Results tagged ‘ Adrian Beltre ’
This marks the second day, first full day, of the RoughRiders Media Relations Department’s travels at Spring Training in and around Phoenix, Arizona. All installments can be found here, including Day 1.
We made it to Arizona! Each of us comes to Surprise with slightly different levels of Spring Training experience. Nathan is the most experienced of the three of us, already having been five times previously. For Steve, this is his first ever visit to Spring Training (and we hope it’s not his last).
I’m somewhere in the middle. This week marks my fourth visit to Arizona for Spring Training. But those first three visits were spent exclusively in the major league parks, casually taking in America’s pastime under the sun. Don’t get me wrong; each of those visits was quite enjoyable. However, this year, I’m exploring the minor league side of the complex too, and it’s taking my Spring Training experience to the next level.
On the back fields, you get a little bit of everything. Whether it’s Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre sharing a morning laugh in major league camp, all the minor league pitchers gathering for some morning insight and advice, or just the constant crack of the bat coming from some of the organization’s up-and-comers in one of the various batting practice setups, there’s an interminable feel of baseball in the warm, Arizona air.
After taking in the morning workouts, we stayed in Surprise for the afternoon to take in some of the minor league games against Kansas City. It’s a much different feel than a major league game out here. Not only are the crowds significantly smaller, but they’re mainly composed of other players, coaches and scouts in the organization, as opposed to fans. Nonetheless, it’s still fun to watch a hitter battle through a long at-bat or a pitcher find a way out of trouble. After all, baseball is baseball is baseball, whether it’s played in Surprise Stadium or on Field 6 of the complex.
One of the big takeaways from my first day on the back fields was the intrigue of seeing the Rangers organization together as one, with seven practice fields separated by just a few hundred yards. In one moment, you may be looking at the current major leaguers, while the next moment may lead you to the rising stars that will don a minor league uniform this summer in Frisco or elsewhere in the farm system. And sometimes, the major and minor league worlds collide, in the case of non-roster invitees. I’ll have more on them later in the week here on the blog.
Until then, I’m looking forward to spending more time on the back fields. If you’re like me and have only ever seen Spring Training from the major league parks, I’d recommend venturing around the complex a bit more next time you come to really soak up what Spring Training is all about.
The fun is only beginning here in Surprise. Steve will have another update for you tomorrow.
Baseball term of the day: Agate – The baseball. The term may have derived from “marble,” another name for the ball. Agates and aggies were popular forms of marbles.
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
Today is a day for minor celebration, not necessarily because it’s “311 Day,” but because we are now exactly one month away from the home opener for the 2013 season at Dr Pepper Ballpark. We are also 22 days from the RoughRiders-Express exhibition game in Frisco and 24 days away from the official start of the regular season in North Little Rock.
All of the Rangers’ minor leaguers (excluding the ones who had big league camp invitations) reported to Surprise one week ago and they will begin their spring training games against other organizations on Thursday. We’ll do our best to get you whatever information we can on those games, though the Double-A team that takes the field against their Royals counterparts on Thursday is guaranteed to look much different than the one that arrives here in the Metroplex come late March. That’s mainly because off all the roster mixing that goes on in the spring, with many players playing a level higher than they will ultimately be on once the season starts.
As for the big club, we are still not at a point of complete resolution with the Nolan Ryan situation, though it looks like we are moving closer to that point. The Rangers released a statement from him yesterday that basically said he’s been meeting with ownership about his role with the team and that those discussions will continue. It’s not much to read into, but I suppose it should be taken as a positive sign that there is a chance that they work this all out and come out a happy family once again.
In other developments, Craig Gentry of all people is hitting home runs, Jurickson Profar’s stint as starting spring training shortstop (I love alliterative phrases) is likely coming to an end as Elvis Andrus’ stay at the World Baseball Classic was a short one, and Derek Holland gets more time to play on the “big” stage.
Ryan will remain CEO for time being, continue to search for understanding of role – Evan Grant gives you the basics of yesterday’s developments with Ryan’s full statement included.
More time on WBC’s big stage can only help Rangers’ “wildcard” Derek Holland (subscribers only) – Tim Cowlishaw thinks the continuing experience for Holland on the US team will be good for him.
Josh Hamilton brought sizzle to Texas, but new Ranger Lance Berkman could offer just as much substance – Highlights from Cowlishaw’s Sunday column on why there might not be so large a dropoff between Hamilton and Berkman. (A major caveat should be added – IF Lance stays healthy.)
