It is official. Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland, members of the RoughRiders’ starting rotation until a few minutes ago, have been sent to the San Diego Padres for right-handed reliever Mike Adams.
Promoted to Frisco in late May, Erlin went 5-2 with a 4.32 earned run average in 11 appearances with the ‘Riders. With his numbers while at High-A Myrtle Beach, the Santa Cruz, Calif., native went 8-4 with a 3.34 ERA. In his final outing with the RoughRiders, with many scouts and Rangers’ front office members in attendance, Erlin went seven innings and allowed three earned runs against Midland Tuesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Wieland joined the ‘Riders one month later, and he went 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA in seven starts. The right-hander exited the Rangers’ system with a bang, tossing a no-hitter against San Antonio Friday night that blew up our Twitter feed. Overall this season, the Reno, Nev., native is 10-3 with a 1.80 ERA during his time with Myrtle Beach and Frisco.
We don’t know for sure which Padre affiliate Erlin and Wieland will join, but if they remain in Double-A, they will also remain in the Texas League. San Diego’s Double-A affiliate is the San Antonio Missions, which is the best team in the TL. If the ‘Riders make the postseason, they will play the Missions in the first round. Interesting stuff, to say the least.
The Missions are back at Dr Pepper Ballpark August 5-8, and a pair of talented former RoughRiders could very well be there in different uniforms. We wish both Robbie and Joe the best of luck. They were a pleasure to talk with and to watch.
Tonight, the ‘Riders and the Missions continue their four-game series and their race for the second half South Division title. This trade makes things that much more interesting in the Texas League, that’s for sure.
Last week Stephen Harmon examined some prospects in the Rangers system that have tremendously improved their stock since the start of the season. Now, with the trading deadline approaching this afternoon at 4 p.m. ET, he looks at the Rangers’ top tier prospects who have been linked with trade rumors across MLB.
For starters, the Rangers’ trade yesterday with Baltimore for Koji Uehara has changed things for Texas entering today. Here is what Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas says following the deal:
“Instead of having to make a deal at any cost for Heath Bell, for instance, they can continue to negotiate with the Padres and see if San Diego comes off its high price for Bell. If they don’t, then the Rangers can pass. If they do, then Texas can try to strike a deal. The Rangers are still considered one of the favorites for Bell, so we’ll see what happens there.”
With that as a launching point, here are what people are saying about some future, current, and former RoughRider players.
This 20-year-old lefty has generated a lot of interest in the trade market in the past week. Scouts from the Padres, Mets, and White Sox organizations as well as Rangers’ President Nolan Ryan and GM John Daniels were all on hand at Dr Pepper Ballpark last Tuesday night for Erlin’s start against Midland.
According to Durrent, and as tweeted by Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the Padres and Rangers were, and possibly still are, close on agreeing to a deal that would send All-Star closer Heath Bell to Texas. The centerpiece in the Rangers package of players that would be shipped to San Diego is rumored to beErlin and/or Joe Wieland who just pitched a no-hitter Friday night. However, the Rangers are hesitant to part with their prospects and believe the Padres’ asking price is too high. On the other hand, Bell is the preeminent closer on the market, and the Rangers have been the most aggressive team pursuing him.
Here in Frisco, Erlin has impressed with his focus and mature composure. Through Erlin’s first eleven games in Frisco, the California native has posted a 5-2 record and a 4.32 ERA. Additionally, he has struck out 61 batters while walking only seven. More amazingly is that the lefty has issued only one free pass through his five starts in July. Listen to Frisco pitching coach Jeff Andrews talk about Erlin and Wieland with Bryan Dolgin of 103.3 FM ESPN.
At 21-years-old, Wieland has made a impressed through hist first seven starts – even without his no-hitter.
Robbie Erlin may be grabbing the headlines as the Rangers’ most sought after pitching prospect, but Wieland appears to be equally talented. Both players started the season in Myrtle Beach and have, at times, dominated Texas League hitters.
Said Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus, “I talked to a team early this week that told me the Rangers were very high on Wieland and very reluctant to talk about him in deals.”
