Pitching Staff Rounding Into Form

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A collaborative effort from Derek Holland, Martire Garica and Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez held the highest scoring offense in the Texas League to just one hit and the RoughRiders capped their final homestand of July with a 5-2 record and a 1 1/2 game lead over Midland for the best record in the Texas League. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez – 6.0IP, H, 0R, 2BB, 7K

The 2013 first round draft choice has not lost a decision since June 26 and concluded the month of July with a 3-0 record. In the first relief appearance of his professional career, Chi Chi allowed only one runner into scoring position as he mowed through the Midland order for the final six innings of Wednesday night’s affair.

I had some trepidation prior to Chi Chi’s outing given the precedent of starters pitching in relief of major league rehabbers. For example, when Luke Jackson came out of the pen on May 6  after a Joe Saunders rehab start (against Midland no less), the Texas League all-star surrendered three solo home runs. Furthermore, Chi Chi had already been bumped from his scheduled start on Monday in favor of Andrew Faulkner’s Double-A debut.

A look at the line and you would never postulate the right-hander threw those numbers in a relief appearance on seven days of rest. Chi Chi’s 2.44 ERA in the Texas League is 18 points lower than his ERA in the Carolina League with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.

In case you missed it:

-Dusty Coleman foiled the RoughRiders’ no-hit bid in the seventh inning with a two-out single to right. It was Midland’s only base hit of the night.

-Trever Adams’ 12th home run of the season (and 47th RBI) came on the RoughRiders’ first inside-the-park home run of 2014. Trever shot the first pitch of the second inning out to right field where it snuck past a sliding Jeremy Barfield. The Midland right-fielder chased the ball down and attempted to throw Trever out at third. However, the toss pulled third baseman Jefry Marte well off the bag and as Marte fumbled to receive the ball, Trever hardly broke stride on his way home. The Nebraskan also extended his active hitting streak to seven games.

-It’s hard to fathom a better start to Derek Holland’s rehab assignment than what he exhibited on Wednesday. Wearing the same number seven he donned with the ‘Riders in 2008, Derek threw two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. He walked two batters and struck out four. Thirty-three of the lefty’s 21 pitches hammered the zone as Derek fed a steady diet of breaking balls in the low 80s and a fastball that peaked at 92. He did not have to field his position.

-Hanser Alberto stole three bases on Wednesday. He entered play 0-for-3 in stolen base attempts with the ‘Riders this season.

-Kent Matthes finally endured a quiet night, striking out twice and drawing a walk in the second inning.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-3, SO, BB

Joey finished with a quartet of hits over the seven-game home stand and all four left the yard. He is now one home run shy of 100 in his professional career.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

4. J.T. Wise (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Andrew Faulkner’s mother saw her son make his Double-A debut on her birthday. Hear Andrew’s thoughts on the outing and his first week in Frisco:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Gallo the Great

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, Midland manager Rich Dauer made a call to the bullpen. Right-hander Marcus Walden left the game after two walks and a hit batsman filled the pond with RoughRiders. Out trotted southpaw Omar Duran to set up a lefty-lefty matchup with Joey Gallo. The RoughRiders had not faced Duran yet this season, and Gallo quickly poked his back into the dugout to see if there was any type of intelligence on the new hurler.

Whatever advice Gallo received was golden. Or maybe his first-pitch swing was predetermined in expectation of a fastball no matter who was on the hill. In any event, Joey’s majestic grand slam down the right field line (his pull side) on Duran’s first toss left the yard at such an astonishing rate and altitude, it is hard to comprehend a ball flying off a piece of lumber in such fashion. It left players, personnel, fans and especially Omar Duran, who walked the next batter on five pitches, in a daze. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: DH Joey Gallo – 1/3, R, GS HR, 4RBI, BB, 2SO

The grand salami was the fifth of Joey’s career and second this season (May 30 with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach). It was also his fifth home run against Midland in 11 games versus the RockHounds. The 6-foot-5 230-pounder has cracked 16 jacks with the ‘Riders, 37 on the season and 99 in his career.

