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Riding Through the Farm: August 26

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (75-53 – 1st, AL West)

Texas enters the day 7.5 games up on Seattle and 8.5 ahead of Houston in the AL West race. The Rangers opened their series against first-place Cleveland last night with a resounding 9-0 win over the Indians.

Aside from another dominant outing from Cole Hamels, Carlos Gomez homered in his first at-bat with the Rangers.

The Rangers take on Cleveland for three more before Seattle comes to town. Texas has a chance to really create some space in the standings over the next six games.

Today: vs. Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (66-67 – 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

Nashville is about to knock Round Rock and the rest of the American Southern Division out of the playoffs with its magic number at one game.

That said, Round Rock continues to have a productive month of August. The Express are 15-9 this month. On Tuesday, though, they had to watch former teammate Lewis Brinson go deep against them in his first at-bat back at Dell Diamond. As you can see in the clip below, his trip around the bases included a lot of smiling.

After allowing his first two runs as a Triple-A pitcher his last time out, Yohander Mendez came out of the bullpen last night and worked four scoreless innings. His ERA with Round Rock is a ridiculous 0.64 through 28.1 innings. He appears to be running away with Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors.

Today: at New Orleans, 7:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Michael Roth)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (77-53 overall, 34-26 second half – 2nd in the second half, California League South Division)

In case you haven’t heard already, the Mavericks are entering their final few weeks as a franchise. Next year, we’ll be writing about the Kinston ______s here on “Riding Through the Farm”.

Sam Dykstra at MiLB.com wrote an interesting piece a few days ago about the difference in park effects that Rangers farmhands will experience when they shift from Adelanto to Kinston. Suddenly, the Rangers’ Class A-Advanced affiliate will be in a slight pitcher’s park, according to the metrics.

That said, the end of the regular season won’t be the finale for the Mavs. High Desert is guaranteed a playoff spot by way of winning the first-half crown. The Mavericks are still on track to face Lancaster in the first round of the playoffs.

In player news, Dylan Moore was sent to the Braves this week as part of a three-team deal that garnered international slot money for the Rangers.

Lastly, Luke Tendler was named California League Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .435 with four doubles, three homers, and eight RBI.

Today: vs. Lake Elsinore, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Tyler Davis)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (69-61 overall, 31-29 second half – T-3rd in the second half, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory is quickly sliding out of playoff contention by way of first-place Lakewood’s seven-game winning streak. Hickory was the last team to beat the BlueClaws, but the Crawdads are now six games back in the second-half standings, seeing their elimination number drop to five games.

Yesterday, Josh Altmann was promoted to High Desert. He was hitting .260 with six home runs and 30 RBI prior to the promotion.

Charleston is in town for three, starting tonight. Nick Green, who was part of the Carlos Beltran trade, is slated to start tomorrow. Dillon Tate, also part of that trade, has been used as a reliever with the RiverDogs. He last pitched Tuesday, so perhaps he makes an appearance this weekend at L.P. Frans Stadium. Tate is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his first four outings (10.0 IP) with Charleston.

Today: vs. Charleston, 6:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Blake Bass)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (28-37 overall, 9-18 second half – 4th in the second half, Northwest League North)

Yesterday’s off day was a much-needed one for Spokane. The Indians enter the day on a seven-game losing streak and are just 1-12 in their last 13 games. In this 13-game dry spell, Spokane is hitting .207 as a team with a 4.91 ERA.

Amazingly, the Indians are just one game out of second place right now, although everybody is looking up at 20-7 Everett. That’s the beauty of winning the first half.

Benjamin Hill of the Ben’s Biz Blog had this fun story about a mysterious safe at Spokane’s Avista Stadium. What do you think is inside it?

Tonight: vs. Tri City, 8:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Mixed ball – A fastball that breaks in.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (8/25)

GAME #128 (2nd HALF GAME #59)

Frisco RoughRiders (60-67 overall, 22-36 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (53-75 overall, 31-27 2nd half)
Thursday, August 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (SA feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 4 (Missions lead 2-0)
This season: Game 31 of 32 (RoughRiders lead 18-12)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Carson Blair – DH
  4. Joe Jackson – RF
  5. Andy Ibanez – 3B
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  8. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  9. Alberto Triunfel – 2B

RHP Scott Carroll (1-1, 4.29 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at San Antonio (L, 4-3 – 10 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: C/1B Carson Blair

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Rallying back from down 3-1, the Riders fell 4-3 in 10 innings on Wednesday night to the San Antonio Missions…Rangers rehabber COLBY LEWIS tossed 2 2/3 innings of one-run ball…JOE JACKSON homered off of Seth Simmons to tie the game in the fourth, but the Missions scored in the fourth and sixth to take a two-run lead…Down 3-1 in the ninth, the Riders rallied for a pair of runs off of closer Jimmy Brasoban to tie things up, but JUAN GRULLON allowed the winning run in the 10th on a two-out, two-strike single by Ryan Miller to end the ballgame.

