Results tagged ‘ Engel Beltre ’
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!
I know it is early in the season, but I have to toot my own horn. I promise I won’t do it often. I may never do it again. But during yesterday’s game, I caught a foul ball.
During my play-by-play call of the third inning, Mike Bianucci fouled one off behind home. The ball hopped off the roof in front of our booth and shot inside it. I tapped it up with my right hand and then made the catch after a brief collision with the wall to my right.
I feel bad because Aaron left the booth for only one inning last night. And it happened to be the third. Good thing he wasn’t there to witness it, from my perspective, because I was probably sporting a petrified face as the ball came at me.
Anyways, let’s get you a Monday edition of the Facts.
- Almost everyone took part in the hit parade yesterday. All RoughRiders starters except Tommy Mendonca had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Three ‘Riders (Renny Osuna, Engel Beltre and Mike Bianucci) had multi-RBI efforts. That trio, plus Jonathan Greene, posted at least two hits.
- Through four games, admittedly a small sample size, the RoughRiders are second in team batting average (.295), second in runs scored (27), tops in homers (seven), and second in OPS (.915) in the Texas League.
- Why are the ‘Riders leading the way in homers? Two words: Mike Bianucci. Bianucci, who made his first start in left field yesterday after three straight starts at designated hitter, has four of the ‘Riders seven. Within the Texas League, Bianucci is the only batter with more than two. Taking it a step further, Bianucci has hit four of the 33 within the league. In other words, he has hit 12.1% of the home runs in the TL so far.
- Frisco starter Miguel De Los Santos was brilliant at times yesterday afternoon. At one point, the southpaw rung up five straight (four coming on called-third strikes). He whiffed eight for the game. De Los Santos did, however, labor in the fourth. The Travelers, a club that hasn’t scored more than four runs in a game this season, plated four in the fourth alone. Three straight doubles, none of which were cheap, plus a home run from Ryan Mount made the game interesting.
- Outside of those four batters, though, here’s De Los Santos’ line: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 Ks. Only two balls left the infield during that span.
- For the fifth straight day, batters two through five are set in manager Steve Buechele’s lineup: Beltre, Joey Butler, Bianucci and Mendonca. Safe to say that those four guys are pretty set in the order.
- The first go-around in the rotation wraps up tonight, as Carlos Pimentel toes the rubber for the RoughRiders. Pimentel had a pretty unique line in Tuesday’s exhibition against Round Rock (3.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 BB). Out of the bullpen, Pimentel escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam with a double play line out to second in the fourth. The fifth was pretty clean, with two strikeouts and only a one-out walk. In the sixth, the Express left men at second and third with two away.
- Fantastic job by the RoughRiders staff and fans over the last four days. The four-day attendance total of 39,248 (or 9,812 per game) is the highest total and average in all of affiliated baseball.
- Great tweet from Scott Lucas (@scottrlucas) of the Newberg Report: “Chris
Davis has more homers than 17 AAA teams.” The former ‘Rider has four in
four games for Round Rock. The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate for the Cardinals, do not have a home run yet this
- How about this game from the low-A South Atlantic League: Kannapolis 2-Lakewood 0 in 16 innings. And it was game one of a doubleheader, which means they were only slated to play seven innings! Lakewood only had three hits in the game.
It’s game two of this three-game set between Frisco and Arkansas. Pre-game begins at 6:35 along the RRBN, with first pitch set for 7:05. By the way, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for the blog, feel free to send them my way: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
I’m a huge fan of the letter “B.” After all, that’s the first letter of my first and last name. In the season opener last night, the letter “B” was huge for the RoughRiders. Consider this:
*Mike Bianucci, Engel Beltre and Joey Butler had six of the ‘Riders seven hits.
*Bianucci and Butler hit a combined total of three home runs.
*Wilfredo Boscan and Beau Jones earned a win and a hold, respectively.
On the flip side, Springfield had only one player with a first or last name that starts with a “B” appear in last night’s game. Brett Zawacki tossed a scoreless inning of relief.
It’s all about the B’s. There will be plenty of B’s in today’s Facts.
- That was quite a Double-A debut for Mike Bianucci. In his first at-bat, the designated hitter clubbed a pitch that was low and a little outside over the Dr Pepper Patio in left-center. I don’t have the best set of eyes in the world, but, in my opinion, that ball went 400+ feet. In the seventh, Bianucci hit another blast more toward center field.
- The two pitches that Bianucci hit were not in the typical “wheelhouse” of your normal player, but that’s just fine with him. “They were down in the zone, but those are pitches that I like,” Bianucci said. “I can get my hands extended on them pretty easily…those are my pitches.”
- To put this day into perspective, go back to last year. A RoughRider drove in 3 or more runs 18 times last year. Only five times did someone surpass Bianucci’s run-producing effort. “It’s not what you are expecting,” Bianucci said about his big day. “I had a lot of adrenaline going last night, and I tried to just calm myself down and put good swings on the ball and I think I did last night.”
- In the minors, lineup changes are always fun to watch, especially early in the season. To no one’s surprise, the 2-5 hitters for Frisco (Beltre, Butler, Bianucci, Mendonca) will remain intact. Renny Osuna will get the start at second and will lead off. David Paisano, who hit in the one-hole yesterday, falls down to sixth. Jonathan Greene gets the start at first base in place of Jose Ruiz, and he will hit seventh. The Felix-Rodriguez combo at 8 and 9 is back in place tonight.
- I have to include a Fact on Wilfredo Boscan, the RoughRiders’ starter from last night. Boscan, in the lid-lifter of his Double-A career, gave up two runs over five innings for the victory. The only two tallies came on solo home runs, one of which hit the yellow padding of the wall in right-center and bounced over. He has never made an in-season jump in the minor leagues, so, if history holds true, fans in Frisco should get familiar with Boscan.
- All eyes will be on tonight’s starting pitcher–Martin Perez. Perez is back in Frisco after a 5-8 season in 2010. The Rangers’ top prospect posted a 5.96 ERA. No minor league pitcher will ever be the prototypical “work horse,” but Perez did not get deep into outings last year even in the context of a minor league hurler. He averaged 4.15 innings per outing in ’10. But manager Steve Buechele has said on multiple occasions that Perez pitched better than he ever has during spring training, and ’11 is a chance for Perez to showcase that improvement.
- Not a good day for former ‘Rider Michael Kirkman. The 2010 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year gave up 10 runs on 10 hits in three and a third innings in Triple-A Round Rock’s 12-9 loss to Iowa last night.
- On the flip side, how about the low-A debuts of a pair of top-10 Rangers’ prospects. Infielder Jurickson Profar, the number two prospect according to Baseball America, homered to left in his first at-bat for Hickory. Later in that first inning, outfielder Jake Skole, number nine on Baseball America’s list, hit a three-run double in his first full-season AB. That was all the offense Hickory needed in a 4-2 triumph over Asheville.
- Good luck to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the newest Texas high-A affiliate, as they open the Carolina League slate tonight at home against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
- Finally, tonight is the first fireworks display of the season here at Dr Pepper Ballpark. There will be 16 shows this season!
Join us on the Network at 6:35 this evening for more from Mike Bianucci and a preview of game two of the series. It’s Springfield and Frisco. Enjoy!