JULY 14: Chirinos has improved since Monday, but his status for Opening Day is up in the air, according to Woodward (via Wilson).
JULY 13: Catcher Robinson Chirinos suffered a potentially worrisome injury at Rangers Summer Camp on Monday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Chirinos departed after teammate Scott Heineman slid into his right ankle.
The images Chirinos underwent after he exited came back negative, but manager Chris Woodward acknowledged that “it’s concerning to say the least” whenever a catcher rolls his ankle. Woodward and the Rangers should know more about Chirinos’ status Tuesday.
Chirinos was one of the notable offseason acquisitions the Rangers made, as he parlayed an effective 2019 with the division-rival Astros into a one-year, $6.75MM contract. This isn’t the first Rangers go-around for the 36-year-old Chirinos, who was a member of the club from 2013-18.
Defense isn’t Chirinos’ calling card, but he has been one of the game’s steadiest offensive catchers over the past half-decade. Dating back to his 2015 breakout, Chirinos has slashed .234/.340/.452 (110 wRC+) with 71 home runs in 1,615 plate appearances. That type of production would certainly be welcome for the Rangers, whose catchers provided little to nothing at the plate last season. Primary option Jeff Mathis struggled more than anyone else in the mix, registering a .158/.209/.224 line and a stunningly poor 2 wRC+ in 244 trips to the plate.
In the event Chirinos misses time this year, Mathis could once again end up in the lineup on a regular basis. Jose Trevino also figures to make the roster, and Wilson notes that Nick Ciuffo could open 2020 as the team’s third catcher if Chirinos lands on the shelf.