Get to know Riders pitcher Ryan Ledbetter

Ryan Ledbetter is one of the newest members of the RoughRiders. The right-handed pitcher has a twin brother David who plays in the Rangers farm system as well, currently with the High Desert Mavericks.

We caught up with Ryan during the last homestand to chat with him about the transition to playing Double-A baseball, as well as the experience he has had being in the same organization as his brother.

Steve Goldberg: First of all, welcome to Frisco.

Ryan Ledbetter: Thank you, Steve. Glad to be here. The jump from High Desert is incredible. I already love all the fans, and I don’t even know them yet.

SG: What was it like for you when you first took the mound with the Riders?

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RL: Definitely exhilarating. It’s exciting to be here and be able to play at a higher level, competing against guys that I’ve seen before and other guys that I haven’t. I’m just excited to be here and help this team out.

SG: Going from Class A-Advanced up to Double-A, there is a big difference between those two levels of baseball, right?

RL: Oh yeah. Even the coaches tell you this is a huge jump. And they’re throwing you into the fire by allowing you to come to Double-A. You should be trying to pitch at the same level no matter where you are, but there is a culture shock. It is very welcoming.

SG: For you and your brother David, how special is it to be playing in the same organization?

RL: It is just a gift from God to be able to play with him. Just having that support there and someone pushing you to not only be a better baseball player, but a better person. Having that bond with someone that close to you is just awesome.

SG: Is it a bit tough being apart from him now?

RL: Yeah. The same thing happened when we first got drafted. He went to Spokane and I stayed in the Arizona League. It’s not really that hard necessarily, it’s just different. I have to call him instead of see him in-person. I have to talk to him about the things that are most important instead of just talking with him all the time.

SG: Obviously you guys have that friendship and camaraderie. But is there a competitive aspect to your relationship as well?

RL: There is always competition between my brother and I. No matter who you are, if you have a brother, you are always thinking, ‘I am going to be better than him. I have to be better than him.’ I think that’s what’s so cool about being on a team with him. If he is doing something I should be doing, it’s like, ‘I have to do that now. I can’t let him be better than me.’ I think that’s really driven us to where we are today, playing professional baseball and going the extra mile to get better.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: avocado – An inviting pitch hit for a home run.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Arkansas (7/2/16)

GAME #78 (2nd HALF GAME #9)

Frisco RoughRiders (41-36 overall, 3-5 2nd half) at Arkansas Travelers (34-43, 2-5)
Saturday, July 2 – 7:10 p.m.
Dickey-Stephens Park – North Little Rock, AR
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Arkansas feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 3 of 3 (Tied, 1-1)
This season: Game 9 of 12 (Tied, 4-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Luis Marte – SS
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – C
  7. Edwin Garcia – 3B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – RF
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – DH

LHP Victor Payano (5-4, 3.42 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at Arkansas (W, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW:

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

A night after being shut out, the Riders blanked the Arkansas Travelers, 3-0…Frisco scored a run in the first on an RBI infield single by RYAN CORDELL and two in the sixth on a bases- loaded single by newcomer EDWIN GARCIACONNOR SADZECK tossed six shutout innings, and JOE FILOMENO (1 IP) and JOHN FASOLA (2 IP) completed the shutout with three hitless frames.

EYEING A SERIES WIN:

The Riders have a chance to capture a series win today, something the club has not done in quite some time. After winning six of the first nine series (one loss, two ties), Frisco is 3-5-3 in their last 11 series. The club hasn’t won a series in their last five sets (0-2-3) with their last series win coming June 3-5 vs. Springfield when the Riders captured the first two games of the three- game set. Today is a “rubber-game,” and Frisco is 0-1 in such games, losing 8-7 to Arkansas on April 19 at home in the only one this year.

SHUT OUT AGAIN:

The RoughRiders were shut out on Thursday for the tenth time this year, which leads the Texas League, although eight have come since May 24 (eight of the last 33 games). It was the second time in just seven games that the Riders have been blanked by the Travelers this season. Frisco’s also been shut out by Corpus Christi (thrice), San Antonio (once), Springfield (twice), and Tulsa (twice).

