Let's all get to meet to the newest Ranger, Robinson Chirinos.
- His last name- it sounds like Cheerios. We get it. There is actually no good non-ironic joke to be made out of this, so go ahead and get any jokes out of your system now if you have to.
- He's pretty good at hitting. Since joining Round Rock, he's held an 891 OPS, which would be one point away from Buster Posey's line, which would be the fourth-best such line among catchers in the major leagues. Of course, he won't hold that line in the majors, probably, but it illustrates the point.
- In 94 plate appearances with Round Rock, Chirinos has 14 walks. In 139 combined plate appearances, Geovany Soto and AJ Pierzynski have combined for 7 walks.
- He's not as young as you might think he is. On June 5th, he turns 29 years old.
- Part of the reason he's the age he is, and as versatile of a player as he is, at a primary position of value like catcher, with the offensive upside he has, is that he missed all of 2012 after a foul tip (from a pitch thrown by former Rangers farmhand Josh Lueke, he of the no-longer-welcome-in-the-city-
of-Bakersfield infamy) hit his mask and gave him a severe concussion. If you can handle a few severe cringes,D-RaysBay had a very nice recap of the path Chirinos has taken to recovery.
- Another reason is he's not solely a catcher. He started his career as an infielder before converting to catching full-time in 2009. Moving to a position that traditionally requires a longer development path in your mid-20'swill certainly delay your arrival. He's played first base as much as he's caught while in Texas' system, and played a little third base, to boot. He's even got a little shortstop and second base on his resume. Not that Leury Garcia needs to start worrying about bus rides again, but it's something to keep in mind.
- He's been on the Rangers' radar for a while, as rumors were the team tried to slide into the middle of the 8 player trade centered around Matt Garza that brought Chirinos to the Rays back in 2011.
- Seriously, Cheerios is the worst of nicknames, and this is coming from the guy who trade to make 'Manifest Destiny' stick with Mitch Moreland.
- With both Soto and Pierzynski free agents at the end of the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see Chirinos stick around for a while past this season, so this stretch certainly could be seen as an audition. In fact, the question of exactly what happens when Pierzynski is elgible to return from the DL seems a little nebulous if Chirinos performs capably and no one else gets hurt. It's not out of the question that the team might not have re-signed Soto if Chirinos was healthy and available early in the offseason; if that's true, would the team DFA or trade Soto to keep Chirinos up?
- Scouts seem to generally agree, throwing out runners is a real weakness for Chirinos. So, he'll fit right in!
Joseph Ursery loves the Rangers very very much and knows more about Robinson Chirinos than the great majority of people. He also knows more about Mitch Moreland, Robbie Ross and raising a baby, none of which are related. Finally, he's a good dude and should be followed on Twitter at @thejoeursery.