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!: 
Frisco played its third extra-innings affair with San Antonio this year and the second in the last three games of the season series. The Riders have lost all three. In fact, Frisco has lost its last four games that have gone to extra innings. Contrastingly, the Missions, who have played 19 extra-innings games, the most in the league, have won seven of their last eight extra-innings games.

TIGHTENING UP WITH SAN ANTONIO:
After winning the first eight games in the season-series with San Antonio, things have gotten much closer. Frisco has lost 12 of the last 22, and each of the last four series have been splits or losses. In addition, nine of the last 13 games in the series have been decided by two runs or fewer, including seven one-run games and three extra-inning games.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Tuesday’s shutout loss to San Antonio was the 16th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League) and already the fifth time this month. The 16 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A and tied is now the most in team history (2009, 15). Brevard County (Brewers Class A-Advanced affiliate, Florida State League), has the most shutout losses in the minors with 21; Frisco is tied for the fourth-most, also behind Palm Beach (18), and Durham (18), and the club is tied with Beloit (16).

DUCKS ON THE POND:
Despite struggling to hit with runners in scoring position at times throughout the season, the RoughRiders performed very well of late. Despite going 1-for-6 in this series, Frisco has hit .308 (20-for-65) with runners in scoring position over the past eight games.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER:
Over the last 19 games, the Riders have hit 11 home runs as a team. Five of those have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN, including a grand slam Friday. On August 3 against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit nine long balls this year, which leads all players on the active roster. Those homers have come in surges, though. The Canadian catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and this stretch of five in ten games played in which he has hit .250 (8-for-32) with a double, five HR, and 14 RBI.

FOURTH-INNING FUN:
The Riders have had a lot of success in the fourth inning, both recently and over the course of the season. Frisco scored a total of 12 runs and held opponents scoreless in the fourth inning on the last homestand, including a six-run inning last Wednesday against Springfield and a five-run frame Saturday. This year, Frisco has outscored opponents 74-50 in the fourth, the largest positive run differential (+24) for the Riders in any single inning this season. The seventh inning has been Frisco’s worst (-37).

LEWIS BEGINS COMEBACK WITH FRISCO:
Rangers right-handed pitcher COLBY LEWIS began a Major League rehabilitation assignment the RoughRiders last night, throwing 44 pitches in 2 2/3 innings of work. The righty allowed a run on four hits and one walk. Lewis is recovering from a strained right lat muscle. Prior to the injury, he was one of the go-to arms in the Rangers rotation, posting a 6-1 record alongside a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts with Texas. He becomes the ninth rehabber to suit up with Frisco this season, joining pitchers YU DARVISHA.J. GRIFFINKEONE KELA, and TANNER SCHEPPERS; catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS; plus outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO.

OPPOSING STARTER:
A second-year professional, southpaw Jerry Keel makes the start for the Missions today in his Double-A debut after yesterday’s promotion. Pitching at his third different level, Keel gets the jump to San Antonio after four pedestrian starts for Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore, going 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA. He was, however, outstanding with Class-A Fort Wayne in the Midwest League where his 2.97 ERA there would be sixth if he qualified. He made nine starts and 16 relief outings for the Tin Caps…Keel, 22, hails from Lancaster, California, home of the Astros Class A-Advanced affiliate, and played his college ball at Cal State-Northridge in Los Angeles after graduating from Palmdale High School… Keel was a three-year varsity starting pitcher for the Falcons of Palmdale, helping his team to the Cecil Fielder World Series Championship in 2010, where he was named the Most Valuable Pitcher and the R.B.I. World Series Championship in 2011. As a senior in 2011, he led the league with a 1.32 ERA and 101 strikeouts and was also named to the All-CIF Southern Section Team. In college, Keel was Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year and a Freshman All-American…His 2.75 ERA as a collegiate is eight-best in Northridge history, and he logged the most innings (370.1 IP) in school history…The Padres selected Keel in the ninth round of the 2015 draft after his senior season with the Matadors.

 

Riders continue to show ninth-inning resiliency

walk off

The Riders have four walk-off wins in the ninth inning this season.