In case you missed it:

-Joey Gallo is batting 4-for-22 six games into the current homestand and all four of his hits have been home runs.

-In his organizational debut, and third at the Double-A level, Rockwall native Jake Thompson allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts over five innings. He did not factor into the decision.

-Alex Claudio was excellent in extended relief on Tuesday. The ‘Riders had primarily used Claudio as a starter since his promotion, but the southpaw voiced his preference of relief situations. He certainly looked at ease as he conceded just one hit over four scoreless innings.

-Before Gallo stole the show, J.T. Wise renewed the ball game with a solo shot to left in the seventh inning. Wise has shown a knack for timely hitting late in the night and his third homer as a RoughRider tied the game at 2-2. The native of Apopka, Florida has hits in 12 of his 16 games with Frisco since joining the squad earlier in July.

-Midland’s Kent Matthes entered the series on a Gallo-esque tear at the plate and continued to mash on Tuesday. The outfielder belted another home run for his second of the series and fifth in the last four games. Matthes now has driven in an improbable 23 RBI in the last 12 games.

-Gallo watch: see above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

4. J.T. Wise (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Minor league pitching coordinator Danny Clark checks in with his analysis of Andrew Faulkner’s Double-A debut and his expectations for Jake Thompson over the rest of the season:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Bitemarks

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The bats continued to produce, but poor defense and shaky relief pitching allowed the RockHounds to erase two three-run deficits and nip the ‘Riders 8-6. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: 1B Trever Adams – 3/5, 2R, 2B

Trever looked rejuvenated after his first game out of the lineup since June 4. He belted his 26th double of the season, two shy of his career high of 28. The 25-year-old ranks third in the Texas League in two-baggers. On the season, Trever carries a .281/.333/.451 slash line through 94 games played and crossed the century mark in hits on Monday night.

In case you missed it:

-Jake Skole cracked his first home run since April 22 in the third inning off Shawn Haviland. The lefty is batting .265 in the month of July.

-Left-hander Andrew Faulkner lasted five innings in his Double-A debut and left in line for the win with three runs allowed (two earned) on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

-Guilder Rodriguez committed two costly errors, both of which kept innings alive and allowed Midland to score additional runs. The pair of unearned runs tallied by the Hounds were the difference in the game. G-Rod also went 0-for-4 at the plate to end a nine-game hitting streak.

-Midland’s Kent Matthes entered the series on a Gallo-esque tear at the plate and continued to mash on Monday. The outfielder batted 3-for-4 with two runs, a double, a home run, three RBI and a walk. Matthes racked up nine RBI on Saturday alone against Corpus Christi and has a three-game homer streak.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-5, 3SO

The defending Texas League Player of the Week had three chances to drive in runs, including an opportunity with two outs and two aboard in the bottom of the ninth. Corpus Christi’s Telvin Nash, the Texas League leader in home runs with 18, recently landed on the DL, so Joey has a chance to make up some ground in his quest to champion two leagues in jimmy jacks.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (15)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

4. Jake Skole (3)

6. Chris Grayson (2)

6. J.T. Wise (2)

6. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Reliever Kyle Lotzkar joins the Pregame Show. The righty has avoided the injury bug this season and attributes his health to adherence to routine. He also shares memories of his Gold Medal run with Team Canada in the 2011 Pan American Games, his proudest moment as a baseball player:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

End of the Dog Days?

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A low scoring game on Saturday was countered by a slug fest on Sunday as the ‘Riders poured in 12 runs on 13 hits. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: LF Odubel Herrera – 3/5, 2R, HR, 3RBI, SO

Playing in the outfield for the first time in 64 games with the ‘Riders did nothing to foil Odubel’s rhythm at the plate. The Venezuelan smoked his second home run of the season to right-center field and raised his batting average to .348 in the Texas League with 34RBI.

In case you missed it:

-Frisco socked three home runs (all of the two-run variety) in a game for the first time since May 29 in a 13-4 thrashing of Tulsa. Odubel Herrera blasted his first Double-A home run of the season in that game; Chris Grayson and Ryan Rua went yard as well. In another similarity, Jerad Eickhoff pitched in both contests and earned the win.

