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Prospects Odor, Sardinas head seven cuts

Prospects Odor, Sardinas head seven cuts

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Top infield prospects Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas were among seven players sent back to the Minor Leagues during the first wave of spring cuts made by the Rangers on Wednesday.

Both are expected to play at Double-A Frisco. Odor will be at second base, and Sardinas will be at shortstop. The Rangers, as in the case with Leury Garcia and Jurickson Profar two years ago, do not plan on having them play multiple positions to increase their versatility for a possible future utility role.

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"Odor is a natural second baseman, and Sardinas is as natural of a shortstop as you'll ever see," manager Ron Washington said. "They need to focus on those two positions."

Washington also told both players they don't need to worry about when and where they might end up in the big leagues, even though the Rangers have shortstop Elvis Andrus signed through at least 2018 and second baseman Profar under their control through '19.

"Andrus and Profar ain't blocking anything for them," Washington said. "Those kids are just in Double-A ball. I told them to go play Double-A ball or wherever they're going to play and be there. When it's their time, no one will be able to keep them out of the big leagues."

Both players were 4-for-15 in Cactus League games. But more valuable was the early work they got every day from Washington. The Rangers' manager loves teaching infield defense, and that was especially true in working with Sardinas and Odor.

"I have no issues with how they went about their business," Washington said. "In fact, the thrill was all mine to be able to work with them on a consistent basis that I did. I only get a chance to work with those kids in Spring Training, and they certainly made my 2014 Spring Training enjoyable. Just to be around them and have a chance to come out in the morning and have some fun and continue to pass on some things I know about the game -- to watch them take and use it is a thrill. We will see them again, because both of them can play. They showed a lot of maturity, they applied the things that we were doing and they were involved in everything."

Sardinas is ranked as the Rangers' No. 2 prospect by MLB.com. He played in 97 games at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and 29 at Double-A Frisco last year, hitting .288 with 81 runs scored, 19 doubles and 32 stolen bases. Odor, ranked No. 4, played in 100 games at Myrtle Beach and 30 with Frisco, hitting a combined .305 with 85 runs scored, 41 doubles, 11 home runs, 78 RBIs and 32 stolen bases.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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