ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' new catching arrangement designed by manager Ron Washington represents a promotion for Taylor Teagarden. He was the backup last year behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ivan Rodriguez.
He has been promised he will share the position with Saltalamacchia. Now Teagarden must prove two things.
No. 1, he must prove that he's not satisfied with being just a backup catcher. The Rangers had some concerns about that when they told Teagarden that he would have a chance to compete for the starting spot in Spring Training. So far he has alleviated their concerns by the way he played in Arizona.
"There might have been some people who felt that was the case, even though I was doing all the things I needed to do to play every day," Teagarden said. "I have never settled for less. I know I'm capable of doing that, and Wash knows that. Nobody wants to be satisfied being a backup, especially at this stage of my career."
Secondly, he must show he can hit. Teagarden is considered to be an excellent defensive catcher and that's most important for the Rangers. But he also hit just .217 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 60 games and 198 at-bats last year. He wants to do better than that.
"Oh yeah," Teagarden said. "For my own satisfaction, I want to be a complete player. I know what I'm capable of and I don't want to settle for less. Nobody wants to be labeled as either an offensive player or a defensive player. I don't want to be labeled as a one-dimensional player."