Jurickson Profar Doing His Best to Hang on to A's Starting Lineup Spot

When the A's called up Corban Joseph from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier this month, it seemingly signaled the end of any consistent playing time for Jurickson Profar.

But as college football's Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friend.

Profar has caught fire the last week and a half, most recently going 2-for-5 with a home run and a two-run double in the A's 8-2 win over the Yankees on Friday night. That followed a 3-for-4 performance Thursday in Kansas City with another home run and three RBI.

"He's been swinging the bat great," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters in New York. "He's doing some of his best work, certainly offensively, and swinging the bat better right-handed too."

Profar got the scoring started in the second inning Friday night, blasting his 18th home run of the season off Yankees starter CC Sabathia. It was only Profar's second homer as a right-handed hitter this year.

"I think I didn't have a hit against him until tonight," Profar told NBC Sports California's Glen Kuiper and Dallas Braden. "Just trying to keep it simple, focus on good pitches to hit and put good swings. That's it."

In his last eight games, Profar is batting .400 (10-for-25) with three home runs, four doubles, eight RBI, and 11 runs scored. All of a sudden, he has become a primary contributor in Oakland's lineup, despite still just hitting .216 for the season.

Defensively, Profar's struggles at second base have persisted, though he did make an incredible highlight-reel play to end Friday's game.

"We believe in each other," Profar said. "We know we can compete against anybody."

Even if Profar loses some playing time at second base to Joseph and/or Sheldon Neuse, his versatility could allow him to remain in the A's lineup on an everyday basis. The 26-year-old can play every infield position, along with left field. He could also get some starts at DH, especially if Khris Davis can't break out of his slump.

One way or another, if Profar keeps hitting like this, Melvin will find a way to keep getting him in the lineup.

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