Arencibia making adjustments with Rangers
ARLINGTON -- J.P. Arencibia was once considered the catcher of the future in Toronto, but now he spends most of his time as a backup with the Rangers.
Arencibia was heralded as a potential cornerstone of the Blue Jays franchise when he arrived at the big league level in 2010 but the ensuing three years didn't exactly go as planned.
The native of Miami struggled with the bat and the glove before general manager Alex Anthopoulos decided to cut him loose in the offseason. That led to an opportunity with the Rangers, but so far Arencibia has yet to figure things out at the plate.
"It's an ability to make some adjustments and he can do that, I've seen him do it, but you have to be committed to doing it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said when asked what keeps a player like Arencibia from succeeding.
"J.P.'s still on the younger side of the game too, so he has time. He almost caught a no-hitter the other day too, so you can bash his defense all you want, but he almost caught a no-hitter."
Arencibia did agree to a brief television interview on Thursday afternoon but declined multiple requests from the Toronto print media. During last year's struggles, Arencibia remained defiant and had several well-documented run-ins with the media when things were going poorly.
This year hasn't been any better as Arencibia entered play hitting .140 with a .190 on-base percentage and a .436 OPS. He has more strikeouts (14) than hits (eight) and has lost some playing time to fellow catcher Robinson Chirinos.
There's also early speculation out of Texas that Arencibia could be out of a job when Geovany Soto returns from a left knee injury in mid-June. That could change in the coming weeks, but Arencibia doesn't have a lot of time to turn his season around.
"I'm a fan of his," Gibbons said. "I'll say this, he has been through some tough times but you know what, there's not a guy that shows up to play more than he does, every day. Beat up, he comes to play. He never made excuses. He got himself into a little bit of hot water but I can't fault his effort, ever."