Texas Rangers: Rougned Odor Nearing a Return from Injury

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ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 06: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers hits a double in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 6, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 06: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers hits a double in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 6, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images) /
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Injured since April 10th, Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor has begun his rehab stint. His return to the big league lineup is just days away.

The Texas Rangers are finally about to get one of their starting position players back from injury. He may be the lesser of the anticipated returns, but second baseman Rougned Odor is days from returning to the big league club.

Odor suffered a left hamstring injury back on April 9th. Almost four weeks later, he’s rehabbing with the Frisco Rough Riders—Texas’ Double-A squad. Thus far, Odor has played in two games with Frisco.

He DH’d his first game back in action and went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout. He took the field the following day, though only temporarily. In just two at-bats, Odor went 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI. He drove in the only run of the day for the Rough Riders.

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SURPRISE, AZ – MARCH 05: Rougned Odor #12 of the Texas Rangers bats against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 5, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

A couple more rehab starts and Rougned Odor should be back sporting a Texas Rangers uniform. The Rangers will host the Detroit Tigers Monday through Wednesday. They will then have Thursday off before heading to Houston for a three-game series. Barring any setbacks, Odor will certainly be back for an important division series against the Astros.

However, it’s probably best he gets some at-bats against a lesser Tigers’ pitching staff, if possible. Stepping back into the batter’s box against an elite Astros’ starting rotation is not ideal.

Throughout Rougned Odor’s absence, Texas Rangers nation has been rather vocal about the team being better off without him. I’m not pointing any fingers, but that does seem to be the general consensus. The first impression by “fill-in” Isiah Kiner-Falefa has contributed to the many strong feelings against Odor.

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The fact of the matter is Rougned Odor is the Rangers starting second baseman. Odor is owed a lot of money from the organization; therefore, he’s going to be playing a ton. Also, it’s unfair to assume he’ll struggle this season as he did last season.

The Rangers raved about Odor’s disciplined offseason. He took a specific approach to narrow his strike zone and to see more pitches. 11 games in April is not enough to draw conclusions. And let’s not forget that Odor has had back-to-back season with 30+ home runs.

Kiner-Falefa will continue to play regularly once Rougned Odor returns. In fact, the likely roster move will see either a Ryan Rua demotion or a Drew Robinson demotion.

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It will not be until the returns of Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus that the Texas Rangers will be forced to make a decision on Kiner-Falefa’s major league status. Falefa’s ability to play second base, third base and shortstop will help keep him with the Rangers for the time being.

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