Results tagged ‘ Houston Astros ’
Opening Day for the Frisco RoughRiders is this Thursday, but former Riders players will have a presence in nearly every Opening Day contest at the start of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. There are 33 former RoughRiders on the Opening Day active rosters of 16 different MLB teams this season, highlighted by the big league debuts of 2014 Frisco players Keone Kela and Odubel Herrera.
The Texas Rangers have an MLB-high 12 former RoughRiders on their roster, with Kela making his first appearance on a major league roster. He is expected to be a member of the Texas bullpen for tonight’s season opener in Oakland. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher was promoted to Frisco on May 3, 2014 and spent the remainder of the season as a RoughRider. Kela posted a 2-1 record with five saves and a 1.86 ERA in 36 Texas League appearances in 2014, registering a 55:27 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a .162 opponents’ batting average in 38.2 innings. He did not allow an earned run in 30 of his last 32 regular season outings and twice compiled streaks of 14 consecutive scoreless appearances. Kela was the Rangers’ 12th round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Everett (Wash.) Community College.
Herrera is expected to be the Philadelphia Phillies’ everyday centerfielder when the Phillies open the season this afternoon at home against Boston. A Rule 5 Draft selection by Philadelphia in the off-season, Herrera spent the bulk of the past two seasons as a second baseman with the RoughRiders.
He won the Texas League batting crown last year with a .321 average, 13 points higher than second place. In 96 games with the Riders, Herrera compiled 16 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 48 runs batted in. The left-handed batter was named a Texas League Postseason and Mid-Season All-Star last year; he was also a Mid-Season TL All-Star in 2013. A native of Zulia, Venezuela, Herrera was signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2008.
Twelve of the of the 15 Opening Day games scheduled for last night and today feature a former RoughRider on the 25-man roster of at least one team. Since 2003, Frisco has sent 128 former players to the big leagues (not including Major League rehabbers).
FULL LIST OF FORMER ROUGHRIDERS ON MLB OPENING DAY ACTIVE ROSTERS
Texas Rangers (12)
- SS Elvis Andrus
- RHP Neftali Feliz
- LHP Derek Holland
- RHP Keone Kela (MLB debut)
- RHP Phil Klein
- OF Leonys Martin
- RHP Nick Martinez
- RHP Roman Mendez
- 1B/OF Mitch Moreland
- 2B Rougned Odor
- OF Ryan Rua
- Jake Smolinski
Chicago Cubs (4)
- RHP Justin Grimm
- RHP Kyle Hendricks
- 3B Mike Olt
- RHP Neil Ramirez
Boston Red Sox (2)
- RHP Alexi Ogando
- LHP Robbie Ross, Jr.
Kansas City Royals (2)
- RHP Edinson Volquez
- RHP Chris Young
Oakland Athletics (2)
- RHP Jesse Chavez
- OF Craig Gentry
Baltimore Orioles (1)
- RHP Tommy Hunter
Cincinnati Reds (1)
- RHP Jumbo Diaz
Chicago White Sox (1)
- RHP John Danks
Detroit Tigers (1)
- Ian Kinsler
Houston Astros (1)
- RHP Scott Feldman
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1)
- LHP C.J. Wilson
New York Mets (1)
- OF John Mayberry, Jr.
Philadelphia Phillies (1)
- OF Odubel Herrera (MLB debut)
San Francisco Giants (1)
- 3B Joakim Arias
Toronto Blue Jays (1)
- Justin Smoak
Washington Nationals (1)
- Tanner Roark
Lance Berkman spent a couple games with the RoughRiders on rehab assignment this week. The decorated former outfielder and first baseman spends most of his time nowadays as a DH for the Rangers.
On assignment, he joined an ever-growing list of MLB rehabbers the ‘Riders have this season (in chronological order): Justin Miller (rehabber because of his place on the 40-man roster, despite zero big league time), A.J. Pierzynski, Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Joakim Soria, Craig Gentry, Jeff Baker and Matt Harrison. That list does not include: Martin Perez, who was optioned to Frisco but his time here served a similar purpose, Kyle McClellan, who before his current stint on the active roster was on a rehab-like schedule with the ‘Riders before an early season call up, and Mike Olt who was on a minor league rehab of sorts, playing just three games with Frisco before returning to Triple-A.
If Berkman is indeed done with his rehab (he departed from assignment in Frisco yesterday), he complete a solid all-around rehab outing between the two levels.
|2013||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AAA-AA||4||14||11||3||4||0||0||1||3||3||2||.364||.500||.636||1.136|
He has been good as a rehabber over the course of his career, although he writes off the success: “It’s a small sample size, so if you have a couple bad at-bats or if you feel good and get a couple good pitches to hit” it can really affect the numbers Berkman explained on Wednesday. For him, the rehab assignment is more about seeing the ball well and “to take some of the pressure of performing off.”
Some look past the spectacular career of Berkman, who ranks in the top-5 all-time switch hitters in home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
bWAR is Wins Above Replacement as calculated by Baseball Reference and fWAR is the same statistical concept, calculated by FanGraphs. Anyway, enough numbers. Well, nearly enough numbers.
