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Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/17/16)

GAME #66

Frisco RoughRiders (37-28) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (43-23)
Friday, June 17 – 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 5 (Hooks lead, 2-1)
This season: Games 15 of 32 (Hooks lead, 9-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – DH
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.57 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs. Corpus Christi: (W, 4-3; L, 2-0)

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

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jake Shortslef

Coming soon. Listen to the interview live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:45.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the Corpus Christi Hooks Thursday, winning game one 4-3 before dropping game two 2-0…GAME ONE: The RoughRiders fell behind 2-0 early on but took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third… PRESTON BECK drove in a run with an infield single and RYAN CORDELL smashed his 13th home run to put Frisco ahead 3-2…Corpus Christi tied the game on Conrad Gregor’s single in the sixth… In the ninth, KELLIN DEGLAN delivered a walk-off single to get the Riders the win…GAME TWO: Edison Frias dealt six shutout innings for Corpus Christi, surrendering just two infield hits to earn the victory… Alex Bregman’s two-run homer in the third proved to be the only runs the Hooks would need…The Hooks clinched the South Division’s first-half title with the victory.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 14 of the last 22 games (7-15) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including seven one-run games. On the season, 46 of Frisco’s 65 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 22 one-run games (14-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-9).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 11 games, the RoughRiders have committed 13 errors (1.18 per game), leading to 15 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK’s walk-off home run Tuesday was his latest contribution in what’s been an impressive last month for the Dallas-native. Beck has reached base in 24 of his last 27 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 27 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .313 (seventh-best in the Texas League), with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .371 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .479 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard yesterday and enters the rankings with the seventh-best average in the circuit (.288).

 

Riding Through the Farm: June 17

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

TEXAS RANGERS (42-25, 1st place, AL West)

The Rangers continue to increase their lead over the Seattle Mariners, as they are now 6 1/2 games ahead of the M’s in the American League West. The club has won eight straight series and has not lost a series since being swept by Oakland from May 16-18.

Colby Lewis took a perfect game into the eighth inning in Thursday’s series finale against the Athletics. Lewis lost the perfect game with a walk in the eighth and the no-hit bid was ended with a leadoff double in the ninth. However, he still held Oakland to one run on two hits in the Rangers’ 5-1 win.

The Rangers wrap up their road-trip this weekend with a three-game interleague series at the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the Rangers don’t have good memories of Busch Stadium from 2011, they did sweep a road series against the Cards in 2013.

Tonight: at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Cole Hamels)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (36-29, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by three games in the PCL American Southern Division. However, the Pacific Coast League does not split their season into two halves, so there is no first-half division champion.

Round Rock has a chance to make up some ground against the first place with the first-place team, with a five-game road series in Nashville beginning tonight. The series includes a Sunday doubleheader.

Tonight: at Nashville, 7:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (42-25, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks continue to hold off Rancho Cucamonga, sitting in first place in the California League South Division. However, the Quakes are just one game behind with three games remaining before the All-Star break. The magic number is three for High Desert to clinch the first-half division title.

Travis Demeritte and Jose Trevino were both named California League mid-season All-Stars. They will both be in the starting lineup for the California League squad against the team from the Carolina League. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore.

Tonight: vs. Stockton, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Ariel Jurado)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (37-29, 3rd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the fourth-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in third place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns. Hickory faces elimination from first-half division title contention tonight.

Five Crawdads were named to the South Atlantic League Northern Division All-Star team. Pitchers Pedro PayanoJeffrey Springs, and Erik Swanson, shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, and catcher Tyler Sanchez will all represent Hickory in the game, which will be held Tuesday at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Ky.

Tonight: vs. Delmarva, 6:00 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS

Spokane open the 2016 season tonight at home against Vancouver. The Indians will send Michael Matuella to the mound for his first professional start. The righty underwent Tommy John surgery on a torn UCL in his right elbow two months before last year’s MLB Draft.

Despite having yet to play in a professional game, Matuella is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com. He was selected by the Rangers in the third round of the 2015 draft with the 78th overall pick.

Tonight: vs. Vancouver, 8:30 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Michael Matuella)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hen-house hoist – A foul ball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/16/16)

GAMES #64-65

Frisco RoughRiders (36-27) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (42-22)
Thursday, June 16 – Doubleheader beginning at 5:05 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: Game 1 / Game 2
—————————————–
This series: Games 2-3 of 5 (Hooks lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 13-14 of 32 (Hooks lead, 8-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – LF
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Alex Burg – 3B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

LHP Yohander Mendez (3-0, 2.70 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday vs. Corpus Christi: L, 7-3

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

GAME 1 PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Luis Mendez

GAME 2 PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Jason Richman

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Frisco dropped the series opener to the Hooks 7-3 Wednesday night…The Hooks scored six runs in the first four innings, including a pair of two-run homers from Teoscar Hernandez to take a 6-0 lead… The Riders plated a run in the fifth on an RBI single from LUIS MENDEZ and got RBI singles from ANDY IBANEZ and RYAN CORDELL in the seventh to make it a 7-3 game, but the Riders could do no more damage against the Hooks…The loss shrank Frisco’s elimination number to one game.

