Soto trying to find his rhythm
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - INSIDE PITCH
Ron Washington dispelled the notion that pitchers perform better working with "personal" catchers, at least those pitchers with a track record for continued excellence.
Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish pitched to veteran Geovany Soto on Saturday night to unfavorable results, in part because Texas is working to get Soto back in rhythm following his missing most of this season due to injury. In 2013, Soto caught Darvish 16 times but their combined stats (.623 OPS, 2.87 ERA) were slightly worse than those Darvish posted with A.J. Pierzynski behind the plate (.600 OPS, 2.80 ERA).
"I know they get along well," Washington said of the relationship between Darvish and Soto. "They seem to be on the same page with what they're trying to do. Soto caught him last year so they have a relationship. I thought (Darvish) and (Chris) Gimenez worked well together, too."
With Soto mostly unavailable this season, Darvish has pitched to J.P Arencibia (five games), Robinson Chirinos (four) and Gimenez (12), who was recently designated for assignment. Soto appears to be the designated catcher for Darvish moving forward although there appears to be little statistical support behind choosing one backstop over another.
"The elite pitchers call their own game. They just need somebody to stop (the ball) from going to the backstop," Washington said. "You think people called Roger Clemens' game? Or Randy Johnson? They didn't call Tom Seaver's games. I know they didn't call Don Sutton's games. They're calling their own games."
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Rays (LHP Drew Smyly, 6-10, 3.98 ERA) at Rangers (RHP Colby Lewis, 8-8, 5.50 ERA)
--RF Alex Rios departed in the middle of the fourth inning after aggravating his sore right ankle sliding into home plate. Rios missed the first two games of the series resting the ankle, originally injured at Toronto in July. Rios was 1-for-2 and will be re-evaluated on Monday.
--3B Adrian Beltre finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the sixth inning. He is batting .375 (51-for-136) with 11 homers and 30 RBIs against the Astros since 2012. Beltre has hit safely in his last 11 games at Minute Maid Park and is batting .324 (49-for-151) in 36 career games in Houston.
--RHP Nick Martinez allowed two runs on five hits and two walks with a career-high six strikeouts to earn his first victory since defeating the Detroit Tigers on May 24. Martinez allowed two or fewer runs in three of his last 10 starts but went 0-2 with a no-decision in those outings.
--RHP Shawn Tolleson worked two perfect innings of relief, recording a pair of strikeouts in the process. Tolleson has worked four scoreless innings over his last four appearances and eight innings, posting a 1.13 ERA during that span.
--C Chris Gimenez was sent outright to Triple-A Round Rock. He was designated for assignment by the Rangers on Thursday.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We work hard at that type of stuff, we just haven't been as consistent at it as we'd like to (be). There are games when we show that in our game. The key is to work to be more efficient at it." -- Manager Ron Washington, of the Rangers' alert base running as they took advantage of an error and two wild pitches to beat Houston Sunday.