New Rangers catcher Arencibia doesn’t mind playing backup
New Texas catcher J.P. Arencibia is used to being a starter but coming to the Rangers as the backup for Geovany Soto isn’t fazing Arencibia.
“My job is to go out there and try to work with Geo every day, whether it be going over scouting reports or playing,” said Arencibia, who’s one-year deal with the Rangers was made official Tuesday. “It’s about putting the best team out there and helping our pitchers get through games.”
Arencibia became available after Toronto decided not to offer him a contract. Arencibia is a buy-low signing for the Rangers, as he’s set to make $1.8 million plus incentives. He’s coming off a season in which he hit just .194 but he did have 21 home runs and played in a career high 138 games.
More than looking to bounce back, Arencibia wanted to have a chance to play for a winner. He’s confident the rest will take care of itself and didn’t see getting non-tendered as a negative. Arencibia pointed out that David Oritz was non-tendered by Minnesota before going to Boston and becoming one of the game’s best hitters.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” he said. “Change is good. You learn from your struggles. It makes you stronger and more experienced.”
While Arencibia struggles to hit for average, he has a history of success at Rangers Ballpark. Arencibia is a .256 hitter in Arlington in 11 games. He has seven homers, 10 RBI and eight runs scored at the ballpark.
Arencibia, who grew up playing in Miami, thinks his success has something to do with the heat.
“I don’t know what it is but whatever it is I’d like to bottle it up,” he said. “I just enjoy the park. One thing I enjoy is the heat. I do enjoy hitting in the hot weather.”