J.P. Arencibia is struggling at the plate this spring, minus a big grand slam he hit the other night. His poor offensive numbers aren't too surprising, either.
He's hitting .182 with a .526 OPS this spring and has struck out in more than a fifth of his at-bats. Of course, last season with the Toronto Blue Jays, Arencibia did pretty much the same thing on a much larger sample size. He did top the 20-homer plateau but proved the home run power is his one trick, as he hit .194 with a .592 OPS in 474 at-bats with the Blue Jays. In those at-bats, he struck out 148 times — more than a fourth of his at-bats.
In other words, Geovany Soto doesn't need to be looking over his shoulder in fear of losing his starting job, and Soto is no world-beater at the plate. The Rangers tried to get some work for Arencibia recently when he took eight at-bats in minor-league games with hitting coach Dave Magadan looking on.
It'd be nice if Arencibia could play a bigger role offensively because of his good power, but with his awful plate discipline it's hard to imagine him figuring too much into the Rangers' lineup as anything more than a backup catcher.