pitched on consecutive days, but that’s understandable given the circumstances.

It might be worth asking yourself why the role change for Font was set in motion a month and a half ago.

And again, he’s already on the 40-man roster.  The second of his three options has already been used.

We can talk about Roman Mendez another time.  Similar role change in 2012, similar Class A to Class AA promotion, gaudy results in his own right, already rostered.

For now, I’m very interested in Font.

He’s no Merkin Valdez.

And he may be no Nick Maronde.

But would it be worth getting him around Joe Nathan, a recent Tommy John graduate himself, and into a couple lopsided ballgames in the process, just to see?  Maybe once the Texas League championship series is over in a week or so?

Maybe Font is next year’s Tanner Scheppers.  And with two options exhausted, Texas will need to find out what he is in 2013.

Should that process start this month?

If it does, and if he explodes on the division like Maronde has, maybe he even enters the picture for October.

Huge longshot, but perhaps worth a trial?

Jonathan Mayo has updated his top 20 Rangers prospects for

1. Jurickson Profar (number 1 in baseball)

2. Mike Olt (17)

3. Martin Perez (50)

4. Cody Buckel (96)

5. Jorge Alfaro

6. Wilmer Font

7. Luis Sardinas

8. Jairo Beras

9. Rougned Odor

10. Joey Gallo

11. Justin Grimm

12. Nomar Mazara

13. Luke Jackson

14. Roman Mendez

15. Lewis Brinson

16. Ronald Guzman

17. Neil Ramirez

18. Barret Loux

19. Nick Tepesch

20. Leury Garcia

Bet Profar gets a start tonight or tomorrow on the Tampa Bay turf.

According to at least one local report, Texas (which paid Profar $1.55 million to sign in 2009) gave his brother Juremi $150,000 to sign this summer.  According to another local report, the Red Sox and Cubs were among the teams also in on Juremi, who projects at third base but without the upside his brother had from the start.

The Angels owe Mike Scioscia about $30 million over the next six years.  Boston was rumored this week to be potentially interested in finding a way to pry him or Toronto skipper John Farrell free from their current contracts.

Would Los Angeles GM Jerry Dipoto recommend to owner Arte Moreno that they consider trading Scioscia to the Red Sox, with Dipoto bringing in his own manager in the process?

Seattle got outfielder Randy Winn from Tampa Bay for manager Lou Piniella and minor league infielder Antonio Perez in 2002.  The White Sox got two fringy players (shortstop Osvaldo Martínez and righthander Jhan Marinez) from the Marlins for manager Ozzie Guillen and minor league righthander Ricardo Andres a year ago (after rumors that Chicago was chasing outfielder Logan Morrison instead).

Scioscia would be worth a lot more than either of them.

And without knowing how much authority Dipoto cedes to Scioscia on player personnel decisions, if any, and with the way the Angels’ season has gone, I wonder what’s going on in Dipoto’s head right now.  Maybe Tony LaRussa would be open to coming back and manage Albert Pujols again (and Mike Trout), but I bet Dipoto has his own short list of younger manager candidates in mind.

In any event, Dipoto probably doesn’t have the muscle to fire Scioscia and may not even want to, but this could be a way to make the Angels more of his own team.

Oakland hammered Felix Hernandez to the tune of six runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings last night.


Kevin Millar said on MLB Network this week that he’s never had a better teammate than Ryan Dempster.

I’ll be in studio on the Ticket this afternoon for a good part of the 4:00 hour.  Not sure if we’ll be taking phone calls.

And none of this matters more than what’s going on with Brandon McCarthy right now.

Forget what you think about the trade – and it now appears the Rangers were sort of right about him, even if they were wrong about the timing – this is very scary stuff, and it sucks.  Prayers and thoughts or whatever you reach for are probably in order.

Solace in angst.

The collective run differential in the American League West is +240.

The next best in baseball is the AL East’s +83.

