Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

Final road trips and homestands

With the season coming to a close next week, the Riders are playing their final game on the road tonight against Midland. Frisco will then head home to Dr Pepper Ballpark for one last seven-game homestand.

Historically speaking, the Riders have done well on their final homestands of the year, while struggling a bit more on the road. Through the first six games of this year’s final road trip, the Riders now have an overall record of 43-44 on their final trips of a season. At home, however, Frisco is 43-33 in games that were a part of the last homestand of the season.

The best finish came in 2004, when the Riders went 5-3 on their final road trip followed by 9-3 in a 12-game homestand to wrap up the regular season. That squad went on to win the Texas League championship.

The worst finish to a regular season was last year. Frisco went 1-6 in its final seven road games, followed by being swept in a three-game series at home to end the season. The Riders finished the year on a seven-game losing streak.

At the moment, the Riders are 0-6 on the current road trip. The team will match last year’s final road trip record with a win tonight, or they could slip to a team-worst 0-7 on their final trip with a loss this evening.

Frisco still has a chance to finish on a positive note with seven more games coming up at Dr Pepper Ballpark starting Tuesday night against Corpus Christi. The Riders will play four games against the Hooks, followed by three more with Midland to conclude the season.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Oregon boot – The figurative shoe of a slow runner.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Road to the show

Sometimes, I find myself pondering the vast landscape of baseball’s farm systems. The intricate layout of a farm system can affect player development and fan interest, along with numerous other factors.

The Frisco RoughRiders are fortunate to be extremely close to the team’s Major League affiliate, the Texas Rangers. However, many Minor League teams do not have that luxury. In fact, some are located on completely opposite ends of the country.


With that in mind, I was curious to find out the distances between Minor League affiliates and their respective Major League parent clubs. Creating a spreadsheet was a beneficial way to compare and contrast between different organizations and each level of Minor League Baseball. (zoom in for details)


This is each farm system, mapped out by affiliate location and distance from the affiliate’s home ballpark to the parent club’s ballpark. These are driving distances, not flying distances. So, say you wanted to hop in the car and travel from Centennial Field in Burlington (home of the Class A-Short Season Vermont Lake Monsters) to the Oakland Coliseum. That would be a whopping 3,016-mile trip, the longest driving distance between any Minor League team and its Major League affiliate.

The table above has each organization sorted by average distance (total miles/number of farm teams). Oakland has the most spread out farm system, with the Class A-Advanced Stockton Ports being the only A’s affiliate within 750 miles of the Oakland Coliseum. The Baltimore Orioles, meanwhile, have their entire farm system (with the exception of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles) neatly spread across the Mid-Atlantic region. The average distance between an Orioles affiliate and Oriole Park at Camden Yards is just 242 miles.

In terms of average distance, the Rangers place 17th out of 30. However, the top two levels of the farm system are very close to home. Frisco is just a 35-mile drive from Globe Life Park in Arlington, ranking second among Double-A affiliates (only the Bowie Baysox are closer – 27 miles from Baltimore).

It is also interesting to note the trend of Minor League teams being closer to home in higher ranks of the farm system. 14 Class A-Advanced teams are located at least 1,000 miles from their Major League affiliate, while just five Triple-A teams top the 1,000 mark (Las Vegas is the farthest Triple-A affiliated, located 2,535 miles from Citi Field in New York). Additionally, eight teams in Triple-A are located within 100 miles of their Major League affiliates.

Highs and Lows:

Triple-A: Tacoma – 36 miles from Seattle … Las Vegas – 2,535 miles from New York (NL)

Double-A: Bowie – 27 miles from Baltimore … Richmond – 2,869 miles from San Francisco

Class A-Advanced: Potomac – 30 miles from Washington … Fort Myers – 1,700 miles from Minnesota

Class-A: Lake County – 19 miles from Cleveland … Augusta – 2,618 miles from San Francisco

Class A-Short Season: Brooklyn – 21 miles from New York (NL) … Vermont – 3,016 miles from Oakland

Rookie: AZL Diamondbacks – 21 miles from Arizona … AZL Indians – 2,033 miles from Cleveland

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: frostie – A pitch in slow pitch softball that is above 12 feet in arc. The term alludes facetiously to the frost that appears at higher altitudes.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Name the new Kinston team

Yesterday, the Texas Rangers agreed to purchase a Class A-Advanced franchise in the Carolina League that will play in Kinston, North Carolina beginning next season.

In less than a day, the new team already has a Twitter handle (@BaseballKinston) and a website. On the website, there is a link where fans can submit ideas for what the team should be named.

