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Saddle Up: Riders vs. San Antonio (7/29)

GAME #104 (2nd HALF GAME #35)

Frisco RoughRiders (52-51 overall, 14-20 2nd half) vs. San Antonio Missions (39-65 overall, 17-17 2nd half)
Friday, July 29 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead 1-0)
This season: Game 22 of 32 (Riders lead 16-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – RF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alexeis Bell – DH
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Luis Marte – SS
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Alberto Triunfel – 3B

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-4, 4.06 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs. San Antonio (W, 4-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Joe Filomeno

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Behind a four-run fourth inning, the Riders knocked off the visiting Missions 4-3 Thursday night in the series opener…Trailing 2-0 entering the fourth inning, the Riders scored their first run on an RBI single by RONALD GUZMAN…Frisco tied the game on ALEXEIS BELL’s RBI double, his first hit with the Riders…The final two runs of the frame scored on a fielding error by Missions first baseman Chase Jensen…JOHN FASOLA closed out the game by striking out the final two men he faced with a runner on third base to earn his fifth save with Frisco.

IN THE CLOSER, WE TRUST:

With another save last night, John Fasola improved to a perfect 5-for-5 in save opportunities with the Riders. He currently leads all Rangers farmhands with 11 saves this season, split between Frisco and Class A-Advanced High Desert. Fasola has only blown one save this year, which came on April 23 against Lancaster. He is 35-of-41 in save opportunities in his career.

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS:

Cuban star ALEXEIS BELL joined the Riders yesterday and went 1-for-4 with an RBI double in his Frisco debut. Texas signed Bell to a minor league contract on July 15, and he began his stateside career with the Arizona League Rangers. In four AZL games, Bell went 4-for-16 with a walk and two strikeouts. Bell played his first 14 professional seasons in the Cuban National Series, where he was a career .319 hitter with 138 home runs and 632 RBI in 659 games. Bell spent last season with Quebec in the Canadian- American Association and played nine games with Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this May. He represented Cuba in the 2008 Olympics and the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

 

SMOKING SAN ANTONIO:

The RoughRiders have dominated this year’s season-series against the Missions so far. Frisco has won 16 of the first 21 matchups between the two clubs, outscoring San Antonio 109-79 (5.2-3.8 runs per game). The Riders began this year’s matchups by sweeping the Missions in two straight four-game series. However, San Antonio has been more competitive lately, as the Missions have won four of the last eight meetings between the two teams.

 

Meet the mastermind behind the headshots

Head shot 1

Themed player headshots, such as this one from Superhero Night, are part of what make theme nights at Dr Pepper Ballpark fun.

There’s plenty to be excited about with Ghostbusters Tribute Night looming this evening, including an appearance from Ernie Hudson. While I’m excited to see all that takes place on the field and around the ballpark tonight, my attention will be heavily directed at the video board. Why, you ask? I’m excited to see what creative headshots Garret Young has put together for us all to enjoy tonight.

YoungYoung is the Manager of Game Presentation for the RoughRiders, which includes being the man in charge of making these visual masterpieces. He doesn’t just make standard headshots, though. He’s also in charge of creating graphics for special nights, such as this evening’s Ghostbusters Tribute Night.

He says he begins planning special headshots about a week in advance, and that planning has yielded some great ideas and designs. Often, the most entertaining shots are those for the visiting team. Opposing players are presented in a way that cleverly contrasts the theme of the night (for example, superimposing visiting player faces on cats for Bark in the Park nights, or incorporating opposing players into cartoon-like drawings of airplanes for Salute to Top Gun Night).

As for his favorite set of designs this year?

“I really enjoyed doing Father’s Day [headshots] and…putting Corpus Christi in different dad poses, like mowing the lawn, lounging on the couch, washing the car, doing woodwork with a Prius in the background. Those would be my favorite.”

Head shot 2

One of the opposing headshots from Father’s Day.

For the record, those were my favorite, too. Although it’s hard to pick a clear-cut favorite, since they’re all so entertaining in their own distinct way.

