J.P. Arencibia adds to clubhouse chemistry

Walk into the Texas Rangers' clubhouse in Surprise, Ariz., and you're likely to hear J.P. Arencibia before you see him.

It's not that the catcher is a loudmouth, particularly. But he has a knack for making teammates laugh and relaxing the mood when needed.

"I love doing my work, working hard and playing hard," Arencibia said. "But you have to understand there's still time to enjoy yourself. It's still a game."

Ask some of his teammates, and they'll tell you it's as if Arencibia has been with the Rangers for years. That's not an easy thing for a guy coming into a new team to achieve, but the 28-year-old backstop says he feels like he has adjusted more quickly than he had expected in his transition from Toronto.

"It's an easy clubhouse," Arencibia said. "I'm back to enjoying myself. I'm back to having fun. I'm back to waking up and being excited about coming to the field every day. And I think that has to do with this team. Not to take away anything from where I came from, but it's a different feeling around here.

"It's fun to come to work with guys that work hard and want to win. The culture around here is different. It's exciting to me. I have fun being a part of that. I've missed that the past couple of years, and it's exciting to get back to that."

It's easy in spring training to focus on the injuries, roster competitions and sizing up the new faces on the team. But there's another element that begins with those six weeks in the desert: chemistry.

Arencibia's personality seems to be the right one for helping foster that chemistry with this group of players.

He and Colby Lewis, whose lockers are beside each other, attended a NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Phoenix recently. And Arencibia said he's pleased with how he's getting to know the pitchers. He said he has "clicked" with Yu Darvish in particular.

"I have fun with everybody," Arencibia said. "I've been pretty universal on that. I feel like I've been able to talk with and get close to a lot of guys. It's been fun."