VICTOR-Y PAYANO:

All-Star lefty VICTOR PAYANO takes the hill today, looking for his sixth win of the year in the midst of his best stretch of the season. Over his last three starts, the second-year RoughRider has allowed just two earned runs with an ERA of 1.26 (2ER/14.1 IP). Payao also tossed a 1-2-3 second innings in the All-Star Game Tueday. The Riders, however, won just one of those games and have lost five of Payano’s last six starts. The RoughRiders are scoring just 3.1 runs/game when Payano starts, the second-lowest run support average among Frisco’s current six- man rotation (LUIS ORTIZ, 3.0 runs/gm).

LEADING THE SOUTH:

The RoughRiders sent six players to the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday, and the Riders made a major impact on the game…RYAN CORDELL won the game’s MVP award, going 3-for-5 with a three-run home run, two runs scored, and four RBI…RONALD GUZMAN went 1-for-4, starting at first base…ISIAH KINER-FALEFA subbed in at catcher, knocking in a run and going 1-for-3…PRESTON BECK was hitless in two at-bats. VICTOR PAYANO tossed a 1-2-3 second inning while CONNOR SADZECK allowed a run on a sacrifice fly in one frame. ADAM PARKS did not travel, as he underwent “Tommy John” surgery last week.

THE FUTURE IS NOW:

On Tuesday, RoughRiders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN was named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The first-year RoughRider is in the midst of a career-year, on pace for career-highs in homers, triples, and runs scored. Through 77 games, the Texas League Mid-season All-Star is batting .291 with 10 homers and 34 RBI.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:

In his first 21 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 16 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez has been red hot of late. Ibanez just lost an 11-game hit streak, which included a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games, but has hits in 14 of his last 15 games played, with multiple hits in five of those games, including two of the last three.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 32 of his last 37 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3- 6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

Since a rough stretch in which All-Star outfielder RYAN CORDELL went homerless in 26 games, the slugger has got back to his hot- hitting ways. He hit a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland on June 14. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in total during his last 62 at-bats. Cordell continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 game in the Texas League All-Star Game and an All-Star game MVP.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Today’s starter Jordan Kipper makes his first outing against the RoughRiders debut today and his 14th start of the year, going 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA thus far…The former TCU Horned Frog is in his third professional season after being drafted for the third time in his career, the final of which came in the ninth round by the Angels… The 23-year-old has been a fast-riser, spending all of 2014 with Class A-Short Season Orem, skipping Low-A to play for Inland Empire all of last season, and has spent the entire year this year with the Travelers…This season, he’s thrown a nine- inning no hitters (May 17 at Northwest Arkansas), seven shutout innings twice, and eight shutout, two-hit innings on April 26 at Tulsa…The right-hander was named a Texas League Mid-season All-Star this year and won Pitcher of the Week May 22 following his no-hitter…Kipper hails from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Arizona, the same school as fellow Angel C.J. Cron and former St. Louis Cardinal Joe Mather… Kipper’s grandfather, Thornton Kipper, spent three seasons in the Major Leagues with the Phillies…Throwing from a high three- quarters arm slot, Kipper works with an 88-94 mph sinker, a mid 80s slider, a 78-84 mph changeup, and a curveball.

Ballpark Bio: Dickey-Stephens Park (North Little Rock)

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Today marks part five of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

 Facts and Figures
Opened: April 12, 2007
Capacity: 7,200
Dimensions: LF – 332, CF – 400, RF – 330

This year, the Travelers are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Dickey-Stephens Park, so it’s my turn to celebrate some of my favorite parts of this park.

One of the things that stands out right away is the entryway. It’s a large, but well-kept area that resembles a train station. This town has a rich railroad history and the park does a nice job of honoring the entryway and other features throughout the stadium.

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The skyscrapers of downtown Little Rock are visible over the right field side of Dickey-Stephens Park.

Once I got inside, the other thing that quickly caught my eye was the view of downtown Little Rock, viewable over the right field side of Dickey-Stephens Park across the Arkansas River. It is very much like Tulsa’s ONEOK Field in that regard. It helps give the park a big-city feel without having to be right in the middle of town.

