‘Riders on the Record is a weekly rundown of the week’s pre-game radio interviews, usually with RoughRiders players and coachs. You can find all the past entries here.
Week four of ‘Riders on the Record was nearly an all-home edition. In the midst of the RoughRiders eight-game homestand, we spoke with Tyler Tufts, Zach Zaneski and Phil Klein for the first time this year. The ‘Riders hit the road on Friday night and Alex chatted with Teodoro Martinez for the first time this year before game one of the four-game series in Midland against the RockHounds. Highlights include the Rangers outfield philosophy from Joe Mikulik, Phil Klein’s emotions when throwing a perfect game in summer collegiate baseball, and Teodoro Martinez discussing the origin of his nickname “Cafe.”
April 28, 2013 – Manager Steve Buechele
The Sunday conversation with Steve Buechele followed the worst defeat of the season for the RoughRiders, an 11-0 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks. He talks as a former player about how mentally tough it can be to come from behind when down by a big margin. He empathizes with the difficulties Cody Buckel is having this season and, conversely, examines the tremendous start of Randy Henry.
April 29, 2013 – RHP Tyler Tufts
RoughRiders pitcher Tyler Tufts has had quite the year. From a promotion to Triple-A to a life-threatening medical emergency, 2012 was a wild ride for the right-hander. He talks about the fallout from the medical emergency including a silver-lining experience he took in with his family at the ballpark he grew up going to.
April 30, 2013 – Rangers Outfield Instructor Joe Mikulik
The Texas Rangers Outfield Instructor Joe Mikulik made his first trip to Frisco during the home stand. He explained what he does and what his job entails. He talked about the progression of the outfielders from level to level and the significance of situational defense in the Texas Rangers system.
May 1, 2013 – C Zach Zaneski
RoughRiders catcher Zach Zaneski talks about what it is like to be behind the plate to catch Frisco pitching. He explains the success this season for Carlos Pimentel and the decision to call a slider on a 3-2 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth the night before.
May 2, 2013 – RHP Phil Klein
Following his Double-A debut, a three inning outing with the Frisco RoughRiders, Phil Klein talks about his journey since his 30th round selection by the Rangers. He explains his increase in velocity and his early experiences in Texas.
May 3, 2013 – RHP Ryan Rodebaugh
After a blisteringly cold and windy day at Dr Pepper Ballpark, Ryan Rodebaugh discusses his first ever professional start in the difficult conditions. He’s asked about his college career as a starter and how he managed to block out the cold to pitch three scoreless innings in the spot-start.
May 4, 2013 – OF Teodoro Martinez
The son of a former big leaguer, Teodoro joined us on the pre-game show for the first time this season in the RoughRiders first trip to Midland. He talked about his improvement at the plate and his work with hitting coach Jason Hart. He also talks about the influence of his family on his baseball career and the notoriety of his father among baseball circles.
Baseball term of the day: Chin music – a pitch thrown up and inside on a hitter, usually designed to get the hitter to back off the plate
While the ‘Riders were busy winning the series three-games-to-one over against the San Antonio Missions the past few days, we here in the ‘Riders media office were frantically racing around the ballpark to uncover some important data. With the Kentucky Derby set to take place Saturday afternoon (just hours away!), we wanted to know who had the most knowledge off the equine racing elite. Which RoughRider could correctly guess the Kentucky Derby winner?
With no Kentucky natives on the roster, there is no clear-cut front-runner in this quest of bronco brain-busters. Our field of 24 men seems wide open. We of course have Ryan Rodebaugh, a Marietta, Georgia product, so he has the southern connection. That said, a little-known fact of geography reminds me that Kentucky is actually pretty far north for a southern state, and Churchill Downs, awfully close to both Indiana and Ohio. The ‘Riders have three on the roster from Ohio (Hoying, Klein and Tufts) and Strausborger hails from Indiana. None of the RoughRiders moonlight as a jockey (as far as I know), so it seems like this could be anyone’s contest.
So alas, we reveal the picks. The players were given a list of the names of the horses and were told nothing of the odds or their post position. From great research (or sheer luck), Odubel Herrera and Tyler Tufts both picked favorites. Tufts actually mentioned he knew something about his horse selection because it was Rick Pitino’s horse. Newcomer Phil Klein came away with Orb, at six-to-one (and the favorite at seven-to-two just a few days ago)–not too bad for his first week with the team. Ryan Strausborger might be the fastest player on his team, but apparently his horse might be slowest in the field, as he netted the worst odds with Falling Sky at 49-to-one.
