What has surprised Jeff Banister? It's the May 10th Baseball Texas Daily

Date: Wednesday, May 10th
Rangers’ Record: 14-20 (5th place, 9.0 games behind Houston)
Tonight’s Opponent: San Diego Padres
Tonight’s Starters: Yu Darvish (3-2, 2.76) vs. Luis Perdomo (0-0, 4.03)

“Perdomo” is a Latin word which means, in a literal sense, “I knead” (as in bread). More commonly, it means “I subjugate competely”. I.e. “I conquer, I vanquish” or in the parlance of the day, “lol owned.” Darvish, by contrast, is an “alternate aliteration of the word ‘dervish’, referring to a Sufi aspirant”.

If it’s not clear enough by now, I got most of this from Google and Wikipedia. I don’t speak or read Latin or Arabic. But the word “Perdomo” sounded familiar, and I got curious. Now I know, and so do you. I’m not going to make any cheesy puns about how the Rangers have performed against sinkers and curveballs, both of which are Perdomo’s primary pitches.

It’s the May 10th Baseball Texas Daily!

BASEBALL STUFF

1. Adrian Beltre is back with the team. He hit on the field today, and while he did not make himself available to the media today, he was (according to Jeff Banister) smiling, which was not the case the last time the manager saw the third baseman. There is still no timetable for his return, but he is not running bases yet. Once he’s running bases, his return will be nigh. We will let you know when that happens.

2. Tyson Ross is going to throw three innings in Arizona on Saturday. Pitching coach Doug Brocail says that the plan is for Ross to throw twice in Arizona, then “at least one” rehab start, probably with Round Rock, since the Express will be home when Ross is scheduled to make that first rehab start. Brocail said Ross is now officially on the “every five days” schedule, so if you live in the Round Rock area, oh hey, look at this.

3. Carlos Gomez let us in on his routine a little today. Gomez said he had–by 3:00pm, which is when clubhouse starts–taken 200 swings in the batting cage, plus about one hundred at home before he showed up at the ballpark at noon. “That’s how you prepare,” Gomez shrugged. “I’m a professional, and I’ve built up my body to do that. The more that I hit, the more I see the ball. So far, this season-- I’ve never in my career in the first 30 games had fifteen walks. So (that’s) going how it’s supposed to. So now I’m going to start squaring up more balls, having consistent good at bats every day. Soon, you start finding some holes. (...) My job right now is to try to keep this team believing how good we are.” 

“So,” Gomez smiled as he began to clap his hands. “I gotta go, I gotta hit the curveball machine, and I told you after the game (yesterday) that I’m going to go 3-for-4 today.”

4. The Curveball machine that Gomez speaks of was brought in today. Asked if that was Perdomo-specific, Banister said that it was not. “All part of the process, brother.” Focusing on hitting the breaking pitches, or perhaps focusing on laying off breaking pitches outside the zone (“probably both,” the manager allowed.) is something that the coaching staff hopes will benefit the Rangers offense.

5. Sometimes in this profession, you throw up a Hail Mary and see if you get an answer. I wasn't sure what to expect today when I asked this question; Jeff Banister is known as a manager who protects his players not only from real slights, but occasionally will preemptively defend them against a perceived slight. I wasn’t asking him to trash anyone (that’s not my style either) but I was curious about something specific. So I asked. I’ll give you the full unedited conversation here:

Levi: In a season that has not, obviously, gone the way–so far–that you guys have planned--

Banister, jokingly: Are you sure? Are you sure about that?

LW: Well, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but…

JB: C’mon now. You think we’d just show up and give them a head start?

LW: Yeah, you know. Working on character-building.

JB (laughing): I’m playing…

LW: Is there one aspect of it that has been more surprising to you than the others, though? Like sometimes things go wrong and you think “okay, well, that was within the scope of what I assumed could happen. I hoped it wouldn’t happen, but it did. But does any of it surprise you, like “man, I did not expect that.”

JB: Well, you never expect to–even though this is the third time, the third year in a row, you never expect your closer to have issues. However, I think that what has been a *little* surprising, because I still believe in the set of pitchers that we have out there–the quality of who they are and what they can do, what they’re capable of–the volume of walks out of the bullpen has been surprising. I mean, that part of it has been.

Whether it be injury, or you have to replace a guy at the back end of the bullpen, you have to move other pitchers (to the vacated spots), so moving Matt Bush… he was a guy that was handling those 7th and 8th-inning scenarios, which… I say it all the time: every inning for me is a leverage situations, every inning is a closing opportunity. However, there are some times in a game where that 7th and 8th-- and we’ve seen how dynamic they can be (this season). When you move guys… I didn’t, with the experience of the guys we have out there handling those types of situations, that probably is it.

I mean, our offense, if you look back since I’ve been here, sometimes it does take offenses time to get going. We just haven’t had one single guy in our offense that-- last year, we were pretty one-or-two-hot-player-dominant in the lineup all year long. We had guys fluctuate up and down. You’d always have somebody coming into a hot spell as one guy was kinda trending out. We just haven’t had that trend upward yet.

MUSIC RECOMMENDATION

You ever see a guy make an entire arranged song out of just a light-up banjo and some loop pedals? You can do that right now! You can see forty minutes of itif you like! (seriously: watch the first five minutes of that last video.) Tall Tall Trees, the band name of Mike Savino, is one of my favorite live acts, and his new record is called Freedays. The record contains elements of the live performance, but as I humbly believe *should* be the case, the recorded songs stand alone as their own art form, separate from the loop-heavy solo performances. 
(Spotify, Apple Music, Website)

During the regular season, these recommendations occasionally come from Rangers players, broadcasters, or other people around the team (here’s a complete list). If there’s a player or person you’d like Levi to ask for a music recommendation, shoot him an e-mail threetwoeephus@gmail.com or a tweet here.

You can follow Levi Weaver on Twitter at @ThreeTwoEephus, or for fewer puns and more straight-forward Baseball News updates, you can follow us at @BaseballTX, or download the app and get in-game updates and notifications by clicking on the logo below!

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