Before the game, there’s a stretch of organ music. As far as I can tell, it’s recorded but it still adds a nice touch to the park and provides a classic baseball vibe. Once the game gets going, the park gives fans an intimate setting to take in a ballgame, and our booth is very close to the action as well, so it’s been enjoyable through our first two days here.

Dickey-Stephens Park may just be in its 10th year, but I think it does a nice job of combining some of the vintage elements of the game with a modern feel. I’ve definitely had a nice time here thus far and look forward to another great game tonight.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in a few days from Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: For a cent – A cheap base hit.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Arkansas (7/1/16)

GAME #77 (2nd HALF GAME #8)

Frisco RoughRiders (40-36 overall, 2-5 2nd half) at Arkansas Travelers (34-42, 2-4)
Friday, July 1 – 7:10 p.m.
Dickey-Stephens Park – North Little Rock, AR
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Arkansas feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 3 (Travelers lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 8 of 12 (Travelers lead, 4-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Luis Marte – SS
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – RF
  7. Edwin Garcia – 3B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – DH
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C

RHP Connor Sadzeck (6-2, 3.51 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at Arkansas (L, 2-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Connor Sadzeck

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders were shutout for the second time in three games last night, getting blanked by the Arkansas Travelers 2-0…The Travs scored runs in the third and fifth off of FRANK LOPEZ, who otherwise pitched well, lasting 5 2/3 innings of work…The RoughRiders had two runners on with one out in four different innings, leaving nine men on base and going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position…ANDY IBANEZ continued to swing the bat well, going 2-for-4 in the contest…All six Riders hits were singles.

THE RETURN TO NORTH LITTLE ROCK:

The RoughRiders made their second and final trip to North Little Rock in this series, beginning yesterday. This is the first trip that the Riders have made to Dickey-Stephens Park since April 10-12 when the Riders captured a two-games-to-one series victory over the Travs. The season series was tied at 3-3, but both teams are drastically different than they were at last meeting with many players on both sides no longer on the roster. The Riders have six players on the roster not with the club the last time these two clubs met, while the Travelers have 13, over half their active roster.

LEADING THE SOUTH:

The RoughRiders sent six players to the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday, and the Riders made a major impact on the game… RYAN CORDELL won the game’s MVP award, going 3-for-5 with a three-run home run, two runs scored, and four RBI…RONALD GUZMAN went 1-for-4, starting at first base…ISIAH KINER- FALEFA subbed in at catcher, knocking in a run and going 1-for-3…PRESTON BECK was hitless in two at-bats. VICTOR PAYANO tossed a 1-2- 3 second inning while CONNOR SADZECK allowed a run on a sacrifice fly in one frame. ADAM PARKS did not travel, as he underwent “Tommy John” surgery last week.

THE FUTURE IS NOW:

On Tuesday, RoughRiders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN was named to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The first-year RoughRider is in the midst of a career-year, on pace for career-highs in homers, triples, and runs scored. Through 76 games, the Texas League Mid- season All-Star is batting .289 with 10 homers and 34 RBI.

MARTE MENDED:

Yesterday marked the return of RoughRiders shortstop LUIS MARTE, who missed the last 60 games with a fractured hand and finger. The defensive wizard swung a decent bat before he was hit by a pitch in Corpus Christi, batting .238 in 14 games, with six extra-base hits and six RBI. The 22-year-old went 5-for-12, 2 2B, RBI, 2-2 SB in three rehab games in the Arizona League, going 5-for-12, with two doubles, an RBI and stole two bases in two tries in three AZL games. The Riders went 29-31 without Marte, starting the season 11-4 when he was healthy. In his stead, Frisco saw three different men man the shortstop spot: ISIAH KINER-FALEFA (19 games), LUIS MENDEZ (19), and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL (26).

SHUT OUT AGAIN:

The RoughRiders were shut out on Thursday for the tenth time this year, which leads the Texas League although eight have come since May 24 (eight of the last 33 games). It was the second time in just seven games that the Riders have been blanked by the Travelers this season. Frisco’s also been shut out by Corpus Christi (thrice), San Antonio (once), Springfield (twice), and Tulsa (twice).

