Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Greene ’

A Bit of a Break

Unfortunately, this will probably be the last blog until Monday or so. The entire MLBlog universe will undergo a migration to a different server, so we will not be able to upload any new posts. The details are discussed here.

In fact, you won’t even be able to view this blog. When you type in our URL (or any MLBlog’s URL), you will be directed to the community blog. It’s really too bad they are doing this during the season, especially at an exciting time like this one for the RoughRiders.

But, we will try to bulk up our coverage to you on Twitter. We will give plenty of updates there, including some extra coverage to the newest RoughRider–Leonys Martin. If you missed yesterday’s blog, check it out for plenty on Martin’s introductory press conference yesterday in Arlington.

Here are some Facts before the opener of this four-game series.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Leonys Martin is indeed in the lineup in center field tonight. He will hit first and wear number 20. Martin arrived early and is gearing up for the first affiliated game of his career.
  • To make room for Martin on the 24-man roster, starter Miguel De Los Santos has been placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. De Los Santos’ turn in the rotation was supposed to be tomorrow night. Carlos Pimentel will move up a day and start, which will be on normal rest because of the off day Wednesday. The “to be announced” label shifts to Saturday night’s game with regards to Frisco’s starter.
  • Scott Lucas of the Newberg Report came out with his monthly Minor League Players of the Month, and a few RoughRiders made the cut. On the offensive side, Jonathan Greene was fifth on the list, with Mike Bianucci one spot below him. Myrtle Beach’s Mike Olt topped the countdown. Olt also earned the Rangers’ minor league award for April.
  • Speaking of Bianucci, he has homered in consecutive ballgames for the second time this season. He has also gone deep in three of his last four games. Through 32 contests, Bianucci has 11 homers, which is tied with San
    Antonio’s Cody Decker for the Texas League lead. In other words, he has
    homered once every 11.4 at bats. He also sits fifth in the TL with 28
    runs batted in.
  • As for the pitchers, Martin Perez, the only ‘Rider on Lucas’ list, was fifth. Round Rock’s Neil Ramirez took home that honor along with the Rangers’ pitcher of the month award.
  • In his first Triple-A appearance, Mark Hamburger worked a scoreless seventh and eighth in Round Rock’s 7-5, 10-inning victory at Tucson last night. The former RoughRider whiffed two and scattered three hits. 
  • Here’s a key nugget for this weekend’s series with the Hooks–J.D. Martinez has been placed on the seven-day disabled list. The move was just made, but Martinez can return whenever he is healthy. He has not played in a game since May 5 (seven days ago). Martinez leads Corpus Christi with 30 RBIs, which puts him in a tie for second in the league. He is also fourth in the TL in batting average (.340).
  • Martinez’s replacement in left field has been Jake Goebbert. Since being promoted from high-A Lancaster, Goebbert has hit .294 (5-for-17) with two RBIs and two runs. This is Goebbert’s first crack at the Double-A level.

Again, this will likely be our last blog until Monday. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news and notes over the weekend. We’ll be back early next week.

- Brian

Just Get It Over With

If you go to a basketball game, you will most likely hear the final buzzer less than three hours after the opening tip. In football, setting aside three-and-a-half hours is almost always sufficient. As for baseball, uh, who knows.

Last night, the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-3 in 13 innings. There was a rain delay of more than two-and-a-half hours. Not only that, but the game featured a two-run ninth from the Red Sox and an out at the plate in the 12th. In other words, mother nature and the baseball gods didn’t want this one to end.

Finally it did, a little shy of 3 a.m. EST. And yep, you guessed it. They had an afternoon game scheduled for today.

