Wednesday newsletter time: Hours of watching video ahead for Mike Maddux
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The holidays are over and his tee time wasn’t until after lunch, so Mike Maddux had some time Tuesday morning to reacquaint himself with the Rangers beat writers.
He is already acquainting himself with Rangers pitchers, having met a few of those working out at Globe Life Field this offseason. He reached out to Martin Perez, who made his MLB debut in 2012 during Maddux’s first stint as Rangers pitching coach.
The next few weeks will be more of the same. Maddux said that he will dive into video on Rangers pitchers to see what they do well, with the goal of creating individual plans for each pitcher for spring training. He wants to identify what the pitchers do well, what they don’t do well, and what they aren’t doing that might be worth a try.
Maddux stressed that pitchers must believe in themselves and that their ability to execute when on the mound.
“If you’re out there and you’re wondering if you can’t do it, it ain’t gonna work,” he said. “You’ve got to know you can do it.”
Maddux believes in himself.
He has adapted over the years as the game has changed, but he said he’s still the same. The things he believes have worked for 15 seasons still work. He’s altered how he communicates, but otherwise he’s the same.
One thing that has changed since his last season of his first go-round with the Rangers is their home ballpark. Maddux was given a tour recently and said there’s no place like it in baseball.
“What a ballpark,” he said. “Can you believe this place? … I’ve never seen a facility like this.”
He’s going to see plenty of it the next few seasons.
New bat in Houston
The Rangers have had well-documented struggles the past three seasons against the Astros, especially at Minute Maid Park. Houston, coming off winning the World Series, signed a right-handed bat that can do some damage there to the Rangers and any other club.
First baseman Jose Abreu, the 2020 American League MVP, signed a three-year, $50 million deal with Houston, where he will replace Yuli Gurriel. Houston has interesting in bringing Gurriel back in a part-time role.
Abreu hit only 15 home runs in 2022, though he collected 40 doubles with the White Sox and batted .304 with an .824 OPS. Minute Maid Park is home to one of the shortest left fields around, and many a routine flyball has found the Crawford Boxes for a home run.
Abreu will likely collect a few there.
The Astros, owner Jim Crane said, are not finished shopping. They have been linked to free-agent catcher Willson Contrares and still hope to re-sign Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
Houston’s competitive window is still wide open.
Rangers Today reminders
The following is not my attempt at telling my loyal followers where I’ll be once Twitter goes away. Know why? Twitter isn’t going away. Geez.
However, there are other ways to follow me and the Rangers Today.
But start with Twitter, then Facebook, and then Instagram. Don’t forget the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast Twitter, either, or John Moore and T.R. Sullivan on Twitter.
The podcast has a YouTube channel, too, and it does better with more subscribers. So, subscribe if you haven’t already. It’s free. Barring a last-minute conflict, Michael Young will be our guest this week.
One more: Become a paid subscriber to Rangers Today. A subscription also makes a fine gift.
A good boy right here. Enjoy.
Here’s a squirrel for your nuts…😏😂🐶🐿️ pic.twitter.com/EwwYa4dyy4
— Fred Schultz (@FredSchultz35) November 24, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org
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