Results tagged ‘ Arkansas ’

Double trouble: Riders struggles in twinbills this year

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Steve

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

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Texas League Scrabble

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

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

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

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

Tulsa_Drillers14.ai

– Steve

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

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

2016 Texas League All-Star Game, featuring the best player names

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With the Texas League All-Star Game coming up on June 28 in Springfield, it is time to start considering who will be representing the North and South Division squads this year.

Surely, many players have put up All-Star Game-worthy numbers. However, we are completely disregarding statistics in this blog post and focusing solely on awesome names alone.

Here is a list of what I consider to be the best names by position in the Texas League from the North and South Divisions. (* = not on team’s active roster as of June 1)

From the North Division…

Catcher: *Anthony Bemboom (Arkansas)

First Baseman: Frank Schwindel (Northwest Arkansas)

Second baseman: Breyvic Valera (Springfield)

Third baseman: Brandon Trinkwon (Tulsa)

Shortstop: *Erisbel Arruebarrena (Tulsa)

Outfielder: Bo Way (Arkansas)

Outfielder: *Orlando Calixte (Northwest Arkansas)

Outfielder: Kyle Garlick (Tulsa)

Designated Hitter: Jacob Scavuzzo (Tulsa)

Pitcher: *Alan Busenitz (Arkansas)

Pitcher: Daniel Poncedeleon (Springfield)

Pitcher: Ralston Cash (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Tim Shibuya (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Ronnie Shaban (Springfield)

Pitcher: *Estarlin Cordero (Northwest Arkansas)

From the South Division…

Catcher: *Rocky Gale (San Antonio)

First Baseman: Conrad Gregor (Corpus Christi)

Second baseman: Evan Van Hoosier (Frisco)

Third baseman: *Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Frisco)

Shortstop: *River Stevens (San Antonio)

Outfielder: Teoscar Hernandez (Corpus Christi)

Outfielder: Danny Oh (Midland)

Outfielder: Brett Vertigan (Midland)

Designated Hitter: Chan-Jong Moon (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Keegan Yuhl (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Cy Sneed (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: *Reymin Guduan (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Ryne Slack (Frisco)

Pitcher: Trey Cochran-Gill (Midland)

Pitcher: Jose Valdespina (Frisco)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: jam sandwich – Throwing a pitch near the batter’s fists with a fastball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Meaning behind the mascots

NORTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

Arkansas-Primary

Arkansas Travelers  Name derived from an old folk song, The Arkansas Traveler, which was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963. The music was composed in the 19th century by Colonel Sanford C. ‘Sandy’ Faulkner, and the lyrics were written in 1947.

 

Northwest_Arkansas_Naturals_Main

Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Named partially after the state’s nickname as the “Natural State” and also after the Robert Redford film, The NaturalBob Rich, Jr. of Rich Products Corporation, the Naturals ownership group, bought the Double-A Buffalo Bisons in 1983. That year, Hollywood producers approached Rich about filming scenes of The Natural at Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium. Following the release of the film, attendance at Bisons’ games nearly tripled and the team moved to the Triple-A American Association. In a fan vote, the “Naturals” name was chosen, receiving 33% of the vote. The second-place choice “Thunder Chickens” received 27%.

 

Springfield_Cardinals15.ai

Springfield Cardinals – The only team in the Texas League who currently shares the same name as their Major League affiliate. In 1931, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased a Minor League team, renamed it the Cardinals, and moved it to Springfield. Following the 1946 season, St. Louis moved the team to St. Joseph, Mo. The new Springfield Cardinals began play in the Texas League in 2005, but the dugouts at Hammons Field still include championship banners from the 1930s and 1940s.
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Tulsa Drillers – Name was carried over from the Lafayette Drillers who moved to Tulsa in 1977. Tulsa’s original Minor League team was named the Oilers and played Triple-A baseball, but the team moved to New Orleans. The new team opted to keep the Drillers name, due to the importance of oil to the city’s economy, and the ballpark changed its name from Oiler Park to Driller Park.

 

SOUTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

CC Primary

Corpus Christi Hooks – Named for the city’s association with fishing, which is very popular on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Team’s colors are navy blue and light blue, representing the sea water and the sky.

 

Midland_RockHounds

Midland RockHounds – Nickname originated in 1999 when Midland’s team became an Oakland Athletic affiliate. They were originally known as the Midland Cubs and the Midland Angels, but the team wanted to have a name that would honor local tradition and be unique. A RockHound is simply a nickname for a geologist and it acknowledges the oil and gas industry in west Texas. The RockHounds became one of the early adopters in the current wave of fun, kid-friendly, location-specific Minor League nicknames.

