Camp Banister: New manager wants short, efficient productive workouts
Two days of pitchers and catchers and one thing is clear. The Rangers are getting off the field in less than two hours. New manager Jeff Banister believes in short workouts, get it done right and get off the field with not much standing around.
“Through the years found what works best,” Banister said. “Listening to players, watching what’s successful, what’s not. The three hours of play, 13 minutes of action. There can be a lot of standing around in baseball. We talked about that prior to coming to spring training. Talked about it again this morning.
“Getting the player out on the field and getting them in baseball shape during baseball activity. Eliminating the mundane, eliminating the standing around because we want our men to function at a high level in not only low-stress situations but high-stress situations. The toughest thing in baseball is to recreate that. Keeping them engaged all the time. So we try to structure a workout every day that that happens is paramount to me.”
The idea is that reducing the time that players stand around on the field reduces the risk of injury.
That may be the case but last year the Rangers had a highly-efficent, well-run camp with their workouts also getting done in two hours or less.
One distinct difference this year is that pitchers are throwing in the bullpen the first time out rather than live batting practice. That was something Banister decided after talking with pitching coach Mike Maddux.
“Obviously, I like live batting practice, but there is a process getting to live batting practice,” Banister said. “There’s a process to getting to intersquads. To real games, to nine innings. I’m a process-driven guy. I think as soon as you sell out to the production early right or wrong it’s my opinion, you miss the process. Detail is process-oriented.
“John Wooden, the first thing he had freshman do: put on their socks. because if you don’t put socks on the right way you get blisters. If you get blisters you can’t play. That may be old school but when you think about it really and truly it works out here with these guys too.”