8/6/2014 7:36 P.M. ET
Soto to split time with Chirinos upon return
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- The Rangers are planning to activate catcher Geovany Soto off the disabled list on Friday. That will cut into the playing time of the Rangers' second-leading home run man.
Robinson Chirinos moved into that spot when he hit his 10th and 11th homers during the Rangers' 16-0 rout of the White Sox on Tuesday night. Chirinos also leads American League catchers by throwing out 40 percent of attempted basestealers.
But he and Soto will share the catching duties beginning on Friday. Soto will take over responsibility of catching Yu Darvish and might end up with a slight edge in playing time.
"We've got to see what Soto can do," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not going to take away tremendous time away from Robinson; he is still going to get time. But it will take some time away from him."
Chirinos, a converted infielder, has been one of the few bright spots on the Rangers this season. He went into Wednesday's game hitting .240 with the 11 homers and 31 RBIs in 70 games and 229 at-bats in his first full season. But he is inexperienced and still learning the position. Washington said it's crucial not to overexpose him.
"He has taken advantage of his opportunities and certainly been impressive," Washington said. "We have to make sure we can give him what he can handle, so he can be productive. You can't put too much on him. If you try to get more out of someone than they are capable, then they become unproductive."
Chirinos became the first Rangers catcher to hit two home runs in a game and catch a complete-game shutout. Ivan Rodriguez and Jim Sundberg never accomplished that.
"It was an awesome night ... two home runs, we won the game," Chirinos said. "It was a great night for everybody."
Longtime Texas exec Preller hired as new Padres GM
CHICAGO -- The Padres have hired A.J. Preller away from the Rangers to be their general manager. The Rangers are thrilled that Preller, who was assistant general manager in charge of scouting and player development, is getting a huge opportunity.
But they are not interested in a mass front-office exodus to San Diego, and that was communicated before Preller was officially hired on Wednesday.
"Hands off," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "That was a topic of conversation with San Diego throughout the process.
"Usually when we have someone interview elsewhere, we usually put some restrictions on it. In this case -- with such a notable position and someone who has been here so long with unique relationships -- there's some strong restrictions on their ability to take anybody else."
Preller was with the Rangers for 10 years. He and assistant GM Thad Levine were Daniels' two closest advisors. Both work in all areas, but Levine works mostly at the Major League level while Preller handled everything below that. Among many other things, he helped make the Rangers a scouting powerhouse again in Latin America.
"I think it would have an impact in a number of different areas," Daniels said. "It will be a loss. No two ways to look at it. He's just so talented as far as communicating throughout the staff, making people feel a part of things. And just the straight production and the players he's helped bring in and help develop. Had it been three or four years ago, I think it would be a little different.
"Part of what A.J. is so good at is helping develop people. We've got some really good, talented, capable people that have been ready for the next step and ready to spread their wings a little bit. I view it as it would be an opportunity for them and for all of us, including myself."
Robertson producing when called upon
CHICAGO -- The Rangers faced left-handers in their final two games in Chicago and are expected to face two in Houston, plus Drew Smyly of the Rays on Monday in Arlington.
That will allow Daniel Robertson to get some regular at-bats and keep his hot bat going. Robertson went into Wednesday's game against White Sox starter Chris Sale hitting .353 in his last 25 games. The outfielder was hitting .362 for the season against left-handed pitchers.
"There's not really anything to make out of it," Robertson said. "My job is to get better every day and do what the manager asks me to do. It doesn't matter who is pitching, I'm just trying to get better."
The Rangers acquired Robertson on May 18 from the Padres at a time when they were desperately looking for healthy bodies. At the time, Robertson looked like a temporary replacement, but he has persevered through the summer -- even while playing with small fractures in his left cheek. Now he is starting to show up semi-regularly in the Rangers' lineup.
"There have been a lot of transactions, Triple-A, coming here," Robertson said. "Being a baseball player, you've got to be ready for anything and everything. It's all part of the grind."
Mikolas, Martinez take note of veteran Lewis
CHICAGO -- Rangers pitchers Miles Mikolas and Nick Martinez were both paying attention on Tuesday night when Colby Lewis threw his shutout against the White Sox. There was much to learn from a veteran for two young pitchers trying to establish themselves as Major League starters.
"I was paying a lot of attention," Mikolas said. "Watching Colby move the ball around, it shows you how effective you can be commanding all your pitches and staying focused. It shows how effective you can be hitting your spots, throwing your breaking ball for strikes and establishing the fastball. He was getting ahead and making them chase his pitches. It was a good outing to watch."
Lewis allowed six hits and a walk while striking out seven in his second career shutout. It was also the Rangers' league-leading 15th shutout of the season, as they ended up with a 16-0 victory.
"I asked Colby one question after the game," Martinez said. "'How do you stay focused with the game out of control like that?' He said, 'You just have to tell yourself to pound the strike zone and attack hitters. You can't mess around, start nitpicking and try to trick them. You just go right after them with the fastball. You start fooling around and you find yourself with men on base.' He did a great job of attacking hitters and choosing the right pitches. I was definitely watching."
Even Yu Darvish was impressed.
"I'm happy that he got a complete game yesterday, and also he's had a lot of respect from all of his teammates," Darvish said. "It's just like 2012, when he was leading the rotation. He's doing the same thing again this year."
Texas likely to miss ex-teammate Wilson again
CHICAGO -- The Angels will be in Arlington during the weekend of Aug. 15-17 for a three-game series. It will be the fourth series between the two teams this season, and the Rangers are still not expected to face C.J. Wilson.
The former Ranger is scheduled to start Thursday against the Dodgers and next Wednesday against the Phillies. That would mean he won't pitch against the Rangers, something he hasn't done yet this season. The Rangers are likely to face Jered Weaver, Garrett Richards and Hector Santiago in that series.
Texas is scheduled to face Scott Feldman this weekend in Houston during the Rangers' three-game series with the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Astros' rotation calls for left-hander Brett Oberholtzer on Friday, Feldman on Saturday and left-hander Dallas Keuchel on Sunday.
The Rangers then return home to face the Rays for a four-game series. The Rays' rotation calls for left-hander Drew Smyly and right-handers Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi.
• The Rangers' 16-0 win over the White Sox on Tuesday was their biggest margin of victory since a 30-3 beating of the Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007.
• The Rangers were also the first team at least 25 games under .500 to win by 15 runs or more since the Philadelphia Athletics in a 16-0 win over the White Sox on Aug. 29, 1937.
• Going into Wednesday, J.P. Arencibia had 20 RBIs in 17 games since the All-Star break, the most in the Major Leagues.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.