-The RoughRiders have knocked 82 pitches out of the park this season.

-The last time the ‘Riders tallied double-digit runs in a game also occurred against the Missions in an 11-2 thumping on July 13 in San Antonio.

-Trever Adams was out of the lineup for the first time since June 4. It broke a streak of 48 straight games played for the Nebraskan.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2RBI, 2SO

With his 15th homer with the ‘Riders, Joey begins to close in on back-to-back 40-home run season. He now sits at 36 in 2014, the most in professional baseball, with 34 regular season games to play.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (15)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

5. J.T. Wise (2)

5. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Jason Wood gives a shout-out to his family on his “Sunday with the Skipper conversation with Alex:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Saturday’s Big Three: Asher, Robinson, Cantwell

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

On Saturday night, a trio of ‘Riders constituted a “Big Three” and keyed the team’s ninth inning victory over San Antonio. Alec Asher shut down the Missions for seven innings on the hill, Drew Robinson put the ‘Riders on the board and scored both runs for Frisco and Pat Cantwell knocked in the winning score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Click here to read the game recap.

Fortunately, Frisco's reincarnation of the "Big Three" did not include a dictator.

Fortunately, Frisco’s reincarnation of the “Big Three” did not include a dictator.

Star of the Game: RHP Alec Asher – 7.0IP, 0R, 5H, 0BB, 7K

Despite the impact of Cantwell and Robinson, Alec stands out as the Franklin D. Roosevelt of the Big Three. The starter guided the ‘Riders through seven innings of shutout baseball and blockaded the Missions every attempt to tally the scoreboard. Alec’s first three starts in July (all losses) are beginning to look like a mere blip on the radar of his season. The righty has been excellent over his last two outings with just one run allowed over his last 14 1/3 innings. When Alec hit Diego Goris with a pitch in the fifth inning, it marked the first hit batsman of the season for the native of Lakeland, Florida.

In case you missed it:

-Robinson’s seventh-inning homer was the lefty’s tenth of the season (an an opposite field shot at that). He joins current teammates Joey Gallo and Trever Adams, along with former mates Ryan Rua and Jake Smolinski, as members of the double digit home run club in 2014.

-Cantwell’s RBI walk-off came against Josh Geer, who made his first appearance out of the bullpen this season in his 21st outing. This will be the rare series in which Geer does not start a game against the ‘Riders.

-Odubel Herrera snapped out an 0-for-10 slump at the plate with a pair of singles. The Venezuelan is 16 plate appearances away from making his debut on the Texas League leader board for batting average, at which time he will likely have the highest qualified average in the league. Currently, ‘Dubel totes a .343 mark at the plate.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-3, BB, 2SO

Joey snapped his streak of four straight days with a home run. He hit a Mt. Everest popup in the fourth to shallow left center that was dropped by center fielder Cory Spangenberg. Trever Adams was on first base at the time and the Missions threw him out at second (Adams understandably thought Spangenberg would make the grab and stayed closer to first). As a result, Gallo reached first by way of an 8-4 fielder’s choice.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (14)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

7. J.T. Wise (1)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

7. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Minor League Field Coordinator Jace Tingler is in town for the Missions series and shares his perspective on the development of the RoughRiders as a team this season in the face of an abundance of roster moves throughout the year:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Early Start to Friday Night’s Fireworks

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

In a game that resembled two installments of the previous series with Midland, the ‘Riders overcame an early deficit and finished strong to even the four-game run with San Antonio at one game apiece. Click here to read the game recap.

On July 22, the ‘Riders fell in an 0-2 hole in the first inning, but rallied to win handily down the stretch 8-3 over the ‘Hounds. The following night, Midland took a 2-1 lead until Frisco squared the score at 2-2 in the fourth. After the teams swapped runs in the seventh, a ninth inning home run by Joey Gallo catapulted the RoughRiders to a 5-3 victory.

