Archive for the ‘ ‘Riders on the Record ’ Category

‘Riders on the Record – Happy Father’s Day!

‘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.

Frisco finished the final full week of the first half with a 4-3 record and clinched their franchise’s eighth playoff berth. In six of the RoughRiders’ eight playoff seasons, the team secured their postseason plans in the first half. It’s also the sixth time the ‘Riders have reached the 40-win mark in the first half of the season.

After a Father’s Day contest against Midland, one game remains before the midway point of the season. Back on May 11, Mother’s Day marked the quarter point in the season. The ‘Riders were 22-13 at that point and have gone 18-14 in the interim between parental homage days. Perhaps not as blistering of a pace (we said on Mother’s Day 88 wins would be tough to reach), but still on track to reach 80 wins in 2014.

Let’s take a look at this week’s rundown:

“Sunday with the Skipper” conversation between Alex Vispoli and Jason Wood:

 

Guilder Rodriguez continues to put up career numbers with five multi-hit games in his last ten. The two-time Texas League Midseason All-Star has stayed in touch with former RoughRiders Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas:

 

Scott Coolbaugh, first-year hitting coordinator of the Rangers farm system, returns to Dr Pepper Ballpark and shares his impressions of Joey Gallo. Coolbaugh served as hitting coach of the RoughRiders in 2007-08 and offers some interesting comparisons between those teams and the 2014 version:

 

Ryan Bores endured a turbulent start to the season and is settling into his role out of the RoughRiders bullpen. Ryan pitched for Kent State University when the Golden Flashes advanced to the College World Series in 2012 and did not carry strong aspirations to play professionally until shortly before the draft:

 

Phil Klein discusses his emergence as the RoughRiders’ closer in 2014 and his place on the 2014 Texas League Midseason All-Star roster:

 

Drew Robinson provides a midseason update on his approach at the plate and his ongoing adjustment to Double-A baseball:

 

Jerad Eickhoff’s 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame casts an imposing shadow on the mound. For Eickhoff, it’s been a diligent work in progress to develop his body into that of a professional baseball pitcher:

 

As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

‘Riders on the Record – June 8

‘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.

With less than ten games to play in the first half, the RoughRiders can taste a playoff berth. It would be the eighth postseason trip in franchise history and first since 2012. In five of Frisco’s seven playoff seasons, the ‘Riders have qualified in the first half.

The RoughRiders opened the week with a loss to Springfield on June 1. After a day off on June 2, the ‘Riders took 3-of-4 from San Antonio and dropped the series opener to Midland on June 7 to finish the week 3-3.

After the four-game set with the Hounds concludes on June 10 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the ‘Riders will play the final six games of the first half on the road. The trip begins with a four-game series at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, where the ‘Riders are 2-2 this season. Next, the team travels to west Texas for a four-game set against Midland. The first half will end midway through the Midland series.

Frisco can still clinch a berth at home, but it will require the tall task of defeating the RockHounds in three straight games. The Magic Number to clinch currently stands at six games. Visit ‘Riders Rewind for more information on how to calculate the Magic Number.

A couple of major league rehabbers and a couple Frisco’s top regulars headline June’s first “‘Riders on the Record:”

Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers landed on the DL in April with inflammation in his right elbow. The former RoughRider in 2010-11 returned to the Doc on a rehab assignment and pitched one inning against the San Antonio Missions on June 3. Hear Tanner share an anecdote from a game against the Missions in his Double-A career.

 

Jim Adduci became the first Rangers position player to rehab with the ‘Riders. Adduci fractured his left little finger on a slide into second base against the Chicago White Sox in April. The utility man played in nearly 900 minor league games before his big league debut, but never at Dr Pepper Ballpark. He shares his initial impressions on “Record.”

 

Ryan Rua made headlines for his hot start to the season when he reached base in 27 straight games. After a brief dip in early May, Ryan’s average is once again high above .300 and he ranks in the top five in several Texas League categories.

 

Alec Asher had a career performance on June 6 against San Antonio. “Big Cat” tossed seven shutout innings and allowed only two hits with no walks and four strikeouts. With his mom and brother in the stands, Alec says he broke a trend of forgettable performances in front of relatives.

 

As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

‘Riders on the Record – June 1

‘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.

Welcome to June! Hard to believe we are two months into the season already. The sixth month promises to bring plenty of excitement as the RoughRiders barrell towards a possible playoff berth and the All-Star game looms on the horizon.

After a mediocre start, the ‘Riders finished strong in May and won seven of the month’s final ten games and wrapped up the week with a 5-1 record. Frisco finished with a 16-12 record and although the mark is a few games lower than their 17-9 start in April, the strong finish after Memorial Day erased a 9-11 start.

