Results tagged ‘ Engel Beltre ’
The RoughRiders cruised past the Corpus Christi Hooks 9-5 Saturday night. Here are some pictures from the game from team photographer James Garner.
Carlos Pimentel posted his eighth quality start and his first win since June 14. Pimentel went six innings and allowed three runs.
Jose Felix (right) went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles in the game’s early innings.
Davis Stoneburner tags out Jonathan Villar for a pickoff in the first inning.
One night after his three-homer effort, Tommy Mendonca went 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
Engel Beltre doubles home three RoughRiders in the club’s four-run third inning.
Later in the inning, Beltre scores on a Jose Felix RBI single.
Over the last few days, we have talked about the Rangers’ prospects from Round Rock to Surprise, and we have focused on ten ‘Riders who have improved their prospect stock in the last 12 months.
Today, let’s take a look at five new RoughRiders. These five men got off to slow starts, but they have turned things around and become factors on the second-best team in the Texas League.
Engel Beltre: Beltre’s struggles are well-documented this season, but the guy did enter 2011 as the Rangers’ fifth-best prospect according to Baseball America. The glove has been there all season long, and the bat is starting to come around.
Offensively, Beltre bottomed out in May when he hit .162 in 12 games after returning from a suspension. The outfielder began his upswing in June by hitting .252 and scoring 17 times in 26 games. So far in July, Beltre is thriving–.306 average, 12 runs, four stolen bases (he did not steal any in May or June), and a .729 OPS.
Beltre’s numbers overall don’t scream “top level prospect,” but he has gone through a great deal during the 2011 season. The fact that he has a chance, with a strong finish to the year, to get his stats close to his averages in the minors is impressive.
Jake Brigham: Brigham had his baseball world turned upside down late last month. The right-hander, who had made 14 starts with the ‘Riders, was sent to the bullpen. Prior to this year, Brigham had only acted as a reliever 13 times.
During his first four outings, Brigham allowed ten runs while adjusting to his new role. Since then, Brigham has been dominant. The righty has tossed eight and a third innings of scoreless baseball. He has allowed three hits, walked three hits, and struck out nine batters.
Brigham’s ERA as a bullpen arm is 6.08, but it is dropping quickly. If he continues this recent surge, he will add to an already-talented bullpen.
Justin Miller: Speaking of talented bullpen arms, how about the run of success Miller has had? The key for Miller was finding a role. He struggled a bit as the club’s closer in the first handful of weeks, but he has settled into a job that involves setting up around 75% of the time and closing about 25% of the time.
After a 3.76 ERA through May 31, Miller boasted an ERA of 0.00 in 13 and two-thirds innings in June. So far in July, Miller has surrendered one run in seven and two-thirds. And Miller is able to retire both lefties (.190) and righties (.217), which is a huge asset for an eighth/ninth-inning guy.
A few interesting splits for Miller: he loves night games (1.02 ERA) v. day games (5.84 ERA), and he loves home games (0.68 ERA) v. road games (4.22 ERA).
Elio Sarmiento: We’ve heard about Sarmiento’s excellent cooking abilities, but his performance on the field deserves some praise, too. Sarmiento had to bounce between the team’s second and third catcher during the first few weeks, but now he has a strong case for being Frisco’s best backstop.
Sarmiento’s batting average has gone up in every month this year (.091, .214, .326, .355). In his 21 appearances since June 3, Sarmiento has three home runs and 17 RBIs. Before this year, Sarmiento’s career high in home runs was two. The Venezuela native’s career high in RBIs (25 in ’09) is very much in danger, too.
Since the beginning of June, Sarmiento has played in 21 games, and Jose Felix has played in 19. As you can see, Sarmiento’s efforts have earned him more playing time.
Corey Young: April was not a kind month for the left-handed reliever. He went 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in eight appearances, and he found himself on the disabled list with a back injury on April 28.
Once Young rejoined the RoughRiders’ active roster five weeks later, he became a force. The southpaw owns a 1.10 ERA in 16 and a third innings. In early June, Young appeared in a few mop-up situations. Since then, he has worked his way into many key situations. In the ninth inning and beyond, Young has allowed only one earned run in seven innings.
Young still needs to work on his efforts against lefties (.353 average), but that is pretty remarkable to see for a lefty who owns a 3.70 ERA. Thus, there is some room for improvement for a man who is already seeing plenty.
