HOUSTON -- Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos, who has been sidelined with a torn tendon in his left shoulder, has progressed to the point where he can be used in reserve.
Chirinos was the starting catcher for the first four months, but he has played in just two games since July 30 while dealing with the shoulder issues. He has had multiple setbacks but said he has made significant progress the past three days.
"A lot better," Chirinos said. "The last three days have been good. I'm hitting in batting practice, catching on the side, throwing. I'm doing everything. I never stopped working out. My body feels good, my swing feels good, my arm feels good."
The Rangers pinch-hit for catchers Bobby Wilson and Chris Gimenez in Saturday's 9-7 loss to the Astros. They hit for Gimenez in a three-run ninth inning that ended with the tying run on base. If the Rangers had tied the game or gone ahead, Chirinos would have gone in to catch in the bottom of the inning.
"I don't think there is a plan to start him in the immediate future, but he has progressed to the point where he can be a backup," manager Jeff Banister said.
The Rangers also have Carlos Corporan on the active roster, but he is still dealing with a sprained left thumb. He is available only in an emergency and will likely need surgery after the season.
• Derek Holland was dealing with some stiffness in his left middle finger on Sunday, the day after getting hit in the hand by a line drive. But he is still scheduled to pitch on Thursday against the Angels.
• Shin-Soo Choo had a .545 on-base percentage in September going into Sunday's game. The club record for any month is .500 by Will Clark in May 1997.
• The Rangers had won 13 straight games when scoring in the first inning until Saturday's loss to the Astros.