Oh baseball. You did it again. Let’s get on with the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • First, the two rehabbing Rangers. Neftali Feliz pitched the first inning and struck out the side following a lead-off single. From this eye, he threw 16 fastballs and six off-speed pitches. According to the radar gun at Dr Pepper Ballpark, which is known to be fairly accurate, Feliz averaged around 97 miles per hour on his fastballs. He hit 100 on the gun twice.
  • 14 of Feliz’s 22 pitches were strikes. Two of the three strikeouts were of the swinging variety, and the right-hander induced five swinging strikes altogether. The one single came on a fastball at 95 miles per hour.
  • Now, Tommy Hunter’s specifics. The righty threw 71 pitches (41 strikes and 30 balls). He threw at least 16 pitches in all four of his innings of work. He threw 21 pitches in his third inning of work, which was the highest number of tosses. Hunter went four innings and gave up two runs, one on a sacrifice fly and the other on a solo home run. He scattered three hits and struck out five, four of which were swinging.
  • Hunter sat around 93-94 miles per hour and peaked at 96 on the stadium gun. He did miss very badly on a pitch that hit Cody Decker in the helmet. Fortunately, he would stay in the game.
  • Enough about the former RoughRiders. Let’s get to the newest ‘Rider, the man who followed the Feliz-Hunter show. Richard Bleier, who pitched in a game that “counts” for the first time this season, went three and two thirds scoreless. After giving up a lead-off double to the first man he faced, Bleier sat down nine of the next ten he faced. He will be used as a starter now, and his next outing is scheduled for Monday at Midland.
  • Continuing the theme of pitching, Frisco reliever Justin Miller continued his good work last night. He went retired four of the five men he faced to earn his second victory. It was Miller’s fifth-straight scoreless outing. Over that span, Miller has allowed one hit over seven and a third.
  • Now, to the offense. Three RoughRiders had multi-hit games last night, and all three of those efforts are noteworthy. Renny Osuna went 3-for-4 to increase his batting average to .319. Since returning from the disabled list, Osuna is hitting .345 (10-for-29) with five RBIs.
  • Jonathan Greene had two hits last night, which matched his total from the previous four games combined. Greene was due to slow down at some point, seeing as he was hitting above .400 late last week. Still, that two-hit effort puts him at .333 for the campaign.
  • Also notching two knocks was Travis Adair. Adair, who debuted at the Double-A level a week ago today, has raised his average to .269. He began the season 0-for-11, but Adair has gone 7-for-15 since.
  • Two hitters saw streaks come to an end last night. Mike Bianucci’s 12-game hitting streak is no more, but I’m sure he will take the game-winning sacrifice fly instead. Also, Jose Ruiz had reached base in 12 straight games before going 0-for-4 last night.
  • Frisco manager Steve Buechele is giving Tommy Mendonca the night off. It is just his second day off of the season. Only Bianucci has played in every game so far this year for the ‘Riders. Ruiz takes over the clean-up duties, and Osuna will play at third base.
  • Programming note: Since the Texas League season is almost exactly five months, I’m planning on doing monthly Power Rankings. So, this weekend, I’ll delve into all eight teams within the TL. It’ll be a separate blog post.

Martin Perez, the Rangers’ number one prospect, will start tonight for Frisco. The ‘Riders and Missions meet at 7:05. Pre-game at 6:35 along the RBN. Enjoy!

- Brian

Cherish Everyone

Before arriving in Frisco, I had the great pleasure of covering the Ohio University football team. When you are involved in sports, whether as a fan, media member, or broadcaster, you feel like you get to know the members of the team.

Sometimes, those people seem slightly above human. They are all parts of a game that people love. Unfortunately, those players are human, and the Ohio football family found out the hard way Wednesday.

Former defensive lineman Marcellis Williamson passed away just months after finishing his senior season. I talked with him a few times, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Really sad stuff.

Just goes to show that fans should cherish all players, even the ones at less-than-glamorous positions.