The road to a first-half south division title and the confluent playoff ticket is far from a guarantee. Frisco still needs to play every team in its division before the second half commences on June 17. The ‘Riders open an eight-game homestand against the red-hot San Antonio Missions June 3-6. The Missions sat five games below .500 (19-24) as of May 19, only to rip off wins in nine of their last 12 and post a winning record for the first time since April 17.

Second-place Midland comes to town next from June 7-10, and the ‘Riders will then hit the road to Whataburger Field to take on the Corpus Christi Hooks in a four-game series. The first half concludes midway through a four-game series with the Midland RockHounds at Security Bank Ballpark in west Texas. As of June 1, every team in the Texas League South Division carries a winning record.

Still, the ‘Riders possess the tools to secure the franchise’s eighth postseason appearance in the first half of the season (the team has only clinched a playoff berth in the second half once). Frisco batted .302 in May, and after the staff’s ERA ballooned to 4.46 earlier in the month, the pitching buckled down and lowered the average to 3.97.

Here’s to a great June as we reflect on the final week of May in “‘Riders on the Record:”

Field manager Jason Wood in the May 25 edition of “Sunday with the Skipper:”

 

Roving instructor Brian Da Yett visited Frisco during the team’s final homestand in May. Coach Da Yett works specifically with hitters and comments on his time with Jake Smolinski, Drew Robinson and up-and-comers in the pipeline. The clubhouse refers to Da Yett as “Bama” and the former big leaguer also shares the origins of his nickname:

 

Second baseman Odubel Herrera is playing like a changed man this season. After a strong first month with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach, Odubel hasn’t missed a beat since his promotion of Frisco on May 12 (.317 and 12 RBI with Frisco). His attitude is what has changed the most since last season, he says:

 

Assistant coach James Vilade traveled with the ‘Riders for the first time this season on their north division road trip to Tulsa and Springfield, respectively. Coach V has fond memories of the Oil City, as he shares with on the Pregame Show, and he also details the pre-draft work load shared among the coaching staff:

 

Springfield pitcher Mitch Harris is the first opposing player to appear on “‘Riders on the Record” this season. Harris pitched against the RoughRiders on at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Monday, May 26. The appearance bore extra significance to the righty, who served two tours of duty with the U.S. Navy. He chats with Alex about life in the armed forces and the transition into a professional baseball career:

 

We conclude “‘Riders on the Record” in the same way we began. Field manager Jason Wood rings in the month of June with Alex Vispoli and reflects on a rainy roadtrip to the north division and the improved play of Odubel Herrera:

 

As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

‘Riders on the Record – May 25

‘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 continue to tread water in the month of May. Although the team holds a game lead over the Midland RockHounds for first place in the division, Frisco finished the week of May 18-24 with a 2-4 record and own an 11-11 record in the second month of the season.

The ‘Riders did take a three-game series against the north division-leading Tulsa Drillers, but after they dropped the series opener to Springfield on Saturday, the squad will need to win the final two games of the three-game set to ensure a winning record on the current homestand.

Frisco plays its final five games in May on the road against the north and heads up to visit Tulsa and Springfield for the first time this season, respectively.

As the bats struggled through the first month of the season, the pitching staff played an instrumental role in the team’s 17-9 record in April. Frisco posted a 3.23 team ERA through 26 games and converted 11 saves in 13 opportunities.

May has been a different story. The team ERA has swelled to 4.46 and the bullpen has blown seven saves in the same number of chances (13) as in April.

Meanwhile, the offense has flipped the switch and transformed in the opposite direction. After hitting a limp .227 in April, the ‘Riders swing at a .295 clip through 22 games in May. Its interesting the offensive firepower has not translated to more wins, further testimony to the importance of good pitching.

As we enter the final week of May, we look back at the week of “‘Riders on the Record:”

Jason Wood talks about the bullpen’s woes and the RoughRiders’ struggles at Wolff Stadium in San Antonio on “Sunday with the Skipper:”

 

Special guest Joe Mock of BaseballParks.com joins the show. Mock travels the country and writes reviews of baseball stadiums at all levels. He shares what features of Dr Pepper Ballpark make it a special place to take in a game:

 

Right-handed pitcher Wilmer Font celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday and it’s surely one he will remember forever. Wilmer became a father earlier this month and he comments on his first few weeks of parenthood:

 

Roving instructor and assistant catching coordinator Ryley Westman spent the week with the team and shares his thoughts on the trio of backstops on the ‘Riders roster:

 

First baseman Trever Adams reflects on a monster night at the plate on May 23. The Nebraskan bopped a grand slam and drove in six runs in Frisco’s 13-0 romp of Tulsa:

 

 

 

As always, thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

‘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 on the Record – Happy Mother’s Day!

‘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.

-Chris V.

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