May 28th, 2011
Jumping from Double-A to the big leagues is not common practice, but it has happened a few times this season. Today has been a big one for the Triple-A leapfrog.
Not only is Juan Nicasio–a former Tulsa Driller who just threw seven innings against Springfield Sunday–starting for the Colorado Rockies today against St. Louis, but two San Antonio Missions–Kyle Phillips and Blake Tekotte–drove in the only two runs for the Padres in their 2-1 win over Washington this afternoon.
There are no RoughRiders from yesterday’s roster in the Rangers’ lineup today, but we still have plenty of Facts to discuss on this Saturday.
- The big news yesterday was Brandon Webb’s successful bullpen session yesterday in Arlington. Webb is now scheduled to start for the RoughRiders in a rehab effort Monday afternoon. It will be the first time that Webb has started in a real game since April of 2009 for the Diamondbacks, the team he had spent his entire career with prior to signing with the Rangers during the offseason.
- It is easy to forget how successful Webb was during his run with Arizona. Webb is 87-62 with a 3.27 earned run average in his career, and he won the 2006 Cy Young Award. The next two years, Webb finished second in the voting.
- In his career, Webb has logged five seasons with at least 200 innings and six years with an ERA below 3.60. Obviously, this is a much different Webb because of the shoulder issues, but he has shown incredible ability in the past. Webb was a low-risk, high-reward signing. The reward part of the equation will begin to be revealed very soon.
- Leonys Martin is back in the lineup today after leaving yesterday’s game in the ninth inning with a stomach cramp. Frisco trainer Carlos Olivas came out to check on Martin during his at bat in the ninth inning, but he did stay in the game long enough to single. A few pitches into the next at bat, Martin once again felt pain and jogged off the field. He is in center field and hitting first like usual.
- Speaking of today’s lineup, a few everyday players–Tommy Mendonca and Guilder Rodriguez–are getting the day off. At short, Renny Osuna switches over there from second base and Davis Stoneburner takes that spot. On the flip side, the third base replacement is a little more unique. Jonathan Greene will make his first start at third this season. He is hitting fifth.
- Even though this is Greene’s first start at third this year, he is still a veteran of the hot corner in his minor league career. Of his 387 games in affiliated baseball, Greene has started at third base 226 times. His career fielding percentage (.913) isn’t very good at third, though.
- Here’s a fun fact: Greene has played five different positions (first, third, catcher, left and right). He has played at all of those spots at least 15 times. A way to make yourself more valuable in the minors is to be versatile, and Greene has done that.
- After tonight, the ‘Riders will have played every team in the Texas League at least once. Like last year, the final team is Tulsa. Last year, the RoughRiders went 6-5 against the Drillers. So far this year, the Drillers own a 25-21 record, which is only percentage points behind Northwest Arkansas (23-19) for first place in the North.
- Tulsa’s best player to this point has been leadoff man Tim Wheeler. Wheeler leads the league in RBIs (45), is tied for the lead in homers (14) and sits eighth in batting average (.324).
- Tonight’s game is once again on TXA 21 in the DFW area. Aaron Goldsmith will handle the play-by-play duties, and Jason Cole of LoneStarDugout.com will provide color commentary. Coverage begins at 7 p.m.
- Finally, there are a couple of events coming up at Dr Pepper Ballpark that may interest you. Acute Kids Movie Night is set for June 4, and Whataburger Food Bank Night is slated for July 23.
Our coverage on the radio tonight begins at 6:35. First pitch is set for 7:05. Enjoy!