With Chirinos down, Holaday's time to step up

With Chirinos down, Holaday's time to step up

ANAHEIM -- Bryan Holaday, acquired from the Tigers at the end of Spring Training, is now the Rangers' No. 1 catcher.

Holaday ascended into that role when Robinson Chirinos was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a broken right forearm. Chirinos is expected to be out 10-12 weeks.

Brett Nicholas, a left-handed hitter, was called up to the Major Leagues for the first time on Sunday to be the backup catcher. But Holaday, who hits right-handed, will be the primary catcher while Chirinos is down.

Chirinos gets hit on his swing

The Rangers did consider some outside options on Sunday morning, but general manager Jon Daniels said it was "due diligence" and nothing major.

Holaday was primarily a backup catcher for four seasons with Tigers with a career high of 165 at-bats in 2014. This will be Holaday's first real chance to show he can play regularly in the big leagues.

"I don't see it that way," Holaday said. "I just come to the field every day ready to help my team win. That's all I care about."

Holaday has been doing a crash course on the Rangers' pitching staff since being acquired from the Tigers and said he is getting comfortable working with them.

"That's why I made it a priority of catching everyone in their [bullpen sessions]," Holaday said. "Plus sitting with them, talking with them and seeing how they like to pitch. You've got to be ready at all times."

Manager Jeff Banister said Holaday will be the regular catcher, but he doesn't want to overwork Holaday since he is not used to that everyday role.

"In my experience, you have to watch those situations," Banister said. "You run the risk of running that body down and creating an injury situation."

Nicholas was a sixth-round Draft pick by the Rangers in 2010 out of the University of Missouri. He began his professional career as a catcher but moved to first base in 2011-13 because of his left-handed power bat. He resumed catching in 2014, splitting time between there and first base.

"He receives the ball well, blocks the ball well, and he seems to handle the pitching staff," Banister said. "He's shown a little power with the bat. He has a chance to throw runners out if he's given a chance."

The Rangers were unable to consider two other catchers who were with them in Spring Training. Chris Gimenez, who is on the 40-man roster, has yet to resume baseball activities after beginning the season on the disabled list. Michael McKenry, who was signed to a Minor League contract, is still in the team's complex in Arizona recovering from an abdominal strain and right knee surgery from last season.

Rangers beat 

• Shortstop Elvis Andrus is dealing with a sore middle finger on his left hand. Andrus was spiked by catcher Carlos Perez as he slid head-first into home plate in the fourth inning on Saturday night. Andrus said fielding is not a problem; it's mainly gripping a bat.

Rougned Odor got the day off on Sunday, with Hanser Alberto playing second base. The Rangers play 14 straight days to open the season, so Banister will look for other games to give his regulars a rest.

• Entering Sunday, the Rangers' four Minor League teams were 12-0. Joey Gallo hit two home runs in Triple-A Round Rock's 9-3 win over Iowa on Saturday.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.