The process began yesterday, and fans have until Friday, September 2 to submit ideas. The top five or six options will be announced after the deadline, and fans will have an opportunity to vote on their favorite team name.

We have a few ideas of our own…

Kinston Krzyzewskis


Kinston Kowboys


Kinston K-angers


Kinston Kiner-Falefas


Kinston Krusty Krabs


– Steve

Baseball term of the day: expansion team – A team that has been created through expansion and that is often referred to as such for many years after its entry into a league.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Series victory against Springfield

After topping Springfield 4-3 in the series opener Tuesday night, the RoughRiders won their second straight game yesterday. Behind a six-run fourth inning, a quality start by Reed Garrett, and an impressive performance at the plate by Alexeis Bell, the Riders clinched a series victory with a 9-6 win over the Cardinals.

This is the second time in the month of August that the Riders have reeled off two straight wins. However, Frisco has not won more than two games in a row since July. The Riders beat Corpus Christi in three straight road games on July 14-16, followed by another win at home against San Antonio on July 17.

Last night’s game was impactful for a few reasons:

1. The six-run fourth inning

The Riders have now had a six-run inning in two of the last three home games. In the series finale against Midland on August 3, prior to the last road trip, Frisco erupted for six runs in the fifth inning to lead them past the ‘Hounds 10-4. In addition, the Riders have collected a total of 12 hits with runners in scoring position in the last three home games.

2. Another quality start for Reed Garrett

Since returning from Class A-Advanced High Desert, Garrett has been much a much more effective starter. In 17 innings, he has allowed just five runs, four earned. Although the Riders lost his first two starts back with the team, coming on the road at San Antonio and Springfield, the offense provided enough support to earn Garrett a win last night.

3. Alexeis Bell breaks out

After going 8-for-26 on the road trip, Bell already has five hits in the last two home games. He mashed his first Minor League home run to get the big fourth inning started last night. If he stays hot, it will help the Riders offense continue to generate runs over the last few weeks of the season.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: raftman – A slow outfielder who appears to be poling a raft rather than running.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

RoughRiders name game

How many professional baseball players share the same last name as current RoughRiders players? Which Riders players have original last names? We went to and used their “player search” feature to find out.

Scott Carroll – 1 of 5 players with the last name “Carroll”

Joe Filomeno – Only player with the last name “Filomeno”

Reed Garrett – 1 of 4 players with the last name “Garrett”

Juan Grullon – 1 of 4 players with the last name “Grullon”

Jefri Hernandez – 1 of 95 players with the last name “Hernandez”

Luke Jackson – 1 of 16 players with the last name “Jackson”

Ariel Jurado – Only player with the last name “Jurado”

Ryan Ledbetter – 1 of 2 players with the last name “Ledbetter”

Frank Lopez – 1 of 59 players with the last name “Lopez”

Jose Monegro – Only player with the last name “Monegro”

Adam Parks – Only player with the last name “Parks”

Richelson Pena – 1 of 49 players with the last name “Pena”

David Perez – 1 of 111 players with the last name “Perez”

Connor Sadzeck – Only player with the last name “Sadzeck”

Tanner Scheppers – Only player with the last name “Scheppers”

Ryne Slack – Only player with the last name “Slack”

Jack Snodgrass – Only player with the last name “Snodgrass”

Sam Wolff – Only player with the last name “Wolff”

Carson Blair – 1 of 5 players with the last name “Blair”

Kellin Deglan – Only player with the last name “Deglan”

Edwin Garcia has the most common baseball last name on the RoughRiders roster.

Edwin Garcia has the most common baseball last name on the RoughRiders roster.

Shaq Matta – Only player with the last name “Matta”

Edwin Garcia – 1 of 123 players with the last name “Garcia”

Andy Ibanez – Only player with the last name “Ibanez”

Isiah Kiner-Falefa – Only player with the last name “Kiner-Falefa”

Luis Marte – 1 of 18 players with the last name “Marte”

Luis Mendez – 1 of 22 players with the last name “Mendez”

Alberto Triunfel – 1 of 2 players with the last name “Triunfel”

Alexeis Bell – 1 of 9 players with the last name “Bell”

Ryan Cordell – Only player with the last name “Cordell”

Joe Jackson – 1 of 16 players with the last name “Jackson”

Darin Mastroianni – Only player with the last name “Mastroianni”

Eduard Pinto – 1 of 10 players with the last name “Pinto”

Top 3 most popular names: Garcia (123), Perez (111), Hernandez (95)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Nellie hitter – A hitter who hits to left center and right center.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riders aim to end North Division nightmare

The Riders open a six-game homestand tonight with three games against Springfield and three more with Tulsa over the weekend.