The ‘Riders have today off but we wanted to give you a sneak peak inside one of the pre-game routines designed by Frisco Strength and Conditioning Coach, Eric McMahon. Hope you enjoy! -AG
The RoughRiders players, lead by Strength and Conditioning Coach Eric McMahon, warm up using the ladders before a game in Springfield, MO.
Independence Day is a day rich in history, so why not delve into the history of the RoughRiders franchise on July 4. Here’s a look back at the ‘Riders’ efforts on this day.
2003–Frisco 5, Tulsa 1: The first Fourth of July in franchise history produced the highest attendance at Dr Pepper Ballpark (11,836). C.J Wilson went six and a third innings for the win to improve to 4-6 on the ’03 season. By the way, thanks to the Director of the RoughRiders Statistical Research Department–Michael Damman–for helping on this information. As always, you can check out his work here.
2004–Frisco 7, Round Rock 1: The ‘Riders cruised in their second Fourth of July game against the team that Frisco would beat in mid-September for its first ever Texas League championship. Kameron Loe went eight dominant innings for the ‘Riders, and both Mike Curry and Tydus Meadows homered.
2005–San Antonio 2, Frisco 1: Current big leaguer John Danks went seven innings and struck out ten Missions, but a pair of solo homers doomed him on that Independence Day. It was the RoughRiders’ first road game on the Fourth of July. Frisco’s nine-hole hitter, Cameron Coughlan, went 3-for-3 with a solo homer.
2006–Frisco 5, San Antonio 4: The ‘Riders got some revenge on the Missions in ’06 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, using a homer and three RBIs from Nate Gold to defeat San Antonio by one.
2007–Frisco 1, Arkansas 0 and Frisco 3, Arkansas 0: The ‘Riders played a de-facto double header. In the completion of a suspended game from a few days ago, the ‘Riders won in the tenth on a solo shot by Kevin Richardson, the game’s only run. In the nightcap, Armando Galarraga (yes, that Armando Galarraga) tossed a one-hit shutout to clinch a sweep for the ‘Riders.
2008–Frisco 8, Springfield 1: The ‘Riders scored three in the second and five in the third and cruised from there en route to the club’s third straight victory on Independence Day, all of which took place in North Texas. Frisco starter Michael Ballard worked into the ninth inning for the victory.
2009–Frisco 18, Springfield 4: Playing in just the team’s second road game on the Fourth of July, Frisco scored in six different innings, and the duo of Chad Tracy and John Whittleman combined for 13 RBIs. The ‘Riders did not score this many runs again until June 3 of this season, when the club spanked Northwest Arkansas by the same score.
2010–Frisco 8, Springfield 7: An eighth-inning tally pushed the RoughRiders ahead for good and extended the club’s winning streak on this date to six. Current ‘Rider Engel Beltre hit a home run into the ‘Riders Pool Zone and drove in four runs. Martin Perez tossed five and a third innings, and Cody Eppley earned his eighth save of the season.
So, the RoughRiders are 8-1 all-time on the Fourth of July, and the team has outscored its opponents 56-20. In other words, America’s birthday has been kind to the ‘Riders historically.
Today, the ‘Riders aim to continue the trend against the Arkansas Travelers. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m., and pre-game coverage starts at 5:35 p.m.
The NBA Finals are set. It will be Miami against Dallas beginning Tuesday night in South Beach, just like I accurately predicted.
If you were gullible enough to click that link, I apologize. Actually, I picked the Lakers over the Bulls. For what it is worth, those two teams went a combined 1-8 against the two teams that will play for basketball’s ultimate prize. As you can tell, I’m really good at predicting.
Not only do the Mavericks have the support of the DFW area, but they are also gaining support from all those who dislike Miami and its “Big Three.” I fall into this category, and I’m in the most passionate subset of it because I’m a Cleveland fan.
I’m just warning all you Mavericks fans–it isn’t a great omen to have Cleveland on your side. The city doesn’t exactly thrive in these situations. I’ll tell you this, though. If the Mavs pull it out, then Dirk and the guys will get quite an ovation in their trip to Cleveland next year.
Let’s go Mavs, and let’s go Facts.
- Before we get into a few thriving RoughRiders, there was a trade today. Right-hander Chris Mobley was sent to the Reds for a player to be named later and cash. Mobley split time between Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock and had a 4.67 earned run average in 14 outings.
- “This is probably one of those moves that is great for the player. There’s a Triple-A job open in Louisville,” Frisco manager Steve Buechele said about Mobley’s departure. “He’s a great kid. Hopefully, he’ll go out and help them.”
