Yesterday, the Texas Rangers placed one of their most productive position players, A.J. Pierzynski, on the 15-day disabled list after an MRI revealed that he had a strained right abdominal muscle. The catcher was a late scratch before the Rangers’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
Now what does this mean for the Rangers over the next couple of weeks? Well, the first consequence is that Geovany Soto is now the starting catcher, but he is also the only catcher on the roster right now.
The Rangers are now expected to call up Robinson Chirinos from triple-A Round Rock to fill the backup spot. The team is off on Thursday, so it is likely that Chirinos will be joining them before their next game on Friday against the Houston Astros.
Going from Pierzynski to Soto is a definite downgrade for the Rangers, and even more so from Soto to Chirinos in the backup role. Pierzynski has done well during his first month in a Rangers uniform, hitting .263 with four home runs and 11 runs batted in.
It’s not great, but Pierzynski was definitely one of the most consistent position players on the Rangers at the plate, only bested by Ian Kinsler and another first-year Ranger, Lance Berkman. As a catcher, not only will this affect the offense but the pitching rotation too.
Soto has not been working with the pitching staff as much as Pierzynski, and it may cause a big change — a change in an already-struggling rotation, and a change the Rangers cannot afford right now.