 

San_Antonio_Missions

San Antonio Missions – Named after a chain of five missions that were established along the San Antonio River in the 18th century. It became the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America. The most famous mission is The Alamo, which is featured on the Missions’ logo.

 

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: light tower power piece – A towering home run; a truly awesome blast.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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

Second Inning Slide (Again)

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Well, this story line is officially past its expiration date. Another quirky second inning seemed to knock the RoughRiders off balance and Arkansas inflicted a rare series loss upon Frisco at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Click here to read the full game recap.

For the second straight night, a costly defensive miscue in the second inning nipped the ‘Riders. With a runner on first, a fielding error on Guilder Rodriguez placed two men on with no outs. The next batter, Eric Stamets, popped a towering fly ball that didn’t leave the infield.

The ball initially drifted towards Trever Adams at first base, but with 30-mph gusts blowing across the diamond from right to left, Adams soon embarked on a mad chase across the infield as the wind pushed the ball to the third base foul line.

Not only did the cowhide elude Adams’ glove, it landed fair in the dirt mere feet from the foul territory to load the bases.

Kyle Hudson followed and drove a grounder to second baseman Odubel Herrera on the edge of the outfield grass. The play would have likely scored a run regardless, but the ‘Riders at least had an opportunity to record the first out of the frame.

Instead, Adams broke off the first base bag upon contact in expectation of a bunt from Hudson. When Herrera fielded the ball, Adams was nowhere near the bag and Herrera had to eat the ball and all Travelers were safe once again.

Frisco turned a double play later in the inning, which would have ended the Travs’ chances had an out been made on the Hudson ground ball. Arkansas scored another run on the twin killing and took the lead for good.

Star of the Game: CF Ryan Strausborger – 3/4, R, 3B

Ryan scored the first ‘Riders run for the second straight night. He flashed his speed on the base path with a leadoff triple in the first inning and again in sixth when he moved from first to third in on a base knock by Patrick Cantwell. “Straus” is 7-for-12 through his first three games in a RoughRiders’ uniform this season with three runs, a double, a triple, a home run and four RBI. The centerfielder also notched an outfield assist when he threw out Brian Hernandez at third base in the eighth inning.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders lost a series at home for the first time since April 7. The opponent? Arkansas.

-Patrick Cantwell threw out two would-be basestealers on Friday. The Travelers rank second in the Texas League in stolen bases, but succeeded just once in the series.

-Frisco had a chance to score in the third. With Strausborger on second base and two outs, Cantwell bounced a grounder to short. An errant throw allowed Cantwell to reach, but the Travs escaped the inning because they caught Strausborger in a rundown between third and home. Strausborger may have taken the play for granted and assumed Cantwell would be thrown out, and thus overran third.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-4, 3SO

-Former RoughRider Mike Bianucci posted a modest 3-for-4 line with a run last night. Bianucci turned in perhaps the most impressive offensive series against the ‘Riders this season. In three games, the slugger batted 8-for-13 with six runs, two doubles, a home run and three RBI.

 

 

I had the chance to chat with Assistant Hitting Coordinator Brook Jacoby on Friday. Jacoby, a two-time MLB All-Star, joined the minor league staff this season after a seven-year run as the hitting coach for Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds (think Joey Votto, Ken Griffey, Jr., Scott Rolen, Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, etc.). He draws some interesting parallels between hitters in both places. Lots of insight in this interview:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

Second Inning Shift

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

Arkansas’ bats exploded for 18 hits against the RoughRiders and the Travs evened the series at a game apiece heading into the Friday night finale. Click here to read the full game recap.

The Travelers came to play, but in a second consecutive outing, Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez couldn’t seem to catch a break. Corpus Christi dinged him for 12 soft singles on June 20. Last night, it was a rough second inning that turned the course of the RoughRiders’ night permanently against their favor.

Mike Bianucci kept one ball in the infield on Thursday, but still managed to reach in the second on a fielding error by Joey Gallo. The third baseman charged slow grounder but came up with an empty glove as he went into the throwing motion.

Gonzalez then hit the next batter, Jett Bandy, with a pitch to put two on with nobody out. Home plate umpire Matt Czajak made a belated ruling after Bandy was halfway down the first base line. The hesitation peeved Jason Wood, who offered some demonstrative words to Czajak before returning to the dugout. Perhaps the exchange rattled Czajak, who made a poor call with significant ramifications later in the frame.

The ‘Riders managed to turn a double play to pick up two outs as a runner traveled to third. But after Kaleb Cowart tied the game with an RBI double, Czajak ruled a bouncer from Drew Heid on the third base line fair, which gave Arkansas a lead they would not relinquish.