Since Frisco won the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had a large amount of success against the Riders.

Joe Jackson has a .400 average (6-for-15) with two home runs and three RBI against Springfield

Joe Jackson has a .400 average (6-for-15) with two home runs and three RBI against Springfield

Frisco has gone a dismal 7-24 in the last 31 cross-divisional matchups, and the RoughRiders have won just two of the last 11 series (June 3-5 vs. Springfield and July 9-11 vs. Northwest Arkansas). The Riders have not won a road series against a North Division opponent since opening the season with five straight wins in Springdale and North Little Rock (April 7-9 at Northwest Arkansas, April 10-12 at Arkansas).

However, Frisco has won three of their five home series against North Division opponents this year. The Riders won both series against Northwest Arkansas and took two of three games from Springfield in June.

This week, the Riders begin a six-game homestand against Springfield and Tulsa. It marks the final meetings between Frisco and opponents from the North Division in the regular season. The Riders went 1-5 in games at Hammons Field, with a 2-1 record at home. However, Frisco has yet to beat Tulsa in eight tries this year.

If the Riders hope to stay in contention for a final playoff spot, they will need to survive through this week. Frisco still has six games remaining against Midland over the final two weeks of the season. Whether the Riders still have playoff hopes when they square off with Midland has yet to be determined. But Frisco definitely has an opportunity to make an impact on the postseason race.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: cement mixer – A mediocre pitch. Roger Clemens used the term for a backup slider that spins badly (The Sporting News, March 25, 2005).

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Meet the new Riders

Over the past week, there have been a load of new players transferred to Frisco.

If you have been following along closely, you may recognize some of the new names and faces. However, if you’ve missed out on the past few days of Riders coverage, you will probably be surprised to find out that the team has an entirely new look.

Let’s get to know some of the new players the Riders have received over the past couple weeks who are playing in Frisco for the first time this season.

Alexeis Bell – OF

The Rangers signed Bell, 32, to a minor league contract on July 15. He began his stateside career with the Rangers’ Arizona League squad. In four games, he went 4-for-16 with a walk and two strikeouts.


Bell played his first 14 professional seasons in the Cuban National Series, where he was a career .319 hitter with 138 home runs and 632 RBI in 659 games. He also maintained a .417 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage during his time in the Cuban National Series, most of which was spent with the Avispas de Santiago de Cuba. He won league MVP honors in the 2007-08 season after setting single-season league records for home runs (31) and RBI (111), while posting a .355 average.

The veteran outfielder spent last season with Les Capitales de Quebec in the Canadian-American Association, where he hit .317 with two homers and 23 RBI in 59 games. Bell also played nine games with Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this May.

Bell also has extensive experience representing Cuba on the international stage. Of note, he was part of the country’s Olympic team, which brought home the silver medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He also played on Cuba’s squad during the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

Scott Carroll – RHP

The 31-year-old spent the majority of 2016 with Triple-A Charlotte of the International League, going 2-8 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 games, 12 starts. He made three relief outings with the White Sox in May, allowing three runs and two hits in 2 1/3 innings pitched. Carroll was on Chicago’s 40-man roster before being assigned outright to Charlotte on July 14.

In 47 Major League games, 19 starts, Carroll has a 6-11 record with a 4.60 ERA. He was 5-10 with a 4.80 ERA in 26 games, 19 starts with the White Sox in 2014. In 2015, he posted a 3.44 ERA in 18 relief appearances.

He spent his first six pro seasons in the Cincinnati organization before signing as a free agent with Chicago in July 2012.

Carlos Arroyo – OF

Arroyo, 23, has been with Round Rock, Class-A Hickory, Class A Short-season Hickory and the Arizona League Rangers. He has combined to play 18 games this season, hitting .298. The outfielder is in his fourth season as a professional, signing with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent September 19, 2012 out of Valencia, Venezuela.

Jack Snodgrass – LHP

Snodgrass, 28, signed with the Rangers as a minor league free agent on July 14 after spending the first five seasons of his career in the San Francisco Giants organization. The lefty went 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in four appearances with Round Rock. Snodgrass was drafted by the Giants in the 27th round of the 2011 draft out of Austin Peay State.

