Rehabbing with the Riders: Chris Gimenez

This week has been an eventful one for the RoughRiders, winning all five games at home. The Riders have also been joined by Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez, another highlight of the past few days in addition to the success on the field. Gimenez was added to the roster earlier this week on a rehab assignment.

During the Major League veteran’s time here in Frisco, Gimenez has been assisting the younger players and giving valuable advice to everyone in the clubhouse. Earlier this week, we caught up with him and chatted about the experience. Here is an excerpt from the interview.

Steve Goldberg: You had a chance to meet a bunch of these guys at Spring Training. What did you know about the Riders players coming in to your rehab assignment?

Chris Gimenez: It’s just a good group of goofballs. The one thing I’ve noticed is that they keep the clubhouse extremely light and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of music and a lot of talking. I think that’s good. That’s something you don’t see a lot of these days, with the iPads and iPhones. Everyone is in their chair playing on their different device. But this group is a good, close-knit group. These guys are having fun.

Chris Gimenez rounds the bases after hitting a home run in his first at-bat with Frisco.

Chris Gimenez rounds the bases after hitting a home run in his first at-bat with Frisco.

SG: How does being back here now compare to your own experience as a Minor Leaguer?

CG: This is the nicest ballpark I’ve ever played in aside from the big leagues, so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the Minor Leagues. From the ballpark, to the crowd, to the scenery around here, everything is gorgeous. Like I said, they take such good care of us around here that it really doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the Minor Leagues at all.

SG: Did you have experience working with Major League players on rehab assignments when you were in the Minors coming up?

CG: Absolutely. And at every level too. I always remember it being a really cool experience, just to try to talk to some of the guys. I’ve had some conversations with a couple of the guys down here that I’ve known for a little while as well. It’s nice to offer any sort of advice or just be there as someone to listen. Sometimes, you just need a deaf ear to fall on and somebody that you can just go out and have a normal conversation with. Someone that’s not a coach, someone that’s not trying to give you four different things you can do to fix your swing or to throw a strike. It’s the same for me. When you’re struggling, you just want to get out of it as quick as you can. But a lot of times, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do that. I think the biggest part of it is just trying to be relaxed as possible. Try to keep it like you were playing in Little League. We never had slumps in Little League because we always had fun doing it. That’s the motto I try to portray when I talk about stuff like that.

SG: You’re fighting for a spot as a catcher on the Rangers [25-man] roster. Does that competition impact you at all during these rehab games?

CG: Not at all. It’s out of my control. The only I can control is just trying to get myself back, in the best game shape I can possibly be in, and put myself in a position for them to have to make a decision on it. As much as I would like to say it’s in my control, I know it’s not. They’re going to have a decision to make.

So far, Gimenez is 5-for-14 (.357) with a home run and three RBI in four games with the Riders. He will be joined by fellow Rangers rehabbers Josh Hamilton tonight and Yu Darvish tomorrow.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: baby act – A play considered “ungentlemanly” in the late 19th century, such as a bunt or an intentional base on balls.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (4/29/16)

GAME #20
Frisco RoughRiders (15-4) vs Corpus Christi Hooks (9-10)
Friday, April 29 – 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 4
This season: Game 4 of 32 (Riders lead, 2-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Reed Garrett (0-0, 2.08 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs San Antonio (W, 6-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT: The RoughRiders finished a four-game sweep of San Antonio with a 6-5 win over the Missions Thursday night. ALEX BURG went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth. RONALD GUZMAN also went deep for the Riders. San Antonio missed good scoring opportunities in the seventh and eight innings, as relievers JOSE VALDESPINA and ADAM PARKS worked out of trouble to seal off a fourth straight win.

RIDING HIGH: The RoughRiders won nine of their first 10 games this season, marking the best 10-game start in team history. At 15-4, the RoughRiders are still on pace with the 2008 squad for the best start in the 14-year history of the franchise. With a win tonight, they’ll have the best 20-game start in team history. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

‘DELL-IGHTFUL START: RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in batting doubles (9), extra-base hits (15), RBI (21), and runs (18). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (15) than singles (11). He’s already tied or surpassed many of his stats with Frisco from last year, when he hit .217 with five doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI in 56 games.