BEGINNER’S LUCK:

In his first 20 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 15 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez has been red hot of late. Ibanez just lost an 11-game hit streak, which included a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games, but has hits in 13 of his last 14 games played, with multiple hits in five of those games, including each of the last two.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 32 of his last 37 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3- 6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

Since a rough stretch in which All-Star outfielder RYAN CORDELL went homerless in 26 games, the slugger has got back to his hot- hitting ways. He hit a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland on June 14. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in total during his last 58 at-bats. Cordell continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 game in the Texas League All-Star Game and an All-Star game MVP.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Ranked as the number four prospect in the Angels organization, Victor Alcantara take the hill for the Travs tonight…The top-ranked right- handed pitching prospect has slowly moved up the organizational rankings, checking in at as Baseball America 18th-best prospect in the Angels’ organization in the spring of 2013, 15th- best in the winter before 2014 spring training, and the 7th-best prior to 2015… Alcantara pitched in the SiriusXM Futures Game in 2014…The right-hander is 2-5 with a 4.54 ERA this season in 15 starts and makes his second start against the Riders…The fifth-year pro is in his first season at the Double-A level after spending just one year at Class A-Advanced Inland Empire, receiving the promotion despite modest numbers in 2015 (7-12, 5.62 ERA)…He throws a power fastball from 92-97 with a upper 80s changeup to go along with a hard slider from 88- 91, and his power stuff and inconsistent command have some talent evaluators expecting an eventual move to the bullpen.

Riding Through the Farm: July 1

Riding Through the Farm v3“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (51-29, 1st – AL West)

After splitting a four-game series in the Bronx against the New York Yankees, the Rangers continue their road trip with a three-game set in Minnesota. Texas will head back to the Northeast to wrap up the trip next week in Boston.

The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied with the Chicago Cubs for the most wins in all of baseball. The Astros have surpassed the Mariners for second place in the division, but the Rangers still hold an 8 1/2 game advantage over Houston.

Tonight: at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (42-38, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)

Round Rock picked up two wins yesterday, including a walk-off victory in the second game of the doubleheader against Iowa. The Express continue their season with the I-Cubs tonight, and the two teams will play another doubleheader Saturday before the finale of the series Sunday.

Saturday, the two teams will finish the remainder of a game suspended in April due to wet grounds. Then, they will play the originally scheduled game after the conclusion of the suspended game.

Tonight: vs. Iowa, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (46-32 overall, 3-5 2nd half, 5th – California League South Division)

The Riders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate playing an Angels farm team this weekend. High Desert hosts Inland Empire in a four-game series that began with a Mavericks win yesterday.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Mavs, who were swept by Lancaster in a mid-week series. However, High Desert won the first-half championship and has already clinched a spot in the California League playoffs.

Tonight: vs. Inland Empire, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (41-37 overall, 3-5 2nd half, T-6th – South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles have continued. The ‘Dads have lost five of their first eight games to begin the second half.

However, the Crawdads have won two of their last three games, including a 7-3 victory over Kannapolis last night. Hickory jumped out to a 7-0 with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and three more in the fifth.

Dylan Moore, who was relegated to first base early in the season, also played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and right field during June.

Tonight: vs. Kannapolis, 6:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Dillon Tate)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (5-9, 4th – Northwest League North Division)

After starting the season 4-3, the Indians have lost six of their last seven games. The squad has slipped to the cellar in the Northwest League’s North Division.

The lone win came Wednesday against Everett. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed just three hits in five shutout innings. He earned his first win of the 2016 season.

