Torrealba making most of backup role

Torrealba making most of backup role

Torrealba making most of backup role
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yorvit Torrealba was behind the plate for Matt Harrison's shutout Friday night and the nine scoreless innings lowered his catcher's ERA to 3.41 on the season. Harrison praised Torrealba's work, saying he didn't shake off his catcher all night.

"It was easy," Torrealba said. "Whatever I put down, he was able to throw for strikes. He was really sharp."

The 3.41 catcher's ERA is a significant drop from his 4.31 CERA last season when Torrealba was first learning the American League. Mike Napoli had a 3.16 CERA last season and is at 3.91 this year.

Napoli was behind the plate Saturday for the 34th time this season as he continues to get the majority of the playing time. Torrealba has started 26 games. Torrealba had 95 starts last season. Napoli had 57 while getting additional playing time at first base and designated hitter.

Offense is the biggest reason why Napoli remains the Rangers' No. 1 catcher. After having a career year in 2011, Napoli went into Saturday's game hitting .259 with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs. He had a .362 on-base percentage and a .482 slugging percentage. Torrealba was hitting .231 with two home runs and six RBIs, along with a .316 on-base percentage and a .352 slugging percentage.

"Defensively I'm feeling good, way better than last year" Torrealba said. "Offensively I still have issues with my timing. One day I'll have good timing, the next start I don't feel like I have it. I've been battling and I've been working. But we're still early in the year; we have a lot of games to go. It's getting better."

Torrealba said adjusting to a backup role has been hard.

"Honestly, it has been," Torrealba said. "I said in Spring Training I know Napoli deserves to play. The year he had last year was out of this world. I had a good year but his year was unbelievable. All I can do is stay ready and when I'm in the lineup do the best I can."