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)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (5/9/16)

GAME #30
Frisco RoughRiders (22-7) vs. Midland RockHounds (18-12)
Monday, May 9 – 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 3 of 4 (Tied, 1-1)
This season: Game 3 of 28 (Tied, 1-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Richelson Pena (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday vs. Midland (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: LHP Juan Grullon

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

After dropping a one-run contest Saturday, the Riders turned the tables on Midland Sunday, knocking off the RockHounds, 3-2…RONALD GUZMAN hit the decisive solo homer in the fourth inning, his fifth long ball of the year… Frisco’s other two RBI came from PRESTON BECK on a game-tying two-run single in the second…JUAN GRULLON and RYNE SLACK combined to work four hitless innings out of the bullpen to preserve the win for starter VICTOR PAYANO.

NO MINOR FEAT:

Entering the day at 22-7 (.759), the Riders have the best winning percentage among all 120 full- season affiliates in Minor League Baseball.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:

The 22-7 record marks the best 29-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad that started 21-8. 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 28 games Sunday with a single and a walk. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 31 straight contests.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:

RONALD “Condor” GUZMAN is tearing it up as of late, having reached base safely in 16 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the Texas League. He has hits in 14 of those 16 games, and RBI in ten. In that span, he’s hitting .390, with five doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI. Guzman went 2-for-3 with the decisive home run in the fourth inning last night.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:

After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 65 punchouts in the last six games (10.8). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts this week (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:

Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+52), Frisco has played in nine one-run contests, winning six, over the last 14 games. The Riders have a 7-4 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.

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 2.32 through the first 29 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSH has five saves, ADAM PARKS has three, RYNE SLACK has a pair, and the team is 10-for-11 overall in save situations.

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.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:

The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 33-13, in the sixth frame through 29 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 80-39 (.672), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert Class-A Hickory enters the day at 21-9, while Class A-Advaned High Desert is 21-9, and Triple-A Round Rock is 17-12. 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.

Baseball And Bacon, Part 2

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a popular party game where people try to link themselves to the Hollywood star. In May 2012, the writers of the Riders Insider Blog discovered four links from Bacon to the Frisco RoughRiders. Today, nearly four years later, we present…four more links. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is once again. The Circle of Bacon.

The first chain begins with none other than Kevin Bacon. He was in Apollo 13 with Ed Harris, who uttered the famous quote “Failure is not an option.” Harris was in Two Tickets to Paradise with Vanna White. White, best known as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune, was raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Myrtle Beach is home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. The Pelicans are owned by the Greenberg Sports Group, an ownership group led by Chairman and Managing Partner Chuck Greenberg. Greenberg is also involved in the RoughRiders ownership as the Managing Partner and CEO. This completes chain one.

The second chain begins much like the first. Kevin Bacon was in Starting Over with Burt Reynolds, who was in Meet Wally Sparks with Geraldo Rivera. Rivera is an alumnus of the University of Arizona, located in Tucson. Tucson has hosted two different Minor League Baseball teams. The Tucson Padres served as the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres from 2011 to 2013, before moving to El Paso for the 2014 season. Previously, the city was home to the Tucson Toros dating back to the early 20th century. The team ultimately switched names to the Sidewinders and were the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998-2008. The Sidewinders were sold, moved to Reno, Nevada, and became the Aces after the 2008 season. Tucson is also home to many past and present-day baseball players, including Ian Kinsler, who was born and raised in the city. Kinsler is currently an infielder for the Detroit Tigers, but he was previously a Texas Ranger from 2006-2013. He played with the RoughRiders in 2004 and made rehab appearances in Frisco in 2009, 2010, and 2013.

Through current Riders manager Joe Mikulik, we can complete the third chain all the way back to the original source, Kevin Bacon. Mikulik was previously the manager of the Class A Asheville Tourists from 2000-2012 and was the team’s all-time leader in wins as a skipper. The Tourists played a minor role in the 1988 film Bull Durham. In the film Kevin Costner‘s character, Crash Davis, finishes his baseball career with the Tourists after being cut from the Durham Bulls and breaks the all-time Minor League home run record. Costner starred in the movie with Tim Robbins, who played the character Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh. Robbins and Bacon were cast as brothers in the movie Mystic River.

Lastly, Kevin Bacon was in Sleepers with Tom Signorelli. Signorelli was in The Trip with Michael Nader, who was in Bikini Beach with Donna Loren. Loren served as the “Dr Pepper Girl”, acting as the company’s spokesperson from 1963 to 1968. Dr Pepper, of course, holds naming rights of Dr Pepper Ballpark, home of the Frisco RoughRiders.