Tonight: at Vancouver, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Green)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: coaster – A player in the Pacific Coast League.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Arkansas (6/30/16)

GAME #76 (2nd HALF GAME #7)

Frisco RoughRiders (40-35 overall, 2-4 2nd half) at Arkansas Travelers (33-42, 1-4)
Thursday, June 30 – 7:10 p.m.
Dickey-Stephens Park – North Little Rock, AR
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Arkansas feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 7 of 12 (Tied, 3-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – CF
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – RF
  7. Luis Marte – SS
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – DH

LHP Frank Lopez (4-1, 4.37 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 9-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: OF Preston Beck

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Scoring the first two runs of the contest, the RoughRiders allowing the next nine to suffer a 9-2 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks on Sunday, the final day of the Texas League slate before the All-Star Game…After a two-run Riders first, the Hooks tied the game with two of their own in the second…The rest of the scoring came in a seven-run sixth inning, capped by a three-run homer by Conrad Gregor…REED GARRETT, lasting five-plus innings, suffered the loss.

THE RETURN TO NORTH LITTLE ROCK:

The RoughRiders made their second and final trip to North Little Rock in this series, beginning today. It’s the first time the Riders have been to Dickey-Stephens Park since April 10-12 when the Riders captured a two-games-to-one series victory over the Travs. The season series is tied at 3-3, but both teams are drastically different than they were at last meeting with many players on both sides no longer on the roster. The Riders have five players on the roster not with the club the last time these two clubs met, while the Travelers have 11, nearly half their active rosters.

LEADING THE SOUTH:

The RoughRiders sent six players to the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday, and the Riders made a major impact on the game…RYAN CORDELL won the game’s MVP award, going 3-for-5 with a three-run home run, two runs scored, and four RBI…RONALD GUZMAN went 1-for-4, starting at first base…ISAIAH KINER-FALEFA subbed in at catcher, knocking in a run and going 1-for-3…PRESTON BECK was hitless in two at-bats. VICTOR PAYANO tossed a 1-2-3 second inning while CONNOR SADZECK allowed a run on a sacrifice fly in one frame. ADAM PARKS did not travel, as he underwent “Tommy John” surgery last week.

MARTE MENDED:

Today marks the return of RoughRiders shortstop LUIS MARTE, who missed the last 60 games with a fractured hand and finger. The defensive wizard swung a decent bat before he was hit by a pitch in Corpus Christi, batting .238 in 14 games, with six extra-base hits and six RBI. The 22-year-old went 5-for-12, 2 2B, RBI, 2-2 SB in three rehab games in the Arizona League, going 5-for-12, with two doubles, an RBI and stole two bases in two tries in three AZL games. The Riders went 29-31 without Marte, starting the season 11-4 when he was healthy. In his stead, Frisco saw three different men man the shortstop spot: ISIAH KINER-FALEFA (19 games), LUIS MENDEZ (19), and ALBERTO TRIUNFEL (26).

CALMED BY CORPUS:

The RoughRiders were shut out on Saturday for the ninth time this year, which leads the Texas League although seven have come since May 24. It was the third time that the Riders have been blanked by the Hooks this season. Frisco’s also been shut out by Arkansas (once), San Antonio (once), Springfield (twice), and Tulsa (twice). The Hooks meanwhile lead the Texas League in shut out wins, having silenced their opponents ten times this year, two ahead of second-place Arkansas, Midland, and Tulsa.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:

In his first 19 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 14 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez has been red hot of late. Ibanez just lost an 11-game hit streak, which included a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games, but has hits in 12 of his last 13 games played, including a 2-for-4 effort on Sunday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 32 of his last 37 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3- 6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:

Since a rough stretch in which All-Star outfielder RYAN CORDELL went homerless in 26 games, the slugger has got back to his hot- hitting ways. He hit a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland on June 14. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in total durign his last 54 at-bats. Cordell continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 game in the Texas League All-Star Game and an All-Star game MVP.

OPPOSING STARTER:

Traded by the Astros just prior to the start of the season for cash considerations, Troy Scribner makes his first start against the Riders today…Undrafted out of Sacred Heart University, Scribner signed with the Astros and pitched at three levels in 2013…By 2014, he made Double-A Corpus Christi, before spending all of 2015 with High-A Lancaster…Scribner finished his career second at Sacred Heart with 261 strikeouts, 344 innings and 26 wins. In his four years, the Pioneers went to four Northeast Conference Tournament championship games, winning titles in 2011 and 2012 — he threw three straight complete- game victories to open the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NEC Tournaments…He credits much of his pro success to time spent with former Astros special assistant, now Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail who helped him improve the consistency and fluidity of his delivery…In his first outing of 2016, Scribner pitched five hitless innings in a 6-1 win over Springfield in the second game of a doubleheader at Hammons Field on May 1…The righty works with a fastball, curveball, and changeup.

