The Rangers have a pretty decent bench, which all players are being utilized. The one issue with the rooster is that the starting catcher is Matt Treanor and the back-up catcher is rookie Max Ramirez. At the beginning of spring training, it was announced that the Rangers starting catcher position would be a competition between Jarrod Saltlamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. At the end of spring training neither impressed more than the other, so the Rangers decided to go with platoon between them.
On opening day, Saltlamacchia was behind the plate to receive opening day starter Scot Feldman and eventually ended the game with a walk off hit to win the game. He appeared as a pinch hitter in the next game before placed onto the disabled list. Teagarden eventually struggled and was reassigned to Triple-A Oklahoma City and rookie Max Ramirez was called up to take his place on the roster. During spring training the Rangers signed Treanor who had just been released by the Milwaukee Brewers to a minor league contract to back up both Saltalamacchia or Teagarden if either struggled or got injured. So when Saltlamacchia was placed onto the disabled list Treanor was called up to the big league club and is currently serving as the starting catcher.
In 23 games so far this season Treanor is batting .200 with 6 RBI”s. The Rangers have played quite well this month and have surged to a lead in the West with a two game lead over the Athletics. Saltlamacchis is well past being physically ready to return to the big league club and has done quite well with his bat at Triple-A. So why not bring Saltlamcchia up to the Rangers to serve as the starting catcher?
Well…he has one simple problem, he can’t get the ball back to the pitcher after a pitch is thrown, although he can make the more difficult throws to second base. There is three options that could happen when Saltlamacchia returns the ball to the catcher, 1. The ball ends up in the pitchers glove, 2. the ball falls just short of the mound, and 3. he throws the ball past the mound and it ends up in centerfield. So something as simple as throwing the ball back to the pitcher is keeping him from moving up to the Rangers He can call the pitch, he can catch the pitch, but he can’t throw the pitch back. The Rangers and Saltlmacchia desperately need him to figure out his problems, for the success of both parties and the long term career of Saltlamacchia.