The Texas Rangers’ clubhouse got even more crowded Monday as catcher Robinson Chirinos was activated from the disabled list and right-hander Nick Martinez was recalled, giving the club 34 players.
With four catchers on the active roster, things are especially crowded around home plate.
Manager Jeff Banister, a former catcher, said that Chirinos will fall into a rotation with Bobby Wilson, who started Monday, and Chris Gimenez until he shows that he is capable of more regular duty after missing more than a month because of a left shoulder injury.
Carlos Corporan is still recovering from a sprained left thumb and is an emergency catcher, Banister said.
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Chirinos, though, could be back in his role as the No. 1 catcher before the season ends.
“We fully intend on getting Chirinos back into the mix as soon as we can,” Banister said. “He was our starting catcher. I’m sure he fits right in that mix.”
Chirinos hustled to Safeco Field after catching nine innings Sunday on rehab assignment with Round Rock and caught the bottom of the ninth in the Rangers’ 3-0 win Monday. He said that pain in his non-throwing arm is all but gone, especially when he throws.
The issue is his swing. He releases his right hand from the bat and has a one-handed follow through, something he is trying to eliminate.
“They day I’m catching, I’m going to do whatever I can to help my team win,” Chirinos said.
Hamels’ tank full
Left-hander Cole Hamels will make his 27th start of the season Tuesday and his seventh with the Rangers. Like Colby Lewis, Hamels is pushing for a 200-inning season.
Unlike Lewis, though, there are no concerns about how much Hamels has left in reserve this season. He said that there is no reason to worry.
“When you get down to that last 30 days, there’s a push inside of you that’s hard to explain,” Hamels said. “There’s either a lot more left for some or there’s not enough left. I feel that’s what all the training and work I do, that’s what it’s there for. It’s then go out there and dig deep and use up everything I have.
“I’ve prepared to pitch 200 innings every year. I know health’s a big concern to do that. Everything I’ve done has put me in that place to be able to do it and feel comfortable and have a lot of energy left. I would say that it’s still pretty full and still ready to go.”
Banister said that the Rangers have no plans to give Lewis, who has lost three straight starts, any extra rest before his next start, which is scheduled for Friday.
Lewis, despite allowing 18 runs in his past three outings, remains one of the Rangers’ five best starters.
“We’re looking at a rotation that gives us the best options for the games right in front of us,” Banister said. “Why not put the best rotation right in front of you?”
Kela ready soon
Right-hander Keone Kela rejoined the Rangers and said that he could be back as soon as Tuesday after a weekend of treatment on his elbow and some assurance from Dr. Keith Meister.
An MRI exam showed no structural damage, which proved to be a big relief for Kela. He said that his forearm would tighten after throwing his curveball, but was told that there is no risk of a significant injury.
“Getting the MRI, it validated that there’s nothing torn,” Kela said. “I have that comfort in my mind. I may still feel stuff here and there, but right now we’re at a part of the season where it’s time to battle.”
Kela said that he will see Meister again after the season to see if the elbow needs any further attention.
Delino DeShields returned to the starting lineup after taking a day to rest his left oblique following a check swing Saturday night. He said that there was almost no pain in the area but will continue to monitor it.
However, DeShields was injured in the seventh inning Monday while sliding into third base and left the game.