April 5th, 2013

Opening Day – Take Two

Okay so let’s try that again. Opening Day in North Little Rock was washed out yesterday. The other three games in the Texas League went off without a hitch, and the South Division dominated the action. All three games went the way of the south yesterday, so Frisco comes into Opening Day back a half-game of the other three members in the division. Midland, Corpus Christi and San Antonio all picked up Opening Day victories. Midland and Frisco begin the season on the road while the other two opened up their seasons at home last night.

The rotation is not expected to change today. Cody Buckel will start game one while former big leaguer Ryan Feierabend opposes the Travelers order in game two. Arkansas counters with Jarrett Grube and Mike Piazza. No, not that one.

Keep an eye on the ‘Riders twitter feed for the latest updates on action from North Little Rock, including the starting lineups for game two, but for now, here is the game one lineup. Just the same as yesterday:

ROUGHRIDERS

2B Odubel Herrera

CF Ryan Strausborger

RF Jared Hoying

1B Brett Nicholas

3B Alex Buchholz

LF Chih-Hsien Chiang

C Zach Zaneski

SS Hanser Alberto

RHP Cody Buckel

 

TRAVELERS

CF Travis Witherspoon

LF Matt Long

3B Kaleb Cowart

1B C.J. Cron

DH Robbie Widlansky

RF Randal Grichuk

2B Taylor Lindsey

C Jett Bandy

SS Rolando Gomez

RHP Jarrett Grube

News, notes, thoughts, and links:

  • The RoughRiders weren’t alone in having weather issues yesterday. Of the four active minor league teams in the Texas system (Spokane and the Rangers AZL and DSL teams pick up in June), only one of them got their opener in.
  • That was Round Rock. The Express topped Omaha 3-1 behind five shut-out innings from soon-to-be Texas Ranger’s 5th starter Nick Tepesch. The former ‘Rider scattered five singles in his five frames and struck out five Stormchasers on the way to the victory in his Triple-A debut. 
  • Hickory (Class-A) and Myrtle Beach (Class-A Advanced) were both rained out yesterday. Unlike Frisco, they will not make up their games today. Hickory will play a twin bill tomorrow beginning at 4:00 CT. Myrtle Beach won’t make up their postponed game until May 25th.
  • An extra long edition of the game notes today, complete with both starting pitchers is available at RidersBaseball.com
  • Tonight’s doubleheader can be heard here or if you are on an iPad or iPhone, click here. You can also watch the games with the audio feed simulcast by purchasing a subscription to MiLB.tv.
  • Frisco finishes the three game set with Arkansas in a full nine-inning contest tomorrow at 6:10 p.m. before getting back on the bus for the 194-mile trek to Springdale, Ark., home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The RoughRiders round out the weekend Sunday with the first of a three game series against NW Arkansas at 2:00 p.m.

Enjoy day two of the season Opening Day! Go ‘Riders!

- Nathan

Welcome Home

The rain has stopped, the clouds have parted, and Rangers baseball is back in Arlington!   Many people will call in sick from work, pull their kids out early from school, and make the drive to the ballpark to welcome our Rangers back home for the 2013 season.  Opening Day is finally here as the Rangers face the LA Angels this afternoon at 1:05.

Ballpark

Today also marks Josh Hamilton’s first return to Rangers Ballpark since leaving for LA.  This return has sparked a number of reactions by Rangers fans, especially after remarks made by Hamilton questioning the loyalty of DFW baseball fans.

I am personally on the edge of my seat waiting to know how Josh will be received at today’s game.  Will the stadium erupt in boos?  Will there be cheers for the once-adored All-Star?  Or will he receive the silent treatment, getting little acknowledgement from the fans of his former team?

More than likely, there will be a combination of all three.  There are a number of fans who feel Hamilton leaving the Rangers and the way he left was a betrayal, and boos will be heard throughout the stadium.  Others will try to look past the hurt feelings and the tension, and cheer.  However, the hope for many is that there will be silence, no boos or cheers, proving Rangers fans stand strongly behind their team and can move past the tensions from the last few months.

Hamilton

Regardless of how Hamilton’s reception plays out, the fact is today is the Rangers Home Opener.  The day Rangers fans have been looking forward to is finally here.  Enjoy it and look forward to many enjoyable days and nights at the ballpark!

 Other notes from the week:

-The Rangers began the season this past Sunday on the road in Houston.  Despite dropping the first game of the series 2-8 in the Astros’ first game in the American League, the Rangers came back to win the series in back-to-back shutouts.

Yu Darvish was one strike away from pitching a perfect game in Game 2, tallying a career-high 14 strikeouts.  Former RoughRider Alexi Ogando also had a career-high 10 strikeouts in Game 3. In total, the Rangers had 43 strikeouts, the most by a major-league team in the first three games of the season, breaking the mark set by the 1966 Cleveland Indians.

-Elvis Andrus is in Texas for a while.  The 24-year-old shortstop announced Thursday that he signed an eight-year contract extension, securing him at least through 2018 (he has an opt-out in his contract at that point).

Where was Nolan Ryan?  At Thursday’s press conference announcing Andrus’ contract extension, Ryan was noticeably absent.  This only fueled the curiosities of his future with the Rangers.  It was reported later that Nolan attended the Round Rock Express season opener.

What does the future hold for Jurickson Profar?  With the Elvis Andrus contract extension, the future for Rangers’ top prospect Profar is up in the air.  The former RoughRider, will be in Round Rock this season, but playing the same position as Andrus brings questions regarding the 20-year-old’s future.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Parachute Hitter – another term for a singles hitter

RoughRiders bring exciting changes to food and beverage at Dr Pepper Ballpark

The ‘Riders home opener is less than a week away, coming next Thursday against the Arkansas Travelers at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The gates will open to all the lovely sights, sounds and smells of baseball: the perfectly manicured infield and outfield grass, players flinging the ball in warm-ups, the bustle and chatter of fans and, of course, the smell of ballpark food.

The RoughRiders poured in over $1 million in concessions this off-season into Dr Pepper Ballpark, upgrading and refreshing food and beverage options for the approximately half-a-million fans expected to pass through the gates this season.

Find out what is in the “Firecracker” hot dog and more at RidersBaseball.com.

- Nathan

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