Anyways, let’s get happy with a Frisco victory and today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • A losing-streak snapper never seems to come easily, now does it? Frisco is the best defensive club in the Texas League with a .982 fielding percentage, but Tommy Mendonca, who has probably been this club’s most complete player so far this year, allowed a pair of runs to score on a throwing error.
  • Mendonca has an extremely strong arm at the hot corner, but sometimes he can be inaccurate on the throws. He has three errors thus far on the young season, which is tied for the most among third baseman in the Texas League.
  • Credit Mendonca for being patient enough to draw a tenth-inning walk. It is easy for a guy who committed an error and had been 0-for-4 to try to swing as hard as he can and make up for all of it. However, his walk, drawn on a 3-2 count, was the key battle in that tenth inning, if you ask me. Jonathan Greene followed suit with another walk on a 3-2 count that chased home the go-ahead run.
  • The first and last pitchers who toed the rubber for the RoughRiders were extremely impressive. After a pair of rough starts, righty Carlos Pimentel has had a couple of solid outings. Yesterday, Pimentel allowed only a Blake Tekotte solo homer in six innings of work. He scattered four hits and struck out six, a season high. Over his last two starts, Pimentel has a 2.31 ERA over 11.2 innings.
  • Overall, Frisco’s starting rotation has improved greatly since the start of the year. Over the last two turns in the rotation, the RoughRiders’ starter has pitched at least five innings eight times.
  • And how about the effort of Justin Miller. Miller, who had struggled in a few late-game situations earlier this season, was dominant in his two innings of work. With all the momentum in the San Antonio dugout, Miller wiped through the 2-3-4 men in the Missions’ order in the ninth to send the game to extras. After Frisco took the lead in the tenth, Miller did the same.
  • Miller, like many ‘Riders on the hill, had struggled a bit with his command earlier in the year. Yesterday, he only needed 25 pitches to go through the heart of the best order in the Texas League and retire six straight. 16 of those pitches were over for strikes.
  • Renny Osuna had a great effort in his return from the disabled list. He drove in a run in the seventh on a double. Three innings later, his leadoff single turned into the eventual game-winning run. On the year, Osuna is hitting .304.
  • On the flip side, Travis Adair’s Double-A debut wasn’t spectacular. He went 0-for-4 and stranded four men on the bases. However, he did put the ball in play in a scoring chance and earned an RBI on a groundout in the second.
  • Pretty impressive that the ‘Riders won a game when their 3-4-5 men (Mike Bianucci, Mendonca, Greene) went a combined 0-for-10. Baseball is strange, but the ‘Riders will take it.

Our pre-game coverage begins at 6:35 for the opener of Frisco’s four-game series in Corpus Christi. First pitch is set for 7:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Everyone Struggles Sometimes

Yesterday was not a good one for the Frisco RoughRiders. However, the great thing about baseball is that chances at redemption come quickly.

Frisco has lost four straight and 11 of 14. However, I know of another team that lost 11 of 14 last year. The San Francisco Giants.

From June 18-July 2, the defending World Series champion fell to only one game above .500 at the halfway mark of the season. Look what happened after that.

Every team in baseball has a lull or two. The best teams bounce back from them well. We’ll see how the ‘Riders bounce back from this two-week valley.

We’re still peaking on the Facts. Let’s get a Wednesday edition underway.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The RoughRiders have placed outfielder Engel Beltre on the temporary inactive list. He must sit out at least three days. Mark Hamburger was on this list a few weeks ago. (UPDATE: He is still active. There may be a move at some point soon, though.)
  • Apparently, the official ruling on the overturned home run off the bat of Mike Bianucci in the ninth inning yesterday was a ground-rule double. Aaron Goldsmith tells me that the rationale was that the ball hit Sawyer Carroll’s glove, then the wall, then his glove again, and then went over the fence. I wasn’t there, so I didn’t see it. Strange stuff.
  • Obviously, Bianucci and the ‘Riders were frustrated about that call. However, Frisco’s primary designated hitter is starting to heat up again. After a 3-for-19 slump without an RBI, Bianucci has four RBIs and a .400 (8-for-20) average over his last five games.
  • Another player who is heating up is outfielder David Paisano. The outfielder, one of only three listed on the Frisco roster currently, is hitting .444 (8-for-18) with three runs scored over the last five games. His average is up to .262, which is the highest he has been so far this season.
  • Getting off to quick starts is not something the RoughRiders have been known for so far this year. Frisco has led after five innings only six times this year, which is last in the Texas League. The RoughRiders are also seventh in this eight-team league with a 1-11 mark when either trailing or even after five frames. There have been 16 victories in those situations thus far this year throughout the TL, so the ‘Riders are well below average.
  • In these situations, one must look for the positives. One thing the RoughRiders can look at is their improved starting pitching. Six of the last eight starters have pitched through the fifth inning after only four starters reached that plateau in the rotation’s first two turns.
  • It appears that Jake Brigham is a specialist, in that he specializes in going five innings and giving up three earned runs. After all, he has done exactly that in all four of his starts this year–his first four outings at the Double-A level. Pretty crazy stuff for the Rangers’ 30th ranked prospect.
  • The ‘Riders have held the best hitter in the Texas League, James Darnell, relatively in check. Darnell is just 2-for-8 in the series, lowering his batting average from .482 to a still-healthy .453. Darnell remains the batting leader right now, and he is one of two (Corpus Christi’s Wladimir Sutil the other) who is hitting above .400. Frisco’s Jonathan Greene is on the outside looking in with a .396 mark, which is third.
  • It’s safe to say that Frisco manager Steve Buechele has settled on much of his lineup at this point. The 1-6 spots–Engel Beltre, Davis Stoneburner, Bianucci, Tommy Mendonca, Greene, and Jose Ruiz–in the order have remained the same for the last seven games. However, that will have to change with Beltre being on the Temporary Inactive List.
  • Former Frisco catcher Robbie Diaz has begun his stint with Triple-A Round Rock on a tear. Diaz is hitting .600 (6-for-10) in his first three games, including a 3-for-4 effort yesterday against Oklahoma City.
  • Texas’ number two prospect, shortstop Jurickson Profar, has returned from the disabled list with three hits in his first two games. Profar has reached base in five of his eight plate appearances for low-A Hickory.