The Rangers are in the game’s strongest division, and own the biggest division lead in the AL.

And yet in the top of the ninth inning of a fourth game in Kansas City, in a series in which Texas had already won two of three and owned a comfortable lead not only in the division but in the race for ALDS and ALCS home field, as the Rangers had the number eight hitter on first and the number nine hitter up with two outs in a tie game, and the Royals had turned the ball over to a pretty good closer, I watched Craig Gentry swing through a 2-2 Greg Holland fastball up and away and tweeted: “Depressing at-bat with a deep bench.  Sigh.”

Earlier in the game, I’d tweeted: “Best team in the AL, but would be nice to either control the opponent’s running game just a little, stop running into outs on the bases, or both.”

I’m not an unhappy Rangers fan.  I think I do a pretty responsible job of thinking back almost every day to the three decades of watching other teams earn the right to play in playoff series and win them and appreciating very much what we have here.  These are the good old days.

Picking on whether the manager should have hit Jurickson Profar or Leonys Martin for Gentry there – and many Rangers fans were doing it, vocally – is probably just symptomatic of a fan base that’s locked in, passionate about this team and preoccupied with gaining every possible advantage available in the first 162 so that this October might end differently from the last two.

You can only maximize your chances so much, as Joey Matschulat aptly pointed out yesterday, but this is something we all intensely want.  It’s hard to win.

When the local media reported on Twitter that Mike Napoli was out running the bases again on Thursday, I asked whether he got picked off.  Momentary snark, nothing more.

We are not Red Sox fans, or Cubs fans, and while in past years I might have sat down to the computer this morning with real baseball complaints, or perhaps writing a report wondering why Texas released Miguel De Los Santos rather than attempting to run him through waivers and outrighting his contract, that’s well beside the September point in this era of Rangers baseball.

Adrian Beltre is under club control for at least three more years and a whole lot of playoff games.

Joe Nathan, two more years of control.

Yu Darvish five, Ian Kinsler four, Elvis Andrus and Matt Harrison two.

Derek Holland and Mike Olt and Profar six.

The farm system is loaded.

The front office is awesome.

Ownership is hungry.

But that’s all well down the road.

The lead is 5.5, and 5.0.

Four weeks from tomorrow is Game One.

Four weeks from today is the game that will decide, most likely, where Texas travels for that Game One.

In the meantime, I can’t promise there won’t be impulsive Twitter-angst this weekend over lineup decisions or outfield play or pickoffs or pitch location, but give me September baseball moments in Kansas City that get me worked up over running-on-fumes apathy every single day, and if you need something to lighten the mood a bit while waiting on Holland-Hellickson, Darvish-Price, and Harrison-Shields, watch this a time or two, and we’ll talk about the hard-charging Wilmer Font or who next year’s middle infield will be another time.


The scoring got underway, unpredictably, when the catcher not hitting all that differently since the relatively quiet trade sent a second-inning, two-out, 1-1 Bruce Chen changeup 407 feet the other way while we had one foot already headed toward the fridge, giving Texas an early 3-0 lead.

A lead that seemed almost insurmountable before long, as a starter who regularly has command issues was piercing his spots with punishing command of every filthy piece of the arsenal.

Then, minutes after two of his teammates hit baseballs a combined 800 feet in the space of two pitches, he seemed to have moved two-thirds towards history when what appeared to be strike three to the 18th hitter was called ball four, and with that judgment call a perfect game was lost, extending an inning in which the no-hitter was later lost, and then the shutout, and then the seemingly insurmountable lead that had suddenly given way to what had become a ballgame.

Two innings later, on the final play of the eighth, the Royals turned 6-3 into 6-4 but in the process ran into a bad third out on a badly chosen throw, and you just can’t predict those things, either.

The teams exchanged places, and the game’s next pitch was fired at Nelson Cruz, leading to some choice words from Cruz and from his friend Brayan Pena and from the Kansas City TV booth.

Cruz is one of the last Rangers hitters you’d expect to lose his cool.