Last night, the RougRiders staged another late rally in San Antonio, scoring twice in the ninth to force extra innings. Though Frisco ultimately lost 4-3 in 10 innings, the ninth-inning resiliency is becoming a nice trend for the Riders in 2016. Here are some of the numbers:

  • Frisco has scored 40 runs in the ninth inning this season, including three or more runs on four different occasions. The season-high for runs in the ninth is seven (July 14 at CC).
  • The Riders have surged ahead five different time in the ninth inning this season, including four walk-off wins.
  • Last night’s game marked the fourth time this year that Frisco has come from behind to tie the game in the ninth inning. The Riders also tied the game in the seventh inning of a seven-inning game (effectively, the ninth inning) at Midland on May 19.
  • Jimmy Brasoban, who was on the mound for San Antonio in the ninth inning last night, has taken his only two blown saves this season against the Riders.
  • On a similar note, seven of Corpus Christi’s 15 blown saves this season have come against the RoughRiders.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Ramicack – To hit a baseball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (8/24)

GAME #127 (2nd HALF GAME #58)

Frisco RoughRiders (60-66 overall, 22-35 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (52-75 overall, 30-27 2nd half)
Wednesday, August 24 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (SA feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Missions lead 1-0)
This season: Game 30 of 32 (RoughRiders lead 18-11)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Luis Marte – DH
  6. Carson Blair – C
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Colby Lewis (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at San Antonio (L, 6-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Missions broadcaster Mike Saeger

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The Riders were blanked 6-0 by the San Antonio Missions last night…The club mustered just one runner into scoring position, coming on an infield single and an error, allowing ANDY IBANEZ to reach second base with two outs in the fourth…Frisco hit into two double plays, leaving just two of its four runners on base…Meanwhile, San Antonio’s Gabriel Quintana had himself a career night, going 3-for-3 with a homer, double, and a walk, and he collected a career-high six RBI…Former big leaguer Daniel McCutchen (7 IP), Michael Dimock (1 IP), and Trey McNutt (1 IP) tossed the three-hit shutout, marking the lowest hit total for the Riders in almost two weeks (2 hits, August 11 at Springfield)…REED GARRETT allowed six runs, all earned, in four innings, but the bullpen worked four scoreless innings: RYAN LEDBETTER tossed two, FRANK LOPEZ fired one, and RICHELSON PENA threw another…The Riders combined to throw 14 strikeouts while walking just two.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Yesterday’s shutout loss to San Antonio was the 16th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League) and already the fifth time this month. The 16 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A and tied is now the most in team history (2009, 15). Brevard County (Brewers Class A-Advanced affiliate, Florida State League), has the most shutout losses in the minors with 21; Frisco is tied for the fourth-most, also behind Palm Beach (18), and Durham (18), and the club is tied with Beloit (16).

TIGHTENING UP WITH SAN ANTONIO:
After winning the first eight games in the season-series with San Antonio, things have gotten much closer. Frisco has won 10 of the last 21, but each of the last four series have been splits or losses. In addition, eight of the last 12 games in the series have been decided by two runs or fewer, including six one-run games.

DUCKS ON THE POND:
Despite struggling to hit with runners in scoring position at times throughout the season, the RoughRiders performed very well on the recent homestand. As a team, Frisco has hit .322 (19-for-59) with runners in scoring position over the past six games against Springfield and Tulsa. Frisco went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position last night.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER:
Over the last 18 games, the Riders have hit 10 home runs as a team. Five of those have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN, including a grand slam Friday. On August 3 against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit nine long balls this year, which leads all players on the active roster. Those homers have come in surges, though. The Canadian catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and this stretch of five in ten games played in which he has hit .250 (8-for-32) with a double, five HR, and 14 RBI.

FOURTH-INNING FUN:
The Riders have had a lot of success in the fourth inning, both recently and over the course of the season. Frisco scored a total of 12 runs and held opponents scoreless in the fourth inning on the last homestand, including a six-run inning Wednesday against Springfield and a five-run frame yesterday. This year, Frisco has outscored opponents 73-49 in the fourth, the largest positive run differential (+24) for the Riders in any single inning this season. The seventh inning has been Frisco’s worst (-37).

POWERED BY PINTO:
After joining the team on the last road trip and getting off to a great start, Riders outfielder EDUARD PINTO kept the mojo going at home. Despite losing a seven-game hitting streak last night, Pinto is hitting .359 (23-for-64) in his first 17 games at the Double-A level, with four doubles and nine RBI. He has also reached safely in 14 of the 17 games and had six multi-hit games, including a three-hit contest and two four-hit games. For his career, Pinto is averaging a multi-hit game exactly once every in three contests (113 in 340 career games).

