When instant replay makes its debut at Globe Life Park on March 31, it will be the guy you don’t see who could be most critical in how the Texas Rangers use it.
Sitting in front of a monitor with access to all the different camera angles -- the same that umpiring crews in New York will have as they decide any replay challenges -- is 31-year-old assistant advance scout Joey Prebynski.
He’ll be quickly looking at any close play and communicating with the dugout as to whether he thinks it’s worth a challenge.
“I think the way we’re looking at it is to provide the most reliable information to our coaching staff that’s clear, concise and consistent that allows them to make the best possible decision,” Prebynski said.
Ultimately, whether to challenge a call rests with manager Ron Washington and bench coach Tim Bogar. But Prebynski’s recommendation will clearly carry a ton of weight.
That’s why Wednesday is so important. Prebynski said that’s when MLB will provide the teams in Florida and Arizona -- with a few locations for each -- the opportunity to see the equipment used in the parks. Prebynski said it’s being installed in Arlington this week.
“We’ll be able to see it and that should give us a better idea of how to approach it,” said Prebynski, who added that it will be used at a Seattle Mariners night game in Peoria, Ariz., on Wednesday. “There’s a 5 p.m. classroom session beforehand, too.”
Prebynski participated in the lone replay game the Rangers have had so far this spring and said the communication aspect was good for the first time. He’ll get five more chances to do it this spring before March 31 rolls around.
Is he nervous?
“No,” Prebynski said. “It’s just one aspect of the job and something every organization is faced with -- and every club is faced with the same situation. It’s up to use to create a situation that works.”