Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told reporters today that it’s unlikely that catcher Chris Gimenez will remain with the club following his DFA (Twitter link via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). While Gimenez has in the past cleared outright waivers, Daniels says there’s trade interest in the 33-year-old, who batted .255/.330/.490 in 113 PAs with the Rangers last season. Gimenez’s overall big league numbers, of course, are nowhere near that strong, but he’s off to a fairly solid start in Triple-A this season (.240/.345/.360) and certainly makes sense for a club in need of a backup catcher. Speaking from a purely speculative standpoint, the Indians, White Sox and Reds have all recently incurred injuries in the catching department, while the Twins, Rays and Blue Jays all seem like clubs that could reasonably look for an alternative to their current backup catcher.
A few more late-night notes on the reigning AL West champs…
- Top prospect Joey Gallo will miss the next three to four weeks with a Grade 1 left groin strain, tweets Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Many have wondered at what point the slugger will force Texas’ hand due to not only his excellent batting line but his greatly improved strikeout rate in the minors this season. Gallo is hitting .250/.400/.642 with seven homers in just 85 plate appearances to open the Triple-A season, but most importantly, perhaps, is that he’s struck out a relatively low 21 times in those 85 PAs. A 25 percent strikeout rate at Triple-A wouldn’t necessarily be encouraging for every player, but for a prospect with 80-grade power that whiffed at a 39.5 percent clip in Triple-A last year, the gains are indeed notable. With Adrian Beltre locked up for another two seasons, it’s unlikely that Gallo will settle into his natural position, third base, in the Majors anytime soon. However, Texas could find room for him in the outfield, at first base or at DH later this season, once the groin injury is behind him.
- Fellow top prospect Nomar Mazara isn’t likely to return to the minor leagues, writes Grant in a full column. Originally called up as a replacement for the injured Shin-Soo Choo, Mazara burst onto the scene as a 20-year-old (he’s since turned 21), batting an outstanding .325/.375/.468 with three homers through 88 plate appearances after tonight’s game. The Rangers have Ian Desmond in left field (whose bat is heating up), Delino DeShields in center and Mazara in right for the time being, but with Choo and Josh Hamilton on the mend, there’s been some curiosity as to what will become of Mazara as the veterans return to health. “If things continue the way they are, the answer will be: Play him,” Daniels tells Grant. Daniels hedged his strong words a bit by cautioning that things could change — a Choo setback or a prolonged slump for Mazara could arise — but Grant writes that it’s becoming clear that Mazara will stick in the Majors. Notably, Grant writes that DeShields could ultimately end up as a fourth outfielder or even in Triple-A, with Desmond sliding over to center while Choo and Mazara man the corners. DeShields was a nice success story in the Rule 5 Draft last season, but he’s hitting just .239/.316/.307 after an 0-for-4 showing tonight.