(Daily FWST disclaimer: most articles on their site are subscription-only, but you can easily read the articles around the sign-in pop-up)
Positive spin on Ryan staying takes another negative turn – Randy Galloway (who has practically been the writer-of-record on all things Nolan Ryan) says that, in spite of yesterday’s statement, Ryan staying on with the Rangers is no sure thing at all.
Long journey may lead Rangers’ Martin to center field – From a couple of days ago, but a good read from Gil Lebreton nonetheless about Leonys Martin.
Despite Ross’ struggles, Rangers hold on for 7-6 victory over Indians – Robbie Ross says he was not distracted by the ZOOperstars, who performed at yesterday’s game in Goodyear. Thank goodness for that.
Ross struggles for first time this spring – ESPNDallas.com’s Ron Matejko has more reaction from Ross on his tough start (2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB).
Is there still time to get Nolan Ryan to stay? – Richard Durrett gives his thoughts on the latest developments with Ryan.
Tepesch still auditioning for role – Ron Washington and Mike Maddux talk about 2012 RoughRiders pitcher Nick Tepesch and his odds on winning the fifth spot in the Rangers’ rotation.
Things have pretty much blown up around here regarding the Nolan Ryan situation. There are a good number of compelling on-the-field Rangers stories to be discussed throughout this spring, from filling the fifth spot in the starting rotation to the center field position battle to rebuilding a bullpen to overcoming the loss of key free agents. Throw in some exciting, young prospects, a new hitting coach, record ticket sales and there’s a lot going on for Ron Washington’s club. But the story that risks swallowing all of that up like a Texas-sized black hole is the “will he or won’t he leave?” for Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan after his president title was removed and given to general manager Jon Daniels. The possibility was first raised yesterday in the Star-Telegram by Randy Galloway that Ryan could be gone from the organization before camp is over out in Surprise.
There’s a lot going on with this, from a possible power struggle to jealousy within the organization over credit and the looming specter of the rudderless Houston Astros swooping in and reclaiming the state’s greatest natural resource. Now, I heard the Morning News’ Evan Grant interviewed on The Ticket yesterday and he feels that it’s a long shot that Ryan leaves for the Astros. Grant insinuated that Ryan is not he biggest fan of new owner Jim Crane’s and that many people Ryan was close to in that organization have gotten whacked. This doesn’t mean that it couldn’t still happen, however, even with Ryan having three years left on his Rangers contract.
Adam Morris of Lone Star Ball made the point on Twitter last night and I can’t help but give it at least some credence. In the 80+ hours it’s been since the title announcements were made by the Rangers, we have heard nothing from Ryan and very little from Daniels. Sometimes silence says more than words, which could indicate to some that there’s something less than warm and fuzzy going on in the front office.
By the way, the Rangers walked off with a 5-4 win over the Padres yesterday with Jeff Baker plating Julio Borbon for the game winner.
Today’s links (note: with the Star-Telegram stories you can easily read around the “sign-in” bubble that appears when you open the page):
Daniels has said nothing has changed with Nolan Ryan – Jeff Wilson has Daniels offering very little in terms of reaction to the Galloway story, saying that he reports to Ryan and that this is essentially a non-story.
Rangers’ power shift could have Nolan Ryan looking for exit – Gil Lebreton writes that he thinks Ryan will leave but that ownership wants him to stay and continue the work that has made the Rangers so successful.
Rangers’ Martin Perez focused on quick recovery after breaking forearm – The other big story of the week gets some follow-up coverage from Wilson along with a quick note about Adrian Beltre’s Cactus League debut.
Darvish does good work without best stuff as Rangers rally – Wilson touches upon Yu Darvish’s scoreless three innings in the Rangers’ 5-4 victory over the Padres yesterday.
If Rangers must pick between Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan, the choice is clear… – Tim Cowlishaw checks in to give his thoughts on the Ryan-Daniels situation and says if you’re choosing between the two, he goes with Daniels.
Understanding the situation between Nolan Ryan and Rangers management – Grant has a pretty good overview of all the issues involved in this story.
Rangers in communication with Porcello, Lohse – Gerry Fraley says the Rangers have not been idle since Perez went down due to injury on Sunday. Rick Porcello is arguably a more palpable choice over Kyle Lohse because he is younger and won’t cost you a draft pick, though he would force you to give up some level of prospect(s).
Rangers betting on youth for future – Normally a headline like that would be used for the makeup of your team or farm system, but ESPNDallas.com’s Jean-Jacque Taylor is using it on the Rangers’ front office.
