Chirinos expected to play in series vs. Jays

Catcher has been dealing with sore wrist; Beltre rehabbing hamstring; Rangers balancing rotation workload

April 27th, 2018

TORONTO -- Rangers catcher has been dealing with some wrist soreness, but manager Jeff Banister expects him to be back behind the plate for both weekend games in Toronto.
was in the lineup to open the Blue Jays series on Friday, which gives Chirinos three days of rest, including the Rangers' off-day on Thursday.
"His wrist is a little sore," Banister said. "It has been sore. There was a play at the plate about a week ago. He's been kind of grinding through it. We felt like if we could get him the three days, it seemed to be appropriate with the two right-handers."
A pair of afternoon games at 3:07 p.m. CT on Saturday and 12:07 p.m. CT on Sunday make it possible for Banister to get Chirinos in for a back-to-back set. He's confident in both options, though, and hasn't seen many separating factors.
"Both of our catchers have received the ball well and they've blocked it well," Banister said. "They've managed the game well. From behind the plate, both of them work extremely well with all of our pitchers. I don't think there's been any distinct difference between the two."
Latest Rangers injury news
is not with the team in Toronto as he rehabs a hamstring injury that he suffered in the Rangers' last series.
"I felt it was best for him to rest and take care of that hamstring," Banister said. "Try to get as healthy as he can to be back with us as soon as he can."
was scheduled to go through "field activities" on Friday, Banister said, and is walking on a treadmill to work back from a hamstring strain of his own. Both and are in Arizona working on their rehabs.
Rangers balancing rotation picture
Cole Hamels and Doug Fister will open the Cleveland series, which begins on Monday. Matt Moore is expected to pitch the third game, but will be available out of the bullpen for a couple of days in the meantime.
Banister wants to keep Hamels on his regular rest and continue to give Mike Minor an extra day. Otherwise, , , Moore and Fister may have an added day between their starts. It's also possible they become available out of the bullpen at times, but Banister doesn't have a set plan for that just yet.
"It's not ideal, but all of these guys are veteran enough to handle the workload and situation," Banister said.
Gallo against the shift
Rangers first baseman Joey Gallo bunted against the shift for a single on Wednesday against the Athletics, which continues to be a topic of discussion as opposing defenses leave their left side open to him.

Banister was quick to point out that Gallo's early home runs have him on pace to push the 41 he hit in 2017, but these shifts have created opportunities for Gallo to impact the game in other ways.
"The byproduct of it is that for Joey, I think, it's putting him into a better hitting position more consistently," Banister said, "and he's looking to do damage all over the field."