Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Wash's wisdom: Keeping his regulars fresh
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A.J. Pierzynski could very well get another day off Wednesday as he rests a sore oblique muscle.
On Saturday, No. 2 and 3 hitters Elvis Andrus and Lance Berkman had a scheduled day off. Berkman was given time off in the cold weather in Chicago a few weeks ago.
Rangers manager Ron Washington is serious about giving his regulars more time off during the season. Washington said in the days after the Rangers were eliminated by Baltimore in the AL wild-card game that he wished he had given his everyday players more rest. The Rangers lost 10 of 14 games and were swept by Oakland to end the 2012 season.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre was among five Rangers who played in at least 156 games. Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Andrus all played in the most games of their careers.
"My regulars were healthy and they were able to go out there, but if I can look back now maybe I could have done something in the middle of the season where I could have given them some time down," Washington said in post-mortemum news conference last October. "My everyday guys, I rode them, man."
Andrus, Beltre and Kinsler all had full days off in April. Veterans Pierzynski and Berkman have had a combined 10 games off. Washington has avoiding using regulars in pinch-hitting situations to make sure his players get a full day off.
The Rangers are off to another great start. Washington's approach could help bring a stronger finish.
Let's talk: Washington continues to get positive results when he makes a rare visit to the mound to talk to a pitcher. The skipper went to talk to reliever Robbie Ross after he hit Adam Dunn and fell behind Paul Konerko in the top of the ninth with two outs and a 10-6 lead. Ross responded by getting Konerko to ground out to end the game.