The 2013 Frisco RoughRiders
Pick the Kentucky Derby Winner
***Post Position – Horse – Odds – RoughRiders player who selected it***
***(odds of winning as of May 3, 12:00 CT)***
#1 – Black Onyx – SCRATCH – SS Hanser Alberto & RHP Ryan Rodebaugh (Because of the scratch, we have given them Palace Malice)
#2 – Oxbow – 25:1 – UTIL Guilder Rodriguez
#3 – Revolutionary – 5:1 – 2B Odubel Herrera
#4 – Golden Soul – 31:1 – OF Chih-Hsien Chiang
#5 – Normandy Invasion – 8:1 – RHP Neil Ramirez
#6 – Mylute – 14:1 – RHP Jose Mavare
#7 – Giant Finish – 44:1 – OF / 3B Alejandro Selen
#8 – Goldencents – 5:1 – RHP Tyler Tufts
#9 – Overanalyze – 14:1 – C Tomas Telis
#10 – Palace Malice – 26:1 – 1B / C Brett Nicholas, IF Hanser Alberto & RHP Ryan Rodebaugh (not by choice, but because their horses scratched)
#11 – Lines of Battle – 42:1 – C Zach Zaneksi
#12 – Itsmyluckyday – 11:1 – RHP Randy Henry
#13 – Falling Sky -49:1 – OF Ryan Strausborger
#14 – Verrazano – 11:1 – OF Teodoro Martinez & RHP Kevin Pucetas
#15 – Charming Kitten – 32:1 – RHP Cody Buckel
#16 – Orb – 6:1 – RHP Phil Klein
#17 – Will Take Charge – 31:1 – RHP Wilmer Font
#18 – Frac Daddy – 15:1 – RHP Carlos Pimentel, LHP Jimmy Reyes and RHP Ben Rowen
#19 – Java’s War – 22:1 – RHP Roman Mendez
#20 – Vyjack – 43:1 – OF Jared Hoying
Alternate – Fear the Kitten – SCRATCH – 1B / C Brett Nicholas (given Palace Malice because of the scratch)
– Nathan (with plenty of help from Alex and Ryan on this one)
Baseball term of the day: Painting the black – a pitch on the outside edge of the plate
After an opening month of relative silence on the roster-move front, the Frisco RoughRiders began May with a splash of changes. April saw just three total transactions and only one moving player:
Today, Jake Brigham, Alex Buchholz and Ryan Feierabend were promoted to Triple-A Round Rock. This marks the first trip for Brigham and Buchholz to the Triple-A level. Feierabend spent time in the majors with the Mariners from 2006-2008.
Klein and Mavare will both be at the Double-A level for the first time. Klein was selected by the Rangers in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur June Draft out of Youngstown State University. The 24-year-old was spending his second season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Carolina League. This season the 6’7” 230 lbs. right-hander posted a 1-0 record and a 1.98 ERA with 12 strikeouts and just three walks over 13.2 innings in seven appearances in Carolina League play.
Mavare, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2009, is in his fifth year of professional baseball. The 23-year-old sported a 0-1 record with a 2.38 ERA in seven outings in his first season with Myrtle Beach. He struck out 12 batters and walked three in 11.1 innings of work.
Frisco’s roster now has 24 active players, one below the Texas League limit.
Klein is not small to say the least. His 6’7″ frame makes him the tallest ‘Riders player on the roster. Font, Pucetas, Ramirez and Rowen are 6’4″ and the closest in stature to Klein. It’s was also Klein’s birthday yesterday (happy 24th!), so he’s probably feeling about as good right now as he did when he threw a perfect game in the Atlantic Coast Baseball League at age 19. Not a bad 24 hours for the young man.
The Ohio native, Klein has shot up the Rangers system quite a bit in the last calendar year. He was promoted to Myrtle just last August, and is now among the first duo to make it up to Frisco from the Pelicans this year. Oh, and Klein pitched for a team whose mascot was the Penguins in college, in case you were curious.
Here is a snippet of what LoneStarDugout’s Jason Cole had to say about Klein when he was promoted to Myrtle in August (click the link to read the full report):
Coming from a high three-quarters arm slot this year, Klein shows a loose arm with clean mechanics that produce an 89-92 mph fastball that has touched the occasional 93-94. He also features a short-but-late breaking slider at 83-84 mph with slight tilt.
According to Cole, Klein was sitting 91-93 with the heater and touched 94-95 at fall instructs.
Jose Mavare’s first stateside season came in 2010 with the Rangers AZL club. After a fantastic 2011 season between rookie ball and Short-Season A Spokane, things slowed down a bit for him in his first year of full-season ball in 2012 with Hickory, but he pitched well enough to open the season with Myrtle Beach this year. He throws an upper 80s to low 90s fastball and sports a curve and change to go along with it. The strikeout potential is clearly a big part of his game, but he doesn’t posses an overpowering fastball despite raking up over 11 k/9 IP in his career.
Taking a look at the numbers, both have been impressive:
RHP Phil Klein
|2011||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A–Rk||1||2||3.98||12||0||0||20.1||20||13||9||1||16||31|
|2012||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||6||0||1.73||40||0||8||62.1||39||13||12||3||23||67|
|A+ (2 seasons)||A+||1||0||1.50||14||0||0||24.0||8||5||4||1||5||26|
|A (1 season)||A||6||0||1.90||33||0||8||52.0||37||12||11||2||21||53|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||0||0||0.00||3||0||0||2.2||2||0||0||0||1||7|
|A- (1 season)||A-||1||2||4.58||9||0||0||17.2||18||13||9||1||15||24|
RHP Jose Mavare
|2009||2 Teams||1 Lg||FRk||4||2||1.36||20||5||2||59.2||43||15||9||1||19||58|
|2009||Rangers 2, Rangers 1||DOSL||FRk||4||2||1.36||20||5||2||59.2||43||15||9||1||19||58|
|2010||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-FRk||5||1||2.08||23||0||2||43.1||28||14||10||0||15||61|
|2011||2 Teams||2 Lgs||Rk-A-||0||1||1.95||17||2||0||37.0||24||10||8||0||15||54|
|FRk (2 seasons)||FRk||5||2||1.07||26||5||2||75.2||48||16||9||1||23||85|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||4||2||2.66||26||2||2||50.2||37||18||15||0||19||68|
|A (1 season)||A||5||5||3.57||40||0||5||80.2||66||34||32||6||27||102|
|A- (1 season)||A-||0||0||1.98||8||0||0||13.2||10||5||3||0||7||20|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||0||1||2.38||7||0||2||11.1||7||5||3||1||3||12|
We give a big, warm Texas welcome to these two guys, your newest RoughRiders. And Congrats to Jake, Alex, and Brigham — best of luck in Round Rock!
Baseball term of the day: duck snort – a softly hit ball that goes over the infielders and lands in the outfield for a hit. The term was popularized by White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson.