“I think I am going to be pretty familiar with them,” Trevino said. “What a lot of people don’t know is, I have been watching film on them and I have been in contact with their catchers. Watching film, getting to know them, know their tendencies and what they like to do in certain counts helps.”
Trevino has also been spending as much time as possible with Rangers hitting coach Luis Ortiz. He has made many adjustments in his swing and approach at the plate.
“I’m actually sitting on top of my head,” Trevino said. “No. ... Just some plate discipline type of stuff, swing plane, rhythm. Just kind of getting the base stuff down. Working with Luis this whole offseason has really helped a ton. Him having his eyes on me the whole time has been great.”
All this work makes it sound like Trevino has no intention of starting the season at Triple-A Nashville, though that is a distinct possibility.
“I’ve got no control over that,” Trevino said. “I don’t make those decisions. I’m just ready to go to Spring Training and compete.”
Trevino spoke Saturday at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco during the Rangers Winter Caravan stop. He was there to sign autographs. He did so just three days after the Rangers made the official announcement that they had signed free agent Robinson Chirinos.
That gives the Rangers three catchers on their Major League roster, including 15-year veteran Jeff Mathis. Since it is highly unlikely that the Rangers will go with three catchers on Opening Day, somebody will be the odd man out. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has already suggested that Texas will start the year with Chirinos and Mathis, but that will ultimately be determined in Spring Training.
“I’m just going to go out about it being ready for the opportunity once it arrives,” Trevino said.
The Rangers place a high value on Mathis’ expertise behind the plate. He obviously has a significant edge in that regard over Trevino, who was a rookie last season and played in just 40 games. But this is still a young catcher who won two Gold Glove Awards for defense in the Minor Leagues and had just one error and one passed ball for the Rangers last season while throwing out 40% of attempted base stealers.
Offensively, Trevino hit .258/.272/.383, including a .308 average with runners in scoring position. His .272 on-base percentage needs to get much better, hence the offseason tutorials with Ortiz on plate approach.
“I take it as I had the opportunity to show the world who I was,” Ortiz said. “I felt it gave me confidence to believe in myself and believe I belong there. I think it’s going to carry me into the next season.”
Obviously, Ortiz did not show enough to make the Rangers feel comfortable he is ready to be the No. 1 catcher. That’s why Chirinos is here. But Trevino did show enough to make it clear that there will be competition for the backup role between Mathis and Trevino this spring
The question is, what more does Trevino need to show the Rangers?
“That’s a tough question,” Trevino said. “That I’m ready to play and I’m ready to go. And I think I will.”