Game three of this four-game series begins at 7:05. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:35 along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. Enjoy!

- Brian

Happy, Happy, Happy

Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy Sunday.

Whatever you may be celebrating, enjoy it. Easter only comes once every 365 days. Passover only comes once every 52 weeks. And Sunday only comes around every seven days.

My present to you is a whole lot of the same–your Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • As mentioned on the broadcast yesterday, the RoughRiders have not strung together back-to-back victories since games one and two of the year. But the ‘Riders have been close to doing so. In their last five losses following victories this year, Frisco has lost by a total of ten runs. In four of those five contests, the ‘Riders had a lead at some point. In other words, this club has been close to a “winning streak” but just hasn’t been able to seal the deal.
  • We mentioned the string of nine straight games with an RBI for Corpus Christi outfielder J.D. Martinez, a streak that came to an end two nights ago. Well, Frisco third baseman Tommy Mendonca is giving the RBI streak thing a try. Mendonca has posted at least one RBI in four straight games. Taking it back to April 14, Mendonca has driven in a run in seven of his last nine contests.
  • I asked Mendonca before yesterday’s game if this is the best string of baseball he has played while within the Rangers’ organization. “You can say, so far, it has been,” Mendonca said. “I’m back having fun. It’s like I’m a little kid again.”
  • Not only is Mendonca fifth in the Texas League with his 15 RBIs, but he is tied with Hickory’s Tomas Telis for the organizational lead. Telis has played in three more games than Mendonca so far this season.
  • Engel Beltre continued his solid swinging last night from the leadoff spot. Since assuming that role when Renny Osuna went on the disabled list, Beltre is 11-for-35 (.314) with seven runs scored in eight games. Last night, Beltre was the only ‘Rider with a multi-hit game.
  • Here’s an interesting note: the RoughRiders have only three men listed as outfielders, and one of those (Mike Bianucci) has only made three starts in the outfield. The rest of his 12 starts have been in the designated hitter slot. On the flip side, there are six active infielders and two infielders on the disabled list. One of those listed infielders–Jonathan Greene–has played some left to make up for this unbalance.
  • Former RoughRider Cody Eppley threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen in his major league debut yesterday, a 3-1 Texas victory over the Royals. Eppley certainly has a chance to stick with the big league club considering its bullpen struggles so far this year.
  • The San Antonio offense is back at it. After outputs of 26 and 23 runs earlier this month, the Missions spanked Midland 21-8 last night. San Antonio’s team batting average now sits at .343, and the Missions are averaging 8.2 runs a game. Jaff Decker had two homers and seven runs batted in. Decker now has six homers (tied for first in the Texas League) and 23 RBIs (tops in the TL).
  • Finally, the two Arkansas teams have been washed out for the second straight day. Now, the Naturals and Travelers will play double dips May 21 and 23 in Springdale. The ‘Riders will play the Naturals immediately following that series May 25-27 at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

We kick off our coverage at 3:35 this afternoon, with first pitch set for 4:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Looking Pretty

Most men never wear makeup. However, if you are on television, a little bit of makeup is sometimes necessary for men or women.

I’ve worn makeup before, but only to go on television. The biggest use, for those who are wondering, is to avoid a shiny, weird perception of your skin on camera. It also hides any sort of marks or sweat. Strange, but true.

That’s what Aaron Goldsmith and Jason Cole will deal with tonight for the first of ten television broadcasts on TXA 21. You can catch the game beginning at 7 p.m. The rest of the TV schedule is available here.