Young and his team are still putting the finishing touches on tonight’s headshots, but I have no doubt you’ll enjoy what you see on the board tonight. I know I will.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Ghost runner – Not a real baserunner, employed in playground baseball and variations of softball, when there is an insufficient number of players or when it is a baserunner’s turn to bat again.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Ring the bell: Cuban star arrives in Frisco

Japan World Baseball Classic

The Rangers announced today that Cuban outfielder Alexeis Bell is joining the RoughRiders starting tonight, and he brings quite the résumé to Frisco.

Bell spent the first 14 years of his career in the Cuban National Series, the same league that current Riders infielder Andy Ibanez played in before coming stateside. He put up some gaudy numbers during his stay in the CNS, posting a triple-slash of .319/.417/.547 with 138 homers and 632 RBI across 659 career games. He also has almost as many walks (431) as strikeouts (439). He was the league MVP in the 2007-08 season, when he set CNS single-season records for homers (31) and RBI (11).

Bell spent last season with Les Capitales de Quebec of the Canadian-American Association and played nine games in the Mexican League earlier this year before signing with the Rangers on July 15. He played in four games in the AZL, hitting .250 (4-for-16) before the Rangers moved him up to Frisco.

On top of all that, he has vast experience representing Cuba on the international stage, including at the 2008 Olympics and the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He certainly qualifies as experienced.

Among all the eye-popping numbers that jump out when looking at Bell’s career stats, the number that may catch the eyes of some Riders fans is his age: 32. That said, Bell told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that, “Physically, I don’t feel 32. I feel strong. I feel young. I feel agile.”

It’s hard to say how long Bell with be with the RoughRiders. Perhaps the Rangers just want him to get a few games under his belt before moving him along (a la Scott Carroll last week) or they could want him to get really comfortable at the Double-A level before moving him along.

A lot of his timetable will likely be determined by his performance. If he’s smoking the ball with Frisco, it’ll be hard to justify keeping him in the minors. However, maybe he doesn’t go up if he’s struggling to adjust to minor league arms.

Either way, it’ll be exciting to see what Bell brings to the squad. His bat should help infuse a lineup that struggled mightily in Midland the last few days.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Bells on – Said of a ball that’s been hit hard

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. San Antonio (7/28)

GAME #103 (2nd HALF GAME #34)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-51 overall, 13-20 2nd half) vs. San Antonio Missions (39-64 overall, 17-16 2nd half)
Thursday, July 28 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 21 of 32 (Riders lead 15-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – LF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alexeis Bell – RF
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Luis Marte – SS
  8. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  9. Luis Mendez – 3B

LHP Victor Payano (6-6, 3.98 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at Midland (L, 4-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: C Shaq Matta

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The Riders plated a run in the sixth inning, but it was not enough in a 4-1 loss to Midland in the series finale Wednesday night…RONALD GUZMAN drove in the lone run for Frisco with a two-out double to center field, snapping a 16-inning scoreless stretch…CONNOR SADZECK pitched six innings but lost his second straight game, allowing three runs on two homers…Like Tuesday’s game, the Riders only mustered one hit against Midland starting pitching.

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS:

The Rangers announced today that long-time Cuban star ALEXEIS BELL will join the Riders active roster. Texas signed Bell to a minor league contract on July 15, and he began his stateside career with the Arizona League Rangers. In four AZL games, Bell went 4-for-16 with a walk and two strikeouts. Bell played his first 14 professional seasons in the Cuban National Series, where he was a career .319 hitter with 138 home runs and 632 RBI in 659 games. Bell spent last season with Quebec in the Canadian-American Association and played nine games with Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this May. He represented Cuba in the 2008 Olympics and the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

RIDERS CROWD MLBPIPELINE TOP 10:

The most recent MLBPipeline.com rankings include nine RoughRiders ranked in the Top 30 from the Rangers farm system, and six landed a spot in the Top 10. LEWIS BRINSON held on to his No. 2 ranking, while LUIS ORTIZ (3) and YOHANDER MENDEZ (4) are now classified as the top two pitching prospects in the organization. ANDY IBANEZ (6), RONALD GUZMAN (8), and RYAN CORDELL (9) all enter the Top 10 for the first time this season. MLBPipeline also released their mid-season top 100 prospect list, and four Rangers prospects made the cut. Former Rider Joey Gallo tops the list at No. 15, followed by Brinson (22), Ortiz (65), and Mendez (69).