And Michael Young may be the last Rangers hitter you’d have expected to turn the very next pitch around 413 feet, doing unusually bad things to 92 middle-middle and apparently offering his own choice word or two as he sprinted past first base and very clearly issuing four more as he got back to the dugout, a fraction of the number that Adrian Beltre was firing fieldward, which had me off my couch and more than just a little fired up.

Seconds after that, Vernon Wells singled in the first run in Oakland, and the whole Young-Wells narrative that seems as old as Jurickson Profar had a new entry, and as strange as that was it couldn’t have been any more strange than the feeling of pulling for an Angels win, which Wells helped ice away when he homered two innings later, minutes after Joe Nathan induced a game-ending 6-4-3 in Kansas City, pushing Texas to a four-game lead over the A’s and, maybe more importantly, over the Yankees.

The data sheet will show Texas 8, Kansas City 4 in Game 134, nine hits for one team and eight for the other, a seemingly ordinary entry that nonetheless had several extraordinary moments, certainly not random but at the same time far from foreseeable.

University of Kansas defensive coordinator Dave Campo, relaxing with a cold one 45 minutes away in Lawrence, basking in the glow of the Jayhawks’ 31-17 statement win over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits juggernaut, said that “Baseball is a game, played on a field,” to which I say, “Amen.”

You can’t predict ball.  Thank goodness for that.

History: The debut of Jurickson Profar.

For some players, the ball just sounds different coming off their bat.  Some can spin a breaking ball in such a way that you know the hitter has no chance before the pitch is halfway to the plate.  There are others . . . who you can tell are different simply by how they carry themselves.  

I’m struggling as to how to explain it.  It’s not really a swagger that [he] has.  It’s more of a comfortable magnetism.  He reminds me of a feature tailback, or a really good cover corner, with that smile that says he knows he’s going to beat you more often than not.  He’s going to be a leader.

I wrote that at Fall Instructs in Surprise, Arizona, on October 5, 2007.

About Elvis Andrus, who was 19 years and 40 days old.

Coming off a season in which he hit .257/.338/.343 between Atlanta’s High Class A affiliate and the Rangers’ High A club.

At the same age, Jurickson Profar was ahead of Elvis Andrus.

At 19 years and 40 days old, Profar was in Surprise as well, hours away from getting into his third big league spring training game of the month, and days away from a trip to Frisco, which would mark his first two-level jump of the year.  He would be a AA player – in fact the youngest player in all of AA baseball.  With zero chance of being traded.

Six months later, another two-level jump, and Profar found himself back to back with Andrus in the lineup, side by side with him in the infield.

And on the receiving end of a towelful of shaving cream.

Andrus’s introduction to the big leagues couldn’t have gone much better.  On Opening Day, he was in the lineup at age 20, batting ninth, against Cleveland.

First at-bat: A double to right field off Cliff Lee, moving Jarrod Saltalamacchia to third base, and then a run scored on an Ian Kinsler single as part of a four-run second that would set things up for an easy 9-1 win.  A strikeout and two weak groundouts to shortstop followed.

Day two: An RBI single in the second inning and a run scored, again part of a four-run second, and a sixth-inning home run to right center, sandwiched between a pair of strikeouts.  A comfortable 8-5 win over the Indians.

So Andrus, age 20, doubled and homered from the ninth spot against Cleveland in the first two games of his big league career.

Profar did it against the Indians in two at-bats.

Ron Washington sat Andrus the next day, and he’s sitting Profar the next one, too.  Far different circumstances, of course – Andrus was the club’s everyday shortstop, sitting about once a week as he got acclimated to the big leagues.  Profar doesn’t have a place to play right now, getting yesterday’s start only when Kinsler was scratched shortly before gametime with a stiff back.

There’s a multi-layered analysis on the subject of where Profar fits in 2013, and Andrus and Kinsler are big parts of that discussion.  But this isn’t the time for that.