Friday’s showdown blended the two aforementioned contests. Again, the ‘Riders faced an early hole, but reset the game at 3-3 in the third inning via another Gallo long ball. Frisco and San Antonio exchanged runs in the seventh and another late home run, this one by J.T. Wise in the bottom of the eighth, pushed the horsemen over the top.

Star of the Game: J.T. Wise - 1/4, R, HR, 3RBI

With two outs and two on, Wise took a hanging 2-2 slider from Michael Dimock and pinged it off the roof of the WinStar Diamond Deck in the left field corner to give the ‘Riders a late 7-4 lead. The recent acquisition from the independent ranks walked up with a chip on his shoulder because the Missions had intentionally walked Joey Gallo in the previous plate appearance to pitch to Wise. Oops. The native of Apopka, Florida belted his first homer with the ‘Riders in his 12th game with the club. Wise is batting 14-for-46(.304 average) with seven runs, five doubles and 11 RBI.

In case you missed it:

-Doubles for Trever Adams have become as routine as home runs for Gallo. Adams doubled for the third straight game and now sits at 25 two-baggers this season, third-most in the Texas League. The righty also scored his team-leading 49th run of the year.

-Will Lamb saved his third game for the ‘Riders. He faced the minimum in the ninth and struck out Lee Orr on a fastball.

-Hanser Alberto tallied a multi-hit game for the third time in the last four night. He also had multiple RBI for the second time over that stretch.

-For the second night in a row, the ‘Riders faced a pitcher they had seen on another team in the Texas League this season. RHP Michael Dimock, renowned across the league for his Rollie Fingers mustache, gave up the go-ahead home run to Wise in the eighth and took the loss. Dimock began the season in the Astros organization with Corpus Christi, but was traded to the Padres organization on June 25 in exchange for fellow righty Miguel Severino.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-3, 2R, HR, 2RBI, IBB

Joey homered for the fourth day in a row as he flicked a pitch left outside to the opposite field in the third inning. Joey now has 35 home runs on the season and 14 with the ‘Riders. He is three home runs off the Texas League lead and paces all of professional baseball in total long balls in 2014.

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (14)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (9)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

7. J.T. Wise (1)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

7. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

The ‘Riders paid tribute to Mike Coolbaugh last night in the first ever Mike Coolbaugh Day at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The Tulsa Drillers assistant coach tragically lost his life when struck by a foul ball on July 22, 2007. RoughRiders’ first base coach James Vilade is a board director of Diamond Dreams, the nonprofit organization created in Mike’s memory. He details his involvement in Diamond Dreams, its mission and the steps taken to make Mike Coolbaugh Day a reality:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Sometimes, the System Bites

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders received an abrupt change to their gameday plans when the Rangers promoted Edwar Cabrera, the expected starter on Thursday against San Antonio, to Triple-A Round Rock. Exciting news for Cabrera, but a big humpback curve for the ‘Riders, who were deprived a Texas League All-Star with a 2.99 ERA.

Pushed into service was Jose Monegro, who beholds the unique distinction of having pitched for every full-season Rangers affiliate in 2014. Monegro, primarily a bullpen reliever, made just his second start of the year, fresh off a plane from Charlotte, North Carolina and his most recent stint with Single-A Hickory.

Monegro pitched well through the first two frames, but petered out in the third. A grand salami by Robert Kral (.186 batting average) broke the levy and put the Missions up the proverbial walking stick (7-0) in the third. San Antonio would go up a snowman (8-0) in the fourth. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: 1B Joey Gallo – 1/4, R, HR, 2RBI, 2SO

Take away the walk on Wednesday, and Joey put up the exact same line in the previous two games. His blast to right-center at Dr Pepper Ballpark bounced off the rock facade of the pool zone and took a high hop to the dirt bath that lines the perimeter of the park. It was Joey’s first home run at Dr Pepper Ballpark since June 28 but his third in the last three days. The blast was also the slugger’s first against the Missions. Joey now has 13 home runs with Frisco and 34 on the season, the most in professional baseball.