These chains explain how everyone in the world quite possibly could be connected to Kevin Bacon. Are you?

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: fuzzy concrete – Artificial turf.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (5/8/16)

GAME #29
Frisco RoughRiders (21-7) vs. Midland RockHounds (18-11)
Sunday, May 8 – 4:05 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 2 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 2 of 28 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Victor Payano (3-0, 3.18 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Midland (L, 4-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders dropped a back-and-forth affair in the series opener against Midland, 4-3…LEWIS BRINSON tied the game, 3-3, with a solo homer in the sixth, but a pair of Midland home runs proved to be the difference…SAM WOLFF struck out a career-high 10 hitters in his five innings of work…Frisco outhit Midland, 10-4, but stranded seven men on base in their first series-opening loss of the season.

NO MINOR FEAT:

Entering the day at 21-7 (.750), the Riders have the best winning percentage among all 120 full- season affiliates in Minor League Baseball.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:

The 21-7 record ties the 2016 RoughRiders with the 2008 squad for the best 28-game start 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 after going 0-for-3 Monday, he continued his season-long on-base streak to 27 games last night with his eighth multi-hit game of the season. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 30 straight contests.

WEBER FITTING RIGHT IN:

Since joining the Riders from Extended Spring Training on April 25, GARRETT WEBER has been a key contributor for Frisco. He rides a 10-game hitting streak into tonight’s contest, which includes five multi-hit games. This is Weber’s first seasons as a Rangers farmhand after spending his first five seasons in the Diamondbacks organization.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:

RONALD “Condor” GUZMAN is tearing it up as of late, having reached base safely in 15 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the Texas League. He has hits in 13 of those 15 games, and RBI in nine. In that span, he’s hitting .375, with five doubles, two home runs, and 12 RBI.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:

After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games, Riders pitching has amassed 55 punchouts in the last five games. In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts this week (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

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 2.41 through the first 28 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSH has five saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 9-for-10 in save situations.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:

Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 10 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 13 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .053 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

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 this season. 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.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:

The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 33-13, in the sixth frame through 28 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 77-38 (.670), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 20-10, while Class-A Hickory is 20-9, and Triple-A Round Rock is 16-12. All 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.

Inside the Matchup: RoughRiders vs. RockHounds

Ryan Cordell is at the top of the Texas League in numerous offensive categories.

Ryan Cordell is at the top of the Texas League in numerous offensive categories.

The RoughRiders series with the Midland RockHounds is a matchup of the teams with the two best records in the Texas League. Frisco is still in first place at 21-7 after dropping last night’s close 4-3 contest, but Midland is just 3.5 games behind the Riders with an 18-11 record.

Midland served as a major roadblock to the Riders on the quest for success last season. Frisco won just eight of the 28 games against the RockHounds in 2015.

However, the Riders do have a slight 164-161 all-time edge in games with Midland since Frisco began Texas League play in 2003. The Riders have also won more series (40) against Midland than any other team in the Texas League.

So far this year, the RoughRiders and RockHounds have had two of the best offenses in the Texas League. In both individual and team statistics, the lists are peppered with players from Frisco and Midland.

Team statistics (offense):

Category: Frisco (league rank): Midland (league rank):
Batting avg. .273 (1st) .271 (2nd)
On-base % .337 (2nd) 5.3 (1st)
Slugging % .439 (1st) .435 (2nd)
Runs/game 5.2 (2nd) 5.3 (1st)
Hits/game 9.1 (2nd) 9.4 (1st)
Extra-base hits 91 (2nd) 98 (1st)
Doubles 53 (3rd) 61 (1st)
Triples 13 (1st) 18 (T-2nd)
Home runs 25 (5th) 29 (T-3rd)

Individual statistics (offense):

Category: Frisco player (rank): Midland player (rank):
Batting avg. Ronald Guzman (.351, 3rd)

Ryan Cordell (.343, 5th)

Ryon Healy (.350, 4th)

Viosergy Rosa (.308, 7th)

 

Home runs None in Top 5 Matt Chapman (9, 1st)

Healy (7, 4th)

 

RBI Cordell (27, 2nd)

Zach Cone (21, T-3rd)

Healy (31, 1st)

 

 

Hits Cordell (35, 3rd) Healy (41, T-1st)

 

 

Doubles Cordell (9, T-4th) Healy (11, 1st)

Rosa (10, T-2nd)

 

On-base % Guzman (.419, 4th) Rosa (.422, 2nd)

Healy (.421, 3rd)

 

Slugging % Cordell (.667, 3rd) Healy (.675, 2nd)

 

 

Extra-base hits Cordell (18, 2nd) Healy (21, 1st)

Chapman (15, 4th)