GOING STREAKING: Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides a 14-game hit streak into today’s game and has been on base in all 19 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest streaks. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 22 straight contests.

YU READY FOR SUNDAY?: Wednesday, the Rangers announced that righthanded pitcher Yu Darvish will begin a Major League rehabilitation assignment with the Riders. The three-time American League All-Star will make a start on Sunday when the RoughRiders host the Corpus Christi Hooks at 4:05 p.m. Darvish is scheduled to throw 2.0 innings or 30 pitches.

BURG BUSTING BACK ON TO THE SCENE: Since returning from a short stay with Triple-A Round Rock, ALEX BURG has been on a tear for Frisco. In his first five games back, Burg is hitting .500 (9-for-18), with three home runs and seven RBI. He also has hits in all five games since his return.

DUSTING OFF OLD BROOMS: With Thursday’s win over San Antonio, the RoughRiders picked up their first four-game sweep since May 16-19, 2011 at Midland. The sweep was the third this year for the Riders, with the other two coming in three-game sets against Northwest Arkansas.

SQUEAKING OUT A SWEEP: In the four-game sweep of San Antonio, the RoughRiders outscored the Missions by just six runs, including three consecutive one-run wins to end the series. Frisco is now 4-2 in one-run games. Still, the Riders lead the league in overall run differential (+40) by a considerable margin, with Springfield next-best (+12).

STARTING SERIES STRONG: The RoughRiders look to stay unbeaten in series openers tonight, having won their first six . Overall, the Riders have won five of their first six series this season.

FIRST FRAME FUN: After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders put together a string of six straight games with first-inning runs (4/19- 4/26), outscoring opponents, 14-1, in that stretch. Over three games last week at Corpus Christi, the Riders outscored the Hooks, 8-1, in the first.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER: Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.04 through the first 19 games, and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSH and ADAM PARKS each have three saves so far for Frisco, and the team is 7-for-7 in save chances.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS: Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied five four-run innings, three five-run frames and a six-spot. Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed three innings of more than two runs.

RANGER DANGER: The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 57-23 (.714), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day with the best record in all of Minor League Baseball at 17-4, while Class-A Hickory is 14-7, and Triple-A Round Rock is 11-8. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifthbest Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Riding Through the Farm: Rangers Organization Continues to Crush

The RoughRiders are off to a 15-4 start and lead the Texas League South division, and the other teams in the farm system have stayed hot as well. Every team affiliated with the Rangers, including the big league club, has a winning record and four of the five are in first place in their respective divisions.

Texas Rangers (MLB):

Elvis Andrus (Riders ’08) currently leads the Rangers with a .343 batting average. The mark is good for third in the American League behind Mark Trumbo (.354) and another former Rider Ian Kinsler (.345). Andrus also leads the league with three triples. The Rangers in first place, half a game ahead of the Seattle Mariners, in the AL West with a 12-10 record and begin a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight.

20254828953_3293717de5_o

Former Rider Joey Gallo is tied for the PCL lead with seven home runs.

Round Rock Express (Triple-A):

Round Rock is currently in first place in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division with an 11-8 record. Joey Gallo (Riders ’14-15 – Rangers No. 1 prospect, MLB Pipeline) is tied for the league-lead with seven home runs, which is also the second highest total in Minor League Baseball.

High Desert Mavericks (High-A):

Travis Demeritte (Rangers No. 21 prospect) continues to pace the explosive offense for the 17-4 Mavericks. Demeritte leads all of Minor League Baseball with eight home runs. Meanwhile, Luke Tendler paces the circuit with a .377 batting average and is second in the league with 19 RBI. High Desert is in first place in the California League South division, leading Rancho Cucamonga by three games.

<a rel=

Travis Demeritte leads all of Minor League Baseball with eight home runs for High Desert.

