If keeping Adrian Beltre healthy isn't No. 1 on this season's rankings of things that must happen for the Texas Rangers to contend for the playoffs, at the very least it's receiving first-place votes.
There are others keys to success, such as pitchers issuing fewer walks and piling up more strikeouts and hitters doing the opposite. And, obviously, the fewer injuries overall, not just to Beltre, the better.
But just below Beltre's health concerns sit those for Robinson Chirinos, who again sits atop the catching depth chart and will be the starting catcher on Opening Day. Assuming he's healthy.
He needs to be, with no Jonathan Lucroy, but hasn't always been a picture of health.
"For a while it seemed like he had the wrong rabbit's foot," manager Jeff Banister said.
Indeed, serious injuries have slowed Chirinos in seasons past, leaving him with no more than 91 games and 88 starts at catcher for his career. He believes he can top 100 or 110, if Banister would let him, and is ready to give it a go.
"I feel awesome, man," Chirinos said. "I'm excited. I'm ready for the season. I don't really have a number. I'm just praying to God I stay healthy all year. I know if I stay healthy I'm going to catch over 100 games."
Chirinos is in line to be the Opening Day/regular catcher for the third time in the past four seasons, but he missed significant time in 2015 with a torn left biceps and in 2016 with a broken left forearm.
Even last season when Lucroy had those duties, Chirinos prepared as if he was the starter. He was eventually, after Lucroy was dealt to Colorado on July 30, and played six weeks down the stretch with a Grade 2 strain in his left hamstring.
Chirinos hopes the painful stretch proved to the Rangers they can give him a little more leeway to avoid the disabled list if an injury creeps up.
"As a catcher, you always play with something," Chirinos said. "The previous two injuries, it was hard for me to be on the field, but I feel like playing through that injury not only showed myself but showed them I can play even when I have a Grade 2 hammy. They saw something playing through that injury, and I think that's going to help me when and if something happens this year."
Once the hamstring healed Chirinos launched into an off-season regimen that included Cross Fit workouts combined with martial arts. Cross Fit provided him with strength, and the martial arts training gave him quickness and flexibility.
He is as well-prepared as ever for a regular catcher's workload. The Rangers, though, are trying to figure out just what that workload is for Chirinos.
Banister said that the goal is to keep Chirinos "fresh" to maximize his performance. That might mean no more than three consecutive days catching. It likely means no day games after night games.
The Rangers don't have a plan, though they believe it's crucial to find a capable backup, because they don't have a baseline where to start. Banister, though, notes that there aren't many catchers who play 120 games.
Only three started more than 125 games and only eight started more than 100.
"Health is one thing, but performing at a high level and knowing the workload for him," Banister said. "The workload, days-in-a-row scenarios, paying attention to that. We need Robbie to be at the highest productive rate we can keep him.
"His body is going to tell us that. His production will tell us that."
History shows the Rangers will need more than just one quality backup. Brett Nicholas, Juan Centeno and Curt Casali are the top candidates to be the No. 2 catcher. Nicholas and Centeno have spots on the 40-man roster.
Chirinos is planning to play as many games as his body and manager will let him.
"I went through the off-season to put my body in the best position to go and catch over 100 games this year," he said. "Take care of my body and be smart and help take this team back to the postseason. That's my goal."