Despite sore ankle, Odor to remain in lineup

Despite sore ankle, Odor to remain in lineup

ARLINGTON -- When Rougned Odor felt his left ankle get rammed into by a sliding Nomar Mazara on Sunday, he immediately assumed the worst.

Carlos Gomez had sprained his right ankle just the day before when he rolled it coming out of the batter's box, and he was in a walking boot with crutches afterward with an undetermined amount of recovery time. Odor's mind flashed back to images of Gomez crumpling to the ground and having to be helped off the field, but tests revealed Odor's ankle injury had avoided any serious damage.

He iced it Sunday night before he went to bed, and he put it through some tests when he arrived at the park on Monday, including running and taking some swings in the cages. It's "a little sore, but I know nothing's broken, so that's why I'm playing today."

Odor being the lineup means he will continue his streak of having played in every game so far this year, which he said was a goal of his coming into Spring Training. The bumps and bruises come -- and stay, sometimes -- but being able to play means a great deal to him.

"That's part of this game," Odor said. "Sometimes you're going to feel tired, sometimes something's going to hurt, but as soon as I cross those lines, I feel good about everything and I'm just doing my best."

He said he felt extra incentive -- pressure, perhaps -- to do whatever he could to be on the lineup card with Gomez and Adrian Beltre set to miss extended periods of time with their own injuries. The Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives and cannot afford to have yet another starter go down.

Odor's production hasn't been where he would like it to be. His batting average is hovering around .210, his OPS sits below .700, and he's already struck out more than he did last year in his first full season in the Majors.

"I think I can hit a little better," Odor said. "But right now, I don't worry about my numbers. I just worry about winning the game. I think we've been playing really well the last week, and that's how we're going to keep doing until the last day of the season."

Added Rangers manager Jeff Banister, "Outside of production, he's still a power producer for us. When he's on base, he utilizes his legs to score runs for us ... so right now, he says he can go, we feel good about it, the medical staff feels good about it, so we're going to run him out there."

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.