SMOKING SAN ANTONIO:

The RoughRiders have dominated this year’s season-series against the Missions so far. Frisco has won 15 of the first 20 matchups between the two clubs, outscoring San Antonio 105-76 (5.3-3.8 runs per game). The Riders began this year’s matchups by sweeping the Missions in two straight four-game series. However, San Antonio has been more competitive lately, as the Missions have won four of the last seven meetings between the two teams.

SLIPPING DOWN IN THE STANDINGS:

After three straight losses, the RoughRiders are now nine games behind the Midland RockHounds for first place in the South Division second half standings. Frisco has 37 games left in the half, with nine coming against Midland. The nine- game deficit is the largest the team has faced this half.

CARDIAC KIDS:

Prior to the last two nights, Frisco played five straight one-run games, often in come-from- behind games. The Riders have played in more one-run games (37) than six of the seven other teams in the Texas League (Corpus Christi is first with 38). The club has had success in those games as well, going 21-16, the third-best winning percentage in the league (Springfield is first, 15- 8, .652 win percentage). Additionally, 48 of the 102 games played have seen the winner come back from a deficit at some point. Frisco is 28-20 in these games.

MAGICAL MARTE:

LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 in the series against Corpus Christi and is 16-for-his- last-33 over the last week. Tuesday ended a seven-game hitting and six-game multi-hit streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. During the hitting streak, Marte raised his average 83 points from .191 to .274. Marte has more hits (16) than all but one player (Scott Schebler, Louisville) in all of Minor League Baseball over the past eight days.

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:

Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. Prior to going 0-for-2 Tuesday, he had reached base in 24 straight games, a season- long and the longest active streak in the league. He had hits in 19 of those games and reached safely in 40 of his 101 plate appearances, a .396 OBP in that span (25 hits, 11 walks, four HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .361 this season, which ranks first on the team.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet makes his 10th start with San Antonio and third against the RoughRiders tonight…Lamet made his Double-A debut in a matchup with the Riders on June 10 in San Antonio… He pitched five innings, held Frisco to three runs on three hits, walked four, and struck out five…More recently, he allowed just two runs on three hits in 5 2/3 innings in a win over the Riders last Monday…Lamet was signed by the Padres out of the Dominican Republic for $100K at age 21 in July 2014…He was among the Midwest League leaders with 120 strikeouts in 2015, his first season stateside with Fort Wayne…He went 7-1 in 12 games with High-A Lake Elsinore to start this season… Lamet was named a California League Mid-Season All-Star, although he was promoted to San Antonio prior to the contest…He is currently ranked the No. 17 prospect in the Padres farm system, according to MLB Pipeline. com…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (90-97 mph), curveball, changeup.

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/27)

GAME #102 (2nd HALF GAME #33)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-50 overall, 13-19 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (54-48 overall, 21-11 2nd half)
Wednesday, July 27 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 3 (RockHounds lead 2-0)
This season: Game 19 of 28 (Riders lead 10-8)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – DH
  3. Ryan Cordell – LF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Luis Marte – SS
  6. Joe Jackson – RF
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Alberto Triunfel – 2B

RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-3, 3.27 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at Midland (L, 4-0 – 5 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Hitting coach Jason Hart

Archived interview coming soon. Listen live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:10 p.m.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Rain-shortened after just five innings, the RoughRiders were blanked 4-0 by the Midland RockHounds on Tuesday night…Frisco mustered just one hit off of Heath Fillmyer…After throwing three scoreless innings, FRANK LOPEZ allowed a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings…Beau Taylor’s two-run home run capped the scoring…After the final out of the fifth inning was recorded, the game went into a rain delay, and after a 30 minute delay, the game was called…ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was 0-for-2 and lost his 24-game on-base streak.

HATEFUL EIGHT:
With the loss last night, the RoughRiders are now eight games behind the Midland RockHounds for first place in the South Division second half standings. The deficit is tied for the largest the team has faced this half, having been behind Midland by eight games after losing July 13 at Corpus Christi. Frisco has 38 games left in the half, with 10 coming against Midland.