Hickory Crawdads (Single-A):

The 14-7 Crawdads have been putting up some impress totals as well, at the lowest full-season level. Andy Ibanez (Rangers No. 16 prospect) leads the entire farm system with his .397 batting average. Pedro Payano (Rangers No. 29 prospect) has a farm system and league-best 0.38 ERA (1 ER in 24 IP). Eric Jenkins (Rangers No. 7 prospect) and Dylan Moore lead Rangers Minor Leaguers with 10 stolen bases each. The Crawdads are tied for second place in the South Atlantic League Northern division, half a game behind Hagerstown.

Stay tuned for more updates from the farm system over the course of the season.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: foul screecher – An untutored spectator who cheers foul balls not knowing that they are not hits

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs San Antonio (4/28/16)

GAME #18
Frisco RoughRiders (14-4) vs San Antonio Missions (8-11)
Thursday, April 28 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
—————————————–

Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Mike Bacsik)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–

This series: Game 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 3-0)
This season: Game 4 of 32 (Riders lead, 3-0)

Guzman, Kiner

Isiah Kiner-Falefa (left) and Ronald Guzman each had 2 RBI Wednesday in the Riders win over San Antonio

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Victor Payano (1-0, 3.45 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday vs San Antonio (W, 6-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

Highlight of the Night: Ronald Guzman’s leaping catch ends the fifth

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

Guzman’s got a good glove

For as impressive a start as Ronald Guzman is having at the plate, perhaps his defense has been the more impressive feature of his game so far this season.

Guzman, who holds a career fielding percentage of .986, has played error-free baseball in 16 starts at first base this season, after making 16 errors in 130 games between Class-A Hickory and Class A-Advanced High Desert in 2015.

“I’ve been having some tough plays, but I feel a lot more athletic this year, so I feel like I’m able to make those plays,” said Guzman.

Guzman3

Guzman is one of three first basemen in the Texas League with a perfect fielding percentage (minimum 100 total chances)

Those tough plays have included scoops, dives, and leaps, which fit the job description of most first basemen. But Guzman has also shown an ability that a lot of first basemen don’t have: going into the splits to receive throws.

“I’ve always been flexible,” he said. “I don’t usually use it very often, but when it’s needed, I will go for it…When I feel like it’s going to be a close play, I always think about doing the splits to get the out.”

Guzman, who’s appearing in Double-A for the first time in his career this season, worked on his lower-body positioning during the offseason, in an attempt to make himself more ready to make a play at first base. He says it has helped, especially, when it comes to fielding ground balls.

“I know defense is a big deal, especially up here,” said the 21-year-old. “You’ve got to be able to make the plays for your pitcher, for your teammates. So I felt like it was really important [to improve in the offseason] and I’m pretty happy with the plays that I’ve done.”

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Gloveman – A good defensive player

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs San Antonio (4/27/16)

GAME #18
Frisco RoughRiders (13-4) vs San Antonio Missions (8-10)
Wednesday, April 27 – 11:05 a.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
—————————————–
Audio: Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Watch: MiLB.TV (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–

This series: Game 3 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-0)
This season: Game 3 of 32 (Riders lead, 2-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson delivered the walk-off single for the RoughRiders Tuesday night

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

RHP Sam Wolff (3-0, 1.69 ERA)

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

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

Highlight of the Night: Joe Jackson’s walk-off single

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
In walk-off fashion, the Riders captured a 4-3 win over the San Antonio Missions on Thursday…JOE JACKSON singled inRYAN CORDELL to end the game in the ninth…The walk-off capped off a come-from-behind win for Frisco who trailed 3-1 in the sixth inning before Cordell blasted a two-run home runs to tie it…The Riders got four brilliant innings out of CONNOR SADZECK before he allowed a run in the fifth and two in the sixth…RYNE SLACK earned the win in relief, allowing no runs and no hits in three innings of work out of the pen.

RIDING HIGH:
The RoughRiders won nine of their first 10 games this season, marking the best 10-game start in team history. At 13-4, the RoughRiders are still on pace with the 2008 squad for the best start in the 14-year history of the franchise. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

EXTRA! EXTRA!:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in batting average (.375), slugging (.766), home runs (5), doubles (8), extra-base hits (14), RBI (21), and runs (17). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (14) than singles (10).