In case you missed it:

-Trever Adams smacked another double on Thursday to up his two-bag total to 24, third in the Texas League.

-Kral’s grand slam was the third allowed by the RoughRiders this season and second surrendered to San Antonio. Rymer Liriano, recently promoted to Triple-A, took Ryan Rodebaugh deep for a four-run home run on May 17 at Wolff Stadium. The other four-run home run came off Ryan Bores on May 30 in Springfield, courtesy of Jacob Wilson.

-RHP R.J. Alvarez threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the RoughRiders. Alvarez had pitched against the ‘Riders before this season, but not with the Missions. The long-haired hurler was acquired by the Padres organization in a six-player trade that sent big league reliever Huston Street to the Los Angeles Angels. The Halos emptied an already depleted system and sent its top pitching prospect to San Diego (ala San Antonio).

-Frisco did not draw a walk in the game in spite of eight three-ball counts.

-Gallo watch: See above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (13)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (9)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

7. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

On the heels of an offensive outburst in Midland (44 hits and 25 runs in four games) hitting coach Jason Hart sits down and talks about the July grind and breaks down the seasons for specific hitters:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

They Came to Play

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders earned the right to feel good about themselves after they emerged from the Permian basin as winners of 3-of-4. While the pitching battled itself at times as much as Midland’s potent lineup (season-high 11 walks on Wednesday), the offense shelled the RockHounds for 44 hits and 25 runs. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game(s): 1B Joey Gallo – 1/4, R, HR, 2RBI, BB, 2SO

Impossible to ignore Joey for the second straight night after he knocked game-winning home run with two outs in the top of the ninth in a tie ballgame. The 20-year-old moves into a tie for the minor league home run lead with friend Kris Bryant, each with 33 jacks on the season. Joey also moves into a tie for fifth in the Texas League with 12 home runs. The T.L. is paced by Preston Tucker’s 17. However, with Tucker now in Triple-A, the active leader is Corpus Christi’s Telvin Nash with 15.

In case you missed it:

-Patrick Cantwell finished 0-for-2 with two runs, a walk and two hit-by-pitches. He also reached on an error.

-Cantwell leads the Texas League with 13 hit-by-pitches this season.

-Another double for Trever Adams places him in third place in the Texas League with 23 two-baggers this season. Arkansas’ Alex Yarbrough leads the league with 33.

-J.T. Wise raised his batting average 88 points after a 4-for-4 night in game two of the double header on Tuesday.

-Gallo watch: See above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (12)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (9)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

7. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Alex Claudio joins the RoughRiders PreGame Show and talks about his Reliever of the Month honors in June and his experiences as a new father. Special thanks to Guilder Rodriguez for translating:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

This Split Tastes Pretty Good

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders earned the doubleheader split on Tuesday the hard way. After Midland usurped the ‘Riders with a Dusty Coleman two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth (remember, they only play seven innings in a twin bill) to win 7-6, Frisco buckled the chinstrap and won 8-3 in game two. In both cases, the ‘Riders fell behind in the first inning and rallied to take the lead. Their lead in game two stuck and although the squad  the RoughRiders are faced with a rare opportunity to win a series in west Texas. Click here to read the two-game recap.

Star of the Game(s): 3B/DH Joey Gallo – 4/7, R, HR, 5RBI, 2SO

Joey gave Midland fits on Tuesday as he through, over and away from its defensive shift. His two-run home run in game one kicked off a five-run inning for the RoughRiders and he racked up three singles and three RBI in the second half of the double header. The Futures Game MVP smacked his first dinger since July 7 (a drought of nine games because of the time he missed in Minneapolis).

His home run totals now read 32 on the season and 11 with Frisco. Joey still trails Kris Bryant by one in the race for the overall lead in Minor League Baseball and he moves into a tie with Trever Adams for most on the team. The slugger still leads the Carolina League in homers by six. Preston Tucker sits atop the Texas League in home runs with 17, but he now plays in the Triple-A ranks. In short, it is entirely conceivable for Joey to win home run titles in two leagues this season.