Does Kyle Lohse make sense now? – Richard Durrett asks the question in a blog entry from this morning.
Yu Darvish impressive again – Ron Matejko touches upon Darvish’s outing yesterday against San Diego.
Beltre back in the swing with successful debut – MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell has a full report on Beltre’s return to the lineup.
Darvish keeps spring hitless streak intact – Cassavell’s notes column touches upon Darvish, Perez and Nate Robertson’s comeback attempt.
Yesterday the White Sox jumped out to a 12-0 lead and beat up the Rangers 14-8 to drop Texas to 0-4 in Cactus League play. The good news? These games (of course) don’t count for much of anything and, by all accounts, Yu Darvish looked fantastic in his two innings of work. As for 2012 RoughRiders pitcher Cody Buckel? He had a tough afternoon, throwing just 10 of his 31 pitches for strikes and yielding six runs (four earned) with five walks while retiring just one batter. Here are today’s links:
Why veteran Jeff Baker could have edge on Mike Olt for spot on Texas Rangers’ bench – Evan Grant says the journeyman’s experience riding the pine might end up getting him a big league job.
Texas Rangers roster predictions, V2.0 – From a couple days ago, but worth a look as Grant handicaps the 25-man roster.
Same old Josh? Ex-Ranger Hamilton swings at first pitch, goes 0-for-3 in Angels debut – If you’re interested, Josh Hamilton did not set the world on fire in his first game of the spring with Los Angels.
With year under his belt, Texas Rangers’ Darvish already looking like Yu 2.0 – For subscribers only, Gerry Fraley thought highly of the Japanese right-hander’s debut outing.
Cody Buckel survives – Jeff Wilson reports that, despite yesterday’s flameout, Cody Buckel was not incinerated from planet Earth altogether. He also notes that Engel Beltre might not be playing for Spain in the WBC after all.
Rangers catcher feels nothing (yet) vs. old team – Wilson writes about A.J. Pierzynski facing the White Sox for the first time as a Ranger yesterday.
Yu Darvish impresses in spring debut – Another glowing report on Darvish, this time from Ron Matejko.
Darvish off to strong start in second spring – Matt Mosley writes that things are bit calmer this spring for the now more seasoned Darvish.
Plenty of arms to choose from for Rangers – Needing to almost completely rebuilt their bullpen, Anthony Andros says that the Rangers have a diverse group of options available to fill out the open spots.
Rangers prepared to round out rotation in house – Don’t look for Kyle Lohse to come walking through that door, writes T.R. Sullivan.
Berkman may make Rangers debut Thursday – Sullivan has injury updates on Lance Berkman, Colby Lewis and the two Beltres, Adrian and Engel.
It’s finally starting to feel like fall here in Frisco and although hot stove league talk might be a bit premature, there are plenty of things going on right now affecting the RoughRiders and Rangers:
- After winning his third-career Gold Glove on Tuesday, Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre has just won his third ever Silver Slugger Award. Beltre was also honored by the award in 2004 (Los Angeles) and 2010 (Boston), as he becomes just the sixth player (both leagues) since the award’s inception in 1980 to win three times as a third baseman. The only other Texas third baseman to win a Silver Slugger Award was Buddy Bell in 1984.
- According to the Chicago Sun-Times, two names “at or near the top” of Theo Epstein and the Cubs’ list for a new
manager are Rangers’ pitching coach Mike Maddux and one-time Milwaukee interim manager Dale Sveum, who interviewed for the Boston Red Sox vacancy on Wednesday. Maddux is also reportedly in the mix for consideration by Boston. (We all remember when the Rangers won the pennant in 2010, the club lost hitting coach Clint Hurdle months later when took over as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The unfortunate cost of winning).
- In minor league news, it’s no surprise that the San Antonio Missions have been named Minor League Team of the Year and Double-A Team of the Year by MiLB.com. The Missions recorded the best record in all of the minors at 94-46 while winning both the first and second halves. Their 94 victories were the most in the league since the advent of the 140-game schedule in 1961 and were the second-most in franchise history, just one less than the 95 victories by the 1908 club. The Missions registered 100 overall wins after going 6-1 in the post-season on their way to capturing the franchise’s 12th Texas League Championship.
- On July 19, Northwest Arkansas’ Will Smith and Kelvin Herrera combined for the Naturals’ first-ever no-hitter. To make things even better, the no-no was helped out by a sixth-inning 5-4-3 triple play. The Naturals edged the Arkansas Travelers 1-0 and, as a result, have also won Double-A Game of the Year from MiLB.com.