- He’s no Dirk Nowitzki right now, but Frisco starter Martin Perez has been on fire as of late. In his last four starts, Perez has four quality starts, 25 strikeouts, and a 0.68 ERA. Yesterday, Perez left with the lead for the fifth time this season, and he finally received his first win in those situations. His only other win (and decision, for that matter) came in that rain-shortened perfect game April 19.
- So far this season, it has been easy to tell whether or not Perez has it going. Perez, the Rangers’ top prospect, has given up a combined nine runs in the first and second innings and just four in the rest of the game. He owns a 1.07 ERA from the third inning on.
- Finally, Perez is dominating in situations that he should dominate. Against fellow left-handers, he has allowed only seven hits in 44 at-bats (.159). For what it’s worth, lefties hit .267 against Perez a year ago. Also, when Perez is ahead in the count, his opposition is hitting .113.
- With a top prospect, the question of a promotion pops up. “No doubt,” Buechele said when he was asked about it. “You look at the Texas League stat sheet, and he’s the number one pitcher in this league. Certainly, those thoughts start crossing your mind, and I would have no problem recommending him a promotion. I think he could handle Triple-A right now. His improvement from last year to this year has been incredible.”
- Buechele said that the biggest keys to Perez’s jump have been the improved command of his fastball and the ability to keep some rough innings under control. Perez has given up more than one run in an inning only three times this season.
- Leonys Martin continues to perform well for the ‘Riders. He has hit safely in 10 of his 13 games this year, and his average sits at .315. When you look at his game-by-game average, Martin has never had it dip below .273. He is hitting better against lefties (.320) than he has against righties (.310).
- What has been most impressive to me when looking at his stats is his performance in “clutch” situations. He is swinging at a .583 clip (7-for-12) with men in scoring position. Within that figure, he is 4-for-5 with runners in scoring position and two down. Overall, when men are on base, Martin has a .421 average.
- On the flip side, it has been a rough period for Engel Beltre. Since returning from his 15-game suspension, Beltre is hitting .154. He has yet to drive in a run or steal a base during these nine games. He has struck out eight times and walked only once.
- In these nine games, Beltre has played in right field four times, left field three times and center field twice. Martin has only played outside of center field once as a RoughRider.
- Finally, here’s a pretty cool new blog from Neil Wagner, a pitcher for the Midland RockHounds. He had a funny blog about his time in Frisco during Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz’s rehab stint. I hope he continues to update it.
Join us for the pre-game show at 6:35 along the RBN. First pitch is set for 7:05.
It was an ugly, frustrating loss for the RoughRiders last night in San Antonio. But hey, at least they didn’t look like the Red Sox and Cubs did at Fenway Park last night. The Cubs are playing in Boston for the first time since the 1918 World Series, and both clubs decided to sport a retro look for the game.
Honestly, I don’t think they are AS bad as people are saying. I still think they are pretty atrocious, though. Take a look at 45 “traditional-looking” pictures for yourself. I bet new San Diego top prospect Casey Kelly, who was shipped from the Red Sox in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is thrilled he won’t have to wear those uniforms.
Unfortunately, we need to get into the ugly loss last night in today’s Facts.
- Kyle Blanks’ game-winning, 11th-inning grand slam was the third bases loaded home run allowed by the RoughRiders this season. The other two–Mike Trout, the Angels’ number one prospect, hit one at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and J.D. Martinez hit one into the pool at Whataburger Field–have been notable. But this one was a game-winning blast on a 2-0 pitch with two down.
- The game seemed destined for a 12th inning, as Ramon Aguero retired the first two men he faced in the 11th. Credit the Missions offense. Both walks in the inning came after the count ran full, and Daniel Robertson’s single followed a battle back from 1-2 to 3-2.
- Here’s a stat that shocked me. The RoughRiders’ staff had been doing a tremendous job when faced with a bases loaded situation. Even with that grand slam, Frisco’s pitching staff has held its opponents to just a .175 (10-for-57) average with no bases open. To put it into perspective, the ‘Riders’ offense is hitting .273 (6-for-22). It is also important to note that the ‘Riders have been in that many bases loaded situations (i.e., 35 more than the offense).
- You have to feel for Martin Perez. It’s amazing that he still has only one win (and one decision overall) this year, when he very well could be something like 5-2. He has exited with a lead four times this season, and the ‘Riders’ bullpen has allowed 21 runs in those games. Frisco is 2-2 in those contests.
