Russell Wilson joins Rangers spring training but he won’t take an at bat
Russell Wilson is the Seahawks’ franchise quarterback, but Monday he had a different uniform and a mitt on his hand as he took part in spring training with the Texas Rangers.
But don’t worry: He didn’t face fastballs or put his real job in jeopardy.
Texas manager Ron Washington was pretty clear.
Russell Wilson will not be playing as the Rangers take on the Cleveland Indians. There is zero chance that he would be given a bat to face off against major-league pitching.
“That wouldn’t even work,” Washington told reporters late last week. “The guy ain’t seen a pitch. He ain’t see nothing. I’m not running him up there.”
So what is Russell up to?
ESPN Dallas reporter Richard Durrett said Washington has offered to give Russell some infield work and instruction.
Washington is considered one of the best teachers in the game. “Maybe he’ll take some ground balls and do some various drills with the club,” he said.
Just what drills and how much work will be up to Wilson. So far, it appears he spoke with teammates and Washington, ran a few drills, and signed some autographs.
Washington said he brought Wilson to his facility for one reason, to have some of his work ethic, motivation and winning attitude wear off on some of his younger players.
“To try to see if there’s anything he can say that may help anyone around here that has on a baseball uniform,” Washington said. “The guy’s a winner. He has tremendous character. He has attitude and undoubtedly has a lot of commitment to what he does.”
Wilson was picked up by the Rangers in the Rule-5 draft in December. The Rule-5 draft is where MLB teams can acquire the rights to other teams’ minor-league players. Wilson’s rights were held by Colorado, where he last played Single-A ball in 2011, before heading to Wisconsin to play football.
Wilson told the Dan Patrick Show last week that he plans to soak up the experience and gain as much knowledge as he can about running a major-league team.
“I want to be the owner of a team one day,” he said. “Just to be around those type of people and get to know players and really get to know different teams and see what they do really well. Hopefully, I can transfer it over to our football team and use as much as I can.”
Washington hopes Wilson will help motivate his players. Wilson hopes the experience will help motivate him and make him a better leader for the Seahawks.
Washington has offered to give Wilson a one-on-one infield tutorial. It will certainly make him a better infielder, but it might help his footwork on the football field, too.