- It was announced yesterday that Hickory shortstop, and the Rangers’ No. 2 prospect, Jurickson Profar, has won the Minor League Baseball Yearly Award for Class A Full Season Hitter of the Year. Only 18-years-old, Profar was previously named 2011 Low Class A Player of the Year by Baseball America to go along with winning the South Atlantic League MVP Award and being named to the SAL Annual All-Star Team this past season. I guess this kid is pretty good.
- Starting Friday at 10 a.m., The RoughRiders Foundation will be auctioning off game-used items and autographed memorabilia. Items start at their low reserve price and are open for bidding through November 18, 2011 at 5 p.m. Notable items include game-worn jerseys by Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz during their rehab assignments in Frisco this season. Questions? Contact Michael Davidow at 972-334-1978 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday I wrote about the success lefty Miguel De Los Santos is having in the prospect laden Arizona Fall League. Hours after my posting, the AFL released the rosters for the annual Rising Stars Game played this Saturday at Surprise Stadium at 1 p.m. CST.
Among the 50 prospects that will be on display, the lone Rangers’ farm-hand selected was third baseman Mike Olt. In 16 AFL games, Olt is tied for the league lead with six home runs. His 22 runs batted in are the second-most. Some great power numbers over a small sample size while hitting .309.
You might remember Olt had a bit of an abbreviated 2011 season due to a home plate collision in early June that caused him to suffer a broken left collarbone. The injury resulted in Olt essentially playing the equivalent of a short-season schedule: 69 games. In that time the former supplemental first round pick out of Connecticut hit .267/14-HR/42-RBI.
The log-jam at third base from top to bottom in the Rangers’ system is a good problem for Texas to have and should be interesting to watch develop in 2012 and beyond.
RoughRiders’ fans are well aware of the abilities of 2011 RoughRiders’ third baseman, Tommy Mendonca. Tommy was a Midseason Texas League All-Star and had a incredible month of June when he hit .375 and was named the Rangers Minor League Player of the Month. Mendo would be the first to say he struggled down the stretch, primarily with strikeouts. Nevertheless, Mendonca played well defensively, proved to be a force in the ‘Riders lineup, and was a second-round draft pick.
Not to look too far up the ladder, but it is interesting to note that at the major league level, first-year Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre received his third career Gold Glove last night. In January the Rangers inked the former Dodger, Mariner, and Red Sox to a six-year, $96 million contract.
So much for him only playing well in a contract year.
Does Mendonca open up 2012 in Round Rock and Olt in Frisco? We’ll have to wait until April to find out.
P.S. A big thanks to RoughRiders’ team photographer James Garner for the pics in today’s blog. He is somehow everywhere, including Surprise, Ariz. to take in some AFL baseball.
Remember when the Colts played the Giants last year and Archie Manning was interviewed about if he was cheering more for Peyton or Eli? I’m sure that was a more difficult situation than what I’m in the middle of, but I can truthfully say that no matter who wins, there will be at least a small part of me that wishes the other team won. (If you haven’t read the blog over the last two days, let it be known that I’m from St. Louis).
- Sure did seem like Adrian Beltre got hosed on that call in the ninth. With his bat, you never know, the next pitch could have gone bye-bye and tied things up. Sure did look like that ball fouled off his toe. How about that crazy X-Ray cam that Fox threw at us. You know that producer had been waiting all night to break that thing out.
- I know Tim McCarver takes a lot of heat from virtually everyone, but the line of the night came when we described back-to-back swings by Beltre in the seventh: “Those are two grown man swings.” Loved that.
- Thanks to ESPN Stats and Info along with Baseball Reference for this random nugget from last night’s game: St. Louis’ Arthur Rhodes, who got through the 8th inning, is now oldest pitcher in baseball history to record a World Series hold (turns 42 on October 24).
- Not sure if you caught it, but former ‘Rider Mark Hamburger made a cameo on FOX last night. Late in the game a foul ball found its way into the Rangers’ dugout and he graciously tossed it to a young Cardinals fan. Mark isn’t on the roster, but what a great experience for him to be there and take it all in.
- In news outside of the World Series, Jose Ruiz has been released by the Rangers. The big, yet agile, first baseman hit .275 over 106 games in 2011 with the RoughRiders. His 12 home runs and 54 RBIs were no doubt a disappointment given his stature (6-3, 235) and the fact that he put on some shows during batting practice. Ruiz, who received a late-season promotion up to Triple-A Round Rock, had a major league option in his deal. That means the Rangers would’ve needed to put him on the 40-man roster in order to keep him.