It’s about Profar getting added ineradicably to sentences that include Whitey Lockman (1945) and Ted Tappe (1950) (the only other teenagers to homer in their first big league at-bat); Ted Kazanski (1953) and Johnny Callison (1958) (the only other teenagers with at least two extra-base hits in their big league debut); fellow Willemstad, Curacao native Andruw Jones (the last player younger than Profar to hit a home run and a double in a big league game); Bryce Harper (who, like Profar, debuted this season at 19 years and 195 days of age); Ivan Rodriguez (both the youngest position player to appear for the Rangers and the youngest to homer before Profar’s debut); and lefthanders David Clyde and Wilson Alvarez (the only younger Rangers in franchise history).

And Adrian Beltre.  When Profar destroyed a low-and-in, 2-1 offering from Zach McAllister, leading off the third inning, he became the youngest player to hit a Major League home run since Beltre’s seventh homer, which came on September 25 at the end of his rookie season in 1998, when he was age 19 and 171 days, and Profar was five.

I’m pretty sure that was Beltre’s voice from the dugout that punctuated the ambient sound when the ball rocketed off Profar’s bat.  And that Profar being around Beltre this month could be even more important than him being around Andrus.

Washington played Andrus virtually every day as a rookie, but that was the blueprint.  This is very different, and I’d be surprised to see Profar in the lineup any more than maybe once a week for Andrus defensively and once a week for Kinsler defensively, and maybe not even that while playoff positioning is still on the line.

But Washington also said a few weeks ago that he was only going to use Joe Nathan in save situations – and that lasted until Nathan’s next appearance.  Wash has shown that, in some circumstances, he’s willing to adapt.  Whether Profar will have enough opportunities this month to force the manager to reconsider his plans for the teenager is no lock, but stranger things have happened.

As for yesterday, it was a ridiculously awesome moment, one that hopefully even those focused on vigorously debating Nelson Cruz’s UZR and Range Factor could appreciate.  If it had happened in Texas, we’d have a thicker stack of photographs to preserve the moment, but the video will last, as will the memory of the swing and the trajectory and the sprint-trot and the smile and the game-ending face full of Barbasol.

The opposite-field double that followed on Sunday may eventually recede from memory, and the two flyouts certainly will.  And for now so will the reality that Profar is actually more powerful from the right side of the plate, in fact significantly so, at least based on the numbers he put together at Hickory in 2011 and Frisco in 2012.

Clubs that got older when he moved on.

Texas, on the other hand, got younger this weekend, and we got a mind-blowing peek at what the next brand of this franchise may look like.

But what happened on Sunday was just one small part of one September ballgame, and accordingly the fact that that old commercial suggesting “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” was run out there by Head & Shoulders will fall just short of prompting me to roll out the trite punch line you know I’m dying to.


“I knew I was going to give Elvis a day today, but I never really gave any thought to starting Profar” but settle down he just got into town but then again logistics was probably reason number 10 and hey maybe Cleveland 4, Texas 3 would have been even worse if Profar had made his debut at one day younger than Bryce Harper had and I’m not super-comfortable bringing up the names of David Clyde and Wilson Alvarez and remember that Mike Olt arguably has a semi-regular role he could help fill and Profar really doesn’t and last night Wash said he might use Profar at shortstop or second base but “I’m going to write Elvis and Ian in the lineup until I decide to give them days off” and you see why that doesn’t really answer the question and every time Wash gets asked the question he’ll be like #bringit so get used to it and Profar himself said in at least one of five languages “I know I’m not going to play much, but it doesn’t matter – I’m still going to get better on the bench by watching these guys play” and c’mon it’s not like this will ever become a #knockknock joke and I just hope MDLS doesn’t bite us plus they’d have needed the roster spot even if Alberto Gonzalez or Luis Hernandez were the call and since Oakland will win this afternoon 24 to (-2) let’s please just go ahead and #WTDS if that’s cool with you.