ARLINGTON -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the Rangers' Opening Day catcher last season, but a right shoulder injury and throwing problems cost him the job. He was traded to the Red Sox at the Trade Deadline last season and now he is playing regularly. He is also impressing his former manager.
"He's doing a real good job, you can tell," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He looks confident and he's over his throwing woes. He made a good throw [in Monday's game] to third and I was watching his throws to second. They were crisp and sharp. He's getting the ball back to the pitcher."
Elvis Andrus tried to take advantage of Saltalamacchia on Monday, but it didn't work. Andrus was on first and Ian Kinsler was on third with one out in the third inning. Andrus and first-base coach Gary Pettis saw Saltalamacchia lobbing the ball back to the pitcher. Andrus decided to take advantage and try to steal second on the throw back to the pitcher. Instead, he went too early and Saltalamacchia picked him off first.
"I went a little bit before, maybe a second before he threw the ball, and I was supposed to wait until he released the ball," Andrus said. "That's going to happen. I'm really aggressive on the bases, and I learn from that. Hopefully that doesn't happen again."
Saltalamacchia said he thought Andrus was up to something.
"Most guys, when you catch the ball, they try to run back," Andrus said. "They don't want to get picked off. He kind of stood there. In the back of the mind, I was like, if they try it, at least I can maybe pump fake and make him think ... if they do that again, make them think I'm throwing it to the pitcher and hopefully they go. And Elvis did. He stood off the bag, and I kind of faked it."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.