Gimenez's power surge a boon to Rangers
ARLINGTON -- Catcher Chris Gimenez has four home runs in his last 11 games after hitting six in his first 185 Major League games. So where is all this power coming from?
"Who cares?" Gimenez said with a big smile after the Rangers' 4-1 victory over the Orioles on Friday night.
The Rangers certainly don't care as August's Magical Mystery Tour for Gimenez and fellow catcher Bobby Wilson continues. The Rangers are now 16-9 for the month with Wilson and Gimenez sharing duties behind the plate. Both were called up from Triple-A at the end of July to patch up the Rangers' jumbled catching situation, and they continue to flourish in the alternating arrangement.
"Both have done a tremendous job in a short period of time," manager Jeff Banister said. "Working with our pitchers, making adjustments during the game, paying attention to hitters and how they are calling the game."
Friday was Gimenez's turn. He handled Cole Hamels on the mound and put the Rangers ahead with his fourth home run with one out in the fifth inning. Gimenez has been here only a month, but the four home runs represent a career high.
"I think I have been doing a little work on my swing and able to repeat it," Gimenez said. "I'm getting pitches and not missing them. I must be seeing the ball well, because I'm not missing it."
Gimenez is hitting .286 with the four home runs and 10 RBIs with a .643 slugging percentage in 14 games. The Rangers are now 10-3 with him behind the plate, and their pitchers have a 3.36 ERA throwing to him.
He was in tune with Hamels, who allowed one run on two hits and four walks over eight innings while striking out 10.
"Cole was phenomenal tonight," Gimenez said. "I think this was what everybody envisioned from him when we traded for him."
The Rangers may activate Carlos Corporan off the disabled list on Tuesday, but he'll likely be used as an emergency third catcher for now. Robinson Chirinos was the No. 1 catcher for the first four months of the season, but he is still on the DL with a strained left shoulder. He is progressing, but a return is not imminent.
The Rangers are moving into September, and the Gimenez-Wilson tandem is still intact. So far they have shown that it should continue for a team that is holding down the second American League Wild Card spot.
"It has been fun, a lot of fun," Gimenez said. "This is what you envision in Spring Training. The situation wasn't there in Spring Training, but this is what you prepare for all season: Come up and contribute as much as you can."