ONE-HIT?!?! ONE DARN HIT!?!
Granted it came in a five-inning game, but the RoughRiders mustered just one hit in last night’s contest. It was the fourth time this year Frisco has been limited to a single base hit, and the club’s been shut out in all four of those games. All four games, however, have been shorter than nine-inning affairs, with the other three games coming in seven-inning doubleheader games (4/18 vs. ARK, 5/13 at CC, and 6/1 at TUL). The Riders have been blanked 11 times this year, tied for the most in the Texas League with Northwest Arkansas.

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: 
Last night’s rain-shortened game was a rarity in RoughRiders history. Although the club has had 11 rain-affected games (four delays, six postponements, and one cancellation), last night was the first time that the club has had a rain-shortened game this season. In fact, it was the first rain-shortened game for Frisco since April 19, 2011 in a 1-0 loss at Arkansas in six innings.

CARDIAC KIDS:
Last night snapped a trend of one-run games, as the Riders lost by four. Prior to that, Frisco played five straight one-run games, often in come-from-behind games. Six of the last seven meetings with Midland has been by one run as well. The Riders have played in more one-run games (37) than six of the seven other teams in the Texas League (Corpus Christi is first with 38). The club has had success in those games as well, going 21-16, the third-best winning percentage in the league (Springfield is first, 15-8, .652 win percentage). Additionally, 48 of the 101 games played have seen the winner come back from a deficit at some point. Frisco is 28-20 in these games, and five of the last six games has the team that wins overcome a lead by the opponent.

MAGICAL MARTE:
Despite going 0-for-2 last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 15-for-his-last-29 over the last week. Last night ended a seven-game hitting and six-game multi-hit streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. During the hitting streak, Marte has raised his average 83 points from .191 to .274. Marte has more hits (15) than all but one player (Scott Schebler, Louisville) in all of Minor League Baseball over the past seven days.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 18 games with homers in 12 of those 18, going just 1-4 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, two more than second place Corpus Christi (24). Since July 9, Frisco has 24 home runs, tied for the fourth-most in MiLB.

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. Prior to going 0-for-2 last night, he had reached base in 24 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He had hits in 19 of those games and reached safely in 40 of his 101 plate appearances, a .396 OBP in that span (25 hits, 11 walks, four HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .362 this season, which ranks is first on the team.

OPPOSING STARTER:
The RoughRiders face Corey Walter for the third time this year today, last facing him June 20 (5.0 IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 1SO). Walter moved into the rotation when Daniel Mengden was promoted to Triple-A…Drafted in the 28th Round of the 2014 Draft out of West Virginia University, Walter starred in baseball at Wheeling (WV) Park High, where he was all-state first team as a senior in 2010, going 11-4 with nine complete games and an ERA of just 1.76…Following his first season, Walter was named “Most Improved Pitcher” during Instructional League…The righty throws a two-seam sinker, a slider, and a developing changeup, getting an inordinate amount of groundballs (2.69 GO/AO).

Road to the show: 2016 Texas League edition

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It’s been a busy week for former Texas League stars making the jump to the big leagues. The big story earlier this week was Alex Bregman’s promotion to the Astros from Triple-A Fresno, where he didn’t really skip a beat after torching the Texas League with Corpus Christi. If you watched Sunday Night Baseball this week, you saw 2016 Texas League Mid-Season All-Star Mike Mayers make the start for the St. Louis Cardinals. Yesterday, the Royals promoted Raul Mondesi after just 14 games in Triple-A.

Those three players continue a trend of some of the Texas League’s best taking the fast track to “The Show”. Below, you’ll find a list and statistical breakdown of all 10 players who were on a Texas League roster earlier this season and have since made it to the big leagues.

(NOTE: The list doesn’t include players on rehab assignments or guys that came to Double-A after spending time in the Major Leagues earlier this season).

For another look at Texas League roster movement, read Steve’s post from earlier this week.