LEWIS BEGINS COMEBACK WITH FRISCO:
Rangers right-handed pitcher COLBY LEWIS begins a Major League rehabilitation assignment the RoughRiders tonight, and he is scheduled to throw three innings or 45 pitches. Lewis is recovering from a strained right lat muscle. Prior to the injury, he was one of the go-to arms in the Rangers rotation, posting a 6-1 record alongside a 3.21 ERA in 15 starts with Texas. He becomes the ninth rehabber to suit up with Frisco this season, joining pitchers YU DARVISHA.J. GRIFFINKEONE KELA, and TANNER SCHEPPERS; catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS; plus outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO.

OPPOSING STARTER:
The RoughRiders face 28-year-old righty Seth Simmons tonight…Simmons is making his 17th appearance and 12th start for the Missions after being signed by the Padres as a free agent on May 24…Simmons, the former Diamondbacks farmhand who began the season with Triple-A Reno, was released by Arizona on May 20 and assigned to San Antonio upon joining the San Diego organization…Although, the Riders hit Simmons well on July 31 (6 IP, 10H, 4ER), the right-hander has dazzled thus far in the Texas League with a 2-3 record and a 1.97 ERA…He’s also the reigning Texas League Pitcher of the Week…The sixth-year pro made the first start of his Minor League career on June 17 at Midland…After one more relief appearance four days later, Simmons permanently joined San Antonio’s rotation and is now making his 12th straight start…In only one of his 11 starts has Simmons allowed more than three runs as a member of the Padres organization…The Winston-Salem, North Carolina native was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 40th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of East Carolina University…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (low 90s), slider (low-to-mid 80s), slurve (mid-to-upper 70s).

A baseball’s journey through Dr Pepper Ballpark

IMG_4182

Hey there! My name is Bill, and I’m a baseball. You may have seen me flying and rolling around Dr Pepper Ballpark recently.

Have you ever thought about where I come from? Plus, did you realize how many of my brothers and sisters get to take part in a baseball game on a given night?

I was born a few months ago in China. The Rangers called Rawlings and said they needed more of my family members to come to Dr Pepper Ballpark. They said something about how my parents, uncles, and aunts got fouled away and taken home by people, so me and approximately 1,200 of my brothers and sisters (yeah, we have a really big family) got on a plane and headed all the way to Frisco. We got box seats for the flight over (as in, they put us in a box). Can you believe we didn’t get first class tickets?!

Once we got here, we went to a closet near the clubhouse. It turns out we weren’t needed right away, so we got to hang out and get used to our new surroundings. We also got to say hi to our cousins, the Major League balls. They are pretty similar to us with a few differences. Most notably, they were born in Costa Rica.

Finally, one afternoon, our box opened and approximately 100 of us got a free ride across the park to the umpires room. When we got there, they splashed us around in a special kind of mud (apparently, we were too shiny). Don’t worry; it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.

We enjoyed our time with the umpires, but we didn’t get to stay very long. The bat boys came and took us into a bucket in the dugouts. It was almost game time and we were getting excited!

I had to watch the first few innings from the dugout, but at long last, the home plate umpire stuck up three fingers toward the dugout and, before I knew it, I was getting picked up by the bat boy and raced out to home plate. I was happy to see the home plate umpire again, but instead of rejoicing when he saw me, he stuffed me in his side pocket. After a few of my siblings were fouled off, he reached into his pocket and threw me out to the pitcher.

Woohoo! I was making my minor league debut (and I got to go straight to Double-A!) before my first birthday.

I had a lot of fun out there, hanging with Riders pitcher Connor Sadzeck. He threw me almost 100 miles per hour! What a thrill. My Double-A debut didn’t last too long, though. Apparently, I did something to upset Tulsa’s Willie Calhoun, because he hit me really hard. In fact, so hard that I went flying toward the Choctaw Lazy River. It was pretty hot, so I was excited to go swimming. On my way down, one of the awesome Riders employees caught me in his net. Then, I got paired with my new parents and got to go home with them. They’ve been great. They put me on display at their house!

A lot of my siblings end up going home with a lucky fan. Some of them, however, do stay at the park. At any time, you can find about 100 of them in the batting practice bucket. If they make it past the wear and tear of batting practice without finding a new home, they get sent to the batting cage. My grandparents are up there. Maybe my new family will bring me back to the park for autographs for one of these days so I can see them and all my other friends.

You may not realize it, but about 100 of my siblings (again, I’ve got a really big family) see game action on any given night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Over the course of a 70-game home season, that means approximately 7,000 of us will be used.