WALKING ON THIN ICE:

Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 15 days and now are one loss away from losing the first -half title to the Hooks. Frisco must win each of its final six games in the first half and have Corpus Christi go 0-6 in order to win the half and clinch an automatic playoff spot.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (eight). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 12 of the last 20 games (6-14) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including six one-run games. On the season, 44 of Frisco’s 63 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 21 one-run games (13-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-8).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last eight games, the RoughRiders have committed 13 errors (1.44 per game), leading to 15 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, has four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK’s walk-off home run Tuesday was his latest contribution in what’s been an impressive last month for the Dallas-native. Beck has reached base in 23 of his last 25 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 25 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .326 (fourth-best in the Texas League), with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .388 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .506 in that span. With at least seven plate appearances in the doubleheader today, he will qualify for the league leaderboard. If he were qualified right now, he would rank fifth in the league in average (.303).

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi- home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the RoughRiders have already had a handful of Texas Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilition assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his second rehab start with Frisco Tuesday and is already the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:

On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER- FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 150-108 (.581). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 42-24, Class-A Hickory is 37-28, and Triple-A Round Rock is 35-29. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in 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. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23), RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:

GAME ONE: Evan Grills makes his second start of the year against the RoughRiders. The first one came May 13 at Whataburger Field in his Double-A debut, and he made it a memorable one. The southpaw threw a seven-inning, complete-game, one-hit shutout against Frisco to pick up his first career Double-A win. Grills has continued to fit in well with the Hooks, not having allowed more than two earned runs in an outing yet. A native of Ontario, Canada, Grills was a 10th-round pick of the Astros in 2010. He throws a fastball (low 90s), sinker, curveball, and changeup. GAME TWO: Right-handed pitcher Edison Frias is in his sixth season with the Astros organization, and his second in Corpus Christi. The righty makes his fourth appearance of the year against the RoughRiders. So far, he’s 1-0 with a 2.77 ERAE against Frisco. A native of the Dominican Republic, his repertoire includes a fastball, curveball, changeup, and cutter.

Double trouble: Riders struggles in twinbills this year

The RoughRiders are set to play their sixth doubleheader of the season this evening. Overall, Frisco is just 4-6 when playing multiple games in a single day.

The struggles have been especially magnified in game two, where the Riders are 1-4 (0-3 at home). Some of the worst offensive performances of the season have come in doubleheader. Let’s take a closer look:

Game One Game Two
Record: 3-2 1-4
Runs scored: 18 7
Runs allowed: 17 22
Hits: 23 18
Hits allowed: 34 32
Home runs: 1 1
Home runs allowed: 5 6
Highest run total: 7 (5/19 at Midland) 4 (5/19 at Midland)
Lowest run total: 0 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 0 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/13 at Corpus Christi)
Highest hit total: 7 (5/19 at Midland) 9 (5/19 at Midland)
Lowest hit total: 1 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 1 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/13 at Corpus Christi)
Largest margin of victory: 3 (2x, 4/18 vs. Arkansas, 5/19 at Midland) 2 (5/19 at Midland)
Largest margin of defeat: 4 (6/1 vs. Tulsa) 6 (2x, 5/13 at Corpus Christi, 6/13 vs. Midland)

In total, the RoughRiders are being outscored 39-25, outhit 66-41, and outhomered 11-2. In game one, however, Frisco has actually tallied more runs (18) than opponents (17), despite still being outhit 34-23.

Frisco has run into three dominant starting pitchers who allowed just one hit in their outings. Kyle McGowin (Arkansas) and Evan Grills (Corpus Christi) both tossed complete-game, one-hit shutouts. Brock Stewart (Tulsa) pitched six scoreless, one-hit innings, and then Scott Griggs recorded the final three outs.

The Riders have a chance to put the past behind them, with another doubleheader coming up tonight at home against Corpus Christi. It represents a chance for the past troubles to be buried. After all, Frisco trails the Hooks by 5.5 games with seven remaining, so every game is a must-win from this point forward.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: lobby sitter – A player who hangs out in hotel lobbies between games on road trips.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/15/16)

GAME #63

Frisco RoughRiders (36-26) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (41-22)
Wednesday, June 15 – 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 1 of 5
This season: Game 12 of 32 (Hooks lead, 7-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – DH
  6. Alex Burg – C
  7. Luis Mendez – SS
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  9. Chris Garia – LF

RHP Reed Garrett (2-0, 3.96 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday vs. Midland: W, 5-4

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Ryan Cordell

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders walked off on Midland Tuesday afternoon behind a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth from PRESTON BECK…Midland’s Franklin Barreto had broken a 3-3 tie with a solo home run in the top of the ninth before Beck’s blast…RYAN CORDELL ended a 90-at-bat homerless drought with a pair of solo home runs…Tuesday’s game was Cordell’s second two-homer game this year, both of which have come against the RockHounds…On the mound, big league rehabber A.J. GRIFFIN worked 3+ innings and allowed two runs on five hits…Riders relievers (JOSE VALDESPINA, JOE FILOMENO, and JOHN FASOLA) combined to allow two runs on two hits over their six innings of work.