From the press box the outfield berm, the ball appeared to cross wide of third base, but the only pair of eyes in the park that didn’t see it as such happened to be the home plate umpire. From the moment Wood emerged from the dugout for the second time in the inning, everyone understood his night was about to end. Sure enough, Czajak tossed Wood and the Travelers held the momentum for the rest of the night. An unfortunate series of events for the RoughRiders, who got off to a good start with a Ryan Strausborger home run in the first inning.

Star of the Game: 3B Joey Gallo – 2/4, 2R, HR, 2B, RBI

Joey doubled to right and launched a 1-0 pitch from Carmine Giardina to the opposite field in the seventh. It had the height to clear the WinStar Diamond Deck but instead clanged off the tin roof and caromed back into the field of play. Scouts and coaches say Gallo’s power to the opposite direction is what will make him a terror to big league pitchers. He is far more complex than a mere pull-side slugger and he has shown it on multiple occasions this season. The proud Italian has seven Double-A homers and reclaims sole possession of first in the minors with 28 long balls in 2014.

In case you missed it:

-Teodoro Martinez drew the only walk of the game for either team in the seventh inning from Carmine Giardina.

-RoughRiders pitching allowed 18 hits, the most in a single game this season for the staff

-In 60 games in Triple-A, Strausborger had no home runs and no multi-RBI games. He has one home run and two multi-RBI nights in two games with Frisco this season.

-Former RoughRider Mike Bianucci ate his former team for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday. He finished 4-for-5 at the plate with four runs, a double, a home run and three runs batted in.

Bianucci in his RoughRider days, circa 2011.

Bianucci in his RoughRider days, circa 2011.

 

 

Listen to catcher Tomás Telis regale his experience at the All-Star game and touch on modifications to his stance behind the dish:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

 

Opening Day – Take Two

Okay so let’s try that again. Opening Day in North Little Rock was washed out yesterday. The other three games in the Texas League went off without a hitch, and the South Division dominated the action. All three games went the way of the south yesterday, so Frisco comes into Opening Day back a half-game of the other three members in the division. Midland, Corpus Christi and San Antonio all picked up Opening Day victories. Midland and Frisco begin the season on the road while the other two opened up their seasons at home last night.

The rotation is not expected to change today. Cody Buckel will start game one while former big leaguer Ryan Feierabend opposes the Travelers order in game two. Arkansas counters with Jarrett Grube and Mike Piazza. No, not that one.

Keep an eye on the ‘Riders twitter feed for the latest updates on action from North Little Rock, including the starting lineups for game two, but for now, here is the game one lineup. Just the same as yesterday:

ROUGHRIDERS

2B Odubel Herrera

CF Ryan Strausborger

RF Jared Hoying

1B Brett Nicholas

3B Alex Buchholz

LF Chih-Hsien Chiang

C Zach Zaneski

SS Hanser Alberto

RHP Cody Buckel

 

TRAVELERS

CF Travis Witherspoon

LF Matt Long

3B Kaleb Cowart

1B C.J. Cron

DH Robbie Widlansky

RF Randal Grichuk

2B Taylor Lindsey

C Jett Bandy

SS Rolando Gomez

RHP Jarrett Grube

News, notes, thoughts, and links:

  • The RoughRiders weren’t alone in having weather issues yesterday. Of the four active minor league teams in the Texas system (Spokane and the Rangers AZL and DSL teams pick up in June), only one of them got their opener in.
  • That was Round Rock. The Express topped Omaha 3-1 behind five shut-out innings from soon-to-be Texas Ranger’s 5th starter Nick Tepesch. The former ‘Rider scattered five singles in his five frames and struck out five Stormchasers on the way to the victory in his Triple-A debut. 
  • Hickory (Class-A) and Myrtle Beach (Class-A Advanced) were both rained out yesterday. Unlike Frisco, they will not make up their games today. Hickory will play a twin bill tomorrow beginning at 4:00 CT. Myrtle Beach won’t make up their postponed game until May 25th.
  • An extra long edition of the game notes today, complete with both starting pitchers is available at RidersBaseball.com
  • Tonight’s doubleheader can be heard here or if you are on an iPad or iPhone, click here. You can also watch the games with the audio feed simulcast by purchasing a subscription to MiLB.tv.
  • Frisco finishes the three game set with Arkansas in a full nine-inning contest tomorrow at 6:10 p.m. before getting back on the bus for the 194-mile trek to Springdale, Ark., home of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The RoughRiders round out the weekend Sunday with the first of a three game series against NW Arkansas at 2:00 p.m.

Enjoy day two of the season Opening Day! Go ‘Riders!

– Nathan

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