Wilson catches Hamels as Chirinos hits DL
ARLINGTON -- Bobby Wilson didn't know for sure Friday night that he would spend Saturday catching Cole Hamels' Rangers debut, but he wanted to be prepared. Turns out it was a wise decision.
Wilson was in the starting lineup for the 9-7 loss to the Giants after the Rangers placed catcher Robinson Chirinos on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. Chirinos said he hurt his shoulder in his eighth-inning at-bat Thursday against the Yankees. Chirinos, who was hitting .226 with nine home runs, will likely need at least two weeks to recover, leaving the Rangers in limbo at catcher.
"I was real excited for the trade and to have a chance to catch [Hamels], but some things I don't have control of," Chirinos said.
Wilson arrived at the park Saturday after staying up until about 2 a.m. watching videos of Hamels. He said when he arrived Saturday, he talked with pitching coach Mike Maddux and went over Hamels' last start against the Giants and his most recent outing, a no-hitter against the Cubs.
"I went home last night and I watched every MLB.com video I could of him," Wilson said before going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. "One thing I won't allow myself to do is be ill-prepared."
After moving Chirinos to the disabled list, the Rangers have Wilson and recent callup Chris Gimenez at catcher. Wilson was acquired from the Rays organization on a waiver claim Friday. He has 219 games of Major League experience and hit .145 with four RBIS in 25 games this season with Tampa Bay.
Gimenez has been in the organization and played 34 games with the Rangers last season. He started Friday and went 0-for-2. Given the catching conundrum the Rangers are in, there is preparation to be done.
"Chris' case, he was in the organization, was in Spring Training with us, has caught some of these guys in Triple-A," manager Jeff Banister said. "He knows our philosophies, our ideas, fundamentally all of our plays. In Wilson's case, I think being a defensive-minded catcher, he'll assimilate himself fine."
Texas also has catcher Carlos Corporan in the midst of a Minor League rehab assignment. If Corporan and Chirinos are able to return, that leaves an uncertain future for Wilson and Gimenez.
It's also of note that the Rangers traded away their top two catching prospects in Jorge Alfaro and Tomas Telis on Friday. But for the immediate future, the Rangers will make do with what they have.
"We feel comfortable where we're at," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "That doesn't mean when we get to this offseason that we won't reassess, but we feel good with our catching group at the Major League level."