With the ballpark’s first games about a month away, the Texas Rangers are gearing up to use synthetic turf at the upcoming Globe Life Field.
Globe Life Field is slated to open next month, starting with a concert that features Chris Stapleton on March 14, followed by Rangers contests that include exhibition games against the St. Louis Cardinals on March 23 and Rangers minor leaguers on March 24, before the Los Angeles Angels arrive for the regular-season home opener on March 31. The ballpark will feature a synthetic turf playing field, with the Rangers opting to use the Shaw Sports Turf-manufactured B1K system.
As a way to get their players used to the surface, the Rangers have reportedly been in talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks about conducting at least one workout this spring at Chase Field, where the B1K system was installed ahead of the 2019 season. Though the Rangers did play at Chase Field early last season, a workout at the facility this spring would allow players on the 2020 squad to gain some familiarity with the surface before their first games at Globe Life Field. More from the Dallas Morning News:
The Rangers have been speaking with the Arizona Diamondbacks about working out at Chase Field at least once this spring to get a better feel for the Shaw Sports Turf “B1K” product that is being rolled out in Arlington. The Diamondbacks installed the turf last year. Miami is also installing the product this season.
The Rangers played two games on the turf in Arizona early last season, but most of the position players who will be regulars this season were not on the field for those games last year. Only Joey Gallo and Elvis Andrus started both games in Arizona. The Rangers believed the turf was a little bit spongy last year, but the product apparently “settled” over the course of the year.
The Diamondbacks turf was rolled out over a crushed gravel substructure, whereas the Rangers will have solid cement beneath. The solid surface should create firmer footing for the players. Also, Shaw’s “performance pad” between the subsurface and the turf has been advanced by a generation.
The Rangers and Diamondbacks will be two of three teams using the B1K surface in 2020, joined in that group by the Miami Marlins. The Marlins announced in December that they were swapping out their natural-grass playing surface in favor of synthetic turf, part of a larger series of changes to Marlins Park that also includes moving in outfield fences.
Rendering courtesy Texas Rangers and HKS.