If Lucroy was forced to leave the game, the emergency catcher would have been Drew Robinson. Never mind that the last time Robinson did any catching was a bullpen stint for Chi Chi Gonzalez while they were both at Class A Myrtle Beach.
Robinson’s versatility has been a boon for the Rangers. The outfielder-turned-infielder-turned utility man started in center field for the first time in the majors Wednesday night, making it the fourth position he has started at with the Rangers.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he was trying to give Carlos Gomez a couple days to let a strained left oblique calm down.
“It’s why we DH’d him the other day. Freshen him up a little bit, let him get a little treatment,” Banister said. “Typical [ailment] of this time of year. He hasn’t really complained about it. We’ll give him a couple of days. I think it’ll help him out.”
It’ll also help out Robinson, who said he feels like a natural outfielder.
“I feel comfortable out there,” he said. “I didn’t really expect it but I knew it was a possibility. My role is to be able to move all over the field so I’m always kind of expecting to play and they put me out there today.”
Banister has always been high on versatile players that allows him to have a bigger bullpen and gives him more options.
“You need those type of players, especially if you want to keep a full bullpen and short bench. He allows us to do different things,” Banister said.
Robinson has alternated working at two positions before each game to stay engaged with third base, second and shortstop, as well as all three outfield spots.
“I try to pick two positions a day, if I have time I’ll do a third one,” he said. “If Elvis [Andrus] isn’t taking ground balls that day I’ll work at short, or wherever is open and I can get my work in.”
So the only thing he can’t do is pitch?
“I guess we can go with that,” Robinson said. “If there was an [emergency] situation like that I probably could go out there. I think I’m athletic enough to get through an inning.”