May 18th, 2014

‘Riders on the Record – May 18

‘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 finished the week with a 4-3 record. After a 7-5 win against the Corpus Christi Hooks on Mother’s Day, the ‘Riders hit the road for their second eight-game swing of the season away from Dr Pepper Ballpark (their first trip of the season to Arkansas was six games). Frisco took the first two games against the RockHounds in Midland, and could have conceivably swept the Hounds were it not for bullpen meltdowns in consecutive outings. The ‘Riders split the series with the pups and hit the road to the Alamo City (6:45 a.m. arrival Friday morning). Through the first two games of the series with San Antonio, Frisco is 1-1 and an even 3-3 with a quarter of the road trip yet to play. The team also held a 3-3 mark on its last eight-game road trip (April 25-May 2), but dropped the last two games to the Missions at Wolff Stadium. Will the ‘Riders change the tune this time through?

It was a busy week across the entire Texas Rangers community, and the latest edition of “‘Riders on the Record” touches on many hot topics. Jason Wood kicks things off with a Mother’s Day edition of “Sunday with the Skipper.” On the last day of an eight-game homestand, Woody offers a few heartfelt words about his own mom and mothers everywhere on their special day.

Jake Skole kicks off the current road trip and shares some insightful dialogue on his relationship with older brother, Matt. The elder Skole is also a Double-A prospect and plays with the Washington Nationals’ Double-A affiliate, the Harrisburg Senators. The siblings can detect issues and tendencies in each other’s swing by merely peering at a box score from the previous game.

Luke Jackson also makes his second “Record” appearance of the season. As the list of the walking wounded grows in Arlington, Jackson’s debut in Ranger blue may arrive sooner than expected. The righty’s eyes never seem to stray too far down the road, however.

Speaking of debuts, pitching coach Jeff Andrews chats for the first time this season on the RoughRiders Pregame Show. He stays tight-lipped in his prognosis of Jackson, but does not mince words in his analysis of the bullpen’s recent trend. Andrews’ interview aired one night after the ‘pen coughed up a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning against Midland, and his comments seem more prophetic now after the relievers blew three separate leads in the same game one night later.

Savvy veteran Guilder Rodriguez chats on the heels of a two-week stint in Triple-A with the Round Rock Express. The desire to play in a major league game still drives G-Rod, and he reveals a baseball lineage shared with his father and brother.

Finally, in the midst of the RoughRiders’ second series at Wolff Stadium, Missions’ broadcaster Mike Saeger chats with Alex Vispoli about San Antonio’s surprise run to a Texas League Championship in 2013 and elaborates on the rising prospects in the Padres organization.

Mother’s Day Sunday with the Skipper:


Center fielder Jake Skole:


Right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson:


Pitching coach Jeff Andrews:


Infielder Guilder Rodriguez:


San Antonio Missions broadcaster Mike Saeger:


As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

‘Riders Rewind – May 17

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.

The RoughRiders left nine runners stranded in scoring position and batted 1-for-13 with men on second and/or third base. Rymer Liriano’s grand slam makes the final score look like a laugher, but the ‘Riders trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh. Click here to read the full game recap.

Star of the Game: LF Jake Smolinski – 2/3, R, 2B, BB, ROE

With a third inning double on Saturday, Smolinski registered multiple hits in five of his last six games. He continues to ascend the Texas League leaderboard in batting average, and as of May 17, sits in fourth place with a .315 mark. Smo also ranks third in the league in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage (.412 and .534, respectively). His three triples on the season place him in a tie for first in the Texas League, while 78 total bases for the 25-year-old rank fourth.

Along with Corpus Christi’s Preston Tucker, Jake is the one of two players in the Texas League to play in each of the first 42 games of the season. His durability is impressive especially given the handful of circus grabs the right-hander has made in left field, including one on a deep fly ball from San Antonio’s Austin Hedges on Saturday.



Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.