Our careers are short, and we’ll never have a shot at the big leagues like the players that use us. That said, it’s still a great life. I’m happily in retirement now.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Ballite – A baseball fan.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (8/23)

GAME #126 (2nd HALF GAME #57)

Frisco RoughRiders (60-65 overall, 22-34 2nd half) at San Antonio Missions (51-75 overall, 29-27 2nd half)
Tuesday, August 23 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium – San Antonio, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (SA feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 29 of 32 (RoughRiders lead 18-10)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Carson Blair – DH
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Reed Garrett (3-5, 4.71 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday vs. Tulsa (W, 4-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Joe Jackson

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Behind six strong innings from JACK SNODGRASS, the RoughRiders closed out a series victory over Tulsa with a 4-3 win Sunday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark…Snodgrass turned in his third quality start with the Riders and held the Drillers hitless for the first 4 1/3 innings…The Riders finally broke through with four runs in the sixth inning…JOE JACKSON’s two-run double put Frisco ahead 2-1, and ANDY IBANEZ swatted the next pitch over the left field wall to build a 4-1 cushion…Tulsa scored two unearned runs against the Riders’ bullpen, but JOE FILOMENO worked around a one-out single in the ninth to earn his fourth save with Frisco.

TIGHTENING UP WITH SAN ANTONIO:
After winning the first eight games in the season-series with San Antonio, things have gotten much closer. Frisco has still won 10 of the last 20, but each of the last four series have been splits or losses. In addition, eight of the last 11 games in the series have been decided by two runs or fewer, including six one-run games.

GARRETT IN A GROOVE:
Since returning from a short stint with Class A-Advanced High Desert, today’s starter REED GARRETT has looked like a completely different pitcher. Over the past three starts, Garrett’s posted a 2.12 ERA, lowering his season ERA from 5.40 to 4.71. In addition, he has allowed no more than three runs in any of his three starts back with Frisco. He finally cracked through with his first win with the Riders since June 7 in his last start Wednesday against Springfield, going six innings without allowing an earned run. It was his second quality start since returning from High Desert.

DUCKS ON THE POND:
Despite struggling to hit with runners in scoring position at times throughout the season, the RoughRiders performed very well on the recent homestand. As a team, Frisco has hit .322 (19-for-59) with runners in scoring position over the past six games against Springfield and Tulsa. The Riders had six hits with RISP in Wednesday’s win over Springfield and went 5-for-10 in Friday’s 9-0 victory against Tulsa.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER:
Over the last 17 games, the Riders have hit 10 home runs as a team. Five of those have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN, including a grand slam Friday. On August 3 against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit nine long balls this year, which leads all players on the active roster. Those homers have come in surges, though. The Canadian catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and this stretch of five in nine games played in which he has hit .276 (8-for-29) with a double, five HR, and 14 RBI.

FOURTH-INNING FUN:
The Riders have had a lot of success in the fourth inning, both recently and over the course of the season. Frisco scored a total of 12 runs and held opponents scoreless in the fourth inning on the last homestand, including a six-run inning Wednesday against Springfield and a five-run frame yesterday. This year, Frisco has outscored opponents 73-49 in the fourth, the largest positive run differential (+24) for the Riders in any single inning this season. The seventh inning has been Frisco’s worst (-37).

POWERED BY PINTO:
After joining the team on the last road trip and getting off to a great start, Riders outfielder EDUARD PINTO kept the mojo going at home. He is hitting .383 (23-for-60) in his first 16 games at the Double-A level, with four doubles and nine RBI. He has also reached safely in 14 of the 16 games and had six multi-hit games, including a three-hit contest and two four-hit games. For his career, Pinto is averaging a multi-hit game exactly once every in three contests (113 in 339 career games).

