ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 5: Catcher Robinson Chirinos #61 of the Texas Rangers looks on as pitching coach Mike Maddux comes in to speak with pitcher Nick Martinez #22 after he walked James Loney of the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning of a game on April 5, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Prior to the Texas Rangers exploding for a five-run third inning on Tuesday night at Fenway Park, Robinson Chirinos started the party off with a solo bomb over the Green Monster that led to the Rangers batting around in the inning and building a seemingly insurmountable lead over the Red Sox.
The Rangers are now 9-1 over the past two seasons when Chirinos starts a game, and while all of those starts haven't come at catcher, most of them have. Now, Chirinos might be in line for some more time behind the plate with J.P. Arencibia struggling mightily and projected starter Geovany Soto on the mend for a few months.
Chirinos also picked up a second RBI in the third inning when he drew a bases-loaded walk.
There's no question Soto is the team's best catcher and when he's healthy, he'll be the guy. But Arencibia is all feast or famine, and he hasn't really had the feast part yet. Plus, he's a below-average defender behind the plate. Chirinos is no Pudge, but he's a better backstop than Arencibia.
Look for Arencibia's playing time to begin diminishing unless he picks things up in a hurry. The Rangers were already growing weary of him as spring training came to a close, and he hasn't done anything to remedy the concern.