June 16th, 2012

Justin Grimm Makes Big-League Debut With Rangers

Tonight former RoughRiders’ starter Justin Grimm will be making his major league debut pitching in front of a sold-out crowd at the Ballpark in Arlington. It’s his first start in the big league rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Scott Feldman, Matt Harrison, and Colby Lewis.

Grimm led the Texas League with the lowest ERA at 1.87 and also set the record for the lowest ERA among Frisco pitchers with at least 10 starts in a single season. He was also named a Texas-League All-Star after posting a record of eight wins and three losses in 11 starts.

Pitching in 77 innings, Grimm only allowed 65 hits, 16 earned runs and three home runs while striking out 67 and walking 14. After tallying up such numbers, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that Grimm was their best option with so many starters on the DL.

“We looked at all our options, the guys on the ballclub and the guys down below, and felt Justin was most ready to step in and help us win a game,” Daniels said.

With so many injuries Daniels added there isn’t a time frame for how long Grimm will remain in the rotation.

“Right now, Justin is one of our five starters,” Daniels said. “It may be one start or more. There are no guarantees. If he pitches well, the way things have gone with injuries the past few weeks, you never know.”

Grimm told MLB.com’s Christian Corona how he found out about the promotion saying Steve Buechele called him into his office to tell him he had been named a Texas League All-Star before telling him the big news.

“He said, ‘Have your parents left yet?’ I said, ‘No. I’m waiting to say goodbye,” Grimm said. “He goes, ‘Good. While you’re at it, you can get them a ticket to Arlington’s game tonight. Because you’re going to pitch Saturday.’”

Grimm said it’s a moment that will be ingrained in his mind for a long time to come.

“My jaw kind of dropped, my heart started beating fast, and my knees started shaking. But that’s good. I want that feeling. It’s a feeling I’m never going to forget.”

Former ‘Riders pitcher and current Texas Rangers’ pitcher Robbie Ross told ESPNDAllas.com’s Clint Foster that he’s happy for Grimm.

“I’m fired up for him,” Ross said. “It’s going to be sweet. I hope he can come in here and enjoy it and not let any pressure get to him. I’m just excited for him.”

Story and video by Jarah Wright

2012 RoughRiders Baseball Academy

The 2012 RoughRiders Baseball Academy was held at Dr Pepper Ballpark on June 11th, 12th, and 14th. Eager young baseball players were able to get the chance to learn from current RoughRiders’ players and coaches.

Over 100 boys showed up for this year’s baseball academy. (Michael Damman)

Coach Jason Hart reads off the teams and what players will be with each group. (Jarah Wright)

One little boy focuses on listening to instructions on the first day. (Jarah Wright)

The guys meet out in center field to stretch before starting the day’s drills. (Michael Damman)

Everyone spreads out in a circle to stretch. (Michael Damman)

Three players focus on perfecting their squats during stretching. (Jarah Wright)

Bats and gloves line the rim of the circle. (Jarah Wright)

One player looks at another player to make sure he is stretching his fingers out correctly. (Jarah Wright)

Outfielder Jared Prince works on showing the boys how to perfect the “ready” position. (Jarah Wright)

After fielding the ball cleanly, he flips the ball to throw it back. (Michael Damman)

‘Riders reliever Joseph Ortiz hits balls to the boys to work on their fielding skills. (Michael Damman)

‘Riders reliever Ryan Rodebaugh imparts wisdom to the players. (Michael Damman)

One player keeps his eye on the ball while fielding some pop ups in center field. (Michael Damman)

One player focuses on throwing the ball in quickly. (Michael Damman)

One player tries his best to avoid looking into the sun while making the catch. (Michael Damman)

While working on catching fly balls with ‘Riders infielder Alex Buchholz, one player makes the grab at the wall. (Michael Damman)

In left field, players worked on turning double plays. (Michael Damman)

The flip made it to second and the pair turned the double play. (Michael Damman)

Bunting is the focus of the drill in the visitor’s bullpen. (Michael Damman)

Outfielder Ryan Strausborger worked with the boys on reading the pitcher’s pickoff move and diving back to the bag. (Jarah Wright)

Ladder drills helped the boys improve their footwork. (Jarah Wright)

Frisco Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric McMahon timed the boys as they ran shuttle drills. (Jarah Wright)

After knowing his first time, this player works on being even quicker. (Jarah Wright)

Under the watchful eye of pitching coach Jeff Andrews, this player focuses on hitting the ball. (Jarah Wright)

The boys earned points for where they hit the ball. (Jarah Wright)

One player looks on while another one takes swings off a tee in the batting cages. (Jarah Wright)