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides an 12-game hit streak into today’s game and has been on base in all 17 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest active streaks. Dating back to the final three games of last season, he has reached base in 20 straight contests.

CONE IN THE ZONE:
After starting the season 4-for-26, ZACH CONE has 10 hits in his last 26 at-bats, including six extra-base hits and 11 RBI. He has driven in at least one run in five of the last eight games. Cone went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI in Tuesday’s loss to Arkansas, and he slugged a three-run homer in Monday’s win.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With their win Monday night, the RoughRiders are a perfect 6-0 in series-opening games this season. Frisco has won four of its first five series, including two sweeps of Northwest Arkansas.

SCORING SOONER:
Early on, the Riders had trouble scoring early in games. 25 of the 34 runs they scored over their first seven games came in the sixth inning or later. But in their last nine games, 41 of their 51 runs have come within the first five innings.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have scored 14 in the last six games, including five on Friday, have at least one first inning run in each of the past six games, and have outscoring opponents 14-1.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:
The Riders have fared better at home against San Antonio than any of the other teams in the Texas League’s South division. Frisco has defeated the Missions 103 times at Dr Pepper Ballpark and also has a better win percentage against San Antonio, both overall (.528) and at home (.569), than Corpus Christi or Midland.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
While almost every facet of the RoughRiders team has been clicking early on, the bullpen has been especially strong for the Riders. Over the past 13 games, the ‘pen has allowed just nine earned runs in the last 53 1/3 innings (1.52 ERA). Over that stretch, relievers have allowed just 28 hits and 25 walks (0.99 WHIP), while striking out 47.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied five four-run innings, three five-run frames and a six-spot. Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed two innings of more than two runs (4, 5th inning, 4/19 vs. Arkansas; 3, 7th inning, 4/25 vs. San Antonio).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 52-22 (.703), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters today at 15-4, Class-A Hickory is 12-7, and Triple-A Round Rock is 11-7. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Saddle Up: Riders vs San Antonio (4/26/16)

GAME #17
Frisco RoughRiders (12-4) vs San Antonio Missions (8-9)
Tuesday, April 26 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
—————————————–
Audio: Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Watch: MiLB.TV (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–

26657788235_c89a1ef7b3_z

Chris Gimenez continues his rehab assignment tonight, after hitting a solo homer last night

This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 2 of 32 (Riders lead, 1-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Connor Sadzeck (3-0, 1.53)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs San Antonio (W, 7-4)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Behind a pair of home runs, including one from rehabber CHRIS GIMENEZ, and a strong pitching performance from FRANK LOPEZ, the Riders cruised their way to a 7-4 win over the San Antonio Missions on Monday night…Lopez allowed just one run, earned, in 6 1/3 innings of work, surrendering no walks and five singles while striking out two…Gimenez’s homer put the Riders ahead 1-0, and ZACH CONE’s three-run longball in a four-run fourth inning put Frisco ahead 5-0…San Antonio clawed back to 5-2, but Frisco plated insurance runs in seventh and eighth innings to hold off a Missions rally.

RIDING HIGH:
The RoughRiders won nine of their first 10 games this season, marking the best 10-game start in team history. At 12-4, the RoughRiders are still on pace with the 2008 squad for the best start in the 14-year history of the franchise. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

EXTRA! EXTRA!:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in doubles (7), extra-base hits (12), RBI (18), and runs (15). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (12) than singles (10).

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides an 11-game hit streak into tonight’s game and has been on base in all 16 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest active streaks. Dating back to the final three games last season, he’s reached base in 19 straight contests.

CONE IN THE ZONE:
After starting the season 4-for-26, ZACH CONE has nine hits in his last 22 at-bats, including five extra-base hits and 11 RBI. He has driven in at least one run in five of the last seven games. Cone went 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI in Tuesday’s loss to Arkansas, and he slugged a three-run homer in yesterday’s win.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With their win Monday night, the RoughRiders are a perfect 6-0 in series-opening games this season. Frisco has won four of its first five series, including two sweeps of Northwest Arkansas.

