Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Buzz: Soto is catching Darvish, and that's it
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Geovany Soto is catching Yu Darvish again Tuesday night.
It's an opportunity for Soto to catch a game.
"Anything else I say, I'm going to lead down a path I don't want to go," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Leave it at that."
Washington doesn't want to get into the discussion of Soto as Darvish's personal catcher because he wants the right to change his mind and use A.J. Pierzynski, his starting catcher, at his discretion.
Soto helped Darvish in his last start on Thursday night at Tampa Bay. There's no debating that.
Darvish struggled with his command and was on the verge of coming out of the game several times -- as early as the third inning -- and he made it through five innings to get a win in the Rangers' 8-2 win over the Rays.
"They work well together," Washington said. "If you don't think they work well together, the other night in Tampa proved it. He got him through it."
Soto works hard and watches video. Darvish, who can be emotional on the mound, seems to take some comfort in having Soto behind the plate.
"I try to be very positive and upbeat," Soto said. "You get on some guys. You have to know pitchers have different personalities, so you have to know what to do with who."
Darvish's numbers with each catcher are almost exactly the same. He has a 2.80 ERA throwing to Pierzynski. He has a 2.81 ERA to Soto.
Darvish was 7-1 to start the season with Pierzynski catching most of his games, so Washington doesn't want to hear about Darvish being better with one particular catcher.
"I think that's excuses," Washington said.
Holland goes over 200: Derek Holland went over 200 innings on Monday night. Darvish needs four outs to make it there.
What does reaching that mark mean?
"It means he went deep [into his starts]," Washington said. "As a starter when you go deep, it means you're giving your team a chance."
They have carried the Rangers' staff from a workload standpoint with injuries to Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando and others.
Short hops: Jeff Baker is expected to be the designated hitter on Wednesday against Houston starting left-hander Dallas Keuchel
Holland's seven shutouts are the third most in the majors since the start of the 2009 season. Former teammate Cliff Lee has 10 shutouts, and his current teammate in Philadelphia, Roy Halladay, has nine.