The Rangers optioned catcher J.P. Arencibia to Triple-A Round Rock Tuesday, and purchased the contract of Chris Gimenez.
The club feels that Arencibia will benefit from more regular playing time.
“He’s capable of more than he’s been showing,” manager Ron Washington said. “We feel like if we get him some regular at-bats, maybe we’ll get the confidence going and get the J.P. we thought we were getting when we brought him in.”
“I think Robinson had outplayed him so far and was getting the bulk of the time,” General Manager Jon Daniels said. “J.P. was having a hard time making some of the adjustments he needed to make to be productive.”
Daniels said Gimenez is a good make-up guy who can handle the pitching staff and also make a contribution at the plate, but that Chirinos will still receive a bulk of the playing time.
“I don’t want to put too much on [Gimenez],” he said. “He’s a good player we feel can help this team.”
Washington said he isn’t sure who will start Wednesday’s afternoon game behind the plate. He wouldn’t commit to who would catch Yu Darvish on Thursday. Arencibia has been Yu’s primary catcher this season.
“I know who’s catching him, but before I tell you guys who’s catching him, I have to tell the guys who are going to be doing it who’s catching him,” Wash said to the media in his office before Tuesday’s game.
Arencibia has batted .133 (8-60) with one home run, three doubles and six RBI in 20 games (19 starts) behind the plate.
Gimenez made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster but was optioned to Round Rock after just one day. He was granted free agency but was re-signed to a minor league contract April 10. He has hit at a .259 clip in Round Rock and thrown out 50 percent of potential base stealers in his time with the Express.
Washington said we may not have seen the last of Arencibia on the Big League club. If he gets back on track, the first-year Ranger could make a return to Arlington.
“There’s always the chance when someone gets sent down that they could come back,” Washington said.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Martin Perez was moved to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday. Perez underwent surgery Monday and the operation went as expected, the team reported.
Shaking up the rotation
Tuesday’s flurry of moves included sending two members of the Opening Day starting rotation to the bullpen. Robbie Ross will move to the bullpen and possibly be available Wednesday, and Tanner Scheppers - who has been on the disabled list since April 18 with elbow inflammation - will go on his rehab assignment with a planned return to the Texas ‘pen.
Although the club isn’t totally removed from the idea of Robbie Ross being a starter, the decision to move him to the bullpen was performance-related.
“He hasn’t been as productive as we would like him to be so far,” Washington said. “We’re in a position where we’ve got to try to get people in positions where they can be successful.”
“We know he can pitch out of the bullpen so we want to give him the chance to have some success. We haven’t totally gotten away from Robbie Ross being a starter.”
With Scheppers, the team feels he can be a successful starter, but knows he can be a productive relieve, Daniels said.
“Ultimately what it comes down to right now is we’re playing it a little more conservatively, given the nature of some of the things going on with injuries and with the club,” he said.
The tentative schedule for Scheppers is a 10-day timetable to bring him back to the major league squad. He will throw live batting practice Wednesday and make his first rehab appearance Saturday with Frisco.
The Rangers travel to Detroit after a brief two-game set with Seattle in Arlington. The starting rotation for that series will be Yu Darvish, Scott Baker, Nick Martinez and Colby Lewis.