The ‘Riders hit the bright lights of television after a complete effort yesterday. Let’s delve into that, plus some roster moves, in today’s Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • First, a few roster moves. Reliever Beau Jones, who has four scoreless outings with the RoughRiders on his 2011 resume, is now with Triple-A Round Rock. It is Jones’ first trip to that level. Joining the ‘Riders is middle infielder Edwin Garcia, who had been with low-A Hickory. In just two games, Garcia is 3-for-6 with the Crawdads.
  • Also, Frisco places two more men on the disabled list. Reliever Ramon Aguero (rotator cuff strain) and infielder Erik Morrison (left thumb contusion) are on the seven-day list. Renny Osuna and Ben Snyder are also on the DL.
  • Now, to yesterday’s blowout victory. After scoring just ten runs in the previous three games, Frisco plated 11 runs on a season-high 19 hits. As mentioned in the game story, all but one starter (Guilder Rodriguez) had MULTI-hit games. That’s pretty remarkable.
  • Jonathan Greene and Jose Ruiz became the sixth and seventh different players to hit homers for the ‘Riders this season. Unfortunately for those two, Tommy Mendonca’s pair of long balls overshadowed their efforts. Mendonca continues to rake for the ‘Riders. Since a bit of a slump during the end of Frisco’s last home stand, the Turlock, Calif., native is hitting .424 (14-for-33) with four of his six home runs and 11 of his 16 RBIs. He is working on an eight-game hitting streak, which is the longest for a ‘Rider this year.
  • Miguel De Los Santos had a variation of the term “unhittable stuff” yesterday. He only allowed one base hit, but he walked another five men. That’s 11 for the lefty in 13 and two-thirds, which obviously isn’t very good. De Los Santos’ WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) sits at only a 1.62, which is pretty remarkable considering the high walk rate. He has only allowed eight hits in 2011.
  • It’s a big start tonight for Carlos Pimentel tonight. The other four starters have, at least once, delivered a solid outing. This is Pimentel’s chance to do just that. The right-hander has given up a run in each of the last five innings he has begun. Overall, Pimentel has a 13.50 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP. Those numbers are big, but the season is young. Look at how different De Los Santos’ numbers look after five scoreless innings. The same can happen for Pimentel tonight.
  • Another great crowd was on hand at Dr Pepper Ballpark last night, as 10,073 enjoyed the blowout victory. That’s the fourth time Frisco surpassed the 10,000 mark. Pretty neat stuff.
  • Round Rock’s 2-1 victory over Oklahoma City yesterday was the Express’ 12th on the year, which is second in minor league baseball to the St. Lucie Mets (14-2) of the Florida State League. Overall, the Express is fourth in winning percentage in all of the minors.

As mentioned above, the ‘Riders will be on TXA 21 this evening. You can still catch the audio along the RoughRiders Baseball Network. I’ll take the air at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

Have a Great Weekend

Don’t worry. We’re not going to abandon you for the weekend. Just need to get out my “Happy Easter” to all those who celebrate it.

I am one of those people. I’ve been lucky to be close to home (if not actually home) for many of the big holidays. Baseball prevents me from being home for this one, though. I hope all those who celebrate Easter are able to get home or at least get a little piece of home.

I fully expect a package filled with candy from my parents. We’ll see if they deliver.

