Rangers manager Jeff Banister would’ve enjoyed visiting San Antonio this weekend.
But he wanted to stay in Arizona to get some more looks at key players vying for spots on the 25-man roster.
Plus, he said, being in his first year, he felt the need to remain at the Surprise complex where he could continue to monitor how things are being run at both the major league and minor league levels. The Rangers play the Dodgers Friday night and Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome. They’ll also play split squad games in Surprise against the Mariners and Brewers. Most veterans on the roster, including all the established pitchers, are staying in Surprise. The only definite starters headed to San Antonio are shortstop Elvis Andrus, second baseman Rougned Odor and center fielder Leonys Martin. They’re all likely making the trip because of missed time. Martin was the last player to arrive in camp and Andrus missed a week with a sore left knee. Odor hasn’t missed any time but the club wants he and Andrus to get as much game time playing together as possible.
“[I needed to see] the players that are staying back, the arms that are staying back,” Banister said. “Also being a first-year manager I want to keep a close eye on all the things that we’re doing here, not only with the major league team but on the minor league side and try to be as involved as I possibly can.”
Banister also liked the idea of allowing bench coach Steve Buechele and other coaches, including pitching coach Mike Maddux, to get a chance to run the show.
“That would be a tremendous trip and a great place to go to and be part of, but it’s also an opportunity for Steve Buechele and the coaching staff that’s going out there to run a major league team,” he said. “I feel confident in everything they’re going to do to carry on everything we’re doing here.”
Banister said he expects to have several B games over the weekend to get as many players in different situations as possible.
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760