Martin Perez, the Rangers number one pre-season prospect according to Baseball America, has also been getting a lot of attention around the rumor mills. However, the Rangers seem unwilling to deal the young left-hander who Keith Law predicts will emerge as a number one or number two starter within five years.
Simply put, Perez appears to be off the market. Keith Law talks with Bryan Dolgin about Perez and Leonys Martin (not on the market).
The hard throwing right-hander has impressed with his mid to upper 90’s fastball. According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, Scheppers name has come up in a package presented to the Padres for Heath Bell.
For the most part, we haven’t really heard Scheppers’ name tossed around too much in the last couple of weeks. The Rangers’ No. 3 overall prospect (Baseball America) has now made 15 appearances out of the Frisco bullpen and with six walks and 24 strikeouts after spending two separate stints on the disabled list this year.
At 18-years-old, Profar may not be ready for the big leagues for a while, but he is worth waiting for. The Rangers have rejected the Padres offer of a Profar/Derrick Holland package for Heath Bell, reports Baseball Time In Arlington. Similar to Perez, it appears as though Profar is clearly off the market.
The Sunday trade deadline is an exciting time of year in baseball. Thanks to a farm system that is packed with talent from Short-Season Spokane to Triple-A Round Rock, the Rangers have become very active in the rumor mill, as many teams are lured to the Rangers young pitching prospects.
The countdown has been on for a while, but it all comes to an end this afternoon.
You never know what you might see at the ballpark. Friday night we saw a no-hitter tossed by a 21-year-old in his seventh ever Double-A start, against a team with the best record in all of minor league baseball.
You could tell last night that Joe was in charge – it was just one of those nights. He told me afterwards that he felt like his arm was fresh and that he could still be pitching hours after it was over. We’ll never know, but it would’ve been fun to see how many more he could have sat down without allowing a hit.
Joe was much cooler than me last night. In the bottom of the eighth inning both of my hands started to go numb, and they were still tingling minutes after I was off-air. Trust me, not a common occurrence.
It goes down as the fourth no-hitter in franchise history. It’s the first nine-inning complete-game no-hitter in Frisco history. The other ‘Riders no-hitters:
July 28, 2005: A.J. Murray, Steve Karsay, and Scott Feldman combine to pitch a perfect game in Corpus Christi. The final score was 3-0 and it marked the first no-hitter in the three-year history of the franchise.
May 18, 2008: Matt Harrison throws the first ever no-hitter at Dr Pepper Ballpark in a seven-inning game.
April 19, 2011: Martin Perez tosses a rain-shortened perfect game in North Little Rock, Ark. against the Travelers as the ‘Riders won 1-0.
Thank you to Joe, catcher Elio Sarmiento, and the rest of the defense for a game I’ll never forget. Who knows what we might see tonight?
Frisco starter Joe Wieland is on Twitter (@JWieland108, for those who want to follow him). So, it is fitting that our Twitter feed blew up after the right-hander became the first RoughRider to pitch a nine-inning no-hitter by himself.
Here is how it unfolded from the game’s early stages until the end on Twitter. If you tweeted at us before 10:20 tonight, you are on this list. When I say “RT” at the end of a tweet, that means that the person retweeted some of our information.
This includes our tweets, and it begins at the beginning of the game. It does not, however, include our straight re-tweets, which totaled 47 by 10:20 p.m.
Ridersbaseball: Underway in San Antonio between the ‘Riders and the Missions. Follow along-Broadcast: http://t.co/PVgr9dQ
Ridersbaseball: Tommy Mendonca’s sacrifice fly (team-leading 75th RBI) gives the ‘Riders a 1-0 lead at San Antonio, middle of the first. #Rangers
Ridersbaseball: Mike Bianucci’s team-leading 25th HR gives Frisco a 2-0 lead on San Antonio, mid 3. Entering tonight the ‘Riders are 2 GB of SA in the South
Ridersbaseball: Through 3, Frisco leads San Antonio 2-0. So far against the best club in MiLB, Joe Wieland in 2 starts: 12 IP, 1 R, 2 H. 9 up/9 down tonight
armenontheair: Joseph Wieland with a great first three innings, allowing zero hits thus far. @RidersBaseball up 2-0.
bull1480: @RidersBaseball Keep it up Joe!