We keep chugging along with the Facts on this Friday.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The pitching staff has begun to turn things around. Over the last three games, the RoughRiders have surrendered only 10 runs. That doesn’t seem like a noteworthy number, but considering the fact that the ‘Riders had surrendered six runs or more in all but one of the previous seven games, that is a step forward.
  • Where has the biggest improvement come from? The bullpen. Since the ‘pen collapsed in a loss to Springfield April 14, here are the numbers for the relievers: 22.1 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 18 H. That calculates to a 2.42 ERA. 
  • Yesterday, Mark Hamburger returned after a brief time away for a personal issue. The righty tossed a pair of scoreless innings. Same deal for fellow right-hander Mike Perconte, who has now thrown nine and a third frames and given up just one run on six hits. Opponents are hitting just .194 against the former Cubs farmhand. 
  • The other reliever to appear yesterday was Ramon Aguero, who had to leave after a pitch to Brian Esposito, the second batter he faced in the game. No word on his condition, but we’ll try to get an update sometime this weekend.
  • On the flip side, the offense has been limping lately. A popular way of examining a player or a team’s recent play is to look at the stats over the last five games. As a club, the ‘Riders are a .250 hitting unit in the last five contests, which isn’t totally out of the ordinary, but only two batters are hitting above the .261 mark–Tommy Mendonca and Jonathan Greene.
  • We’ve mentioned the hot stretches of Mendonca and Greene, a duo that is hitting a combined .447 with seven of the club’s 15 RBIs in the last five games. Yesterday, those two had four of the six Frisco hits. Everyone else in the lineup went a combined 2-for-25.
  • The most glaring stumble within the starting nine has been Mike Bianucci. It’s somewhat unfair that he is looked at like this because of his torrid start. Those types of numbers are flat out unsustainable over the course of a month, let alone a season. However, Bianucci has hit just .182 (6-for-33) over the last nine games, and he hasn’t driven in a run since Saturday.
  • Here’s what is amazing about Bianucci: the dude is still boasting a .949 OPS. Anything over .900 in this category is considered very good. Even with this lull, Bianucci’s numbers are still better than 90% of the players in this league so far.
  • Miguel De Los Santos gets the ball tonight for the RoughRiders. I’m pulling this directly from the blog post I had after his last start, but the numbers are too intriguing to mention only once: 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.
  • I mentioned J.D. Martinez’s hot stretch in yesterday’s blog, and what does he do? 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. He has now driven in a run in nine consecutive games.
  • For what it’s worth, the Major League record for most consecutive games with an RBI belongs to Ray Grimes of the Chicago Cubs. Grimes drove in at least one run in 18 straight games from June 27-July 23 of 1922. 
  • For what it’s worth, part two: Corpus Christi play-by-play voice Matt Hicks said the Hooks played their best game of 2011 last night.
  • The Rangers’ farm system continues to shine. Round Rock won its tenth in 11 tries over Oklahoma City to improve to a PCL-best 11-4, and Hickory swept a double dip from Bryce Harper and the Hagerstown Suns to seize the South Atlantic League’s best mark. Also, Myrtle Beach is a half-game behind Salem for the best mark in the Carolina League despite losing to Kinston yesterday.

It’s a Fireworks Friday at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and our coverage along the RoughRiders Baseball Network begins at 6:35. First pitch is set for 7:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Being an “Impact Player”

How exactly does a person become an “impact player.” I don’t know exactly, and I don’t want to try to form specific criteria.

But, I do know this: impact players pique your interest when you see them at the plate or due up in a game-deciding situation.

When the RoughRiders took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 13th yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that Mike Trout was due up in the bottom half. He hit a game-tying home run.

In the 15th, with a man at second and nobody out, the 19-year-old put down a bunt to get the runner to third. That run came around to score.

Trout will be in the big leagues sooner rather than later. Plenty of writers and analysts know it, including FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. He wrote a lengthy nugget on Trout, which includes the outfielder’s grand slam off Rider Vision at Dr Pepper Ballpark one week ago today.

He is as much of an “impact player” as I’ve seen this year, and Frisco found out the hard way, yet again, in that tough loss.

We’ll get to that loss, and much more, in today’s edition of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The RoughRiders made another move today, activating right-handed reliever Mark Hamburger from the temporary inactive list. Fellow reliever Ben Snyder has been placed on the seven-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
  • Getting Hamburger back should move around the roles within the Frisco bullpen. Justin Miller appeared in a pair of games as the “de-facto” closer while Hamburger was away tending to a personal issue, and it was adventurous. Miller earned the save in Frisco’s only victory away from home, a 6-4 triumph over Springfield in the opener of the double dip Saturday. Miller gave up a run in that frame and loaded the bases with one out, but he was able to get out of the jam. The right-hander also appeared yesterday and earned the loss. He gave up both Arkansas runs in extra innings.
  • Throw out Miller’s two runs allowed, and the RoughRiders’ ‘pen was incredible. After a very good bounce-back start from Wilfredo Boscan, the ‘Riders shut down the Travelers until the 13th. After Darwin Perez’s two-run double in the third, the Travs did not earn another hit until a one-out double from Orlando Mercado. Those two at-bats were separated by 31 plate appearances. Boscan, Beau Jones, Ramon Aguero, Adalberto Flores and Corey Young were all a part of that hit-less period. That’s pretty special.
  • Unfortunately, that collective effort did not bring about a victory. Over the last few days, Frisco has not been able to take advantage of opportunities with men aboard. The ‘Riders have stranded 27 men on the base paths and have hit just .207 (6-for-29) with men in scoring position in their last two games, both close losses. Before those two games, the RoughRiders were hitting .290 in runners at second and/or third.
  • There have been some bright spots offensively. I mentioned Jonathan Greene yesterday, and he just kept raking during the 15-inning marathon. He went 2-for-5 yesterday and has gone 6-for-13 with four runs scored against Arkansas this year.
  • It hasn’t been an overwhelming change for outfielder David Paisano, but he has started to be a consistent threat at the plate after a sluggish start. Paisano has hit safely in five straight games. And after a 1-for-12 start, Paisano is hitting .269 (7-for-26). He has also been the most frequent mover within the lineup. The RoughRiders need him to produce with Joey Butler up in Round Rock.
  • The Texas League schedule makers allow everyone to settle into the season. Tomorrow is the second off-day of the young season, and all teams will be 12 games into the campaign. After tomorrow’s respite, though, things pick up. The RoughRiders will play 20 straight and 32 of the next 33 days beginning Thursday. During that month-long stretch, the ‘Riders will play only three teams–division opponents Corpus Christi, Midland and San Antonio. Tonight’s game will be the last against the North until May 25th against Northwest Arkansas.
  • We wish former RoughRider pitcher Eric Hurley the best. Four pitches into just his second start since 2008, he was hit in the head with a comebacker and had to leave the game. According to the Round Rock release, Hurley suffered a contusion and was taken to a local hospital for tests. He did leave the field under his own power. For a man who has had to deal with many injuries, we hope that this is not a significant setback in his drive to return to the big leagues.
  • Details on two upcoming events at Dr Pepper Ballpark are now available on the site: The Legends of Baseball Vintage Showdown and the 2011 RoughRiders Baseball Academy

