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Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (5/15/16)

GAME #36
Frisco RoughRiders (23-12) at Corpus Christi Hooks (20-15)
Sunday, May 15 – 2:05 p.m.
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 5 of 5 (Hooks lead, 4-0)
This season: Game 12 of 32 (Hooks lead, 7-4)

041416 Deglan, Kellin (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Catcher Kellin Deglan has thrown out three of the last five base stealers running against him.

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Lewis Brinson – CF
  3. Ryan Cordell – DH
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Zach Cone – LF
  7. Luis Mendez – 3B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 2B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Reed Garrett (0-0, 5.03 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Corpus Christi (L, 6-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

Highlight of the night: Garrett Weber goes yard in the ninth

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Shut out until the ninth inning, the RoughRiders dropped game four of the five-game set with Corpus Christi 6-3…The Riders snapped a 19-inning scoreless drought with an RBI double from RONALD GUZMAN and a two-run homer by GARRETT WEBERDavid Paulino blanked Frisco over the first five innings, and Kyle Smith posted three perfect innings before the partial rally in the ninth by the Riders…Frisco needed five pitchers to complete their eight innings with only newcomersJASON RICHMAN and EMERSON MARTINEZ unscored upon…The Hooks scored two runs in the second, two in the fifth, and two in the eighth and loaded the bases in four different innings, leaving on 15 baserunners in eight innings.
BUSH IN THE BIGS:

After being on the Riders roster from Opening Day until Thursday, Matt Bush was promoted straight to the Major Leagues. The right-handed pitcher worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the Texas Rangers on Friday night against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Bush struck out Josh Donaldson looking with a 97 mph fastball and then got Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to pop out.

HOW SWEEP IT ISN’T:

After losing the first four games of this series, the RoughRiders are in danger of being swept for the first time this season. The Riders were last swept by Midland in the final series of last year (September 5-7). Frisco was last swept in a five-game series on July 6-10, 2005 against Corpus Christi.

DOUBLE TROUBLE:

The Riders were swept in Friday’s doubleheader, dropping both games to Corpus Christi and scoring just two runs in 14 innings. The last time Frisco dropped both games of a twinbill was last year on June 16 at Whataburger Field. The Riders were shut out in both games (2-0 and 5-0) and went on to lose all four games in the series.

PESKY HOOKS:

Corpus Christi is the only team in the Texas League with a winning record against the RoughRiders this season. In 11 meetings with the Hooks, Frisco is 4-7. The Riders have now dropped the last six contests after starting off 4-1 against Corpus Christi.

WHATABURGER WOES:

Of the seven road ballparks in the Texas League, the Riders have the worst overall record at Whataburger Field. Since the Hooks entered the league in 2005, Frisco has an 82-96 record (.461 winning percentage) in games at Corpus Christi. This season, the Riders are 2-5 at Whataburger and have lost five consecutive games there.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:

The 23-12 record ties the the 2008 squad for the best record through 35 games in team history. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:

RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end on May 2, he continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 34 games yesterday by drawing a walk in the ninth inning. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 37 straight contests.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:

After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 109 punchouts in the last 12 games (9.1 per game). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:

Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+38), Frisco has played in 11 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 18 games. The Riders have an 8-5 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-1 in games decided by two runs.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:

Reliever RYNE SLACK saw an impressive stretch come to an end in the eighth inning of last night’s game. The southpaw began the season with 14 1/3 scoreless innings between April 8 and May 8 until the Hooks finally tagged him for two runs yesterday. Going into last night, Slack had also not allowed a hit in 11 2/3 innings of work. His .068 opposing average is still the best in the Texas League.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:

Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts, but has allowed just two earned runs in 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 1.64 ERA.

KINER CAN CATCH:

RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made six starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run on his watch. He had not allowed a passed ball for the first five games until allowing one in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 89-52 (.631), which is the second-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland. Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A Hickory enters the day at 24-11, Class A-Advanced High Desert is 24-12, and Triple-A Round Rock is 18-17. Three of the four affiliates currently lead their respective divisions. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:

Lefty BRIAN HOLMES makes his fifth start of the season tonight, and his third appearance, second start, against Frisco.  In four outings against the Riders last year, he went 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.  Selected by the Houston Astros in the 13th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Wake Forest University. … Pitched Wake Forest’s first no-hitter since 2000 when he recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts against Marshall on March 4, 2012. … Led the Demon Deacons with a 2.83 ERA as a junior. … His 2.91 career ERA ranks ninth in school history… REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup, cutter.

Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (5/14/16)

GAME #35
Frisco RoughRiders (23-11) at Corpus Christi Hooks (19-15)
Saturday, May 14 – 7:05 p.m.
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 5 (Hooks lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 11 of 32 (Hooks lead, 6-4)

042916 Cordell, Ryan (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Ryan Cordell had two of Frisco’s six hits in the doubleheader Friday

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Lewis Brinson – CF
  3. Ryan Cordell – LF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alex Burg – DH
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Garrett Weber – 2B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

LHP Victor Payano (4-0, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: DH Friday at Corpus Christi (L, 5-2 and 6-5)

Game one – Box Score / Recap
Game two – Box Score / Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Hooks broadcaster Michael Coffin

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The Riders were swept in a doubleheader 5-2 and 6-0 in Corpus Christi yesterday…They trailed 13 of the 14 innings of the twinbill and were outhit 20-6…RYAN CORDELL was an offensive bright spot, tying game one at 2-2 with a two-run homer and collecting the only RoughRiders hit in the second game…SAM WOLFF allowed a career-high 10 hits in the game one start, surrendering five runs, while DAVID PEREZ was touched up for five runs on eight hits in just 2.1 innings in game two…The RoughRiders have lost four straight ballgames, the longest such stretch this season.

BUSH IN THE BIGS:
After being on the Riders roster from Opening Day until Thursday, Matt Bush was promoted straight to the Major Leagues yesterday. The right-handed pitcher worked a 1-2-3 inning for the Texas Rangers on Friday night against the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. Bush struck out Josh Donaldson looking with a 97 mph fastball and then got Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion to pop out.

HOW SWEEP IT ISN’T:
The Riders were swept in yesterday’s doubleheader, dropping both games to Corpus Christi and scoring just two runs in 14 innings. The last time Frisco dropped both games of a twinbill was last year on June 16 at Whataburger Field. The Riders were shut out in both games (2-0 and 5-0) and went on to lose all four games in the series.

TROUBLE WITH THE HOOKS:
Corpus Christi is the only team in the Texas League with a winning record against the RoughRiders this season. In 10 meetings with the Hooks, Frisco is 4-6. The Riders have now dropped the last five contests after starting off 4-1 against Corpus Christi.

WHATABURGER WOES:
Of the seven road ballparks in the Texas League, the Riders have the worst overall record at Whataburger Field. Since the Hooks entered the league in 2005, Frisco has an 82-95 record (.462 winning percentage) in games at Corpus Christi. This season, the Riders are 2-4 at Whataburger and have lost four consecutive games there.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
The 23-11 record ties the the 2008 squad for the best record through 34 games in team history. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:
RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end on May 2, he has continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 33 games yesterday with a home run in the first game and the Riders’ only hit in the second game. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 36 straight contests.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:
After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 103 punchouts in the last 11 games (9.4 per game). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+41), Frisco has played in 11 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 18 games. The Riders have an 8-5 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-1 in games decided by two runs.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 11 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 14 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .049 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:
Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts, but has allowed just two earned runs in 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 1.64 ERA.

KINER CAN CATCH:
RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made six starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run on his watch. He had not allowed a passed ball for the first five games until allowing one in the first game yesterday.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A Hickory enters the day at 23-11, Class A-Advanced High Desert is 23-12, and Triple-A Round Rock is 18-16. Three of the four affiliates currently lead their respective divisions. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 87-50 (.635), which is the second-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:
Acquired as the player-to-be-named-later by the Astros to complete a trade, with Danry Vasquez, with the Tigers for Jose Veras, David Paulino gets the start today for the Corpus Christi Hooks. While Paulino has pitched well this year, he is winless in six outings, including four starts, with a 2.08 ERA in 26.0 innings of work. Originally signed by the Tigers for just $75,000 in 2010, Paulino faced multiple injuries during his time in Detroit, undergoing two shoulder surgeries in 2012 and battling elbow problems through his time with the Tigers. After going to Houston, Paulino missed all of the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He pitched over three levels (A- to A+) last season, and Houston made the aggressive promotion to Double-A for him to begin this year after a spring as an invitee to big league Spring Training…REPERTOIRE: Paulino has a 91-98 mph 4-seam FASTBALL, excellent spin on his 78-79 mph 11-to-5 CURVEBALL, and a CHANGEUP that has occasional sink.