Cordell named MVP of Tuesday’s All-Star Game

The RoughRiders are back in action tonight at Arkansas after a few days off for the All-Star break.

In Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Springfield, Cordell exploded for an incredible performance in front of the crowd of 7,832 at Hammons Field. The outfielder earned the game’s MVP award after going 3-for-5 with a home run and four runs batted in.

Cordell currently leads the Texas League with 52 runs batted in, and he once again showed why he is one of the elite players in the circuit with his performance Tuesday night.

Let’s look back at two of the highlights:

The three-run homer came in the sixth inning, and it ultimately made the difference for the South Division in an 8-5 victory over the North Division.

“Games like this, you’re really relaxed and trying to get a good pitch to drive,” Cordell said. “Luckily, I was able to get a few of those and put some good swings on them.”

Cordell and the Riders return to action tonight, beginning a three-game road series against the Arkansas Travelers to wrap up the month of June. Listen to the game live at 7:10 p.m.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: drive from the hill – To force a pitcher from the game by getting base hits.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/26)

GAME #75 (2nd HALF GAME #6)

Frisco RoughRiders (40-34 overall, 2-3 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (50-25, 3-2)
Sunday, June 26 – 6:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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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
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This series: Game 4 of 4 (Hooks lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 20 of 32 (Hooks lead, 13-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Reed Garrett (2-1, 4.62 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Corpus Christi (L, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders were shut out 3-0 on Saturday night by the Corpus Christi Hooks…Francis Martes tossed a career-high-tying seven innings of shutout ball and Aaron West went the final two frames…Frisco held the Hooks silent until the sixth but allowed a run in the sixth, eighth, and ninth to drop the contest…In his final start before the All-Star break, VICTOR PAYANOtossed three hitless innings…RONALD GUZMAN and LUIS MENDEZ both posted multi-hit nights…Frisco went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

CALMED BY CORPUS:
The RoughRiders were shut out last night for the ninth time this year, which leads the Texas League. It was the third time that the Riders have been blanked by the Hooks this season. Frisco’s also been shut out by Arkansas (once), San Antonio (once), Springfield (twice), and Tulsa (twice). The Hooks meanwhile lead the Texas League in shut out wins, having silenced their opponents ten times this year, two ahead of second-place Midland and Tulsa.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and the first two games of this series against Corpus Christi have also been one-run contests. During the month of June, 14 of the Riders’ 25 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 17-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests. The 28 one-run games the Riders have played is tied for most in the Texas League (with Corpus and Midland).

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD 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). Additionally, Guzman was selected to participate in Tuesday’s Home Run Derby. The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game also takes place Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 18 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 13 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez just lost an 11-game hit streak, which included a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games, going 0-for-4 last night.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 31 of his last 36 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last 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 last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 50 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and was activated by Texas last night. He was the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Former UNC Tar Heel Kent Emanuel makes is fifth start and sixth outing of the year today, and first against Frisco…The Astros’ third-rounder from the 2013 draft, Emanuel had a tremendous three-run run with UNC, including ACC Pitcher of the Year honors in 2013, his Junior season, and posted a 2.52 ERA as a collegiate pitcher, working three years as a starter…Emanuel underwent Tommy John surgery in June of last year, and came back in less than a year…Working with good command (1.8 BB/9IP), Emanuel throws a low 90s fastball, a curve, and changeup.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Deposit the pill – To hit the ball a long distance.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Q&A: Ronald Guzman ready to swing in home run derby

050116 Guzman, Ronald (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) copy

Friday, Ronald Guzman was named Frisco’s representative in the home run derby at the Texas League All-Star Game coming up Tuesday in Springfield. I had a chance to chat with Guzman this afternoon about getting to hit in the home run derby and his thoughts on earning an all-star spot this season.

