Catching duties split between Gimenez, Chirinos

Catching duties split between Gimenez, Chirinos

WASHINGTON -- The Rangers have settled into a more equitable distribution of the catching duties since Chris Gimenez was called up from Triple-A Round Rock to replace J.P. Arencibia.

Gimenez was out of the lineup on Saturday, with Robinson Chirinos catching Nick Tepesch. Gimenez, who is expected to start on Sunday with Yu Darvish on the mound, had caught six of 10 games since being called up. Prior to that, Chirinos had caught nine of 13 games.

Manager Ron Washington admitted there was some concern about Chirinos handling the workload in his first full season in the Major Leagues. Chirnos played in his 33rd game on Saturday. That equals the number of Major League games he had played in his entire career.

"Catching up here is a little different than in the Minor Leagues," Washington said. "There is a lot that goes into the preparation, and that's all mental. A guy who has never had to carry that load, we wanted to take a little of the pressure off."

Gimenez has a career .216 batting average, but he is 11-for-25 (.440) since being called up. He has two or more hits in his last three games and is 11-for-22 in five starts on the road trip. Rangers pitchers have a 3.25 ERA with Gimenez behind the plate.

"He has done a good job since he has been up here," Washington said. "He calls a good game and has done a good job with the bat."

Washington said he will continue to have his two catchers share the load, at least for the time being.

"It benefits both of them," Washington said. "They won't get overextended and they will both stay fresh. To me, it helps keep them both productive."

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.