Bush shines on the big stage

I wrote yesterday about Matt Bush finally getting called up to the big leagues, and he wasted no time making his Major League debut.

Bush came in for the ninth inning in last night’s 5-0 loss to Toronto, but it was a memorable way to break into the bigs. Bush’s assignments were not easy: Josh Donaldson (struck him out looking), Jose Bautista (pop out), and Edwin Encarnacion (foulout).

Bush needed 17 pitches (10 strikes) to get through the inning, picking up right where he left off with the RoughRiders. For those of us who have watched him this year, the results aren’t all that surprising, but you never know how someone will react when the lights get a little brighter on the big stage (and when three of Toronto’s best hitters step to the plate).

Hopefully, it’s a sign of more to come for Bush, who is finally getting his chance to shine.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Baseballiana – An assembly of items, or bibliography, representative of, or associated with, baseball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (DH, 5/13/16)

GAMES #32 and 33
Frisco RoughRiders (23-9) at Corpus Christi Hooks (17-15)
Friday, May 13 – 5:35 p.m. (game two to follow)
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Game one / Game two
—————————————–
This series: Games 2 and 3 of 5 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 9 and 10 of 32 (Series tied, 4-4)

050816 Triunfel, Alberto (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Alberto Triunfel rides a three-game hitting streak into tonight’s doubleheader at Corpus Christi

FRISCO LINEUP (game one)

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C
  2. Ryan Cordell – LF
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Preston Beck – RF
  6. Garrett Weber – 2B
  7. Joe Jackson – DH
  8. Luis Mendez – 3B
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Sam Wolff (4-1, 4.50 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at Corpus Christi (L, 6-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Sam Wolff

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The Riders never led, but rallied to tie things with the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday night at Whataburger Field…After plating three runs on five straight singles in the ninth inning to level the score at 5-5, the Riders allowed a lead-off, solo home run by Derek Fisher to end the ballgame…The Hooks hit three home runs in the game; Fisher hit two and Evan Gattis cranked one out as well…The other run came in on a double by Alex Bregman…Frisco was shut out until the sixth, whenGARRETT WEBER drove in one with a single, another scored on a wild pitch in the seventh, and LEWIS BRINSON andRONALD GUZMAN knocked in the ninth inning runs…CONNOR SADZECK allowed just four hits but two left the yard and he allowed five of the six runs in his seven innings…JASON RICHMAN worked a scoreless eighth in his Riders debut, andJOSE LECLERC allowed the walk-off home run.

NO MINOR FEAT:

Entering the day at 23-9 (.719), the Riders have the best winning percentage in the Texas League and are third among the 120 full-season affiliates in Minor League Baseball. Only the Akron RubberDucks (Double-A, Indians) and Salem Red Sox (High-A, Red Sox) have better records, at 24-9.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:

The 23-9 record marks the best 32-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad that started 22-10. The 2008 RoughRiders, finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:

RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 last Monday, he has continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 31 games and reached three times last night. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 34 straight contests.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:

RONALD “CONDOR” GUZMAN is tearing it up as of late. His third-longest on-base streak in the Texas League came to an end at 17 games Tuesday. He had hits in 15 of those 17 games, and RBI in 10. In that span, he hit .381 with three home runs, 13 RBI, and six doubles.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:

After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 88 punchouts in the last nine games (9.8 per game). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:

Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+50), Frisco has played in 11 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 16 games. The Riders have an 8-5 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-1 in games decided by two runs.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:

Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 11 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 14 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .049 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:

Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts, but has allowed just two earned runs in 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 1.64 ERA.

