A team’s preparation for the postseason starts well before the playoffs actually begin, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald writes. The process of scouting potential playoff opponents, for example, begins months in advance. “You have to throw superstition out the window, because you’ve got to start that process in August,” says Red Sox president Sam Kennedy. “There’s a lot that goes into it. We have actually one person who wears a variety of hats here, but he is our postseason coordinator.” Teams also must plan for the possibility of winning a World Series even when they’re far from winning one. For example, the winning team must host a gala. “You may be two and a half games out of the Wild Card, and you’re sitting around trying to book a party for 1,500 people,” says Kennedy. Here’s more from the American League.
- The Rangers are moving lefty Derek Holland to the bullpen, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes (Twitter links). Holland has been a fixture in the Rangers’ rotation since 2009, but he’s posted a 5.04 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 105 1/3 innings of a 2016 season marred by shoulder trouble. The idea behind the switch is to evaluate whether Holland help the team out of the bullpen in the playoffs. According to manager Jeff Banister, the team will likely go with eight relievers on its ALDS roster.
- The Blue Jays are in the midst of plans to keep their Spring Training home in Dunedin, Florida for the next 25 years, Megan Reeves of the Tampa Bay Times writes. Under the terms of the proposed deal, the team will partner with the county, city and state to do about $81MM worth of renovating and rebuilding. Of that total, the team will pay $15.7MM. The stadium at which Spring Training games are played will be renovated, while the team will also get a new clubhouse to update its training site. The Blue Jays have been in Dunedin since their inception in 1977, Reeves notes, making them the only team that has never changed Spring Training locations.