So Ryan lets a blue-chip prospect like outfielder Josh Bell know that he'll either start in right field or serve as the team's designated hitter. And if there's a day off, it's a scheduled day off and not a surprise trip to the bench.
Bell said that knowledge doesn't just help mentally. For a player like Bell recovering from meniscus surgery that shelved him for almost the entirety of 2012, it can help physically, too.
"It's nice to know what days you're going to be able to recover," Bell said. "(Ryan is) a really good manager in keeping up with how people are playing and how people are feeling, really. He allows you to listen to your body and he makes the lineup based off of that."
Bell went from a slow start to 2013 to one of the SAL's better hitters, batting. 299 entering Monday's game against Hickory, with six home runs and a league-best 34 RBI. The team's pitching, one of the Power's weakest spots early in the season, also has benefited from finding its routine. At one point, West Virginia sported a team ERA well over 5.00. That improved to 4.27 entering Monday's game, and that also can be attributed establishing a tempo.
"Some of it is just coming up here playing under the lights for the first time, getting over the nerves," reliever Pat Ludwig said. "Some of these guys are in their full season, as am I, so it's just getting used to the rhythm."
The cure to a rough start isn't always the cigar smoking voodoo doll in the locker, a la "Major League." It's not always the live rooster to take the curse off the bat like it was in "Bull Durham." Sometimes, it's just a matter of falling into a routine.
Sometimes, boring is beautiful. And bountiful.
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.