Instead, I present to you a photographic timeline of the career of Lance Berkman, complete with one of the few (if not only!) high-quality Berkman-in-RoughRiders-uniform photos in existence. From clean-shaven to goatee to clean-shaven to bearded back to clean-shaven to speckled-gray beard…1999 to 2013.
And a few more numbers.
|HOU (12 yrs)||1592||6713||1008||1648||375||26||326||1090||82||42||1040||1121||.296||.410||.549||.959|
|STL (2 yrs)||177||684||102||168||30||3||33||101||4||6||106||112||.295||.408||.533||.940|
And then there was Frisco.
Baseball term of the day: swish hitter – a power hitter who strikes out frequently
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
I remember being in the clubhouse at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Ark. hours before first pitch between the RoughRiders and the Naturals late last year.
I remember there was a big league game on TV that a lot of guys were casually watching while getting ready for batting practice. It just so happened to be a game involving the downtrodden Houston Astros.
I remember the look on everyone’s face when we saw that it was former Corpus Christi Hook (for three games) Henry Sosa pitching for the Astros.
Sosa, 26, spent five and a half seasons in the San Francisco Giants’ farm system before being traded to Houston in the Jeff Keppinger deal on July 19.
In those five and a half years with San Francisco, Sosa suited up for six different teams, making 125 career appearances. After the trade, Sosa was assigned to Corpus Christi where he made three starts before getting the call to Triple-A Oklahoma City. There, the right-hander tossed seven shut-out innings on August 5th in his first start, and that was enough.
Five days later Sosa made his big league debut, getting the start against Arizona at Chase Field.
It took Sosa four minor league appearances in 22 days to make the big leagues as a member of the Astros’ farm system.
Flo was the first player in 2010 promoted to Frisco from Bakersfield and developed nicely since then. In two seasons, Adalberto went 8-8, 3.75 ERA in 79 appearances, two starts.
The righty from Puerto Rico proved to be a real force at times out of the ‘Riders bullpen and had the ability to eat up innings.
No doubt, Flo will have an easier path to the bigs with the Astros than with the Rangers. And, if we can be honest, that’s all that really counts. I don’t claim to know the details of Flroes making this decision, but when you look at it from the outside, it was a pretty easy decision.
If all goes well, next year it’ll be Adalberto pitching on TV.
At first glance, he isn’t exactly the warm and fuzzy type. To be honest, in my limited time with him, I can’t remember seeing him smile. He looks, acts, and talks like someone who has been in baseball his entire life. And it wasn’t until I had the chance to sit down and interview him in the RoughRiders’ dugout at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Ok. that I realized how truly valuable Senior Director of Player Development Scott Servias was to the Texas Rangers.
Unfortunately, he’s now a valuable addition to the division rival Anaheim Angels.
Right before the weekend, it was announced that new Angels’ general manager Jerry Dipoto had luered Servais away from Texas by offering him a multi-year contract as the Halos’ assistant general manager overseeing scouting and player development. With Texas, Servais was responsible for the on-field minor league development in addition to instructing the Rangers’ Major League catchers. He also made recommendations for potential trades and free-agent signings.
There are a lot of moving parts involved with the operations and player development in both major and minor league baseball and I’m far from fully understanding it all. Over the course of a season I see and meet coaches, scouts, rovers, coordinators, special assistants, and plenty more. All of them work for the Rangers, and all are trying to help the players here in Frisco become players in Arlington.
What I do know is that Servais had the respect of every RoughRider I talked to. A one-time player himself, the former catcher was taken in the third round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft by Houston and began his career with the Astros, making his Major League debut on July 12, 1991. His playing days ended in 2002 after batting .245 with 63 home runs and 319 RBIs in 820 Major League games.
I remember talking with former RoughRiders’ second baseman Matt Lawson about Servais at one point last year. He was incredibly complimentary of Servias and said that he felt like he really took the time to get to know him. In my interview with Servais in Tulsa, I asked Scott about how important it was for him get to know the players he was developing:
“It’s everything. I played for 15 years and I remember how important it was when the brass came into town. Letting [the players] know that they’re not just a number or a piece of meat, so to speak. I’m a person, I have a family, I have a background. I hope to build equity with the players so when I have to go to a player and hold them accountable or ask them to make an adjustment, we’ve built that equity, and they’ll buy in and take our suggestions.”
This told me a lot about Scott, and I think he really does care about the players. That might sound a little too “Hallmark” for professional baseball, but in my ten minutes with him, I truly felt as though he meant it.
For the Angels, this was a big time acquisition. For the Rangers, it leaves a big time void. Texas general manager Jon Daniels told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram that “[Scott] helped put together an outstanding staff, so we’re confident others will step up and we won’t miss a beat . . . I’m looking forward to competing against him.” Daniels also said that Scott will be missed and that his new opportunity is an exciting one.
No matter what happens, we’ll see the fruit of Servais’ labor 12 times a year when the RoughRiders take on the Arkansas Travelers.