SCORING SOONER:
Early on, the Riders had trouble scoring early in games. 25 of the 34 runs they scored over their first seven games came in the sixth inning or later. But in their last nine games, 40 of their 47 runs have come within the first five innings.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have scored 13 in the last five games, including five on Friday.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED:
The Riders have fared better at home against San Antonio than any of the other teams in the Texas League’s South division. Frisco has defeated the Missions 102 times at Dr Pepper Ballpark and also has a better win percentage against San Antonio, both overall (.526) and at home (.567), than Corpus Christi or Midland.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
While almost every facet of the RoughRiders team has been clicking early on, the bullpen has been especially strong for the Riders. Over the past 12 games, the ‘pen has allowed just nine earned runs in the last 50 1/3 innings (2.15 ERA). Over that stretch, relievers have allowed just 28 hits and 24 walks (1.03 WHIP), while striking out 43.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied five four-run innings, three five-run frames and a six-spot. Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed two innings of more than two runs (4, 5th inning, 4/19 vs. Arkansas; 3, 7th inning, 4/25 vs. San Antonio).

REELING IN A SERIES WIN: 
After a rough season series against the Hooks in 2015 (9-23), the RoughRiders won their first series against Corpus Christi this season. The last time that the RoughRiders won a series against the Hooks was July 15-18, 2015.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 48-22 (.686), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters today at 14-4, Class-A Hickory is 11-7, and Triple-A Round Rock is 10-7. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Celebrating the runner-ups in the Riders clubhouse

Runner Up Night

After many months of anticipation, “Runner-Up Night” has arrived! Inspired by the Miss Universe flub in December, it’s a chance to celebrate the second-place winners of the world.

With that in mind, here are some Riders-inspired runner-up themes we thought up (I’m sure we’re leaving some out):

  • The RoughRiders have finished as the Texas League runner-ups three times in the first 13 years of the franchise.
  • Outfielder Lewis Brinson finished runner-up to Joey Gallo this year on the list of top prospects in the Rangers organization.
  • Speaking of Gallo, he finished as runner-up to Corpus Christi’s Telvin Nash for the Texas League lead in home runs in 2014, hitting 21 long balls to Nash’s 22. (Making it all the more impressive, he did it in 40 fewer games than Nash).
  • Both pitcher Reed Garrett and infielder Garrett Weber were named second-team all-conference in college (finishing as a runner-up for a 1st team all-conference spot).
  • Pitcher Cody Buckel was a runner-up to being a first-round draft pick, after being selected by the Rangers in the second round of the 2010 first-year player draft.
  • Outfielder Ryan Cordell’s high school team at Valley Christian Academy finished as sectional runner-ups in 2010.
  • Pitcher Sam Wolff is from Rapid City, South Dakota (which is runner-up to Sioux Falls as the largest city in the state).

Who says first place deserves all the glory? As you can see, there’s still plenty to celebrate when it comes to finishing second.

That said, the winner of tonight’s game will NOT be the team that scores the second-most runs. So here’s to hoping the Riders aren’t runner-ups on the field tonight.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Run-getter – A batter whose primary function is to score runs, as opposed to driving them in.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs San Antonio (4/25/16)

GAME #16
Frisco RoughRiders (11-4) vs San Antonio Missions (8-8)
Monday, April 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
—————————————–
Audio: Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Watch: MiLB.TV (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–

Ryan Cordell is the first Minor League player to hit two grand slams in 2016.

Ryan Cordell was named Texas League Player of the Week today

This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 1 of 32

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Frank Lopez (1-0, 4.11)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Corpus Christi (L, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Sunday’s RoughRiders game was postponed due to wet grounds…On Saturday, for the fourth straight game, the Riders scored in the first inning, plating two runs on RYAN CORDELL’s fourth homer of the year. However, they didn’t score the rest of the way, and fell by a score of 3-2. The Hooks got runs off starter VICTOR PAYANO in the first and third innings, before scoring the go-ahead run in unearned fashion in the fifth inning against reliever JOSE LECLERC. Riders pitching (Payano, Leclerc and MATT BUSH) held Corpus Christi to just three hits in the game but still came out on the losing side.