SCHEPPERS SADDLES UP WITH RIDERS:
Rangers right-handed pitcher TANNER SCHEPPERS began a Major League rehabilitation assignment with the RoughRiders on Tuesday, working one scoreless inning. He started Saturday’s game and allowed one run on one hit in another inning of work. Scheppers had missed all of the 2016 season with torn articular cartilage in his left knee, an injury suffered in February. He has pitched with the Rangers each of the last four seasons, combining for a 11-5 record and a 4.17 ERA in 165 career outings. The righty pitched with the Riders in 2010 and 2011 as a minor leaguer and is on his fifth rehab assignment with the club, all coming in the last three seasons. He becomes the eighth rehabber to suit up with Frisco this season, joining pitchers YU DARVISHA.J. GRIFFIN, and KEONE KELA, catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, plus outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Righty Daniel McCutchen takes the mound for his first start with San Antonio …The McKinney, Texas native is in his 11th professional season and sixth different organization…He spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates (2009-2012) and Texas Rangers (2014)…McCutchen spent two days on the RoughRiders roster in 2014 after he was optioned to Frisco on April 5, but he was recalled by the Rangers on April 7 and did not make an appearance in the Texas League…McCutchen was selected by the New York Yankees in the 13th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of the University of Oklahoma…He was traded from New York to Pittsburgh along with Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and Jeff Karstens for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte on July 26, 2008…McCutchen made his Major League debut with the Pirates on August 31, 2009… The righty signed a minor league contract with San Deigo on November 18, 2015 and began the season with Triple-A El Paso, transferred to San Antonio Saturday)…REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball (low-to-mid 90s), splitter (mid 80s), slider (mid-to-high 80s), sinker (low 90s).

Name the new Kinston team

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers agreed to purchase a Class A-Advanced franchise in the Carolina League that will play in Kinston, North Carolina beginning next season.

In less than a day, the new team already has a Twitter handle (@BaseballKinston) and a website. On the website, there is a link where fans can submit ideas for what the team should be named.

The process began yesterday, and fans have until Friday, September 2 to submit ideas. The top five or six options will be announced after the deadline, and fans will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite team name.

We have a few ideas of our own…

Kinston Krzyzewskis

KinstonKs

Kinston Kowboys

Kinston1

Kinston K-angers

KingstonK

Kinston Kiner-Falefas

KinstonKiner

Kinston Krusty Krabs

KrustyKrab

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: expansion team – A team that has been created through expansion and that is often referred to as such for many years after its entry into a league.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Tulsa (8/21)

GAME #125 (2nd HALF GAME #56)

Frisco RoughRiders (59-65 overall, 21-34 2nd half) vs. Tulsa Drillers (63-61, 26-29 2nd half)
Sunday, August 21 – 6:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Paul Kruger)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 3 (Tied 1-1)
This season: Game 11 of 11 (Drillers lead 9-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Carson Blair – C
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Andy Ibanez – DH
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  9. Alberto Triunfel – 2B

LHP Jack Snodgrass (2-0, 2.12 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Tulsa (L, 7-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders had an early lead but were defeated by Tulsa 7-5 Saturday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark…CARSON BLAIR, LUIS MARTE, and EDWIN GARCIA each drove in a run to give the Riders a 3-1 lead after the first two innings…However, Tulsa scored the game’s next five runs, including four in the fifth inning… Lars Anderson and Willie Calhoun both hit home runs into the Choctaw Lazy River…Marte drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the sixth, and Garcia finished the night 3-for-4… Rangers pitcher TANNER SCHEPPERS made his second Major League rehab appearance of the week, allowing one run on one hit in the first inning.

DUCKS ON THE POND:

Despite struggling to hit with runners in scoring position at times throughout the season, the RoughRiders have performed very well on this recent homestand. As a team, Frisco has hit .326 (17-for-52) with runners in scoring position over the past five games against Springfield and Tulsa. The Riders had six hits with RISP in Wednesday’s win over Springfield and went 5-for-10 in Friday’s 9-0 victory against Tulsa.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:

The Riders lost the first eight games of the season against the Drillers until finally cracking through with a win Friday. Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and the Drillers swept another three-game set last week in Tulsa. Prior to Friday, Frisco’s previous victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. CONNOR SADZECK tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win that day.

HOME COOKIN’:

Over the past few weeks, the Riders have had a lot of success at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Of the six Frisco wins in the month of August, four have come at home. Going back to the final day of July, the Riders have won five of the last nine games at Dr Pepper Ballpark. In those five recent home victories, Frisco has averaged 7.2 runs per game.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER:

Over the last 16 games, the Riders have hit nine home runs as a team. Five of those have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN, including a grand slam Friday. On August 3 against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit nine long balls this year, which leads all players on the active roster. Those homers have come in surges, though. The Canadian catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and this stretch of five in nine games played in which he has hit .276 (8-for-29) with a double, five HR, and 14 RBI.

FOURTH-INNING FUN:

The Riders have had a lot of success in the fourth inning, both recently and over the course of the season. Frisco has scored a total of 12 runs and held opponents scoreless in the fourth inning on this homestand, including a six-run inning Wednesday against Springfield and a five-run frame yesterday. This year, Frisco has outscored opponents 73-49 in the fourth, the largest positive run differential (+24) for the Riders in any single inning this season. The seventh inning has been Frisco’s worst (-37).

POWERED BY PINTO:

After joining the team on the road and getting off to a great start, Riders outfielder EDUARD PINTO has kept the mojo going at home. He is hitting .393 (22-for-56) in his first 14 games at the Double-A level, with four doubles and nine RBI. He has also reached safely in 13 of the 15 games and had six multi-hit games, including a three-hit contest and two four-hit games. For his career, Pinto is averaging a multi-hit game approximately once every in three contests (113 in 338 career games).

OPPOSING STARTER:

Right-handed pitcher Andrew Sopko will make his fourth start with the Drillers tonight…The 22-year-old is in his second professional season…After splitting time between Rookie-level Ogden and Class-A Great Lakes last year, Sopko made just one start with the Loons in April before he was promoted to Class A-Advanced Rancho Cucamonga…Sopko went 11-2 with a 3.26 ERA in 18 games, 17 starts, with the Quakes…He made his Double-A debut on August 1 at Springfield…Sopko has gone at least five innings and allowed three runs or fewer in each of his first three outings with Tulsa…He has not allowed more than three runs since June 19, the only time he has allowed more than three earned runs this year, and he has not gone less than five innings since May 3…The Missoula, Montana native was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of last year’s MLB Draft out of Gonzaga University…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (low-to-mid 90s), slider, changeup.

Riding Through the Farm: August 21

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (73-51 – 1st, AL West)

Texas has split the first two games in Tampa Bay this weekend and is currently taking on the Rays in the series finale.

One of the biggest news items out of Arlington this week was the signing of Carlos Gomez yesterday, who was released by Houston recently. Gomez is expected to join Triple-A Round Rock today and play a few games with the Express before joining Texas. Rangers manager Jeff Banister says that Gomez will be the everyday left fielder for Texas when he joins the club.

Today: at Tampa Bay, 12:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (63-65 – 3rd, PCL American Southern Division)

Yohander Mendez is human after all. After four consecutive scoreless outings (19.1 IP) to begin his Triple-A career, the former Riders pitcher gave up a whopping two runs last night in a loss to Colorado Springs. According to Scott Lucas of The Newberg Report, he threw ALL fastballs his first three innings.

Still, he’s sporting a 0.74 ERA on the year with Round Rock and a 2.34 ERA overall across three levels. For more on Mendez, and other insights on the Rangers farm system, check out our interview with Rangers Director of Player Development Mike Daly from earlier this week.

Round Rock is currently battling Colorado Springs, the new home of former Riders outfielder Lewis Brinson. He, however, is currently on the DL. That said, he’ll be eligible to come off near the end of the current series in Round Rock, so if he’s healthy, fans in Round Rock should have a chance to see Brinson play.

The Express won five straight at the end of last week and have come away victorious in seven of their last 10 games overall.

Next: Tonight vs. Colorado Springs, 6:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Michael Roth)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (73-52 overall, 30-25 second half – 3rd in the second half, California League South Division)

High Desert already has a playoff spot wrapped up, but the Mavericks continue to play good baseball in the second half. That said, High Desert has lost three in a row, including two straight to Inland Empire, the team with the lowest win percentage in the Cal League (.357).

Earlier this week, the Mavs had a game postponed due to the Blue Cut Fire burning in the area, but the good news is the fire is now mostly contained.

The Mavericks will likely face Lancaster (Houston) in the first round of the playoffs, but the JetHawks still have just a 4.5 game lead over Lake Elsinore in the second-half standings.

Today: vs. Inland Empire, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Collin Wiles)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (66-59 overall, 28-27 second half – 4th in the second half, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory has followed up a seven-game losing streak with three consecutive wins to stay within reach of the second-half title. The Crawdads sit four back of first-place Lakewood with 15 games to go.

After defeating Greensboro Friday, the ‘Dads defeated “Jeansboro” last night, as the Grasshoppers honored local jeans producer Wrangler.

Today: at Greensboro, 3:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (28-33 overall, 9-14 second half – 2nd in the second half, Northwest League North)

It’s a good thing the Indians won the first half, because they’re quickly sliding out of the playoff picture in the second half. Spokane was swept by red-hot Eugene (which had a 15-game win streak recently) and has lost eight of nine overall to fall eight games back of Everett in the second half. Assuming the results hold, it’ll be Spokane and the AquaSox in the opening round of the playoffs.

Anderson Tejeda (.275 avg, 3 HR, 10 RBI) continues to swing well, although Leody Taveras (.224, 0 HR, 7 RBI) has cooled down after a hot start. Also, big Curtis Terry (6’2”/255 lbs) was promoted yesterday.