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:

Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 15 days and now look up at the first-place Hooks. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders enter this series against Corpus Christi 4.5 games back in the South Division standings with seven games remaining in the season’s openign half. Frisco has dropped six straight games against the Hooks after winning four of the season’s first five meetings.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (eight). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 12 of the last 19 games (6-13) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including six one-run games. On the season, 44 of Frisco’s 62 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 21 one-run games (13-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-8).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last eight games, the RoughRiders have committed 12 errors (1.50 per game), leading to 15 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, has four of the 12 errors as he adjusts to the new position.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK’s walk-off home run Tuesday was his latest contribution in what’s been an impressive last month for the Dallas-native. Beck has reached base in 22 of his last 24 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 24 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .341 (third-best in the Texas League), with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .398 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .529 in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day Tuesday.

RANGERS ON REHAB:

Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the RoughRiders have already had a handful of Texas Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilition assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his second rehab start with Frisco Tuesday and is already the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. Griffin joins catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:

On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 150-104 (.591). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 42-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-27, and Triple-A Round Rock is 35-28. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:

The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in 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. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23), RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Francis Martes, the top pitching prospect in the Houston farm system, makes his third appearance against the RoughRiders this year. The RoughRiders have given Martes his two roughest outings of the year, touching him up for 10 earned runs in 3.0, good for an ERA of 30.00. Against all other opponents, Martes has an ERA of 2.39. In his last start, the righty held Midland scoreless over 6 2/3 innings, his first scoreless outing since his April 9. Martes came to the Astros from the Marlins organization in a multi-player trade. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (mid-90s), curveball, changeup.

Texas League Scrabble

In the Texas League, logos with letters are a common theme among all eight teams. During the Riders’ recent road trip to San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think of a Scrabble board when viewing the Missions’ “SA” logo.

So I began to devise a list of words that could be created from Texas League teams’ logos. Some of the best: catamarans, tsars, maracas, cataracts, transacts, and mascara.

The most difficult thing about finding words is only having the power to use one vowel, thanks to the Arkansas Travelers’ logo. The other seven teams use consonants.

The following is an attempt to compile as many words as possible made up of all the Texas League logos, arranged accordingly on a Scrabble board. Enjoy!

Tulsa_Drillers14.ai

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: first and fifteenth player – A player who thinks only of paydays, such as the first and fifteenth days of the month.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/14/16)

GAME #62
Frisco RoughRiders (35-26) vs. Midland RockHounds (30-32)
Tuesday, June 14 – 11:05 a.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Michael Tepid)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 12 of 28 (Riders lead, 7-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Evan Van Hoosier – LF
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – DH
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-1, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (DH: W, 4-2; L, 8-2)

Box Scores: Game one / Game two
Recaps: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Scouting Assistant Justin Aguiar

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the RockHounds at home yesterday…GAME ONE: After falling behind 2-0, the Riders scored four unanswered runs to come back and win 4-2…CONNOR SADZECK went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game…LUIS MENDEZ drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth…KELLIN DEGLAN went 2-3 with two runs scored…GAME TWO: The two teams entered the sixth in a scoreless tie, but Midland erupted for eight runs on eight hits in the last two innings…VICTOR PAYANO hurled five scoreless innings and struck out six batters…ANDY IBANEZ hit his first home run with the Riders, a two run blast with two outs in the seventh.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts an 18-12 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.257) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 11 of the last 18 games (5-13) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 43 of Frisco’s 61 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

ERRORS LEAD TO RUNS:
Despite committing the fourth-fewest number of errors in the Texas League, the RoughRiders have made an alarming number of blunders against Midland this season. In 11 games, Frisco and Midland have both made 11 errors. In addition, 29 of the 95 runs scored between the two teams this year have been unearned. Frisco committed a season-high four errors leading to four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss Saturday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 21 of his last 23 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 23 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .338 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .398 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .488 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is slated to start for Frisco again today. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he is near the top of the Texas League rankings in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (4th, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .520), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 147-103 (.588). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 41-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-26, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-28. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in 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. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series finale. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in two 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.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/13/16)