FRISCO

Matt Bush

Double-A stats: 12 G, 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA, 5-5 Sv, 17.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 18 K
Promoted to MLB: May 13
MLB stats: 31 G, 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA, 0-1 Sv, 31.1 IP, 24 H, 8 R/7 ER, 8 BB, 30 K

Jose Leclerc

Double-A stats: 10 G, 2 GS, 0-5 with a 3.52 ERA, 23.0, 17 H, 11 R/9 ER, 10 BB, 28 K
Promoted to Triple-A: May 23
Triple-A stats: 16 G, 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA, 0-3 Sv, 26.2 IP, 16 H, 10 ER, 17 BB, 28 K
Promoted to MLB: July 5
MLB stats: 3 G, 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R/1 ER, 8 BB, 5 K
*Currently back with Triple-A Round Rock

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Former Riders pitcher Jose Leclerc

 

CORPUS CHRISTI

Alex Bregman

Double-A stats: 62 G, .297/.415/.559, 16 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, 46 RBI, 42 BB, 26 K
Promoted to Triple-A: June 30
Triple-A stats: 18 G, .333/.373/.641, 6 2B, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 5 BB, 12 K
Promoted to MLB: July 25
MLB stats: 2 G, 0-for-7, 1 BB, 3 K

MIDLAND

Daniel Mengden

Double-A stats: 4 GS, 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA, 23.0 IP, 15 H, 2 ER, 12 BB, 28 K
Promoted to Triple-A: May 1
Triple-A stats: 7GS, 3-1 with a 1.39 ERA, 45.1 IP, 28 H, 8 R/7 ER, 10 BB, 39 K
Promoted to MLB: June 11
MLB stats: 9 GS, 1-5, 5.73 ERA, 48.2 IP, 52 H, 33 R/31 ER, 26 BB, 49 K
*Currently back with Triple-A Nashville

Ryon Healy

Double-A stats: 36 G, .338/.409/.628, 12 2B, 3 3B, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 18 BB, 35 K
Promoted to Triple-A: May 17
Triple-A stats: 49 G, .318/.362/.505, 16 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 30 RBI, 13 BB, 40 K
Promoted to MLB: July 15
MLB stats: 12 G, .256/.289/.465, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS

 Alec Mills

Double-A stats: 12 GS, 1-2 with a 2.39 ERA, 67.2 IP, 57 H, 19 R/18 ER, 12 BB, 68 K
Promoted to MLB: May 18
MLB stats: 1 G, 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA, 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
*Note: Mills was called up as the 26th man for a doubleheader against Boston on May 18. He was transferred back to Northwest Arkansas the next day. Mills was promoted to Triple-A Omaha June 16 and is still with the Storm Chasers.

Raul Mondesi

Double-A stats: 29 G, .259/.331/.448, 5 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 13 BB, 30 K
Promoted to Triple-A: July 8
Triple-A stats: 14 G, .304/.328/.536, 2 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 19 K
Promoted to MLB: July 26
MLB stats:  1 G, 0-for-3
*Note: As you might remember from last year, Mondesi became the first player in MLB history to make his debut during the World Series and ended up with one at-bat as a pinch-hitter. Even though yesterday wasn’t his Major League debut, we’re still including him on the list.

SAN ANTONIO

Cesar Vargas

Double-A stats: 2 GS, 0-0 with a 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 K
Promoted to MLB: April 23
MLB stats: 7 GS, 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA, 34.0 IP, 41 H, 19 ER, 15 BB, 28 K
*Currently on San Diego’s 60-day DL

SPRINGFIELD

Mike Mayers

Double-A stats: 9 GS, 5-2 with a 2.30 ERA, 54.2 IP, 47 H, 17 R/14 ER, 17 BB, 43 K
Promoted to Triple-A: May 15
Triple-A stats: 9 GS, 3-3 with a 2.94 ERA, 52.0 IP, 46 H, 22 R/17 ER, 19 BB, 43 K
Promoted to MLB: July 24
MLB stats: 1 GS, 0-1 with a 60.75 ERA, 1.1 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
*Currently back with Triple-A Memphis

TULSA

Brock Stewart

Double-A stats: 9 GS, 3-3 with a 1.12 ERA, 56.1 IP, 37 H, 10 R/7 ER, 10 BB, 62 K
Promoted to Triple-A: June 10
Triple-A stats: 6 GS, 3-0 with a 3.19 ERA, 36.2 IP, 34 H, 13 ER, 4 BB, 46 K
Promoted to MLB: June 29
MLB stats: 1 GS, 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA, 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
*Currently back with Triple-A Oklahoma City