KINER CAN CATCH:

RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made five starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run on his watch, including Midland’s Matt Chapman Saturday night. He also has yet to have a passed ball.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 85-47 (.644), which is the second-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland. Class A Hickory enters the day at 22-11, Class A-Advanced High Desert is 22-12, and Triple-A Round Rock is 18-15. Three of the four affiliates currently lead their respective divisions. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:

GAME ONE:   Right-hander Keegan Yuhl makes his first appearance against the Riders this season, in his third overall start. He has allowed one earned run or fewer in three of four outings thus far, and has kept opponents to a .226 average.REPERTOIRE: Fastball, changeup, slider. …GAME TWO:  Evan Grills was promoted to Double-A today and will make the start in game two…The Canadian-born left-hander was taken by Houston in the 10th round in 2010 out of Sinclair Secondary School in Whitby, Ontario.. REPERTOIRE: He throws a upper 80s to low 90s fastball, a curveball (74-76), and changeup (70-73), which is his out pitch…As a member of the Canada Junior National team, he played against the GCL Astros in 2009…In five games, three starts, Grills went 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA for High-A Lancaster with an extraordinarily low BABIP (.197).

 

Matt Bush finally gets the call

Bush Promotion v2.1

It’s been almost 12 years since Matt Bush was selected first overall by the San Diego Padres. But 12 years, 65 career minor-league games, and four organizations later, Bush finally got the call to “the show” today and he’ll join the Rangers tonight in Arlington for the series opener against Toronto.

Much has been written about Bush’s history, so there’s no need to waste time rehashing that. Instead, I want to take a moment to celebrate his arrival to the big leagues.

For the handful of interactions I had with Bush during his time in Frisco, he was nothing but humble, polite, and respectful. Anyone I talked to who had also met him said very similar things. To me, he seemed like a guy who understood the opportunity he had been given by the Rangers organization when they signed him this past offseason, and wasn’t going to take any of it for granted.

041416 Bush, Matt (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)He was a lot of fun to watch, with the way he uncorked fastballs in the upper 90s, then caught hitters off guard with his curveball, and eventually, his slider. Given how long he was away from organized baseball, it’s astounding what he’s been able to do in such a short amount of time.

Kevin Sherrington’s article in the Dallas Morning News from earlier this week does a nice job of encompassing Bush’s return, and the on-field and off-field challenges associated with it. There was nothing easy about it, but he finally made it to the top of the mountain.

Bush is an easy guy to root for, given how much he’s overcome to finally make the big leagues. Perhaps other guys in the same situation would’ve thrown in the towel and just given up, but not Bush. He seems ready for the brighter lights that come with the territory of being a major leaguer and we can only hope he shines bright when he finally gets the chance to throw a pitch as a big leaguer, 12 years after the whole journey began.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Bushie – A minor league player

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Corpus Christi (5/12/16)

GAME #32
Frisco RoughRiders (23-8) at Corpus Christi Hooks (16-15)
Thursday, May 12 – 7:05 p.m.
Whataburger Field – Corpus Christi, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Corpus Christi feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 5
This season: Game 8 of 32 (Riders lead, 4-3)

26504830675_b723d17948_o

RHP Connor Sadzeck recorded a career-high nine strikeouts in his last start.

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Ryan Cordell – RF
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alex Burg – C
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Garrett Weber – 2B
  8. Zach Cone – LF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Connor Sadzeck (4-0, 2.60 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday vs. Midland (L, 5-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Outfielder Lewis Brinson

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders dropped the series and homestand finale with the Midland RockHounds 5-3 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, splitting the series two games a side…The Riders trailed the entire contest, as Midland scored three runs off of FRANK LOPEZ in the third and never gave up their lead…Yairo Munoz added his third home run in two days, and RYON HEALYadded a fifth run in the seventh…Frisco scored a pair of unearned runs in the fifth and plated one in the ninth inning, but the rally fell short…MATT BUSH tossed one inning of scoreless ball, and REED GARRETT limited the Hounds to two runs over the final four frames.

NO MINOR FEAT:

Entering the day at 23-8 (.742), the Riders have the best winning percentage among all 120 full-season affiliates in Minor League Baseball.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:

The 23-8 record marks the best 31-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad that started 22-9. The 2008 RoughRiders, finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:

RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 last Monday, he continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 30 games by reaching twice Tuesday night. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 33 straight contests.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:

RONALD “CONDOR” GUZMAN is tearing it up as of late. His third-longest on-base streak in the Texas League came to an end at 17 games Tuesday. He had hits in 15 of those 17 games, and RBI in ten. In that span, he hit .381 with six doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:

After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 81 punchouts in the last eight games (10.1 per game). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:

Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+51), Frisco has played in 10 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 15 games. The Riders have a 8-4 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-1 in games decided by two runs.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:

Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 11 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 14 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .049 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:

Through the first nine series of the season, the Riders have an 8-1 record in series openers. Their only blemish was Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Midland to open the four-game set. The Riders have won six of their first nine series, including two sweeps of Northwest Arkansas and San Antonio.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:

Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts, but has allowed just one earned run in 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 0.82 ERA. Among active relievers, only RYNE SLACK has a better ERA (0.00).

