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Rangers notes: Evaluating catchers
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08/17/2003  8:30 PM ET 
Rangers notes: Evaluating catchers
Diaz, Greene and Laird to split time behind the plate
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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are not exactly sure if Todd Greene can be an everyday catcher in the Major Leagues, but they appear determined to find out what he can do.

    Todd Greene   /   C
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 208
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
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Including Sunday's game against the White Sox, a game in which Einar Diaz started, Greene has made 34 starts behind the plate this season and is 9-for-38 in throwing out runners attempting to steal a base. Diaz has made 85 starts at catcher and is 19-for-57 in throwing out attempted base stealers.

"I sit down with (bench coach Don) Wakamatsu every day and we try to do it two or three days in advance so that Greenie and Einar know when they are catching," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "It's also part of the evaluation of Greenie. I want to know what we have going into the offseason. If we sit down in October and we say 'We really did not get to see enough of a player,' then shame on us."

Greene is hitting .221 with 17 RBIs and nine home runs, but often struggles against the breaking ball. He has hit a home run in three of his last four starts and has nine RBIs in his last seven games.

Here's part of what goes into Showalter's daily decision:

If a pitcher is quick to the plate, Showalter prefers Greene against a team that runs. On Sunday, the manager picked Diaz to work with rookie Juan Dominguez because he wanted somebody who could speak Spanish. The fact that Diaz has a .213 batting average against left-handed pitchers compared to Greene's .175 against lefties also goes into the daily decision.

Showalter also likes Greene's pitch-calling ability.

"There are a bunch of factors. I look at the matchup sheets. Guys who are slow to the plate, I put Einar back there," Showalter said. "Guys who bounce a lot of balls, I like Einar against that a little bit better."

Diaz is signed through the 2004 season with a club option for 2005, but Greene becomes a free agent at the end of the season. Triple-A catcher Gerald Laird appears on track for a September callup and will be added to the mix, but Showalter said he does not anticipate any problems evaluating both Greene and Laird during the final month of the season , while still playing Diaz.

Around the horn: Tom Scheiffer, the former Rangers team president and current Ambassador to Australia, attended Sunday's game, his first game in Arlington in two years. Among the many things he accomplished, Scheiffer headed the group that built The Ballpark in Arlington. ... Mickey Callaway allowed three hits in five scoreless innings in Triple-A Oklahoma's 1-0 victory against Fresno. He struck out two batters. ... Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games in Double-A Frisco's 6-5 victory against El Paso. ...Vincent Sinisi, the club's second round pick in the 2003 First Year Player Draft, went 4-for-6 with a home run in Class A Stockton's 19-1 victory against Visalia. Kelley Gulledge went 3-for-5 with a triple and five RBIs. ... Justin Thomson threw two scoreless innings for Spokane to lower his ERA to 1.45 in 18 2/3 innings pitched. Thompson's fastball was clocked in the 87-89 mph range. ... The Rangers entered Sunday's finale against the White Sox with a 10-1 record in their last 11 games at The Ballpark in Arlington.

Probables:

  • Monday at Detroit (6:05) -- Ismael Valdes (7-7, 6.27) vs. Nate Robertson (first start of the season)
  • Tuesday at Detroit (6:05) -- R.A. Dickey (7-5, 4.91) vs. Mike Maroth (6-17, 5.29).
  • Wednesday (6:05) -- John Thomson (10-10, 5.24) vs. Nate Cornejo (5-12, 4.71).

    Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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