- Still, wins and losses are negligible in Perez’s case as long as the development is there. And it certainly is. He has had four outings of 0 earned runs this season, which already surpasses his total from last season (three) in 24 outings. In the other five starts, Perez has never allowed more than three runs. He surrendered four or more tallies TEN times last season.
- It was good to see Mike Bianucci back in the order after getting a pair of days off Thursday and Friday. He went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
- How about Davis Stoneburner? He has been in and out of the lineup for the last week, but he extended his hitting streak to eight games with that three-run double in Engel Beltre’s absence. This hitting streak spans 16 games. Stoneburner has raised his batting average from .185 to .239 during the span.
- Speaking of Engel Beltre, he left the game yesterday with a hand injury after being hit by a pitch yesterday. No word on his condition, but we should know more by air time this afternoon.
- Both Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton went yard for Triple-A Round Rock yesterday in the Express’ win over Colorado Springs. Reports are saying that the duo could return to the big leagues in a day or two. If that were to happen, I would imagine that there would be a significant trickle-down effect within the outfield ranks in the Rangers’ system.
We take the air at 3:35 p.m. for the pre-game show. First pitch is set for 4:05. Enjoy!
Aaron Goldsmith and I just returned from Arlington after a fun day. It is official–Leonys Martin is a member of the Rangers organization. He was introduced to the media at noon today, prior to the “game that didn’t actually happen because of rain” between Oakland and Texas.
Plenty of notes on Martin, and a few others, in an off-day edition of the Facts.
- Martin will debut with the RoughRiders Thursday night against the Corpus Christi Hooks. He is expected to be the leadoff hitter for the ‘Riders. In five extended spring training games in Surprise, Arizona, Martin batted .438 (7-for-16) with three walks.
- Here are a couple of thoughts from Martin as spoken by a translator, who was Bill McLaughlin. McLaughlin is the Rangers’ Manager of Cultural Enhancement and an international scout. Keep in mind that McLaughlin, at times, uses third-person when speaking for Martin.
- “He is very happy to be a part of the organization. It’s an organization that has a lot of union, and he’s happy to be here.”
- “I thank them for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this organization, and I have the confidence in me to help bring a championship to the organization.”
- A few other thoughts from Martin during the press conference. He hasn’t had a chance to watch a lot of big league baseball, but he did say that he patterns himself after the Mets’ Jose Reyes. He also said that he is good friends with current Frisco first baseman Jose Ruiz. Ruiz, also originally from Cuba, is currently on the Temporary Inactive List while attending the birth of his child.
- In his five seasons in the Cuban League, Martin hit .314 with 38 homers and 190 runs batted in. During the 2009-10 campaign, his last in the league, he hit .326 with a .935 OPS.
- Martin does not speak English, but he does realize that it will be one of the most challenging aspects of his acclimation process. Based on the way he conducted himself at the presser, Martin seems like a very respectful young man. He appeared to get a little choked up during his opening remarks. The Frisco community should look forward to Martin’s time in the Texas League. It should be a lot of fun to watch.
- Another thing that will be interesting to watch is the ‘Riders’ outfield once Engel Beltre returns from his 15-game suspension Friday. We don’t know how Frisco manager Steve Buechele will put those two in the order and in the outfield, but it will be something to monitor.
- Congratulations to reliever Mark Hamburger, who got the call up to Triple-A Round Rock for the first time of his career. Hamburger was 1-0 with a 1.83 earned run average in 11 appearances out of the Frisco ‘pen. He was the team leader with four saves.
- Back with the ‘Riders is fellow reliever Chris Mobley. Mobley, who ended up starting the season with the Express even though he broke spring training with the ‘Riders, was very solid in his time with Round Rock. The right-hander was 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA. Opponents hit just .194 against him in his 20.2 innings of work.
- Being new to the area, I had not been to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington before. It was a really impressive park, and I enjoyed my time there. Looking forward to catching a game there at some point this summer.
- Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting Rangers play-by-play broadcaster Eric Nadel while at the press conference today. What was most impressive to me was the fact that he was fluent in Spanish. He carried a conversation with Martin after the presser. I asked him how long he has been working on his Spanish, and he said since 1990. He seemed like he knew his stuff. But who I am kidding, I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
Enjoy your Wednesday night. We’ll talk to you again tomorrow for the lid-lifter of an eight-game home stand.
Thanks to “Chatter from the Pressbox” for this tidbit: the RoughRiders are one of two minor league baseball teams that have yet to allow an unearned run. Frisco has given up 51 runs in the first nine games of the season, and all have been earned.