 

Runs scored Cordell (24, 2nd) Chapman (26, 1st)

Healy (23, 3rd)

Jaycob Brugman (22, 4th)

Triples Cordell (3, T-2nd) Healy (3, T-2nd)

 

 

Total bases Cordell (68, 2nd) Healy (79, 1st)

Chapman (63, 3rd)

 

Base on balls None in Top 5 Rosa (18, T-1st)

Chapman (16, T-3rd)

 

These are two evenly-matched teams, and it was apparent in last night’s back-and-forth ballgame. Frisco will play Midland 28 times this season, as the two will become very familiar adversaries. With the impressive starts these two clubs have had, it should make for some exciting baseball.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: gooseberry – A bruise from sliding.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (5/7/16)

GAME #28
Frisco RoughRiders (21-6) vs. Midland RockHounds (17-11)
Saturday, May 7 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
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Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Mike Daly)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Ryan Rouillard and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 1 of 28

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Sam Wolff (4-1, 4.32 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at San Antonio (W, 6-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders completed another four-game sweep of San Antonio with a 6-1 win Friday night at Wolff Stadium…CONNOR SADZECK turned in his best start of the season, striking out a career-best nine hitters, while allowing just one run on two hits in seven innings…ZACH CONE got the scoring started in the second with a two- run home run…Two-run hits from GARRETT WEBER and LEWIS BRINSON rounded out the scoring for the RoughRiders in the series finale.

NO MINOR FEAT:

Entering the day at 21-6 (.778), the Riders have the best winning percentage among all 120 full- season affiliates in Minor League Baseball.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:

The 21-6 record gives the RoughRiders their best 27-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders, 20-7 through 27 games, 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 Monday, he continued his season- long on-base streak to 26 games last night with a walk in the sixth inning. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 29 straight contests.

WEBER FITTING RIGHT IN:

Since joining the Riders from Extended Spring Training on April 25, GARRETT WEBER has been a key contributor for Frisco. He rides a nine-game hitting streak into tonight’s contest, which includes five multi-hit games. This is Weber’s first seasons as a Rangers farmhand after spending his first five seasons in the Diamondbacks organization.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:

Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+52), Frisco has played in seven one-run contests, winning five, over the last 13 games. The Riders have a 6-3 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-0 in games decided by two runs.

FIRST FRAME FUN:

After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 22-8, in the last 16 first innings, scoring at least one run in 11 of those 16 games.

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 2.41 through the first 27 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSH has five saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 9-for-10 in save situations.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:

Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 10 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 13 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .053 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

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 11 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed seven innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:

The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 32-13, in the sixth frame through 27 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas.

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 76-35 (.685), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 20-9, while Class-A Hickory is 19-9, and Triple-A Round Rock is 16-11. All 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.

Lights, camera, action! Riders shine in the spotlight

Tonight, for the second time this season, a Frisco RoughRiders game will be aired on Fox Sports Southwest.

During the last homestand, it was announced that the network will be airing at least eight Riders games during the 2016 season. The first game was a huge success, with fans across four different states tuning in to watch Frisco defeat the San Antonio Missions 6-5.

Ronald Guzman and Alex Burg both slugged home runs, as the Riders capped off their first four-game sweep of the Missions. Watch the highlights below:

RoughRiders broadcaster Nathan Barnett was joined by analyst Mike Bascik, a former Rangers pitcher, and Paul Kruger, the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Rangers. Tonight, Rangers Senior Director of Player Development Mike Daly will be on the air with Barnett as the RoughRiders host the Midland RockHounds.

In the past, select Riders games have been televised on KTXD 47. While this provided fans across the Metroplex with an opportunity to watch Riders games, it excluded additional fans from the remainder of the state and region.

Now, fans from the DFW area and beyond have the opportunity to watch the games on television tonight and at least six other times this year. Fox Sports Southwest reaches over 10 million cable and satellite TV homes in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, as well as nationally via satellite television and streaming online with Fox Sports Go.

After tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game against Midland, Fox Sports Southwest will air the following remaining RoughRiders games this season. Make sure to tune in on these dates and catch the Riders in action!

Date: Time: Opponent: Opponent Affiliate:
Monday, May 23 11:00 a.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, June 2 7:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Tuesday, June 14 11:00 a.m.  vs. Midland RockHounds  (Oakland Athletics)
Sunday, July 31 6:00 p.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, Aug. 18 7:00 p.m.  vs. Springfield Cardinals  (St. Louis Cardinals)
Sunday, Aug. 21 6:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Freak show stat – A baseball statistic that is cute or entertaining but of little real value; e.g., players’ double-figure totals in doubles, triples, and home runs

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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