Soto to split time with Chirinos upon return

Soto to split time with Chirinos upon return

CHICAGO -- The Rangers are planning to activate catcher Geovany Soto off the disabled list on Friday. That will cut into the playing time of the Rangers' second-leading home run man.

Robinson Chirinos moved into that spot when he hit his 10th and 11th homers during the Rangers' 16-0 rout of the White Sox on Tuesday night. Chirinos also leads American League catchers by throwing out 40 percent of attempted basestealers.

But he and Soto will share the catching duties beginning on Friday. Soto will take over responsibility of catching Yu Darvish and might end up with a slight edge in playing time.

"We've got to see what Soto can do," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not going to take away tremendous time away from Robinson; he is still going to get time. But it will take some time away from him."

Chirinos, a converted infielder, has been one of the few bright spots on the Rangers this season. He went into Wednesday's game hitting .240 with the 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 70 games and 229 at-bats in his first full season. But he is inexperienced and still learning the position. Washington said it's crucial not to overexpose him.

"He has taken advantage of his opportunities and certainly been impressive," Washington said. "We have to make sure we can give him what he can handle, so he can be productive. You can't put too much on him. If you try to get more out of someone than they are capable, then they become unproductive."

Chirinos became the first Rangers catcher to hit two home runs in a game and catch a complete-game shutout. Ivan Rodriguez and Jim Sundberg never accomplished that.

"It was an awesome night ... two home runs, we won the game," Chirinos said. "It was a great night for everybody."

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.