Sharing time keeps Rangers catchers fresh

Sharing time keeps Rangers catchers fresh

ARLINGTON -- Bengie Molina was back at catcher on Wednesday after Matt Treanor started three straight games.

Manager Ron Washington said he is planning on Molina catching the next three games: Wednesday night against the Tigers and then Friday and Saturday against the Mariners. After that, Treanor is expected back in the lineup for two to three games.

The two continue to share the catching duties. Going into Wednesday night's game, the Rangers had played 21 games since Treanor came off the disabled list on Aug. 23. In those 21 games, Molina started 11 of them, Treanor started nine and Taylor Teagarden one.

Washington declines to say who is his No. 1 catcher.

"I've got two pretty good veterans," Washington said. "For the rest of the season, I'm going to keep the rotation I've got going. It's good because you save wear and tear on their bodies and keep them fresh."

The Rangers are also going to the playoffs. At that point, it may become more obvious who will be the No. 1 catcher. But Washington isn't going there yet.

"We as a group will decide what's best for that position on a given day," Washington said. "They are both quality catchers. The last thing I'm going to do is pit them against each other. We feel good when either one of them is back there."

The primary job for the Rangers' catchers is working with their pitchers, and that part has gone well. The Rangers went into Wednesday's game with the sixth-lowest team ERA (3.96) in the American League.

In other measurable defensive categories, Rangers catchers are tied for the fourth-fewest passed balls in the league and they have thrown at 21.1 percent of attempted basestealers, seventh best. Rangers pitchers are also tied for the sixth-fewest number of wild pitches.

Offensively, Rangers catchers are hitting .206, second lowest in the league. The Mariners are hitting .193. Rangers catchers also have the third-lowest on-base percentage (.284) and fourth-lowest slugging percentage (.319) as a group.