Eduard Pinto – OF


Pinto, 21, departed Hickory as the team leader in batting average (.337), on-base percentage (.392), slugging percentage (.478), and OPS (.870). Pinto was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week on July 10th, after batting .567/.581/.833 with two home runs, 2 doubles, and eight RBI over the seven game stretch. The 5’11” outfielder spent time with Hickory in both 2014 and 2015, which included a .364 average in the postseason while helping the Crawdads to the 2015 SAL Championship.

Carson Blair – C

Blair, 26, is in his ninth year as a professional. He spent the first seven seasons of his career in the Boston Red Sox organization before signing with the Oakland Athletics as a minor league free agent in November 2014. He was with Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville most of last season before making his Major League debut September 6 with the Athletics, where he played 11 big league games, batting .129 with one homer and three RBI.

The native of Argyle, Texas opened the 2016 season with Midland before earning a promotion to Nashville on July 3. Blair was released by the A’s on July 15. For his career, Blair is a .245 hitter with more than 43 percent of his hits going for extra bases (87 doubles, 12 triples, 38 home runs).

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: gaijin – Foreign players in the Japanese professional baseball leagues. Teams are allowed to have up to four gaijin on the roster (two position players and two pitchers). ETYMOLOGY. Japanese for “outsiders.”

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Riding Through the Farm (August 5)

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 (63-46 – 1st, AL West)

After making moves to acquire Jonathan LucroyCarlos Beltran, and Jeremy Jeffress at the trade deadline, all three have had success in the past week for the Rangers. Lucroy and Beltran both hit home runs in the three-game series against Baltimore, and Jeffress pitched a scoreless inning in yesterday’s 5-3 victory in the finale.

A huge three-game road series against the Houston Astros begins tonight at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers have won nine of 10 games against the Astros so far this season and lead Houston by 6 1/2 games in the American League West.

Today: at Houston, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (54-59 – T-2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

On Wednesday, Round Rock received four players from the RoughRidersYohander Mendez and Ronald Guzman, two of the Top 5 prospects in the Rangers farm system (according to, have already made an impact with the E-Train.

Guzman went 2-for-4 in his Triple-A debut Thursday, mashing a solo home run in his first at-bat and driving in another run with a double later in the game.

In his second start with the Express last night, Mendez pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits in a win over Oklahoma City. The southpaw has now fired a total of 10 scoreless innings in two Triple-A starts this season.

Today: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (66-44 overall, 23-17 second half – 3rd place, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have won seven of their last 10 games, including a four-game sweep of Rancho Cucamonga on the road last week. High Desert is back at home battling the Quakes again, and they started the series with a win yesterday.

Former Rider Cody Palmquist continues to dominate California League opponents out of the bullpen for High Desert. Palmquist was named Rangers Reliever of the Month last month after not allowing a run in all of June. He has given up just four earned runs in 17 relief appearances (26.1 innings pitched) since joining the Mavs on June 4.

Today: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Jeff Springs)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (60-49 overall, 22-17 second half – 3rd place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

A five-game win streak has propelled the Crawdads into third place in the SAL Northern Division standings. Hickory is now just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Hagerstown, who won the division in the first half of the season. The ‘Dads are half a game behind Greensboro for second place and the second-best overall record the division.

However, the Crawdads recently lost outfielder Eduard Pinto and infielder Dylan Moore, who were both promoted to higher affiliates. Pinto joined the RoughRiders last night, while Moore was moved up to High Desert.

Infielder Xavier Turner was just assigned to Hickory from Spokane yesterday. He has a chance to make a big impact for the Crawdads in their push for a playoff spot. Turner played nine games with the Crawdads last season after starting his professional career in the Arizona League.

Today: at Lexington, 6:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Joe Palumbo)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (23-22 overall, 4-3 second half  3rd place, Northwest League North Division)

As mentioned above, Xavier Turner was promoted to Hickory yesterday after a spectacular performance Tuesday in the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game. Turner won the Top Star Award for the Northwest League, going 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of runs scored.

Four former Spokane Indians were involved in the Rangers’ trade deadline deal for Carlos Beltran. In addition to Dillon Tate (2015), Erik Swanson (2014), and Nick Green (2016), Beltran was also an Indian back in 1996. Spokane was affiliated with the Kansas City Royals at the time.

Tonight: at Salem-Keizer, 8:35 p.m. (SP: LHP Sal Mendez)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: pastureworker – An outfielder.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Impressive home run catches

In case you missed last night’s RoughRiders game, a Choctaw Lazy River employee made an incredible catch using a pool net to haul in a Kellin Deglan home run.

The catch was impressive on its own. The unique aspect was the instrument that the employee used to catch the ball, all while maintaining his balance perched on top of the lazy river.

