Everybody knows the Texas Rangers need to add pitching this off-season. After that where does the organization improve? Has Robinson Chirinos earned the starting catcher spot or should the team bring in another player?
The first half of the season was all Jonathan Lucroy behind the plate for the Texas Rangers. He hit .242 with four home runs with 27 RBI before he was dealt to the Rockies in July. It was a frustrating beginning and many were questioning if Robinson Chirinos could take over behind the plate.
Chirinos was a part-time player behind Lucroy, and he hit .218 with 12 home runs and 25 RBI through his first 38 games in 2017. The second of the half was much more impressive, and might have changed the opinions of many doubters.
During his last 50 games of the season Chirinos hit .285 with five home runs and 13 RBI. He finished the season with a .255 batting average which set a career high and 17 homers which is also a career high for him.
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The Rangers signed Chirinos to an extension which locks him up for the 2018 season and has a team option for 2019 as well. He played just 88 games, but the 33-year-old catcher looked good, and possibly ready to take on a bigger role in Arlington.
It’s difficult to trust a player that has never played more than 93 games in a single season. Does Chirinos really have what it takes to be behind the plate all season long as a starter? It’s a tough job, and the Rangers should get a reliable backup regardless.
A catcher like left-handed hitting Alex Avila would be perfect for the Rangers. He’s a soon to be free agent and a veteran player that won’t cost Texas much to sign. He doesn’t need to be a starter, and could fit in well with Chirinos.
Having a combination of Chirinos and Avila could be a perfect solution to the catching problem in Texas. It’s not a long-term solution, but it gets the issue fixed for the 2018 season, and they could be a successful duo together.