Texas Rangers spring training is officially underway in Surprise, Arizona.
One message heard over and over again in the clubhouse is that 2019 feels like a new beginning with manager Chris Woodward leading the way.
"Championship mentality is big on me," Woodward said. "I just feel like if we're setting our expectations low, that's what we're going to get. In the future, whether it's this year or next year, two years from now or whenever that may be, we are preparing for that moment to win a championship."
Woodward is managing a major league team for the first time after spending the past three seasons as a third base coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Veteran players like Elvis Andrus are impressed by their new leader.
"When he addressed the team a couple of days ago, it was perfect," Andrus said. "He hit it right on the nose. Everybody took it the right way and everybody is pretty happy here so we’re all ready to get ready for this year and having a great year."
There are several new faces in the Rangers clubhouse. You can see that in the projected starting rotation, where four of the five pitchers didn't play for Texas last season.
"The environment here has been real loose," outfielder Delino DeShields said. "Obviously, it's going to be different because of the changing staff and looking around the clubhouse and seeing a lot of new faces."
The Rangers open Cactus League play against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday afternoon.