——————————————————————————————–

As you can see, some of these guys were brought up on a very short-term basis, but their best days are still ahead of them. By the end of the year (especially once September arrives), expect this list to keep on growing.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Pastureman – An outfielder

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/26)

GAME #101 (2nd HALF GAME #32)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-49 overall, 13-18 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (53-48 overall, 20-11 2nd half)
Tuesday, July 26 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 3 (RockHounds lead 1-0)
This season: Game 18 of 28 (Riders lead 10-7)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – LF
  4. Ronald Guzman – DH
  5. Luis Marte – SS
  6. Joe Jackson – RF
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – 1B

LHP Frank Lopez (5-4, 4.91 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday at Midland (L, 2-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Ariel Jurado

Archived interview coming soon. Listen live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:10 p.m.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Blanked over the final six innings, the RoughRiders fell 2-1 to the Midland RockHounds on Monday night in the series opener…ANDY IBANEZ plated a run on a single in the third, brining in LEWIS BRINSON who doubled with two outs to start the rally…Midland scored two off of ARIEL JURADO in the fourth in Jurado’s Double-A debut…Jurado worked three hitless innings prior to the fourth-inning runs and tossed a quality start, allowing just two runs on four hits and a pair of walks in six innings…Brinson collected three hits, and Ibanez, RYAN CORDELL, and LUIS MARTE each picked up multiple hits…the Riders collected 11 hits in total, outing hitting the RockHounds, and left 13 men on-base, a season-high in a nine-inning game.

MOMENTOUS SERIES IN MIDLAND:
Today continues a pivotal seven-game road trip, a trek against two division rivals. After a four-game split at Corpus Christi the RoughRiders teed off against the Midland RockHounds yesterday. The RoughRiders are seven games back of Midland with 39 games left in the second half.  Since the Riders fell four games on July 2, they haven’t been closer and have been back by as many as eight games behind the RockHounds.

CARDIAC KIDS:
Frisco continues to play in tight ballgames, playing its fifth straight one-run game last night, often in come-from-behind games. Each of the last six meetings has been by one run as well. The Riders have played in more one-run games (37) than six of the seven other teams in the Texas League (Corpus Christi is first with 38). The club has had success in those games as well, going 21-16, the third-best winning percentage in the league (Springfield is first, 15-8, .652 win percentage). Additionally, 48 of the 100 games played have seen the winner come back from a defict at some point. Frisco is 28-20 in these games, and each of the last five games has the team that wins overcome a lead by the opponent.

LEFT-ON WOES:
The Riders had their chances last night, but left on too many men. Frisco stranded a season-high 13 runners, more than the previous high of 12 set in the 15-inning game at Midland May 17 and matched in Saturday’s 8-7 loss in 14 innings. The Riders went just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position after hitting .388 (19-for-49) in those spots in the four-game split with the Corpus Christi Hooks over the weekend.

MAGICAL MARTE:
With two more hits last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 15-for-his-last-27 over a current six-game multi-hit streak. Marte’s also in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. During the hitting streak, Marte has raised his average 83 points from .191 to .274. Marte has more hits (15) than anyone in all of Minor League Baseball over the past six days.

JACKSON’S BIG JULY:
Though he’s been a steady contributor at the plate all season, July has been especially fruitful for Riders outfielder JOE JACKSON. The 24-year-old is hitting .289 in his first 23 games this month after combining to hit .260 in the first three months. He has hits in 19 of the 23 games and holds a .356 on-base percentage since the calendar turned. Just last night, Jackson lost a nine-game hit streak and an 13-game on-base streak. The former catcher is also getting more experience in the outfield, having played 27 of his last 33 games in the grass after DH’ing early in the year.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 17 games with homers in 12 of those 17, going just 1-4 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, three more than second place Corpus Christi (23). Since July 9, Frisco has 24 home runs, third-most in MiLB.