The only other team to replicate this feat is the Jacksonville Suns, the Double-A Southern League affiliate for the Florida Marlins. The Suns have allowed 35 runs through nine contests.
Not only are the Suns tremendous at this, but they have the coolest man doing some video work for them. It’s tough not to like the Suns after watching this video from last year. Who wouldn’t want to ring that bell with him?
By the way, be sure to check out chatterfromthepressbox.blogspot.com for some more ‘Riders information. The guys do a great job with it!
Without further ado, let’s wrap up another series with a Sunday edition of the Facts.
- Fans got a chance to see how manager Steve Buechele would juggle his lineup without Renny Osuna available. The most noticeable change came in Osuna’s normal spot in the lineup–the leadoff spot. Buechele placed the Rangers’ number 5 prospect Engel Beltre in that slot, and he hit well. He went a combined 2-for-6 with a pair of walks and runs scored. He did get picked off in game one after a leadoff walk, but other than that, he was solid.
- By the way, Osuna went back to Frisco for tests on his broken nose. His nose broke in two places, but there was not any other structural damage. There is still no timetable set for his return.
- We also saw how the ‘Riders would deal with one fewer outfield option after Joey Butler’s promotion to Triple-A. David Paisano was in right field for both games yesterday. Mike Bianucci and Jonathan Greene started in left field. With Greene sliding into that “fourth outfielder” role, Jose Ruiz will likely play more than he would if Butler (and even if Osuna) were in North Texas.
- Frisco starter Miguel De Los Santos is an interesting prospect to discuss. Through two starts, De Los Santos has gone 1-2-3 in some way in six of the ten innings he has begun. In those frames, here’s De Los Santos’ line: 6.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 K.
- However, in the other four innings, here’s his line: 2.2 IP, 10 R, 7 H, 5 BB, 4 K. He finished two of those innings. In the other two, he left with a man at first and two away and he left with the bases loaded and nobody out.
- On the flip side, Jake Brigham is extremely consistent. In both starts, he allowed three runs on five hits in five innings of work. Through those two starts, he has whiffed 11 batters.
- The impact offensive guy for the RoughRiders has been Mike Bianucci, but Tommy Mendonca is not far behind. With his two home runs yesterday, Mendonca is now tied for third in the Texas League with four dingers, one off Bianucci and San Antonio’s Cody Decker’s pace. But Bianucci and Mendonca are one and two in HR/AB ratio (1/6.6 for Bianucci and 1/7.5 for Mendonca).
- The only downside for Mendonca’s early start has been the strikeout numbers. Mendonca is tied for first in the TL with 11 Ks. In fact, Mendonca either reached base or struck out yesterday in the double dip at Springfield.
- The RoughRiders’ bullpen was much better yesterday than it was Thursday night. However, the ‘pen is still letting a lot of men get on for free. In four innings of work yesterday, the bullpen gave up one run on two hits, but the relievers walked six and hit a batter.
- Two guys who the ‘Riders are glad they won’t see again until June 30th: Matt Adams and Niko Vasquez. That duo went a combined 8-for-20 (.400) with a home run and 10 RBIs.
- Another thing fans won’t see for a long time: bowling. The PBA Tour season is over, which makes me very sad. Dick Allen defeated Chris Barnes in the PBA Playoffs Final earlier today. NOW it is officially baseball season! For all of your off-season bowling news, be sure to check out PBA.com. I’m a huge fan of bowling, and you should be too.
I’m also a big fan of today’s broadcast of the RoughRiders and the Travelers. Check it out along the RRBN or online at 3:30. I will also be along for the Extra Bases Blog, so join me there beginning at 3:45! Enjoy!
By far, the least glamorous part of minor league baseball is the travel. Let’s just say it isn’t always fun or comfortable.
A few leagues are fairly condensed. For example, the longest trip within the Florida State League (Daytona to Fort Myers) is about four hours. In the Appalachian League, the longest trip is a little less than five hours (Danville, Virginia to Greeneville, Tennessee).
There are some brutal trips in other leagues, though. For example, imagine almost 11 hours from Vancouver, British Columbia to Boise, Idaho in the Northwest League. Or almost 11 hours from Grand Chute, Wisconsin to Bowling Green, Kentucky in the Midwest League. Or more than 10 hours from Youngstown, Ohio to Burlington, Vermont in the New York-Penn League.
The Texas League has a mammoth trip. It is about 15 hours from Springfield to Corpus Christi. Ugh.
