Will catchers give offense added boost?

September, 20, 2012
Last year, the Texas Rangers offense was clicking from top to bottom. And the biggest reason there wasn't much drop-off between the two was the red-hot Mike Napoli.

Texas was getting more offensive production from the catching spot than most teams in the league. And Napoli's hot streak lasted through the postseason.

This season, the Rangers' haven't received the same production at catcher. They made a trade for Geovany Soto at the deadline and ended up putting Yorvit Torrealba on waivers. For the season, Texas is actually in the middle of the pack in terms of catching production. The position has 67 RBIs and is hitting .232, both eighth in the league. But when you consider that last year, the Rangers' catchers hit .299, you see how much different 2012 has been at that spot.

But there are signs that the catchers are ready to help at the plate. Mike Napoli had a home run off Jered Weaver on Tuesday. Soto had a big two-run shot late in Wednesday's win.

It's small sample size, but since Napoli has returned, he's 5-for-12 with two homers, five RBIs, two walks and three strikeouts. It's only four games, but it's certainly a good sign for the Rangers.

If the catching position can get things going -- even just give a little more production than they have all year -- that would make a big difference in the bottom part of the order.

How do you think that spot will do at the plate in the coming weeks and in the postseason? Is Napoli ready to go on a streak like he did last season?
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.



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HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 58
RA. Beltre 57
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