Salty returns to Rangers' disabled list

Salty returns to Rangers' disabled list

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers placed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the disabled list Thursday with stiffness in his upper back and left shoulder. They recalled Matt Treanor from Triple-A Oklahoma City and manager Ron Washington said that Taylor Teagarden will do most of the catching while Saltalamacchia is out.

"He's ready," Washington said. "He's receiving the ball well, he's helping the pitchers get through their innings and he's really been throwing the ball well. Now that he's getting consistent games under his belt, maybe he'll lock in offensively.

Saltalamacchia apparently injured himself in Monday's season opener against the Blue Jays. He pinch-hit for Teagarden in the ninth inning of Wednesday's game and struck out looking. It was after that game when Saltalamacchia told the Rangers that he was hurting.

The Rangers do not know how long Saltalamacchia will be sidelined.

"He's going to take some tests and we'll wait for the feedback," Washington said.

This is another setback for Saltalamacchia, whose 2009 season came to an end in mid-August when he developed thoracic outlet syndrome in his right shoulder. He had surgery in September to have a rib bone removed because it was causing pain, tingling and numbness in an arm and shoulder.

He was shut down twice in Spring Training, once for pain caused by scar tissue tearing in the shoulder and again for muscle spasms on the left side of his neck and shoulder.

Washington was asked if Saltalamacchia has become injury-prone.

"I can't answer that," Washington said. "I just know he had outlet syndrome. From what I understand, some of this is residual. Up until that, he wasn't injured."

Treanor is a six-year Major Leaguer who has played in 265 games, mostly as a backup/part-time player for the Marlins from 2004-08. He has a reputation for being an excellent defensive catcher who throws well, receives the ball well and works well with his pitchers. The Rangers acquired him late in Spring Training from the Brewers when there was a question as to whether Saltalamacchia would be ready for Opening Day.

Treanor, 34, is not considered much of an offensive threat, and for his career, his 162-game average is 429 at-bats with 37 runs, 17 doubles, five home runs, 41 RBIs, a .232 batting average, .318 on-base percentage and .311 slugging percentage.

He has thrown out 23.1 percent of attempted basestealers in his career. Since 2004, that ranks 28th among 57 Major League catchers who have caught at least 200 games.

But he'll still be the backup behind Teagarden, who spent last season as the Rangers' No. 2 catcher. He and Saltalamacchia were supposed to share the position this season but that arrangement is out the window for now.

"Teagarden is the guy," Washington said. "I think he'll let us know how many games we can run out there but he's going to get the bulk of [them]."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.