Ridersbaseball: Joe Wieland (@JWieland108) has faced the minimum through 5. The one man who reached (walk) was caught stealing. ‘Riders lead SA 3-0 thru 5.
Ridersbaseball: Joe Wieland with strikeout, groundout, strikeout in the 6th. Still no hits allowed through 6. Frisco leads San Antonio 3-0 through 6.
mikeroblescomic: @RidersBaseball After 6 innings, Joe Wieland pitching a No-Hitter in San Antonio Missions! #milb #mlb #espn #rangers #padres Make the Trade!
Ridersbaseball: Follow along with Joe Wieland’s no-no bid here. 3-0 ‘Riders, middle of 7: Broadcast: http://t.co/PVgr9dQ
Ridersbaseball: Three up, three down for Joe Wieland in the 7th. Fly to LF, 4-3 GO, K. Just 84 pitches for the righty. No-no through 7 with Frisco up 3-0.
mikeroblescomic: @RidersBaseball After 7 innings, Joe Wieland pitching a No-Hitter in San Antonio Missions! #milb #mlb #espn #rangers #padres Make the Trade!
0s0t0gar1: @RidersBaseball which is why he should stay a future-RANGER
armenontheair: I could’ve gone to @RidersBaseball game on an historic night. RR pitcher Joe Wieland has “faced the minimum amount of batters”, as they say.
Ridersbaseball: Still 3-0 Frisco, mid 8 in San Antonio. We will update every batter that Joe Wieland faces in his no-no bid. Listen live http://t.co/PVgr9dQ
Ridersbaseball: Jedd Gyorko just flew out to the wall to lead off the 8th. Wieland BARELY keeps his no-no bid alive. 5 outs left. #Rangers
Ridersbaseball: Sawyer Carroll with a weak ground out to first base. 2 up, 2 down for Joe Wieland in the 8th. 4 outs left.
Ridersbaseball: Called strike 3 to Jason Hagerty. Wieland with a no-no through 8 in San Antonio. 3-0 Frisco. Listen live: http://t.co/PVgr9dQ
mikeroblescomic: @RidersBaseball After 8 innings, Joe Wieland pitching a No-Hitter at SA Missions! #mlb #espn #rangers #padres http://lockerz.com/s/124863719
armenontheair: In SA at @RidersBaseball game, we are 3 outs away from RR pitcher Joe Wieland doing what pitchers do when they don’t give up a hit. #NoJinx
Ridersbaseball: 98 pitches for Wieland, which is 6 shy of a season high by a RoughRiders pitcher. #Rangers
armenontheair: Here in SA, @NewbergReport – I picked a good first @RidersBaseball away game to attend!! Wieland has made SA look silly through 8.
Ridersbaseball: Bottom of the 9th has begun. ‘Riders up 3-0. Wieland out there trying for the RoughRiders 4th ever no-hitter. #Rangers
armenontheair: Here we go … Bot 9 … Wieland is 3 outs away from history … @RidersBaseball
Ridersbaseball: Wieland strikes out Anthony Contreras. Two outs away.
Ridersbaseball: Bryan Altman flies out to deep center. One out away for Joe Wieland. Daniel Robertson, the nine-hole hitter, is at the plate. .293 hitter.
armenontheair: ONE OUT AWAY FOR WIELAND!!! @RidersBaseball
Ridersbaseball: Groundout to Davis Stoneburner on the first pitch. Joe Wieland pitches a no-hitter against San Antonio!
ARTravs: @RidersBaseball Congrats to Wieland and the ‘Riders. Thrilling!
mikeroblescomic: @RidersBaseball Joe Wieland has just pitched a No-Hitter against San Antonio Missions! #milb #mlb #espn #rangers #padres Make the Trade!
Ridersbaseball: Wieland faced the minimum and only allowed one runner, a walk in the fourth inning. That man, Andy Parrino, was caught stealing. #Rangers
MistiSkidmore: Way to go, @JWieland108!!! Got a No-No for @RidersBaseball vs. San Antonio tonight. Awesome job!!! #Rangers
CLiebenow: The future. RT
Ridersbaseball: San Antonio entered the game in a tie with the San Jose Giants for the best record in Minor League Baseball (69-34).
bryanbooher: @armenontheair @RidersBaseball cool
TexasRangers_HQ: “@MistiSkidmore: Way to go, @JWieland108!!! Got a No-No for @RidersBaseball vs. San Antonio tonight. SA is SD minor league team Yay right?
Ridersbaseball: Wieland was mobbed by his teammates. We believe that it was the first nine-inning no-hitter by a single RoughRider pitcher in team history.
ChrisBeasley: @RidersBaseball Congrats to Weiland & the RoughRiders! :) #Rangers
hannahbaugh: No-hitter for Joe Wieland (@JWieland108) for @RidersBaseball! Way to go!
AdamGordon1977: @RidersBaseball Congrats Wieland and RRs!
MattGrubs: Congrats to Joe Wieland and @RidersBaseball on the no-hitter!
armenontheair: In @RidersBaseball clubhouse. Awesome atmosphere. Guys are having a blast.
NoPepperPlaying: #Milb #rangers RT
BobbyAguilera: Joe Wieland @RidersBaseball just faced minimum 27 batters in No-Hitter http://t.co/x1XyKY4 via @lonestarball #DoubleA
Pelicanbaseball: Congrats, Joe!!! RT
A_Boone22: No hitter for #Weiland and @RidersBaseball.
mikeroblescomic: @RidersBaseball Joe Wieland after the game no hitter! #milb #mlb #espn #rangers #padres Make the Trade http://lockerz.com/s/124880939
The RoughRiders have been on the outside of first place in the Texas League South because of one team: the San Antonio Missions. They are tied with the San Jose Giants of the California League for the best record in full-season minor league baseball (69-34).
Frisco has been in second place for around 70% of the season, and the ‘Riders have been in first place for only two days because of the Missions’ dominance. So far this year, the RoughRiders have gone 7-13 against San Antonio, and many games have gone down to the wire. Let’s go through these 20 matchups briefly and see why the ‘Riders have played San Antonio better than any other Texas League team.
We will categorize these 20 games into four terms: could have won, should have won, did win, or needed a break. Then we will show you how close the season series is by compiling these totals at the end.
April 25–San Antonio 7, Frisco 3: San Antonio scored four times in the eighth inning to pull away from the RoughRiders in the two clubs’ first meeting. (could have won)
April 26–San Antonio 6, Frisco 5: This was the wackiest game of the season series. With two on and two out in the eighth, Cody Decker crushed his seventh home run of the season to give San Antonio a 6-4 lead. The RoughRiders appeared to have regained the lead with two down in the top of the ninth, but the umpires overturned what was originally a three-run home run by Mike Bianucci. It was ruled an RBI double, which put men at second and third. Tommy Mendonca followed with a swinging strikeout to end the game. (should have won)
April 27–San Antonio 2, Frisco 1: Miguel De Los Santos worked seven innings and struck out ten, but Cody Decker’s two-run homer in the fifth was the difference. (could have won)
April 28–Frisco 5, San Antonio 4: The ‘Riders blew a three-run lead in the seventh but rallied in the tenth for their first win over the Missions this year. (did win)
May 3–Frisco 5, San Antonio 3: Trailing 3-0, the RoughRiders tied the game in the sixth and scored two more in the seventh to earn the victory. (did win)
May 4–Frisco 3, San Antonio 2: During Neftali Feliz and Tommy Hunter’s rehab outings in Frisco, the ‘Riders won on Mike Bianucci’s walk-off sacrifice fly in the tenth. (did win)
May 5–Frisco 5, San Antonio 3: Frisco took the lead in the second and never looked back in the ‘Riders’ first three-game winning streak of the 2011 season. (did win)
May 6–San Antonio 3, Frisco 0: Jake Brigham took a perfect game into the seventh inning, but the ‘Riders did not get any offense. The Missions scored three in the seventh and controlled from there. (needed a break)
May 20–San Antonio 8, Frisco 7: This game was lopsided for much of the night. Credit the ‘Riders for getting back within one, but the score is misleading. (needed a break)
May 21–San Antonio 9, Frisco 5: Kyle Blanks’ walk-off grand slam won it for the Missions in the 11th, but it shouldn’t have gotten to that point. Frisco surrendered a four-run lead in the eighth. This was one of the toughest losses of the year for the ‘Riders. (should have won)
May 22–San Antonio 6, Frisco 2: A five-run second allowed San Antonio to cruise to their third straight win over the ‘Riders. (needed a break)
May 23–Frisco 6, San Antonio 4: The Missions scored four in the ninth to tie the game, but the ‘Riders plated two in the tenth to win it and avoid what would have been a crippling loss. (did win).
June 8–San Antonio 11, Frisco 1: Uh, let’s just move on. (needed a BIG break)
June 9–San Antonio 5, Frisco 2: In this 15-inning marathon, all but two of the runs were scored in extras. Another tough, hard-fought loss against the Missions for Frisco. (could have won)
June 10–Frisco 5, San Antonio 4: Travis Adair’s RBI single in the ninth won it for the ‘Riders, which was a big bounce back victory after two very different losses. (did win)
June 11–San Antonio 9, Frisco 8: Fabio Castillo blew a save because of a Dean Anna home run and a Jose Ruiz error. The ‘Riders had a great chance to win this game, but I can’t make it a “should” because it was a seesaw battle. (could have won)
July 18–San Antonio 7, Frisco 6: Even though the ‘Riders tied the game in the ninth, San Antonio won it in the 12th to earn another narrow win against Frisco. (could have won)
July 19–Frisco 6, San Antonio 1: Joe Wieland. Enough said. Seven innings, one run, two hits, and an impressive win against the best club in the minors. (did win)
July 20–San Antonio 1, Frisco 0: Casey Kelly and the Missions’ bullpen held the ‘Riders off the board. The ‘Riders’ offense never got anything going, so I can’t give this a “could” or a “should.” (needed a break)
July 21–San Antonio 6, Frisco 4: The Missions’ three-run second set the tone for another series win for the Missions against the ‘Riders. (needed a break)
When you count things up, the ‘Riders have seven wins against the Missions. In the 13 losses, the RoughRiders COULD have won five and, in my opinion, SHOULD have won two more. Say the ‘Riders win half of those seven games, and I’ll even round down, and the season series in tied at 10. Tonight begins another showdown. Join us on the RoughRiders Baseball Network at 6:35. Enjoy!
Earlier today our own Reid Copeland had a chance to talk with Frisco catcher Elio Sarmiento about his recent success, catching Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin, and his newborn daughter.
Ever wonder who decides if a play was ruled a hit or an error at a ‘Riders game? Or how the stats are displayed on the video board at Dr Pepper Ballpark? Those nightly happenings, plus a whole lot more, are controlled by the best Press Box crew in the Texas League. Allow us to introduce you to Michael, Billy, Tom, and Lary.
Years with ‘Riders: 7
RoughRider Position: Dak Stats Operator (and the team’s official “Director of Statistical Research”).
Michael inputs all of the in-game stats in the computer you see over his left shoulder. From there they’re displayed on the video board in Dr Pepper Ballpark. He a also publishes this fantastic ‘Riders website.
Real-life Job: Studying Business at Richland College
Favorite Press Box Moment: Steve Murphy’s 38th home run to pass Kevin Richardson as the all-time home run hitter. Murphy finished with 41 in his career with Frisco.
Funniest RoughRider story: “During a Sunday day game two-years ago, an intern was keeping stats with us in the Press Box. A routine fly ball was hit to right field and was caught when the intern screamed, ‘get off me ball!’ thinking it was a home run. Needless to say it was the most startling pop fly to right I’ve ever experienced.”
Favorite All-Time RoughRider: Blake Beavan, for his consistency and overall effectiveness while in Frisco.
Years with ‘Riders: 5
RoughRider position: Scoreboard Operator
Billy makes sure that the scoreboard at Dr Pepper Ballpark correctly displays how many balls, strikes, runs, hits, errors, etc. every night. If he didn’t, the crowd would have a hard time keeping up with the game.