KINER CAN CATCH:

RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made five starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run on his watch, including Midland’s Matt Chapman Saturday night. He also has yet to have a passed ball.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Right-hander Cy Sneed, named after the great Cy Young, came to the Astros from the Brewers organization during the offseason in a trade for Jonathan Villlar. Sneed was a third-round draft pick of the Brewers in 2014 out of Dallas Baptist University. His arsenal includes a fastball in the low-mid 90s, a changeup, curveball and splitter…Cy’s older brother Zeb preceded him to pro ball as the Royals’ 11th-round pick in 2011.

Introducing the newest Riders: Emerson Martinez and Jason Richman

With the unfortunate news coming out today that pitchers Frank Lopez and Adam Parks are headed to the disabled list, two new pitchers are joining the RoughRiders: right-hander Emerson Martinez and lefty Jason Richman. Both pitched in Class A-Short Season Spokane last season.

Martinez-Web

RHP Emerson Martinez

For Martinez, 2015 was his third year in the Rangers farm system. He was in the Dominican Summer League in 2013 and the AZL in 2014. With Spokane, he tied for the team-high in starts (11) and finished the year 4-5 with a 5.33 ERA. His ERA was 4.32 if you factor out one rough start he had early in the season (seven earned runs in two innings 6/25 vs Everett). His brother, Kevin, is a catcher who played four years in the Milwaukee farm system before being released this past January.

While Martinez hasn’t pitched in the affiliated ranks yet in 2016, Richman got a brief taste of the action with Class-A Hickory in late April. The 22-year-old made a pair of relief appearances with the Crawdads April 21 and 24, giving up just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings of work. Last season in Spokane, he made 21 relief appearances and went 1-3 with a 3.12 ERA over 26.0 innings of work. The southpaw was taken by the Rangers in the 18th round of last year’s draft out of Georgia Southern University.

Richman-Web

LHP Jason Richman

The Riders have scheduled David Perez to make the start in game two on Friday and Reed Garrett on Saturday, so it seems that Martinez and Richman will both make their contributions out of the bullpen.

We wish a speedy recovery to both Lopez and Parks. Hopefully, they’ll be back on the mound soon. And in the meantime, it’ll be exciting to see what Martinez and Richman bring to the table.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Bleacheritis – The name of a mock disease for the deteriorated physical conditioning of those who have given up active participation in athletics and become spectators.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Slack and teammates star in the community

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Ryne Slack has been a star on the mound early on for the RoughRiders. Monday, he became a star in the community, too.

Slack and six of his teammates – Ryan Cordell, Joe Jackson, Sam Wolff, Kellin Deglan, Adam Parks, and Cody Palmquist – visited with patients at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas before Monday’s game against Midland, as part of a partnership with Children’s Health.

“I’ve always wanted to do stuff like that,” said Slack. “I enjoy going out in the community. It’s kind of a big part of why I enjoy playing professional baseball. You can give back a lot more. You can do things you necessarily couldn’t do if you weren’t in this spot.”

The Riders in attendance had a chance to visit and play with some of the patients at the hospital during their stay. Slack, who visited another area hospital last year when he was with the RoughRiders, said he’s learned just how much a role model he can be for kids and others in the community.

“Those kids look up to you and you think, ‘to me, I’m nothing’,” said Slack. “It’s just awesome seeing their eyes light up and making a fun day out of it.”

Monday’s visit was one of just a handful of community initiatives put on by the RoughRiders this year, both with the players and members of the front office staff in an effort to be an active part of the local community. There’s still more to come, too.

“It just fills your heart up with joy,” said Slack. “It really does.”

