Woodward on Willie Calhoun: ‘He’s already a special hitter’
Yes, this specific body fluid is the key to the Texas Rangers tracking their player’s hydration through the long, grueling 162-game regular season.
More specifically, the color of a players urine is the best indicator of their hydration, said Jamie Reed, Rangers’ Sr. Director of Medical Operations/Sports Science.
Players are given color panels to keep track of their urine. On game days, they are advised to monitor the color first thing in the morning to see if they are “behind schedule.”
The target color is clear, but slightly yellow. Darker urine indicates severe dehydration. In these cases, the team will order an IV to replace their fluids.
Luckily, Reed said that doesn’t happen very often with the current crop of players. He said they are always well-hydrated.
In fact, Reed said that he has only had two players have to leave a game due to dehydration since he took over as the head athletic trainer for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1997.
To keep players hydrated, the training staff has installed “hydration stations” throughout the clubhouse and even in the dugout. Additionally, the players are fed vegetables that are packed with water.
(They also have a slurpee machine.)
The training staff also has players using The Right Stuff, a concentrate of sodium and electrolytes, and players are taught to use it based on their individual hydration needs.
“Every time they turn around, there should be fluids being pushed to them,” Reed said.
The Rangers’ training staff can take every precautionary measure, but it’s still up to the players to stay hydrated on their own.
“It all legit starts two days before,” said Rangers catcher Jose Trevino. “You know you body has to stock up.”
That’s especially true in the sweltering heat of a Texas summer.
According to AccuWeather, Arlington has a historical average temperate hovering around 96 degrees in August. This year, it is predicted to rise above that nine times and into the hundreds three times.
Trevino makes sure to eat the right foods and consume a lot of fluids. He abides by the saying, “When you’re thirsty, it’s too late.”
Globe Life Field’s appeal
The Ranger’s new billion-dollar ballpark, opening for the 2020 season, will have a retractable roof and air conditioning. This will take a lot of pressure off of training staff and players to keep hydrated.
“It’s never gonna be too hot, so that’s what I’m looking forward to,” said Rangers’ left fielder Willie Calhoun.
The Rangers have 24 more games to play at their roofless Globe Life Park.