RYAN ROUILLARD: How excited are you to participate in the home run derby?

RONALD GUZMAN: Very excited. Very excited. I’m a little anxious so I’m trying to just keep it down and try to hit like I’m hitting BP.

RR: Have you ever hit in a home run derby before?

RG: Yeah. I participated in one before I signed [with Texas] for the Dominican Prospect League. I won, actually. I hit six homers. But it was 15 pitches. It was not similar to how we’re doing it right now. So I don’t have a strategy yet.

062316 Guzman, Ronald (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)RR: How much are you going to work on a strategy beforehand?

RG: It’s three minutes so I’m just going to try to swing at everything. I’m just going to try to hit like I’m hitting BP and try to hit some home runs.

RR: You hit a couple home runs in Springfield earlier this year. Did you like that park as a place to hit?

RG: Oh yeah. I like Springfield. I feel like the ball carries everywhere. I think I’m going to be comfortable with hitting the ball everywhere, wherever the pitches come. I think it’s a really nice place to hit.

RR: What does being an all-star mean to you and getting to participate in all of this?

RG: It’s a great feeling. It’s my first time playing in an all-star game so I’m just going to go up there and try to have fun and try to enjoy it. I don’t know if I’m going to have another chance, you know? So I’m just going to go there and have fun and enjoy every second. I think it will be cool to play with the guys from the other teams, so I’m excited.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/25)

GAME #74 (2nd HALF GAME #5)

Frisco RoughRiders (40–33 overall, 2-2 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (49-25, 2-2 2nd half)
Saturday, June 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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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: Game 3 of 4 (Series tie, 1-1)
This season: Game 19 of 32 (Hooks lead, 12-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Victor Payano (5-4, 3.57 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday vs. Corpus Christi (W, 8-7)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Isiah Kiner-Falefa

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Once down 5-1, the RoughRiders stormed back to knock off Corpus Christi 8-7…The Riders took the lead with a four-run seventh inning. ALEX BURG knocked in three runs with a bases-clearing double to right-center field to put Frisco ahead 8-6. Burg finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and tied a career-high with four RBI…FRANK LOPEZ helped keep the Riders in the game, working 4/13 strong innings in relief of CONNOR SADZECKJOSE VALDESPINA worked the final two innings to earn his second straight save and third of the season…Six players had a multi-hit game, including three hits from Burg.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run, and the first two games of this series against Corpus Christi have also been one-run contests. During the month of June, 14 of the Riders’ 24 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 17-11 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests. The 28 one-run games the Riders have played is tied for most in the Texas League (with Corpus and Midland).

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD 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). Additionally, Guzman was selected to participate in Tuesday’s Home Run Derby. The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game also takes place Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

DOWN, BUT NEVER OUT:
The RoughRiders’ comeback from a four-run deficit last night matched the largest one of the season. The Riders have rallied to win three times when trailing by four runs this season, including twice against Corpus Christi. Overall, Frisco has tallied 22 come-from-behind victories this season (55% of team’s total wins), and the last six RoughRiders wins have been in comeback fashion.

BEGINNER’S LUCK:
In his first 18 games with the RoughRiders, ANDY IBANEZ has already had hits in 13 games. Despite getting off to a slow start in Double-A (3-for-his-first-27 at-bats), Ibanez’s first three hits all drove in runs. Ibanez now has a hit in each of his last 11 games, including a home run, three RBI, and three multi-hit games.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 30 of his last 35 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. He has hit six doubles, two triples, three home runs, and driven in 13 runs in that span.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last 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 last Tuesday. Since then, he has continued to keep up the pace with five home runs in his last 46 at-bats.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and was the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Francis Martes, the top pitching prospect in the Houston farm system, makes his fourth 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 innings, good for an ERA of 30.00, in those two appearances. However, Martes earned his first win over the Riders this season last Wednesday, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on five hits. Martes came to the Astros from the Marlins organization in a multi-player trade at the 2014 deadline. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (mid-90s), curveball, changeup.

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