HOUSTON -- Craig Gentry was in center field on Tuesday night with right-hander Lucas Harrell on the mound for the Astros. But catcher Geovany Soto was not behind the plate with Yu Darvish on the mound for the Rangers.
Manager Ron Washington likes the way Soto works well with Darvish. But the Rangers signed A.J. Pierzynski to be their everyday catcher, and he was in the lineup on Tuesday night for the second game of the season. The Rangers have a day game on Wednesday, and Washington isn't sure who will be his catcher for that one.
"I'll talk to A.J. after this game and see how he feels," Washington said Tuesday afternoon. "I'll get Soto in there. I can't say it's going to be tomorrow just because it's a day game after a night game. It's the third game of the season. Pierzynski is my everyday catcher, he needs to see the whole rotation. We'll see how we go. I'll probably get Soto back to Darvish at some point."
Gentry and Leonys Martin are sharing the center-field job, and Tuesday was the first indication Washington is not going to split playing time strictly by platoon. Martin, who started on Opening Day, will still likely face most of the right-handed pitchers and Gentry will get the lefties.
But Washington saw enough from Gentry in Spring Training to believe he can hit both. Gentry hit .277 against right-handers in 2012 and .343 against left-handers.
"I have no issues with Gentry in there against right-handers," Washington said. "In Spring Training, he was getting through the ball [hitting with power] against lefties, righties, everybody. It just wasn't left-handers he was tearing up."
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.Less