Pierzynski is being held out of Tuesday's series opener against the White Sox because of an issue with his right oblique muscle. He is missing his first chance to play against Chicago in a regular-season game after playing eight seasons with the White Sox, including leading them to the 2005 World Series title.
"Obviously I want to play," Pierzynski said. "It's killing me not to play, especially for this series."
Pierzynski said he is sitting out for precautionary reasons and that the oblique issue, which he has had for two weeks, was actually worse on the Rangers' road trip to Anaheim and Minnesota. With the Rangers off Monday, Pierzynski will get at least two full days off. Soto might also get the start Wednesday with the Rangers facing tough White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.
Pierzysnki, who saw team physician Keith Meister on Monday, said he isn't having any issues when he's catching, but when he's swinging. An oblique issue he had in the same area last year with the White Sox forced him to miss a series against the Rangers.
"It's better; it just looks worse," Pierzynski said of the coloring caused by a bruise. "It was worse last year. It feels better than it has in two weeks. I just don't want to miss two weeks or a month because of this."
Pierzynski is off to a great start. He's batting .295 with four home runs and 11 RBIs. He also has handled a pitching staff that leads the majors with a 3.023 ERA.
The Rangers don't have much catching depth behind Pierzynski and Soto. Robinson Chirinos, who was acquired earlier this month in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, is batting .327 with nine RBIs since joining Triple-A Round Rock on April 11.
So the Rangers proceed cautiously with Pierzynski.
"I need him around here for the rest of the year," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.