Here are five other amazing catches made by fans during baseball games. Although none of them contain a lazy river, unfortunately, they are still entertaining to watch!

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: lucky seventh – The bottom half of the seventh inning, which was once regarded as lucky for the home team. The term was probably named from the idea of the lucky ‘seven’ as known in the game of dice. Sporting people have long associated good fortune with the number 7.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Grab a bat: Pitchers hitting for the Riders

Last night, pitcher Ryan Ledbetter was called out of the bullpen to come in and pinch hit for the RoughRiders with two outs in the ninth inning.


Following Alberto Triunfel‘s ejection in the middle of his at-bat, Frisco had no other position players left on the bench to enter the game. As a result, Ledbetter grabbed a bat and saw three pitches from Midland’s Kyle Finnegan. Ledbetter swung and missed at the first, fouled off the second, and then struck out looking on the third.

It was a rare occurrence seeing a pitcher hit for the Riders. Because Frisco is a Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, an American League team, the Riders always use a designated hitter. In the Texas League, pitchers only have to hit when two National League affiliates square off.

However, there have been three other instances where a pitcher was brought in to a Riders game, either as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement, and ended up getting an at-bat.


Jesse Chavez – June 27, 2005 vs. Tulsa (W, 8-6 – 12 innings)

This game featured a situation where Frisco’s designated hitter Seth Taylor entered the game to play second base. As a result, the pitcher’s spot took over the second slot in the batting order. Scott Feldman pitched 2 1/3 innings, through the 10th inning, but he did not get a chance to bat. Instead, it was Chavez who came up to the plate in the 11th after pitching the top half of the inning.

Chavez struck out against Tulsa’s Judd Songster, pitched another scoreless frame, and then the Riders won on a walk-off two-run homer by Will Smith in the bottom of the 12th. Current Riders hitting coach Jason Hart also scored on Smith’s home run.

Ben Snyder – August 15, 2011 vs. Tulsa (W, 3-2 – 12 innings)


The second time a pitcher hit for the RoughRiders came in another game against the Drillers at Dr Pepper Ballpark. It was also a 12-inning contest that ended in a Riders victory. However, this game featured Snyder entering the game as a defensive replacement for Engel Beltre in the eighth inning. Beltre was ejected after arguing a called third strike in the bottom of the seventh. Snyder played right field, and Jonathan Greene moved over to Beltre’s spot in center.

The lefty Snyder ended up getting two at-bats, as the game went to extra innings. Snyder singled to right field in the ninth inning against Tulsa’s Joe Torres. This still stands as the only time a RoughRiders pitcher has recorded a hit. Snyder struck out looking against Stephen Dodson in the 12th. Two batters later, Jared Bolden hit a walk-off single to plate Jose Felix.

Ryan Rodebaugh – June 6, 2013 at San Antonio


Rodebaugh was the most recent pitcher to hit in a game before Ledbetter came up to the plate in the ninth inning yesterday. This was also the only time that a Riders pitcher has batted on the road. It was another occasion where a designated hitter entered the game defensively, but this situation was a lot more complex.

Riders shortstop Hanser Alberto was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a call at first base after grounding into a double play. Odubel Herrera moved from second base to shortstop, Chih-Hsien Chiang took over Alberto’s spot in the batting order playing right field, and Alejandro Selen switched to second base from right field.

However, after Selen’s second strikeout of the game, he was replaced defensively. Herrera took back his original position at second base, and designated hitter Guilder Rodriguez entered at shortstop. Therefore, the new pitcher Arlett Mavare took over Selen’s vacated spot in the lineup.

Mavare pitched a scoreless seventh, and Richard Bleier tossed a 1-2-3 eighth. When Bleier was due up with one out in the ninth, Rodebaugh was called in to pinch hit against San Antonio’s Ryan Kelly. He became the second Riders pitcher to reach base in a game, but it was not on a hit. The second baseman Chris Bisson made a fielding error, allowing Rodebaugh to reach safely. Rodebaugh was promptly doubled off first base after Chiang flied out to the right fielder Kalian Sams.

(Side note: June 6 was the final game Sams played with San Antonio. He hit a home run off Pucetas to lead off the sixth, which was his last hit with the Missions. The Padres promoted Sams to Triple-A Tucson the following day, but he was released by the club on July 19. The Rangers signed Sams to a minor league contract on August 9, and he was assigned to Frisco the next day.)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Pittsburgh chopper – A batted ball that becomes a hit because it bounces over a fielder’s head. Its success depends on a downward chopping swing and a hard infield. Named by and for the 1960 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates, who specialized in such hits.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)