Texas Rangers

Trevino could be Rangers' catcher of the future. Will he stay with them the rest of season?

Jose Trevino has first MLB hit. Who will get the ball?

Texas Rangers rookie catcher Jose Trevino made his first career start Saturday and collected his first MLB hit in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
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Texas Rangers rookie catcher Jose Trevino made his first career start Saturday and collected his first MLB hit in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

That collision Wednesday night took a toll on the Texas Rangers, who lost reliever Chris Martin to the disabled list, catcher Robinson Chirinos to one-game suspension and Chirinos on Saturday to lingering soreness.

Matt Kemp isn't a small man, and though Chirinos said he felt fine Wednesday night, his neck has been achy since the Los Angeles Dodgers' left fielder ran him over.

Chirinos could return to the Rangers' lineup Sunday, though with temperatures expected to be in the mid-90s again, perhaps he lets the kid sweat another one out.

Jose Trevino wouldn't complain. He might lose five pounds, but he wouldn't complain.

The rookie made his first career start Saturday as Chirinos rested and Carlos Perez hit the 10-day DL with a sprained right ankle, and he contributed at the plate as the Rangers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Trevino will continue to play roughly every third game until Perez can return. Could he unseat Perez? It seems like that's what a team in development mode might want do.

But the Rangers seem to know what they have in Trevino — a defensive-minded catcher who still needs some seasoning in the minors.

"As long as he's here, he's going to get opportunities," manager Jeff Banister said. "We have a two-days-on, one-day-off schedule for Chirinos, who has found that's a good proportion that's kept [him] fresh and feeling well."

Trevino collected his first career hit in the seventh inning, and it was a big one. His grounder just eluded Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado with two outs and drove in the tying run.

Adrian Beltre delivered a two-run triple in the eighth to snap a 2-2 deadlock, though it was an inning too late for left-hander Mike Minor to get the win after his best start of the season.

Minor gave credit to Trevino for helping him along the way. A developing catcher, though, needs to play more than once or twice a week, and Trevino won't get that with the Rangers as long as Chirinos is their primary catcher.

With an affordable club option, Chirinos likely will be in place next season, too. It's not like Perez is old at 27. He will be arbitration-eligible for the first time next season. He knows what it takes to back up at No. 1 catcher.

The Rangers believe Trevino can be a No. 1 catcher some day. He's been the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues the past two seasons, with two Rawlings Gold Gloves to show for it.

He limits opponents' running games with his quick release and accurate throwing, and pitchers who have worked with him in the past have raved about the way he calls a game and helps them stay cool on the mound.

An MLB team would love to have a catcher who excels behind the plate and with a bat, which is a rarity in the game, but Banister wants a catcher who puts his focus into defense.

"The most important part of being behind the plate is managing the game, receiving, blocking, the defensive said," Banister said. "If you're going sacrifice one, you'd give a little bit of the offense to have the defense."

Having been to big-league spring training the past two years, Trevino is familiar with many of the Rangers' pitchers. That includes Mike Minor, even though he's in his first season with the team.

Minor allowed only two runs on five hits and a walk over seven innings. He stranded runners at second and third with no outs in the seventh, and the Rangers responded with their first two runs on an RBI double by Isiah Kiner-Falefa and the Trevino single.

"Me and Trevino mixed it up pretty well and attacked the hitters," Minor said. "He was good. I think he has two Gold Gloves in the minors. Everybody knows he is really good back there."

Trevino, who was called up Friday from Double-A Frisco with Chirinos suspended, acknowledges that his bat needs to catch up to his glove. He's never had a problem making contact, but the Rangers want to see him driving the ball more, especially to the middle of the field.

The statistics this year in his second season at Frisco show him behind last season's numbers. Trevino, though, said that numbers don't tell the entire story.

"Even if the results aren't coming, I still feel like the process is still there and it's still working," said Trevino, who became a father June 10. "It's day by day. I'm taking it day by day."

The Rangers will evaluate Perez in 10 to 14 days and determine if he needs more time down. But he will be back and Trevino will go back to either Double-A Frisco or get optioned to Triple-A Round Rock.

That's where his development will continue in this development-focused season for the Rangers.

"Any time I see my name in the lineup, I'm going to go out and play as hard as I can," Trevino said. "I'm here to help the team."

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