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 24 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He has hits in 19 of those games and has reached safely in 40 of his 101 plate appearances, a .396 OBP in that span (25 hits, 11 walks, four HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .359 this season, which ranks first on the team and 7th in the league.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Heath Fillmyer makes his second Double-A start today…He arrived from High-A Stockton, where he’d spent all year, on July 21 to throw five innings of two-run ball on four hits at San Antonio, taking no-decision…Drafted in the 5th round out of Mercer County Community College (West Windsor, NJ) in 2014, he signed for a reported $305,000…Fillmyer is in his third pro season after spending his rookie year in the Arizona League, named most-improved pitcher at the A’s instructional league that ball, and all of last season with Low-A Beloit…Fillmyer entered the 2016 season ranked by MLB.com as the A’s No. 19 prospect (now No. 18) and was ranked the 25 player on the farm by Baseball America prior to the season (up from No. 28 prior to 2015)…Fillmyer was previous selected by the Colorado Rockies after his freshman season the 28th round of the 2013 draft but did not sign… As a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Fillmyer, a shortstop, filled in at closer and pitched 7 2/3 innings out of the bullpen…He returned for his sophomore year and moved full-time to the mound where he went 9-0, 0.68 in 2014 ….REPERTOIRE: a 92 to 96 mph FASTBALL with sinking action and downhill angle. He also spins a CURVEBALL with tight break, and a CHANGEUP with splitter-like action, which is known as his best pitch.

A missed opportunity (with some silver linings)

050116 Brinson, Lewis (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Consider last night a missed opportunity.

The RoughRiders, taking on first-place Midland, got a great pitching performance from Ariel Jurado in his Double-A debut (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K), but managed just one run in a 2-1 loss. Frisco had at least one runner on in every inning except the second, but left 13 men on and went just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

It doesn’t help that Ryan Cordell and Andy Ibanez had deep fly balls come up just shy of home runs, or that Midland got three of its four hits against Jurado in succession.

However, with 39 games left in the season and the RoughRiders back to seven games behind the RockHounds in the second half standings, we’re getting to the point where every game is gaining importance, especially the head-to-head battles with Midland.

There are some silver linings to all of this, though:

  • The RoughRiders are that close to breaking through. All five games on the road trip have been one-run affairs, as have the last six meetings with Midland. We saw the bats bust loose on a couple different occasions in the last series at Corpus Christi, so consider last night an outlier in terms of struggles at the plate.
  • Lewis Brinson put together his fourth three-hit game of the year last night after coming in just 9-for-his-last-55. We continue to see flashes from Brinson, including that monster homestand against Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas at the beginning of the month. If he can keep providing reliable and consistent production out of the leadoff spot, that should help the four guys that typically hit behind him in the order (Andy Ibanez, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Cordell, and Joe Jackson) keep the lineup churning out baserunners, and eventually, runs.
  • Luis Marte is still on a tear, now at 12-for-23 (.522) on the road trip with multiple hits in each of his last six games. He gives the order some depth near the bottom. If his bat can keep swinging at a clip anywhere near where he’s been lately for a while, that’ll be a big boost for the RoughRiders.

Last night may have been a missed opportunity, but there’s still time to bounce back. The Riders face Midland 11 more times in the final 39 games, including the final three games of the season. Will it be easy to win the second half? No. Can it be done? Absolutely.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Fuzzy concrete – Artificial turf

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/25)

GAME #100 (2nd HALF GAME #31)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-48 overall, 13-17 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (52-48 overall, 19-11 2nd half)
Monday, July 25 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 17 of 28 (Riders lead, 10-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – DH
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – RF
  9. Shaq Matta – C

RHP Ariel Jurado (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday at Corpus Christi (W, 7-6)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Erasing a 5-1 deficit with four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh, the RoughRiders rallied back to beat the Corpus Christi Hooks 7-6 in the series finale, splitting the four-game set and moving just six out of first place Midland…RONALD GUZMAN and LUIS MARTE both blasted two run homers in the sixth, and Guzman put the club ahead with a two-run single in the seventh…A benches-clearing brawl in the second inning after YOHANDER MENDEZ hit the Hooks’ Danry Vasquez led to the ejections Mendez, Vasquez, and outfielder Ramon Laureano…Frisco’s bullpen fired eight innings in relief of Mendez, andJOHN FASOLA pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings for the save.