In case you missed it:

-Honorable mention needs to go to J.T. Wise. The former Wichita Wingnut saw action at catcher in the second game and was not retired at the dish. Wise hit 4-for-4 with a double and three runs scored and raised his batting average by 88 points.

-Another shout-out is awarded to RHP Brodie Downs. The new 35-year-old tossed a scoreless fourth inning in game two and earned his first win with a major league affiliate since August 4, 2009.

-The RoughRiders have racked up 20 runs and 36 hits in the first three games of this series.

-Gallo watch: See above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run board (active players only):

1. Trever Adams (11)

1. Joey Gallo (11)

3. Drew Robinson (9)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

6. Jake Skole (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

8. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

After earning Minor League Pitcher of the Month recognition from the Rangers, Alec faced adversity in the month of July, losing his first three decisions. The righty responded against the Midland RockHounds on July 21 and allowed just one run and five hits over 7 1/3 innings.

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Riding Down the Stretch

There are less than 40 regular season games remaining for the RoughRiders in 2014 and the team’s identity has drastically changed given the injuries at the major-league level with the Texas Rangers. This is not the same ball club that took the field in the first half, but it is still one with personalities and grit that stand apart from the rest of the Texas League. Let’s take a look at some of the new characters on the team and examine how they’ve contributed to the team’s success in the second half.

1) Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez

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“Chi Chi”,  as he is nicknamed in his family, has become a staple in the Frisco pitching rotation. The right-hander has a 3-3 record with a 2.55 ERA over his first eight Double-A starts with the ‘Riders. He’s displayed excellent command by striking out 29 and walking eight in his 35.1 IP, and opponents are batting .284 against him. He’s allowed 13 earned runs on 38 hits, but has answered the bell when his number his called. The 22-year-old Florida native was selected 23rd overall in the 2013 June draft out of Oral Roberts University. He put on a show in his Frisco debut on June 10 by allowing one hit in five innings while striking out six batters.

2) Will Lamb

Lamb has proven that he can throw electric stuff late in games as skipper Jason Wood has used him out of the bullpen since his promotion from Myrtle Beach in June. The southpaw has a 2-1 record with two saves and has shutdown opponents by holding them to a .234 batting average. The 23-year-old has a .132 ERA over 12 games and 13.2 IP, and has only allowed 2 runs on 11 hits over that span. Perhaps the mustache he proudly sports should be given some credit, but the lefty has provided instant relief for Wood and the pitching staff.

3) Joey Gallo

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The 20-year-old has made the eyes of scouts pop since his 2014 season began in Myrtle Beach, but he’s made baseballs pop even more as he is trailing his friend and fellow top prospect Kris Bryant in homers (Chicago Cubs organization, 33 homers between Double and Triple-A) with 32 of his own. He has a .278 batting average with 22 runs on 37 hits with 30 RBI and has a slash line of .364 OBP/.586 SLG/.951 OPS. His first homer with the RoughRiders was a memorable one as it was a 3-run walk-off moonshot to left-center field to defeat Midland 7-4 in his Double-A debut on June 9, 2014. The slugger sent more shockwaves through the baseball world when he crushed a two-run bomb in the sixth innings of this year’s All-Star Futures Game at Target Field to send his team to a 3-2 victory.

4) Hanser Alberto

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The 21-year-old infielder has displayed excellent defense in his time with the RoughRiders in 2014 and has played all of his 16 games as a shortstop for Frisco. He has a .989 fielding percentage with 30 put outs and 54 assists over 140 innings, and has committed only one error over 85 total chances. His bat seems to be catching up to him as his glove has provided for excellent defense up the middle for the ‘Riders.

5) J.T. Wise

Wise was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 5th round of the 2009 June draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He was signed by the Rangers on July 7 and made one appearance for the Round Rock Express before being sent to the RoughRiders. In nine games with the ‘Riders he’s batting .314 with 5 runs scored on 11 base hits. He’s also knocked five doubles and has seven RBI.

-Cameron Varnau

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