April 28th, 2014

‘Riders on the Record – Bullpen Edition

‘Riders on the Record is a weekly rundown of the pregame interviews recorded by broadcasters Alex Vispoli and Chris Vosters with RoughRiders players and coaches and occasionally a special guest. You can find all previous editions by clicking here.

The RoughRiders have shown no signs of a hangover in the aftermath of their ten-game win streak, which set a new franchise watermark. The Corpus Christi Hooks ended the run on Easter Sunday, but Frisco still finished the week 4-3 and have not lost a series since a doubleheader sweep at the bats of the Arkansas Travelers on April 7.

The offense has certainly provided its share of highlights. As of April 27, Frisco has belted more home runs (23), which trails only the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the Southern League for the most in Double-A. Yet, the team bats a paltry .227 remains stuck in seventh place in the Texas League. The ‘Riders have scored runs when necessary, but outside of Ryan Rua, most of the batters in the order have yet to find their swing.

On the flip side, the pitching has been second-to-none even with the departure of Nick Martinez to the big league rotation. The staff has posted four shutouts already this season and the collective 2.74 ERA is the sixth-lowest in all of Minor League Baseball. Over a 13-game stretch the relievers allowed a paucity of runs (4), posted a 0.80 ERA and held opponents to a .140 batting average.

It is in this vein we present the latest edition of ‘Riders on the Record. Pitching is the focus with Matt West, Jimmy Reyes and Kyle Lotzkar featured as well as catcher Patrick Cantwell. This week’s rundown includes two episodes of “Sunday with the Skipper,” Alex Vispoli’s weekly chat with field manager Jason Wood. Chris Grayson rounds out the slate with an extended, but insightful discussion. Enjoy!

Jason Wood and Alex Vispoli touch on the ‘Riders ten-game win streak on the Easter edition of “Sunday with the Skipper.”


Outfielder Chris Grayson takes pride in the energy he brings to ballgames. The Louisiana native is excited to play about four hours from his home town. A lefty batter, Chris is working on his opposite field power at the plate. Hear how Chris stays sharp physically and mentally on the days he is out of the lineup.


In his own words, Matt West says he “sees red” when he steps on the mound. One of the more expressive arms out of the bullpen, Matt transitioned to the mound as a member of the Rangers organization before the 2011 season. His confidence has never wavered, even in the face of injuries and a Tommy John operation.


Jimmy Reyes threw four straight scoreless outings and retired 15-of-17 batters faced over that span. He passes the long Texas League bus trips playing “Clash of Clans” and will raid you unless you’re careful.


Patrick Cantwell is the battery mate of many pitchers on the RoughRiders’ staff. “Patches” talks about catching Luke Jackson on April 21 when the righty took a perfect game into the sixth inning.


Kyle Lotzkar is another pitcher in search of an injury-free campaign. Along with Edwar Cabrera, the ‘Riders are trying to stretch Lotzkar’s work load into that of a starting hurler. Kyle shares some of the lessons he has learned in rehab with Alex Vispoli.


‘Riders on the Record concludes the way it began. The most recent episode of “Sunday with the Skipper” covers a tense moment in Saturday’s game with Corpus Christi and the hot hitting of Ryan Rua.


As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.