Tonight: at Hillsboro, 3:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Alex Daniele)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Pasteboard – An admission ticket to a baseball game.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Tulsa (8/20)

GAME #124 (2nd HALF GAME #55)

Frisco RoughRiders (59-64 overall, 21-33 2nd half) vs. Tulsa Drillers (63-60, 26-28 2nd half)
Saturday, August 20 – 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 3 (Riders lead 1-0)
This season: Game 10 of 11 (Drillers lead 8-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Alexeis Bell – DH
  4. Carson Blair – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Andy Ibanez – 3B
  7. Luis Marte – SS
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Edwin Garcia – 2B

RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-6, 4.17 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday vs. Tulsa (W, 9-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Dennis Higgins – Voice of the Tulsa Drillers

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

KELLIN DEGLAN hit a grand slam and drove in a season-high six runs, as the RoughRiders defeated Tulsa 9-0 Friday night…Deglan’s blast closed out a massive five-run, two-out rally in the fourth inning…JOE JACKSON gave the Riders a 1-0 lead with an RBI double, and the Riders loaded the bases to set the table for Deglan’s blast…The nine-run outburst provided plenty of support for SCOTT CARROLL, who made his Dr Pepper Ballpark debut, allowing no runs on just two hits and one walk…Relievers LUKE JACKSON, DAVID PEREZ, and JOE FILOMENO combined to shut out the Drillers over the final four innings on just three hits…It was Frisco’s fifth shutout of the season and the first since a 3-0 win at Arkansas on July 1.

FOURTH-INNING FUN:

The Riders have had a lot of success in the fourth inning, both recently and over the course of the season. Frisco has scored a total of 12 runs and held opponents scoreless in the fourth inning on this homestand, including a six-run inning Wednesday against Springfield and a five-run frame yesterday. This year, Frisco has outscored opponents 73-49 in the fourth, the largest positive run differential (+24) for the Riders in any single inning this season. The seventh inning has been Frisco’s worst (-36).

MAPLE LEAF MASHER:

Over the last 15 games, the Riders have hit nine home runs as a team. Five of those have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN, including a grand slam yesterday. On August 3 against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit nine long balls this year, which leads all players on the active roster. Those homers have come in surges, though. The Canadian catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and this stretch of five in eight games played in which he has hit .276 (8-for-29) with a double, five HR, and 14 RBI.

HOME COOKIN’:

Over the past few weeks, the Riders have had a lot of success at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Of the six Frisco wins in the month of August, four have come at home. Going back to the final day of July, the Riders have won five of the last eight games at Dr Pepper Ballpark. In those five recent home victories, Frisco has averaged 7.2 runs per game.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:

The Riders lost the first eight games of the season against the Drillers until finally cracking through with a win last night. Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and the Drillers swept another three-game set last week in Tulsa. Prior to yesterday, Frisco’s previous victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Today’s starter CONNOR SADZECK tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win that day.

POWERED BY PINTO:

After joining the team on the road and getting off to a great start, Riders outfielder EDUARD PINTO has kept the mojo going at home. He is hitting .392 (20-for-51) in his first 14 games at the Double-A level, with four doubles and nine RBI and has reached safely in 12 of the 14 games. He has also had five multi-hit games, including a three-hit contest and two games with four hits. For his career, Pinto is averaging a multi-hit game approximately once every in three contests (112 in 337 career games).

 

DING DING DING!:

After a few quiet weeks to begin his time with the RoughRiders, ALEXEIS BELL is beginning to find his stride. The Cuban slugger went 4-for-4 with two doubles and his first minor league home run Wednesday, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. His season-long hit streak came to an end at five games last night. During that stretch, he had a .556 average (10-for-18). Bell hit .319 with 138 home runs and 632 RBI during his 14-year career in the Cuban National Series.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Right-handed pitcher Seth Frankoff will make his 18th appearance with Tulsa and sixth start of the season…Prior to this year, Frankoff had not started a game since 2012 with Class-A Burlington (Oakland Athletics)…The Raleigh, North Carolina native was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 27th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of UNC Wilmington…Frankoff pitched in 65 games with Midland in 2014 and 2015, and he was named a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star in 2014…He was released by the Athletics on March 30 and signed with the Dodgers on April 5…After a short relief outing against the Riders on May 25, he spent over a month on the disabled list starting May 31…Frankoff made three rehab appearances with the AZL Dodgers and pitched in four games with Triple-A Oklahoma City last month before returning to Tulsa on July 26. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, changeup, cutter.