Since spring training has began there has been a huge question as far as who would be the Ranger’s opening day catcher. The competition has mainly been between Jarrod Saltlamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. There have been other players involved such as veteran Toby Hall and catching prospect Max Ramirez. Ramirez was the player that was going to be sent to Boston in exchange for Mike Lowell. That trade fell through due to Lowell needing thumb surgery.
The Rangers also shipped infielder Ray Olmedo to the Milwaukee Brewers veteran catcher Matt Treanor. If he makes the big league roster at some point this upcoming season, which possibly maybe opening day, the 2010 season will be his seventh in the big leagues. In 278 games he owns a .232 average with .311 slugging percentage. He has 171 hits with 8 home runs in his big league career. He spent last season in the Detroit Tigers organization.
Treanor might play a role in the opening day roster. Even though the Ranger’s catching situation has be in flux all off season, Saltlamacchia has seemed like the front runner all spring training. He is recovering from off season surgery where they removed a rib. Earlier in camp, he was having pain around where the incision was made during the surgery to remove the rib, which was pinching a nerve. So he missed five days due to that soreness. Yesterday he was scheduled to start in the game against the padres, although he was removed before the game began due to spasms in his back and neck. So if Saltlamacchia is unable to start the season, Treanor seems like a good option to back up Taylor Teagarden.
The issues as far as who should be the opening day catcher is somewhat complicated. Coming into camp, Teagarden and Saltlamacchia knew that they would be competing against each other for the starting catcher position. One thing the Rangers may do is go with co-catcher on the mound similar to what the Angels do with Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis. The Rangers could pair up the catcher that works best with a pitcher or even arange where whomever the strongest player against the opposing starting pictching. No matter what happens in the last two weeks, the Rangers will have a tough decision as far as who deserves to be on the 25 man roster as a catcher.
In C.J. Wilson’s start today against the Giants he struggled in the first innings giving up three runs. After the first inning he followed that with four scoreless frames. Other than early trouble he looked great. Since the game was played in a National League park, there was no designated hitter. So Wilson also had the ability to pick up a bat and doubledM off of Barry Zito.