May 11th, 2014
‘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 enjoyed a six-game week with a trio straddling either side of the team’s first off day in three weeks. The ‘Riders finished the first full week of May with a 4-2 record and once again sit atop the Texas League South Division. Mother’s Day marks the quarter-way point in the regular season, and Frisco is on pace to win 88 games in 2014. That’s a lofty tempo to maintain the rest of the way, but at this point, it at least reflects a strong start for the squad.
Frisco won an impressive series against the Midland RockHounds three games to win to retake control of the south division. Highlights included a thrilling ninth inning on May 5 that culminated in a walk-off single by Drew Robinson. The ‘Riders followed up the victory with a 17-hit outburst the following day.
Speaking of outbursts, take a look at Tomás Telis. The backstop hit .427 through the first seven game of the homestand (13-for-27), drove in six runs and smacked his first two home runs of the season.
Pitching returned to prominence last week and the ‘Riders received strong outings from starters Jerad Eickhoff on May 5 and Alec Asher on May 9. In a sudden reversal of a trend mentioned on the blog last week, the bottom of the batting order came to life for the RoughRiders, in particular in the series against Corpus Christi. On May 8, Teodoro Martinez, Jake Skole and Edwin Garcia hit a combined 6-for-11 at the plate with three runs scored and an RBI double from Garcia. The following night, Trever Adams, Skole and Patrick Cantwell batted 4-for-8, scored five of the team’s six runs and drew three walks. Frisco won both games and the offensive resurgence from the lower half serves as a testament to Jason Wood’s ability to tweak a lineup and place hitters in their optimal spot within an order. The players still need to reach base, however, and the RoughRiders rose to the occasion in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.
The level of play is impressive considering the departure of Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas to Arlington. Thus far, the ‘Riders have not missed a beat. It may seem hard to believe, but the roster actually grew younger with the departure of the two 20-year-olds. A pair of newcomers from extended spring training, Michael De Leon and Jamie Jarmon, are both south of 20. De Leon is just 17 and epitomizes the term “prospect.” The switch hitter can barely pull the ball in batting practice, but flashes advanced skills in the field for his age. Teammates say the native of the Dominican Republic is a chatterbox with a quick smile and an eager disposition.
Frisco can finish the homestand 6-2 with a win over the Corpus Christi Hooks on Mother’s Day Sunday. Hope you enjoy this latest batch of interviews as much as your mom enjoys her flowers!
Texas League President Tom Kayser on his new book, The Texas League Baseball Almanac. Part one of a two part interview:
The second half of the Tom Kayser interview:
Newcomer Ryan Bores details his busy first month of the season and outlines his arsenal for Frisco fans:
Local product Jon Edwards visits after the off day:
Get to know Keone Kela, another new face on the diamond this month:
Teodoro Martinez is back for his second run with the ‘Riders and compares personnel from each of his two stints in Frisco:
As always, thanks for tuning in.
Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.
Frisco dropped the first game in their series with Corpus Christi 5-1 on Saturday night. The RoughRiders wore their pink jerseys for the second straight night and finished 1-1 in the rosy outfits. Click here to read the full game recap.
The ‘Riders fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of Joe Saunders’ second rehab appearance. The game turned in the third when Jake Smolinski grounded out to short. Smolinski hit the ball sharply to the edge of the infield and appeared to beat out a long throw from Corpus Christi shortstop Jio Mier.
First base umpire Ryan Simmons did not see the call that way, however, and an enraged Smolinski was ejected from the game. He was joined by his field manager, Jason Wood, not long after. The ‘Riders would have potentially had runners on first and second with one out, but the call took the wind out of the proverbial sails as the ‘Riders left 13 men stranded on Saturday.
The team has already clinched a winning record on the eight-game homestand, which concludes on Mother’s Day afternoon against the Hooks. Coverage starts 1:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com.
Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.