Rangers fill in blank by adding catcher Molina from Giants
ARLINGTON — The AL Westleading Texas Rangers filled a significant need Thursday by acquiring veteran catcher Bengie Molina and cash from the San Francisco Giants for reliever Chris Ray and a minor league pitcher.
Molina is expected to join the Rangers tonight, when they start a 10-game homestand leading into the All-Star break.
The 35-year-old Molina has been one of the top-producing catchers until this season. From 2007-09, Molina hit 55 home runs and drove in 256 runs, an average of 85 per year.
Nagging injuries have slowed him this season; Molina is hitting .257 with three homers and 17 RBIs. The two-time Gold Glove winner became expendable when the Giants recently promoted top prospect Buster Posey.
The Rangers began 2010 with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden as their catchers. Both are back in the minor leagues.
Ivan Rodriguez reunited with his original team for the final 1½ months last season, but then signed a two-year free-agent deal with the Washington Nationals last winter.
Saltalamacchia has been at TripleA Oklahoma City since coming off the disabled list (upper back strain) in late April. He was sent to the minors because of his maddening inability to throw the ball back to the pitcher.
Teagarden, a former Texas Longhorn, hit .037 (1 for 27) in 10 games for Texas before being sent down and is now at Double-A Frisco.
Matt Treanor, acquired from Milwaukee during spring training, and Max Ramirez have been splitting the catching duties the past two months.
The right-handed Ray is 2-0 with a 3.41 ERA in 35 games. The Rangers
Continued from C also sent right-hander Michael Main, their 2007 first-round draft pick (24th overall) who has not shown much, to San Francisco.
As a Ranger, Guerrero shredding Angels’ pitching
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Vladimir Guerrero’s first trip back to Angels Stadium as a member of the opposition has been memorable.
Guerrero, whom the Angels let go because they thought he might be washed up, is far from it.
He is tied for the American League lead in RBIs with 68, ranks fifth with a .339 average and fifth in home runs with 18.
In the first two games of the Rangers-Angels series, Guerrero clubbed three home runs, six hits and eight RBIs. Sweet revenge?
“He’s as dangerous as any hitter in the game right now,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
But is Vlad playing with a chip on his shoulder?
“He’s mad at a lot of clubs,” Scioscia said before stopping midsentence. “He’s obviously at a level we haven’t seen in a couple of years, and it goes back to his health. He’s obviously healthy now.”
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver throws to the Texas Rangers during the first inning on Thursday. For details from the late game, see statesman.com.