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Saturday, April 3, 2010
Rangers plan to split catching duties

By Richard Durrett

FRISCO, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said Saturday that he plans on splitting the catching duties as the season begins. He said he's happy with both catchers, but that he doesn't have a true starter at this point.

He hasn't decided which catcher -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Taylor Teagarden -- will start on Opening Day. He'll make that call on Sunday.

"We'll go in with the plan of splitting it, but we'll see if someone gets hot and seizes the position," Washington said.

Both catchers said Saturday that they want to start, but they also want what's best for the team.

"Splitting time keeps up both healthy and a fresh catcher back there," Saltalamacchia said. "When I'm in the game, I'm going to play the best I can and help the team as much as I can and when I'm on the bench, I'm going to root our guys on and help Teagarden as much as I can too. Ultimately, we want to win. It doesn't matter who's back there."

Saltalamacchia acknowleged that shoulder surgery and some setbacks in the offseason and at spring training hurt his chances of claiming the starting job outright.

Teagarden has showed progress with his defense this spring, but he hit .237 no homers and six RBIs and 20 strikeouts. Saltalamacchia batted .280 with a homer and five RBIs.