Third catcher gives Rangers late-game flexibility

Profar delivers big hit late in Friday's win when pinch-hitting for Wilson

July 2nd, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS -- Bryan Holaday played a key role in the Rangers' 3-2 victory over the Twins on Friday night, even though he did not get off the bench.

Holaday is the Rangers' third catcher, and his presence is why manager Jeff Banister was willing to send Jurickson Profar up to pinch-hit for catcher Bobby Wilson in the seventh inning of a scoreless game. Profar hit a two-run single and then Robinson Chirinos took over as catcher.

Banister said he probably wouldn't use Profar in that situation if he doesn't have Holaday on the bench.

"It's a lot easier to pinch-hit or pinch-run for a catcher if you have three of them," Banister said. "If you only have two, you open yourself up to an infielder behind the plate."

Carrying three catchers on a 25-man roster is rare in the American League. The Rangers are able to do it because they are carrying seven relievers instead of eight, and because Profar and Ryan Rua have tremendous versatility.

Profar's single was his second big hit as a pinch-hitter this season. He also had a two-run single in the Rangers' 5-4 victory over the Cardinals on June 19.

"I just stay ready and watch the game," Profar said. "I watch the pitcher. The big thing is stay in the game."

Rangers beat

• Ian Desmond hit the game-winning home run in the 10th inning on Friday night. It was his fifth go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later this season, the most in the Majors.

• Reliever Sam Dyson had 42 appearances in the Rangers' first 81 games of the season. That's tied with Mike Venafro (2000) and Mitch Williams (1987) for the second most number of appearances through the halfway point in the season by a Rangers pitcher. Dale Mohorcic appeared in 43 of the first 81 games in the 1987 season.

• The Rangers turned two double plays behind Martin Perez, in addition to a third one off a popped-up suicide-squeeze attempt. Perez leads the Majors with 21 grounded into double plays.