The prevailing issue -- and perhaps the only issue -- concerning the Rangers' catching situation is the unknown health of Jarrod Saltalamacchia's right shoulder. He says the only issue is the arm fatigue he suffered in December but has since overcome. He says he is 100 percent entering the first day of drills for pitchers and catchers.
If that's the case, and he can show that this spring, he'll get the starting job come Opening Day. Manager Ron Washington said as much about an hour ago. "If he can play, he's got the job," Washington said. He was seated next to general manager Jon Daniels, who said if Saltalamacchia is healthy, the Rangers are comfortable going forward with Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden as their catchers in 2010.
Can Teagarden win the job? Yes, manager and GM said. While Saltalamacchia improved defensively before getting injured -- and defense is the first priority for Washington -- his bat needs to pick up some. But it would take a big spring from Teagarden and a lousy, injury-filled, no-stick spring from Saltalamacchia for Teagarden to emerge as the starter.
Another possibility? One of the two catchers could wind up in Triple A, Daniels said.
Until Saltalamacchia's shoulder is proven healthy, the Rangers will continue to scan the free-agent market for a veteran catcher. But is there a full-blown catching controversy developing? Not yet.
-- Jeff Wilson