Texas Rangers May Have Lineup Upgrade With Carlos Corporan
By David Hill
So as to avoid beating a dead horse at this point, and go over something we all know, let’s just go with a simple equation: Texas Rangers offense = offensive. We can point to the overall statistics, to the problems with specific players and lament the varied issues which have led the Rangers to this point. Let us not do that right now.
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Instead, let us see what the Rangers can do to potentially fix this problem. They are already bringing Josh Hamilton back, and once he is ready to contribute, he should be an upgrade to the lineup. After all, it is not like he could be much worse. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is available, and may be an upgrade at catcher. There may well be options here for the Rangers.
However, one option the Rangers may have could well be internal. Part of the Rangers time share at catcher, Carlos Corporan has been relatively solid at catcher. While his .214 batting average may not impress, Corporan has also posted a .343 on base percentage and a .393 slugging percentage, giving him an OPS+ of 106. Compared to Robinson Chirinos‘ .163/.234/.372 batting line and 67 OPS+, Corporan certainly appears to be the better hitter.
The problem is, putting Corporan in the lineup hurts the Texas Rangers defense. While he may be a positive at the plate, Corporan is not exactly a Molina Brother behind it. In fact, Corporan has been a negative behind the dish during his entire career, and is already considered to have cost the Rangers one run in only eight games of action. Add in a subpar throwing arm, as Corporan has only thrown out 13% of bsaerunners this season and 22% in his career, then it would be understandable why there would be a bit of trepidation at giving him more of an opportunity.
While Chirinos has a better defensive reputation, and does have a strong arm, he has not been much better than Corporan this season. While Chirinos has been worth zero runs, either positively or negatively, behind the plate, he has a worse caught stealing percentage than Corporan. Both are nearly identical in terms of range factor and fielding percentage. Does the slight upgrade with Chirinos behind the plate really counteract what he may give up at the plate?
Quite frankly, with the defensive side of the game being virtually even at this point for the Rangers, Carlos Corporan deserves more playing time. While he has yet to play consecutive games this season, Robinson Chirinos just has not done enough in a lineup that is struggling to justify receiving the majority of the work behind the plate. Maybe Corporan is not setting the world on fire, but he is, at least, hitting at more than a league average rate, which is far more than can be said about Chirinos.
The Texas Rangers need to find ways to improve their offense. Maybe they have an internal upgrade in Carlos Corporan.