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Full House –  Synonym of bases loaded

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs Midland (5/10/16)

GAME #31
Frisco RoughRiders (23-7) vs. Midland RockHounds (18-13)
Tuesday, May 10 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 4 of 28 (Riders lead, 2-1)

042916 Cordell, Ryan (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Ryan Cordell recorded his third career multi-home run game on Monday vs Midland

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Frank Lopez (3-0, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (W, 6-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jose Leclerc

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
RYAN CORDELL homered twice to lead the RoughRiders to a 6-5 win over Midland…The Riders scored five run in the second, and Cordell’s go-ahead blast in the fifth proved to be the difference…Midland’s Yairo Munoz also hit two homers Monday and finished 3-for-4 with 4 RBI…JOSE LECLERC worked three perfect innings out of the bullpen, and JOSE VALDESPINA earned his first save of the year.

NO MINOR FEAT:
Entering the day at 23-7 (.767), the Riders have the best winning percentage among all 120 full-season affiliates in Minor League Baseball.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
The 23-7 record marks the best 30-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad that started 22-8. The 2008 RoughRiders, finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:
RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 last Monday, he continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 29 games last night with his two-home run performance. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 32 straight contests.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:
RONALD “CONDOR” GUZMAN is tearing it up as of late, having reached base safely in 17 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the Texas League. He has hits in 15 of those 17 games, and RBI in ten. In that span, he’s hitting .381, with six doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:
After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 72 punchouts in the last seven games (10.3). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13;SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+53), Frisco has played in 10 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 14 games. The Riders have a 8-4 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-0 in games decided by two runs.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 11 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 14 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .049 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

BULLING DOWN THE HOUNDS:
While Midland has found some success scoring early, the Riders bullpen has made the going tough late in games. Through the first three games of the series, Riders relievers have combined to allow just one run on three hits in 14 innings of relief, while walking just four and striking out 14. On the season, the Riders bullpen holds a 2.20 ERA.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:
Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts, but has allowed just one earned run in 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 0.82 ERA. Among active relievers, only RYNE SLACK has a better ERA (0.00).

KINER CAN CATCH:
RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made five starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run on his watch, including Midland’s Matt Chapman Saturday night. He also has yet to have a passed ball.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 82-40 (.672), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert Class-A Hickory enters the day at 21-10 while Class A-Advaned High Desert is 20-11, and Triple-A Round Rock is 18-12. Three of the four affiliates currently lead their respective divisions. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make the start for Midland in tonight’s series finale. The 23-year-old was named Texas League Player of the Week on Monday after dealing six no-hit innings last Wednesday in a win over Corpus Christi. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December of 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. His season ended after just three starts, though, due to injury. Alcantara spent last season at Class A-Advanced Stockton, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Alcantara is ranked as the 16th-best prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and 19th by Baseball America. He is a member of the A’s 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup.

What’s in the name? Ryan Cordell vs. Ryon Healy

042916 Cordell, Ryan (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

As we mentioned earlier in the week, the RoughRiders and Midland RockHounds are two very evenly-matched teams.

Not only are the teams very similar statistically, but two of their best players match up quite well also. And coincidentally, they share the same first name (although spelled differently).

Ryan Cordell and Ryon Healy have not only been putting up similar numbers this year, but throughout their entire Minor League careers as well. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Ryan C. Ryon H.
Birthplace: San Diego, California West Hills, California
Age: 24 (3/31/92) 24 (1/10/92)
Bats/Throws: R/R R/R
Height, Weight: 6’4″, 195 lbs. 6’5″, 225 lbs.
School: Liberty Oregon
Drafted: Round 11 (2013, TEX) Round 3 (2013, OAK)
MLB Pipeline Rank: 15 in Rangers farm system 17 in Athletics farm system
In Double-A: 2nd season 2nd season
’16 Average: .355 (3rd in Texas League) .339 (4th in Texas League)
’16 On-Base %: .405 .411 (T-2nd in Texas League)
’16 Slugging %: .720 (1st in MiLB) .645 (2nd in Texas League)
’16 Home Runs: 8 (T-2nd in Texas League) 7 (5th in Texas League)
’16 RBI: 30 (2nd in Texas League) 31 (1st in Texas League)
’16 Runs: 27 (T-1st in Texas League) 24 (3rd in Texas League)
’16 Extra-base hits: 20 (2nd in Texas League) 21 (1st in Texas League)
’16 Strikeouts: 31 32
Career Average: .286 .289
Career On-Base %: .350 .327
Career Slugging %: .476 .444
Career Home Runs: 44 39
Career RBI: 187 205
Career Runs: 210 176
Career XBH: 120 126
Career Strikeouts: 276 221

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: futility player – A player who plays many positions, none of them well.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

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