AJ Pierzynski, Catcher
A.J. Pierzynski is hated pretty much everywhere he goes, see the crowd reaction in Anaheim and even in Minnesota, where he actually played for a few years.
The one place, besides Texas now, that probably doesn't hate Pierzynski is the south side of Chicago where he played the majority of his career and won a World Series in 2005 with the White Sox. Even though the White Sox are visiting Arlington, you can bet Pierzynski would still like to be playing against his former team that he left just last season.
An apparent oblique injury is keeping him from that, at least for the short-term as he was not in the lineup on Tuesday night in the Rangers' win and will likely miss Wednesday's game as well with the hope of returning to the lineup for Thursday's series finale.
The White Sox host the Rangers in late August for a three-game set, and Pierzynski said he's dying to be on the field against his old teammates.
"It's killing me not to be out there. Obviously the team I was with the last eight years, a bunch of guys, a bunch of my friends and to not be able to go out there, at least today [Tuesday], is hard," Pierzynski told The Associated Press. "I was looking forward to this series, just because of the people and everything."
Pierzynski is off to a solid start with the Rangers, hitting .295 on the season with four homers and 11 RBIs, but his value behind the plate has been infinite, handling a young pitching staff that has gotten off to a great start to the 2013 season. The injury probably isn't serious enough to have kept Pierzynski out of the lineup in a must-win situation, but manager Ron Washington said he's not taking any chances with his new catcher.
"I need him around here the rest of the year," said Washington, who was in a public spat with Pierzynski last year after not putting the then-White Sox catcher on the AL all-star team for which he was the manager.