ARLINGTON (105.3 THE FAN) — Ron Washington would like someone to step up and seize the everyday catcher role — it just hasn’t happened.
So with Yu Darvish on the mound on Wednesday against Seattle, filling out the lineup was easy.
Robinson Chirinos, who has limited experience with Darvish, will get the start. Not for any particular reason, but rather, just because.
“That’s the way it fell,” said Washington. “I usually give Robert a few back-to-back games. I give J.P. [Arencibia] a few back-to-back games.”
Arencibia is 1-for-22 since his two hit effort on Opening Day, dropping his average to a season-low .083.
The 29-year-old Chirinos hasn’t fared much better, going 2-for-12 since collecting two hits at Boston on April 8. He’s batting just .174 with two walks and seven strikeouts.
“I’m not expecting offense out of my catchers. I want him to get my pitcher through innings. Whatever I get offensively, I get,” said Washington.
Defensively, the duo has been solid, guiding Rangers pitching to four shutouts over the last nine games.
Chirinos caught Robbie Ross’ gem on Tuesday, when the lefty pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball. With the start, Texas became the only MLB team with 4 starts of at least 7.0 scoreless frames. Only Tampa Bay has three.
Chirinos in particular has been stellar defensively. Four runners have attempted to steal with him behind the plate; all four have failed.
“The way he’s been receiving and throwing — the energy. He’s an improved player man.”
While Chirinos will be the starting catcher for the first time with Darvish on the mound, Wash has little worry about their inexperience together.
Wash notes that Chirinos has caught him a few innings this season in addition to catching him in spring training.
“Darvish does his homework, and Chirinos will be up in his pocket doing it with him. They’ll be on the same page,” said Washington. “If he puts something down that Darvish doesn’t want, all he has to do is shake.”
And while Wash wishes that someone break out and force his hand into seeing more time, he’s realistic about the current situation.
“That’s the makeup of my club, and I’ve got to keep everybody involved. Yes, you sit back and you hope somebody takes off. All of them have been contributing, so you’ve got to keep them engaged.”
Geovany Soto was placed on the 60-day DL on March 30 with a knee injury.
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