MOMENTOUS SERIES IN MIDLAND:
Today continues a pivotal seven-game road trip, a trek against the top two teams in the division. After a four-game split at Corpus Christi the RoughRiders tee off against the Midland RockHounds today. The RoughRiders are six games back of Midland with 40 games left in the second half.  Since the Riders fell four games on July 2, they haven’t been closer and have been back by as many as eight games behind the RockHounds.

HIP-HIP-JURADO:
Rangers No. 12 prospect (according to MLBPipeline.com) ARIEL JURADO makes his Double-A debut today. The righty won Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015, leading the organization in wins and is having another good campaign this season. In the hitter-friendly California League, Jurado, just 20 years old, made 16 starts with the Mavericks, going 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA. In 79 1/3 innings, he allowed 83 hits and 24 walks, while recording 71 strikeouts. At the time of promotion, Jurado was eighth on the California League leaderboard in ERA. His ERA also ranks fourth among Rangers full-season starting pitchers.

BOLSTERED BULLPEN:
The Texas Rangers sent JEFRI HERNANDEZ to the RoughRiders today, activated off of the disabled list from Round Rock and transferred to Double-A. Hernandez, 25, missed nearly two months after undergoing an apendectomy. The Riders bullpen needs the help. After playing 14 innings on Saturday, Frisco’s starter YOHANDER MENDEZ was ejected after hitting Corpus Chrsiti’s Danry Vasquez with his first pitch in the second inning. Over the past two games, the Riders have thrown 17 innings, and every reliever except LUKE JACKSON has pitched.

MAGICAL MARTE:
With two more hits last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 13-for-his-last-23 over a current five-game multi-hit streak. Marte collected three hits in the series finale with San Antonio on Wednesday, two in three of the games against Corpus Chrsiti, and four on Saturday. He’s also in the midst of a six-game hitting streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. Only one player (Will Maddox of West Michigan) has more hits (14) than Marte (13) over the past five days in all of Minor League Baseball.

JACKSON’S BIG JULY:
Though he’s been a steady contributor at the plate all season, July has been especially fruitful for Riders outfielder JOE JACKSON. The 24-year-old is hitting .306 in his first 22 games this month after combining to hit .260 in the first three months. He has hits in 19 of the 22 games and holds a .375 on-base percentage since the calendar turned. Jackson is currently riding an nine-game hit streak and an 13-game on-base streak. The former catcher is also getting more experience in the outfield, having played 26 of his last 32 games in the grass after DH’ing early in the year.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 16 games with homers in 12 of those 16, going just 1-3 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, five more than second place Corpus Christi (21) and Tulsa (21). Since July 8, Frisco has 25 home runs, tied for the third-most in MiLB (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes: 29; Ogden Raptors: 26).

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 23 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He has hits in 18 of those games and has reached safely in 37 of his 97 plate appearances, a .381 OBP in that span (24 hits, 10 walks, three HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .359 this season, which ranks second on the team (RONALD GUZMAN .360) and 11th in the league.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series opener. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 4.35 ERA in four starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Marte’s magnificent series lifts Riders

Marte 724

Luis Marte may have just had the series of the year for the RoughRiders.

It will be hard for anyone else to top what he did during the four-game set at Corpus Christi this weekend, in which he went 10-for-19 (.526) at the plate with a double, two homers, and nine RBI. Not only did he consistently produce, but he did it in big moments. He had a pair of go-ahead RBI, including the go-ahead run in the ninth inning on Thursday. Saturday, he broke a 6-6 tie in the 14th inning with a homer, and he plated three more runs last night, including a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth.

Marte tied a career-high with his four hits Saturday night and is in the midst of a five-game multi-hit streak (six-game hitting streak overall). During the four-game series, he bumped his average up 59 points from .218 to .267. It’s been great to see from Marte, who struggled in his return from the DL, batting just .154 in his first 14 games back. However, he’s starting to hit his stride from where he was earlier this year before being sidelined on the DL.

Marte’s defense has been fantastic all year, and if he can keep providing a reliable bat with his sterling glove, he’ll be a very valuable asset in the RoughRiders’ push for the second-half title.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Reverse Force Double Play – A double play in which the first out is a force play while the second out is on a runner for whom the force was removed by reason of the first out and who must be tagged out.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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