Buzz: Pierzynski reaches milestone

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
8:22
PM CT
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Texas Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski will tie the major league record of 13 consecutive seasons with 100 or more games caught on Tuesday night when he starts against the Oakland Athletics. Pierzynski will move into a tie with Bill Dickey (1929-41), Johnny Bench (1968-80) and Brad Ausmus (1995-2007).

So the question is: Will he go for 14 straight next year?

"I don't know," Pierzynski said. "Where am I going to play? Find me a team. There's still 25 games to go and hopefully a long postseason. You never know what's going to happen as far as physically or mentally, but as far as I'm concerned as of right now, yeah, I still want to play. I still think I can play every day. It's just going to be about finding a place that hopefully is competitive to play next year. It would be nice if it was Texas. I don't know what [Rangers general manager Jon Daniels] and those guys are thinking. Hopefully I'll be able to find a place for next year and take a run at 14."

Pierzynski signed a one-year deal with the Rangers as a free agent after spending his previous eight seasons with the Chicago White Sox. He started his streak in 2001 with the Minnesota Twins. He spent three years with the Twins, then one with San Francisco before signing with the White Sox in 2005 and catching 128 games during their World Series championship season.

Pierzynski said winning the World Series is his No. 1 baseball accomplishment, but his streak of playing 100-plus games at such a physically demanding position is "special."

"I remember when I first came up, just thinking, 'I'm 23, 24, I've got to do this for 10 more years.' Because that's everyone's goal, to try to get 10 years," Pierzynski said. "To still be doing it and still be healthy and able to go out there every day is really something special. It's a blessing. You never count on it because you never know what's going to happen, especially as a catcher.

"But it's been nice and I've been on good teams, and I've been on teams that let me play, which is also a luck thing. You could go to certain situations [where] you fall out of it and you don't get to play, but I've always been on teams that have been fairly competitive and also where the managers believed in me enough to keep sending me out there."

Pierzynski is batting .280 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he has gone 124 games and 1,025 chances since his last error on Aug. 28, 2012 at Baltimore. Those are the longest streaks since Boston's Jason Varitek went 137 games and 1,053 total chances without an error from July 24, 2009, to Sept. 14, 2001.

Pierzynski will also move into a tie for fourth in major league history for most total seasons with 100 or more games caught. Former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez tops that list with 17, followed by Bob Boone (15) and Jason Kendall (14).

Rodriguez's record appears to be safe from a Pierzynski assault.

"I don't know if my wife would allow me to do that for that much longer," Pierzynski said, laughing.

More rest for Andrus: Shortstop Elvis Andrus is out of the lineup for the third straight game as he recovers from back spasms. Hours before Tuesday night's game, Andrus ran and took batting practice.

"I feel OK. I ran like 80 percent today, and my back feels strong, and I was swinging pretty good," Andrus said.

Andrus said he might feel good enough to DH on Wednesday against Oakland, but manager Ron Washington said he wouldn't put him back into the starting lineup until he's healthy enough to play shortstop. Washington said he wanted to see how Andrus did fielding ground balls.

"I want Elvis total. I want Elvis on the field," Washington said.

"They want me healthy out there," Andrus said. "Believe me, I'm trying to go as fast as I can."

Home run king: Rangers prospect Joey Gallo reaped a reward for leading the minor leagues in home runs with 40. He received the Joe Bauman Award as well as $8,000 -- $200 per home run. He'll be honored at the baseball winter meetings awards luncheon in Orlando in December. He hit 38 home runs for Class A Hickory and two for the Arizona Rangers. Gallo finished one home run shy of tying the Rangers' minor-league mark set by Tom Robson in 1974 at Spokane.

Short hops: The Rangers activated Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after a solid bullpen session Monday. … Washington named his starting pitchers for the first two games of this weekend's three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim. Right-hander Matt Garza will start Friday night, and lefty Derek Holland will start Saturday night. As for Sunday, Travis Blackley and Nick Tepesch are two options, Washington said. "Could be somebody else," Washington said. Washington said he and pitching coach Mike Maddux are adjusting the rotation so "things are lined up at the end like we wanted it." … Outfielders Engel Beltre and Joey Butler and right-hander Ross Wolf were officially promoted from Triple-A Round Rock. The Rangers have 36 players on their active roster. … Outfielder Joe Benson, who was designated for assignment Monday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Round Rock.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.323 18 71 75
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 71
RA. Beltre 75
OPSA. Beltre .876
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.12
SOY. Darvish 182