Fortunately, the RoughRiders are fairly centrally located within this league. Here are the seven trips (all according to Google Maps):
- Arkansas: 5:20
- Corpus Christi: 7:30
- Midland: 6:00
- NW Arkansas: 5:30
- San Antonio: 5:10
- Springfield: 7:00
- Tulsa: 4:20
Nothing too long, but there isn’t a true “short” one, either. Anyways, here’s a quick version of the Facts to get you by on this off day.
- With Josh Hamilton’s injury, former ‘Rider Chris Davis was called up to the big leagues. That’s been all over the news. But, to fill Davis’ place, outfielder Joey Butler has been called up to Triple-A Round Rock. Butler was hitting .316 (6-for-19) with two homers and four runs batted in.
- To fill the spot on the Frisco roster, infielder Erik Morrison has been added from the disabled list. Morrison was with high-A Bakersfield all of last year (.242, 13 HR, 45 RBI). He played in two games here in Frisco back in ’09.
- The ‘Riders only have three outfielders on the roster because of Butler’s promotion. I don’t expect any shifting of Engel Beltre from center.
- The question is: where will David Paisano and Mike Bianucci be? Of Paisano’s 467 career games, he has played in right only 91 times. But 61 of those came last year. He has been in left field for all five of his starts thus far this season. Bianucci has started in left once this season; the other five starts have come at DH. But he has spent more time in right in his minor league career (111 games) than Paisano. The outfield alignment will be interesting to monitor.
- The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are off to their best start in franchise history: 5-1. They have won four of their games by one run.
- Only two minor league teams remain undefeated: the Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League, 5-0) and the Daytona Cubs (Florida State League, 6-0). The Suns, by the way, have the services of Baseball America’s top overall prospect–Washington’s Bryce Harper.
Enjoy a day away from the RoughRiders. We’ll be back tomorrow at 6:37 along the RRBN for the ‘Riders and the Cards. Take care.
We’ve got a special treat for you this morning/afternoon. Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com has invited us on his live blog for the Rangers’ afternoon date with the Tigers.
You can view the blog here. We will be providing in-game updates of the rubber match between the ‘Riders and the Travelers. The participation for these Rangers blogs have been great, so check it out.
Also, check out Durrett’s recent feature on former RoughRider Alexi Ogando’s journey to the majors. Ogando worked seven scoreless innings for his second straight victory yesterday in Detroit. Ogando and the Rangers are now 9-1.
Here’s a Tuesday edition of the Facts before brunch with the Riders at 11 a.m.
- It was a tough night for the heart of the RoughRiders order last night. The 2-5 hitters (Engel Beltre, Joey Butler, Mike Bianucci, and Tommy Mendonca) went a combined 2-for-16 (.125). That quartet, which has remained the same through the first five games of the season, was hitting a combined 18-for-61 (.295).
- Even Bianucci cooled off after an incredible four-game start. He went 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .350 (7-for-20). He still leads the league in homers (4) and is second to Tulsa’s Tim Wheeler in RBIs (8).
- Joey Butler did have his best game of the young campaign. The right-fielder who spent all of last year with Frisco (.277, 10 HR, 58 RBIs in 132 games) went 2-for-4 with an opposite field, two-run homer.
- Jose Ruiz, a free agent signing after being let go by the Tampa Bay Rays, added two more hits last night to keep his average at .500 (7-for-14), which ties him for the league lead. Despite his big frame (6’3″, 235), though, all of his hits have been singles. His good work at the plate earned him a move up in the lineup. Ruiz will hit fifth today after getting four starts in the seven hole.
- The ‘Riders pen has been the better of the two pitching units through the first turn in the rotation. The bullpen has two of the three wins and a 2.96 ERA, while the starters have a 6.23 ERA. Plus, the relievers have tossed more innings (24.1) than the starters (21.2). Only two starters have reached the five-inning mark–Jake Brigham and today’s starter Wilfredo Boscan.
- Interesting note from second-year skipper Steve Buechele regarding early games that follow a typical 7 p.m. start: the starting pitcher for the morning/early afternoon game does not leave the previous night’s game early. Thus, Boscan was at the stadium last night until at least 10:16, which was one minute after the final pitch of yesterday’s 6-4 Arkansas win.
- We talked about it on the broadcast last night, but check out the box score from yesterday’s 23-10 victory for San Antonio over Tulsa. I checked three different sources before I believed that score. Crazy stuff.
Our coverage begins at 10:35 a.m. on the RoughRiders Baseball Network. For those who tune in via 1630 KKGM, please note that today’s game will be played on tape delay beginning at 6:35 this evening. Enjoy the game!