Rangers announce alternate training site for 2021
Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express and their Dell Diamond Stadium will serve as an alternate training venue for the 2021 season, the two organizations announced on Tuesday. Players who should be on the alternate site should be announced before MLB’s opening day.
Round Rock will open Minor League Season 21 on Thursday, May 6 at home against the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
“We are grateful to Mike Daly, Paul Kruger and the entire Rangers player development team for allowing us to host their alternate training site,” Round Rock general manager Tim Jackson said. “Many of the players who show up at Dell Diamond in April will likely be Express members at some point in 2021, so for them to be able to familiarize themselves with this great stadium and the town of Round Rock will be a huge benefit as we we are heading towards summer.
“We greatly appreciate our partnership with Round Rock and for the Express to host our alternate training site in central Texas,” added Rangers assistant general manager Mike Daly. “This is an exciting first step toward returning baseball to Dell Diamond in 2021.”
The alternate site was a concept developed during MLB Season 20 after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the minor leagues. The site offers a training area geographically close to the big league club so players are ready to be called up quickly and safely.
Limited attendance may be allowed for some exhibition matches and practices, but details are still being worked out.
Rangers chief executive Chris Young said the club are still working on how to use the alternate venue this year and whether it will be different to the way they did in 2020.
Manager Chris Woodward said he liked the way the organization handled the alternate venue last season and expects to do the same in 21.
“We got as much out of it as we could,” Woodward said. “There’s a ton of development and growth, and honestly it was a really competitive environment. You have to be creative because you don’t have heats every day and you have to somehow another getting these guys, you know, reps that look like matches Our staff and everyone there, they’ll learn from last year and make some tweaks and tweaks, but I’m pretty confident that we’re going to prepare these guys.
The delay to Minor League Season 21 has left them figuring out what exactly to do with some of the top prospects like Sam Huff or Josh Jung. Young and Woodward are both hoping to get the prospects into real games as soon as possible with the start of the Minor League season in May.
“It’s very important for us to give this young group significant game time and not hold up their progress,” Young said. “We hope the Minor League season will start on time, or with the delay that will start there and not be delayed any further, so that we can get these guys out. It’s really important for our organization, especially for the future.
Dahl Injury Update
Left fielder David Dahl left Monday’s game against the Rockies after fouling a fly ball from his right knee. Woodward said after the game that he could have stayed and probably would have if it was the regular season, but they held him out as a precaution.
He was also left out of the lineup in Tuesday’s game against the Angels after considering starting him as a designated hitter. Woodward said he watched Dahl practice batting today and his knee still didn’t feel good.
Dahl will likely appear in Wednesday’s “B” game to get more reps.
“At the end of the day, it was just kind of 50/50,” Woodward said. “Like he’s not going to feel good, why do it. [The B game] will be a little more controlled and hopefully it will be better tomorrow. There’s no reason to turn him into something where he was limping and then he ends up hurting his hamstrings or hurting his back or something because of that. We’ll just update him today and hopefully it’ll be good for tomorrow.