SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers wanted to see more from catcher J.P. Arencibia in the closing days of Spring Training. Arencibia is responding to the challenge.
Arencibia, who was not in the lineup on Sunday but replaced Geovany Soto in the second inning, was 2-for-3 with a double on Saturday against the Royals, and he has six hits in his last 16 at-bats. Manager Ron Washington said Arencibia has been working with hitting coach Dave Magadan on covering the whole plate rather than pulling off. A double to right-center on Saturday was a good sign.
"It's just a progression of Spring Training," Arencibia said. "Unfortunately I don't play winter ball in the offseason, so I'm not in shape to go full-go right away. The more at-bats you get, that stuff will come. The last five games, the consistency has been there. I've been working with Dave to tighten things down."
The Rangers signed Arencibia this offseason to be their backup catcher, but now he finds himself trying to stave off the challenge of Robinson Chirinos.
"I just had to step on the gas a little bit more, no more working on things and going about it trying to get ready for March 31," Arencibia said. "Now it's just about going out there and playing."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.