Rangers supportive following Beasley diagnosis

Third-base coach to undergo chemotherapy after joining team in Arizona

Rangers supportive following Beasley diagnosis

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley has been diagnosed with what has been described as a treatable form of rectal cancer.

The diagnosis came earlier this month. Beasley has not reported to Spring Training yet, but he is expected to arrive on Saturday. He will undergo chemotherapy treatments while in Arizona.

"Obviously our thoughts are away from baseball and with Tony and his family," said general manager Jon Daniels. "The good news is he is coming out here tomorrow with his doctor's blessing. He'll get his treatments out here and participate in our camp, which will be huge for him and it will be huge for us.

"We can wrap our arms around him and help pick him up as he fights through this. He is a big part of what we are doing, both with his history with [manager Jeff Banister] and the strong bond he has built with the players and staff. We are committed to help him get through this."

Beasley, 49, lives in Virginia and is in his 28th season of professional baseball. Banister added him to the coach staff after being hired as manager in 2014. Much of Beasley's career was spent with the Pirates as a player, coach, coordinator and Minor League manager. He and Banister have worked together closely for a long time with resumes that are quite similar.

"I have known Tony for a long time," Banister said. "I consider Tony family more than anything else because we have spent so much time together. This one has been a challenge emotionally."

Banister had his own fight against cancer. As a sophomore in high school, he was diagnosed with bone cancer, which almost ended any hope of pursuing an athletic career.

"When you're faced with this type of situation, you find a way to put up your fist and fight," Banister said. "I know how tough Tony is and I know where his fist is at. I'll be the support coach and the spirit coach. That's where I will be with Tony."

Beasley's primary duties are baserunning and coaching third base, but he also assists in multiple areas. The Rangers aren't sure how much he'll be able to do while he is going through treatment, but the hope is he'll be able to coach third base in the Cactus League games.

"We'll wait and see how he feels," Daniels said. "That's where his head is at, but let's be smart, let's be honest and see how he feels. That's our preference. He is one of the best at what he does, but his health is foremost."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.