RIDING HIGH:

The RoughRiders won nine of their first 10 games this season, marking the best 10-game start in team history. At 11-4, the RoughRiders are one game off the pace of the 2008 squad for the best start in the 14-year history of the franchise. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

EXTRA! EXTRA!:

RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in slugging (.702), doubles (7), extra-base hits (11), RBI (18), and runs (14). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (10) than singles (7).

GOING STREAKING:

Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producting consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides a 10-game hitting streak into tonight’s game, and has been on-base in all 15 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest active streaks. Dating back to the final three games last season, he’s reached base in 18 straight contests.

DOUBLE TROUBLE:

Entering play tonight, the Riders are tied for second in Texas League with 29 doubles. 11 of Frisco’s 13 hitters already have a double this year, and seven of them have multiple two-baggers.

CONE IN THE ZONE:

After starting the season 4-for-26, ZACH CONE has 7 hits in his last 19 at-bats, including 4 extra-base hits and 7 RBI. He has driven in at least one run in four of the last six games. Cone went 3-for-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI in Tuesday’s loss to Arkansas.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:

With their win Thursday night, the RoughRiders have yet to lose a series-opening game in five tries this season. Frisco has won four of its first five series, including two sweeps.

SCORING SOONER:

Early on, the Riders had trouble scoring early in games. 25 of the 34 runs they scored over their first seven games came in the sixth inning or later. But in their last seven games, 35 of their 40 runs have come within the first five innings.

FIRST FRAME FUN:

After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have scored 12 in the last four games, including five on Friday.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:

While almost every facet of the RoughRiders team has been clicking early on, the bullpen has been especially strong for the Riders. Over the past 11 games, the ‘pen has allowed just six earned runs in the last 47 2/3 innings (1.13 ERA). Over that stretch, relievers have allowed just 23 hits and 23 walks (0.97 WHIP), while striking out 41.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:

Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied four four-run innings, three five-run frames and a six-spot. Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed one run of more than two innings (4, 4/19/16 vs Arkansas).

REELING IN A SERIES WIN:

After a rough season series against the Hooks in 2015 (9-23), the RoughRiders won their first series against Corpus Christi this season. The last time that the RoughRiders won a series against the Hooks was July 15-18, 2015.

 

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 46-22 (.676), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters today at 14-4, Class-A Hickory is 11-7, and Triple-A Round Rock is 9-7. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Q&A: Ryan Cordell discusses Texas League Player of the Week award

POW - Cordell

Monday morning, Ryan Cordell was named Texas League Player of the Week after hitting .429 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI over a six-game span. I caught up with him briefly this afternoon to discuss the honor.

RYAN ROUILLARD: What are your thoughts on being named Player of the Week?

RYAN CORDELL: It’s obviously a big honor. Couldn’t do it without the teammates, you know, getting on base and being on to drive them in. Just feeling good at the plate right now, seeing the ball well. Honestly, just not trying to do too much and just trying to get good pitches to hit and put good swings on them.

RR: Is that one of the better weeks you’ve had in your career?

RC: Yeah, absolutely. It feels good to do it here at this level. Last year, I struggled a little here towards the end, so I really wanted to come in this year and get off to a good start. So it feels good to be able to do that and just be able to drive in runs and put us in good positions to win games.

RR: What kind of things changed for you from last year here to this year?

RC: I just think a day-by-day focus. That’s kind of one of my goals I came into this year with was to just have that laser focus every game, every at-bat, every pitch, and not try and do too much. Not trying to look at the season as a whole, but just take each day a time. And I think so far, I’ve been able to do that. Hopefully, I can continue to do that.

RR: Is that the key to sustaining this start?

RC: Yeah, basically. That’s going to be my focus every day I come in to the park. I’m going to try and find something I can improve on, something I can do to get better. And then, just trust what I do in the early work, in the cage, and just let that take me into the game and throughout the season.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Stroker – A batter with a controlled swing

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers