July 31st, 2011

Erlin, Wieland Traded to San Diego

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.

Robbie Erlin's first five Double-A decisions were wins (Photo: James Garner).

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.

Joe Wieland tossed the fourth no-hitter in RoughRiders history Friday (Photo: James Garner).

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.

- Brian

RoughRiders Trade Talk

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.

Robbie Erlin

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.

Joe Wieland

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

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).

Tanner Scheppers

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.

Jurickson Profar

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.

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