Soto's return gives Rangers choices at catcher
The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - INSIDE PITCH
Ron Washington wasted little time reinserting catcher Geovany Soto into his starting lineup on Friday night in a 4-3 loss to Houston.
Soto returned earlier in the day from the 15-day disabled list, which he went on after suffering a right groin strain on July 21 while running the bases at Yankee Stadium. Soto had played in just three games before the injury, having been reinstated from the 60-day DL on July 17.
Washington will start Soto behind the plate for ace right-hander Yu Darvish on Saturday, but made it clear that additional evaluation is needed to determine his platoon behind the plate, one that includes Robinson Chirinos (.237/.276/.427).
"Let's let it play out," Washington said. "I've got to see where he is before I start to say what's going to happen. Robinson Chirinos will catch. (Chirinos) has been doing good (defensively). I've got to give him credit for his improvement. He's been doing a good job."
Chirinos has been a stabilizing force throughout this injury-marred season, with Washington adamant that Chirinos has earned the right to keep his name in the mix for playing time. With 71 games under his belt this season, Chirinos has been the anchor the Rangers have lacked behind the plate with Soto sidelined for so long.
"Chirinos earned where he is," Washington said.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
NEXT: Rangers (RHP Yu Darvish, 10-6, 2.82 ERA) at Astros (RHP Scott Feldman, 5-8, 4.13 ERA).
--C Geovany Soto was activated from the 15-day disabled list and inserted into the starting lineup on Friday night. Soto had been sidelined since July 21 after suffering a right groin strain running the bases at Yankee Stadium. In five rehab assignment games with Triple-A Round Rock, Soto batted .375 (6-for-16) with one home run and two RBIs while starting four games behind the plate and one as designated hitter.
--RHP Jerome Williams was designated for assignment, a move made to clear a roster spot for C Geovany Soto. Williams was 1-1 with a 9.90 ERA in two starts with the Rangers since his contract was purchased from Triple-A Round Rock on July 25. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Williams to the minor leagues. Williams opened the season with the Houston Astros, finishing 1-4 with a 6.04 ERA over 26 appearances before being designated for assignment on June 30.
--RHP Miles Mikolas limited the Houston Astros to one run on four hits over five innings, and has allowed two runs or less in three of his last four outings. In his four road starts this season, Mikolas is 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA.
--DH J.P. Arencibia hit his seventh home run since the All-Star break, a two-run shot in the first inning off Astros LHP Brett Oberholtzer. His homer total since the break leads the majors, and Arencibia is hitting .298 (14-for-47) with five home runs and 18 RBIs over his last 13 games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was a tough ballgame. We put up two runs in the first inning and just couldn't get anything else. They fought for their at-bats and they beat us. They beat our best pitcher that we had in that situation, so you've got to give them credit." -- Rangers manager Ron Washington, on a 4-3 loss to Houston on Friday.