Billy is also one of our backup Official Scorers and Gameday Stringers.
Real-life Job: Billy works in a doctor’s office in Administration while also studying Sports Business. In his spare time (what little he has), Billy is a U-9 (Under age 9) girls Soccer coach in Anna, Texas.
Favorite Press Box Moment: Opening Day each season.
Funniest RoughRider story: “Not any one specific, I really just think the daily antics are funny enough as it is. I enjoy this job because of the friends and good people I work with and the healthy baseball environment that comes with it. Sure makes the sixty-plus mile roundtrip worth it!”
Favorite All-Time RoughRider: Tony Roth. “I’m a huge underdog fan, and that guy was a true representation of an underdog.”
Years with ‘Riders: 8
RoughRider position: Gameday Stringer
Tom controls the MiLB Gameday application that allows fans to keep up with the game at home pitch-by-pitch. He inputs every pitch, hit, error, mound visit, ejection … everything. If it happens in the game, Tom inputs it into the computer.
The information that is recorded is then used to generate the box score shared with the players, coaches, and media.
Occupation: High school teacher and football coach in the Colony. Taught and coached for 32 years, including baseball for 25 years.
“I came to Dr Pepper Ballpark to work the grounds crew, but was assigned to this position. Who knows where I’d be had the grounds crew thing worked out. This is enjoyable, it fills my ‘baseball void’ now that I don’t coach it.”
Favorite RoughRider moment: Neftali Feliz’s debut relief outing. “He threw three pitches, 100 mph…101 mph…102 mph. Kid didn’t look like he weighed 135 lbs. soaking wet.”
Tom also enjoyed this season’s RoughRider, Leonys Martin. “After seeing his first in-game swing, I said, ‘Fastest bat speed to ever come through here.’”
Funniest Press Box moment: “The A/C beads story.” Apparently, a former intern here in Frisco, who will go unnamed, had a deep Boston accent and was very gullible. “We all had him convinced that ‘A/C beads’ would shoot out of the vents once the calcium build up became too much.
The intern ended up over in Arlington at some point and would call the guys to report that A/C beads were at the Ballpark in Arlington as well.
Favorite RoughRider: Craig Gentry. “That guy has worked for where he is today and has to continue to work to stay there. I respect guys like him for their work ethic.”
Years with ‘Riders: 6
RoughRider position: Official Scorekeeper
As the official scorekeeper, Lary has the ultimate say on what’s an error, hit, wild pitch, passed ball, etc. It’s a hard job to have and involves a tremendous amount of judgement and baseball IQ.
Real-life Occupation: Freelance sports writer for all levels of athletics. “I will write until I have a enough to retire.”
Favorite RoughRider moment: “I enjoy watching players and projecting them from Double-A players to big leaguers. I enjoy the maturation process. Watching guys like Elvis Andrus, Hunter Pence, Neftali Feliz, and Derek Holland.”
Funniest RoughRider story: “Oh it has to be the stories Tom tells from his coaching days.
Favorite RoughRider: Derek Holland
Hope you enjoyed this look behind the scenes of the ‘Riders Press Box. We couldn’t function without the help of these great guys. We’re so grateful for all the time they’ve put in over the years. Hopefully one of them can fix those A/C beads someday …
– Reid Copeland
Earlier today our own Stephen Harmon had a chance to chat with Frisco starter Robbie Erlin about his start Tuesday night.
Robbie talks about his start on Tuesday night vs. Midland, overcoming adversity, his transition to AA, and his new cutter.
The latest episode of the RoughRiders Roundtable Podcast is now yours to listen to and download on iTunes. As always, a big thanks to our producer Ted Price, Jason Cole of LoneStarDugout.com, and Brian.
The three of us discuss the trade deadline, Joe Wieland, Mike Bianucci, Tomym Mendonca, Johan Yan, Renny Osuna, Jake Brigham, Justin Miller, Tanner Scheppers … and even more.
We’ve been thrilled with the early response of the podcast. Episode 2 had over 1,300 downloads! Thanks to all who download and listen, and remember, feel free to leave a comment with a question or future topic you’d like us to discuss.
I hope you and your iPod enjoy. -AG