Banister on board with Rangers' rebuilding plans

June 7th, 2018

ARLINGTON -- President of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels' contract extension comes with the understanding that the Rangers are in a long-term rebuilding process that is going to take time and patience.

Manager Jeff Banister, who is signed through 2019, said he understands that part and is on board with it. The Rangers' main focus will continue to be on the development of their young players, both at the Major League level and in the farm system.

That is the top priority right now for a team that went into its four-game series with the Astros in last place in the American League West and 10 games under .500.

"Absolutely. For me, there's always patience," Banister said. "We talk about this all the time -- everybody has their own urgency, if you will, on things. Yet, when you're on the inside and part of the process, you understand that there is a day-to-day patient attitude, but yet there's urgency in how you do the work.

"Not every [young player's] timetable in that main room out there is always going to be consistently the same. Every player has their own rate of success, of development. That's the thing where you have to show great patience and how that process takes fold."

Rangers ownership announced Thursday that Daniels had agreed to a multiyear contract extension. His current contract was set to expire at the end of this season.

"First of all, I think it's outstanding that it's our ownership showing the faith in JD and how he's continued to run this organization from his point of view," Banister said. "The continuity going forward, I think it's tremendous. I love the fact that I believe in what he does and who he is and the calmness by which he creates, and the tremendous leadership in this organization."

Banister not writing off Odor

Shortstop could be within two weeks of returning from the disabled list, and that will give the Rangers a surplus of infielders. It will also mean will have to vacate shortstop and get more playing time at second base.

But Banister is not ready to write off even though he has had his struggles at the plate this season. He was hitting .215 with one home run, 14 RBIs, a .267 on-base percentage and a .306 slugging percentage going into Thursday's game.

"Rougie's shown some improvement," Banister said. "He's hitting well over .300 over the last 11 games. He's played solid defense. The thing that I like about what Rougie's doing is the work that he's putting in is a little more routine, a little more conscious on the little things. And I think he's starting to see the byproduct of that, some more production on the field.

"What is routine? It means consistency. It means showing up every day. Rougie works. He's always worked. It's just understanding that work comes before batting practice. It's doing the defensive work ... it's doing some footwork with the strength-and-conditioning staff. It's in the cage working on laying a ball on the ground, trying to move the ball around the ballpark. I believe that Rougie is on the right track, going in the direction that we need him to go."

Perez ready for live BP

Left-hander , on the disabled list with nerve inflammation in his right arm, said he was feeling good after a 45-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday, and the next step is expected to be live batting practice on Saturday.

Perez is hoping that he'll be ready for a medical rehabilitation assignment after two to three more live BP and/or bullpen sessions. But the Rangers want him to go through extensive pitchers' fielding practice (PFP) before he pitches in a real game in the Minor Leagues.

"PFP is probably going to be an everyday part of his routine," Banister said. "He has been down a while and has an issue with his glove hand, not his throwing arm. He needs to be able to react and field and defend himself."

Rangers beat

• Joey Gallo made his first start in center field this season on Thursday and was on the bench. Banister said he wanted an extra left-handed hitter in the game with right-hander on the mound for the Astros.

• The Rangers' nine home runs in two games against the Athletics was a club record for a two-game series. The previous record was seven, done twice before against the Red Sox in 2012 and the White Sox in 2005.

• Entering Thursday, Profar was tied with Mitch Haniger of the Mariners for the AL lead in game-winning RBIs with nine.

• Daniels said the Rangers are hopeful they can have their top 10 Draft picks signed by the middle of next week. That includes right-hander Cole Winn, who was their top pick. The biggest step going forward is getting the required physicals done.