GAMES #60 and 61
Frisco RoughRiders (34-25) vs. Midland RockHounds (29-31)
Sunday, June 13 – Doubleheader starts at 5:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Games 2 and 3 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 10 and 11 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Ronald Guzman – DH
  2. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  3. Preston Beck – 1B
  4. Kellin Deglan – C
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Ryan Cordell – RF
  8. Luis Mendez – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Connor Sadzeck (5-4, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Midland (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders gave up four unearned runs Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to Midland in the series opener…The Hounds tallied a pair of unearned runs against LUIS ORTIZ, who gave up five hits and struck out four in four innings of work…JOE JACKSON had his 10th multi-hit game of the season and drove in the lone run for Frisco on an RBI single in the fifth…Major League rehabber SHIN-SOO CHOO went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a strikeout in his sixth start with the Riders.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-11 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.259) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 16 games (4-12) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 59 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 20 of his last 21 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 21 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .360 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .415 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .520 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is expected to start for Frisco again Tuesday. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-3rd, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .532), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 145-100 (.592). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 40-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in 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. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
GAME ONE: Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make his third start against the RoughRiders this season. He has allowed just one earned run over 11.2 innings pitched in those two outings. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. Alcantara is ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and No. 19 by Baseball America. He is a member of the Athletics’ 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup…GAME TWO: Right-hander Daniel Gossett is quickly climbing the ladder in the Athletics’ farm system. The second round draft pick in 2014 out of Clemson is listed in both MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 prospects in the organization (No. 24 in MLBPipeline, No 26. in BA). Gossett spent a full season with Class-A Beloit last year in the Midwest League before a stint with Class A-Advanced Stockton to begin this season. The Lyman, South Carolina native, went 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in nine starts with the Ports. Tonight’s start against the RoughRiders will be his first career appearance against a Rangers affiliate. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (91-96), two-seam fastball, curveball (82-83), changeup (82-85), slider.

Riders vs. RockHounds: a season series defined by double plays and unearned runs

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Through the first nine games of the season series between the RoughRiders and Midland, we’ve seen both the good and the bad of defense at an unusually high level.

Let’s keep the glass half full and start with the good…

DOUBLE PLAYS: We have seen an incredibly high amount of double plays between these two teams in their first nine games. Midland has turned a whopping 18 double plays in 84 defensive innings (one every 4.7 innings), while the Riders have turned two 11 times in 86 defensive innings (one every 7.8 innings).

In total, the two teams have turned 29 twin killings in 170 defensive innings. That’s a double play every 5.9 innings. To put that number in context, the league average is one double play every 11.9 innings, more than twice the rate the Riders and RockHounds are running at.

That’s the fun part of defense. Now for the not-so-good part:

ERRORS: Defensive miscues have become an unfortunate part of this season series early on. Midland (11) and Frisco (9) have combined to commit 20 errors in nine games against each other this season and 24 of the 79 runs scored between the two this year have been unearned.

The RoughRiders committed a season-high four errors Saturday, giving up four costly unearned runs in a four-run loss. Midland, meanwhile, made eight blunders in a four-game series against the Riders May 16-19, and 16 of the 26 runs the RockHounds allowed were unearned.

To put that in perspective, the RoughRiders have allowed just 18 unearned runs in their other 50 games and the RockHounds have let just 36 unearned runs cross in their other 51 contests.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Daylight play – A defensive maneuver performed by an infielder and the pitcher in an effort to pick off a baserunner.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

A quick look at the 2016 Rangers draft class

Three days and 40 rounds later, the 2016 MLB Draft is complete. For a complete list of Rangers draft picks, click here.

Here are a few tidbits from the Rangers 2016 draft class:

  • Texas took left-handed pitcher Cole Ragans with its first-round pick (30th overall). Do you remember who the Rangers took last time they had the 30th overall pick? That would be current RoughRiders pitcher Luis Ortiz, who has quickly blossomed into a rising star for the Rangers. Texas can hope for the same from Ragans (if he signs). In order to do that, he’ll have to pass up an offer from FSU, just like Ortiz did, although they’d be passing up different FSUs. Ortiz passed on Fresno State, while Ragans would have to leave Florida State behind to sign with Texas.
  • The Rangers selected 23 pitchers (18 RHPs, 5 LHPs), seven outfielders, six infielders, and four catchers with their 40 picks.
  • 28 of the 40 picks came from the collegiate ranks, although the first three picks were high school players.
  • On a lighter note, there are some fun names in this year’s draft class, including Herbie Good (my favorite), Tai Tiedemann, and Hever Bueno.
  • While we’re on the subject of names, the Rangers picked Cole/Kole, Mark/Marc, three Alex’s, and back-to-back players named Kyle.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Draft-and-Follow – Said of a high school or first-year junior-college player who was selected in the first-year player draft but not immediately signed as the club watched the player’s coming amateur season before deciding to offer a contract the following May.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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