It’s getaway day in North Little Rock. Join us along the RoughRiders Baseball Network at 6:40 for Frisco and Arkansas. Enjoy!

- Brian

Longest Game Ever

No, not the one between Arkansas and Frisco yesterday, even though it felt like it at times. Today is the 30th anniversary of the start of the longest game in professional baseball history.

It all began as a seemingly ho-hum International League contest between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox. The two teams would play until 4:09 a.m. on the 19th before stopping the game. They resumed the game June 23rd, and the outcome took only 18 minutes to decide. The Red Sox won 3-2.

There is a connection between that game and the RoughRiders. John Clemens, the public-address announcer at Dr Pepper Ballpark, was on the broadcast for Pawtucket as the studio host. I can’t even describe how strange of an experience that must have been.

It’s an incredible story. Check out more about this game here (by the way: both teams scored a run in the 21st!). And here’s a feature on John’s involvement with the game. Crazy stuff.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Yesterday’s game was not the longest game ever, but it was the longest of this young season (3:26). After three innings, though, the game was already 1:30 old. Based on the score and the flow of the game, it probably felt even longer for Frisco fans.
  • One ‘Rider who is starting to heat up after a slow start is Davis Stoneburner. The infielder, who played for four different Rangers affiliates last season, began the season 2-for-17 with two RBIs. Over the last three games, though, Stoneburner has excelled when the RoughRiders have been without Renny Osuna. He is 4-for-12 with four runs scored and four RBIs. Actually, in the series, he has hit for the cycle, including a two-run homer in the first inning yesterday.
  • Here’s a stat that surprised me: Mike Bianucci notched his third multi-hit game of the year yesterday. It surprised me because the guy is hitting .324 through ten games. I thought he had more than that. Regardless, he has been steady.
  • Jonathan Greene also has three multi-hit efforts after a 3-for-4 day yesterday. Don’t look now, but Greene is making a pitch for more playing time. The Boone, N.C., native has hit safely in five of his six starts this year. He’s 9-for-21 (.429) for the young campaign. His OPS sits at a ridiculous 1.097. He is quietly putting together a very good start to 2011.
  • Yesterday’s game featured 25 men stranded, 14 of whom were in scoring position at the end of the inning. Frisco had 15 and eight in those two categories, respectively. And in six of the nine frames, the ‘Riders spoiled chances with at least two men aboard. It’s pretty easy to see why the RoughRiders lost when you gander at those numbers.
  • Pitch counts will always prevent minor league starters from going deep into games, but that’s not the only reason this club doesn’t have many innings pitched from the starters. The team has gotten 38.2 IP from them this year, which is just shy of 4 IP/start. The staff has an 8.15 ERA to go with that low ratio. Martin Perez (2.25) is the only starter who has an ERA under 5.40. 
  • With yesterday’s loss, the ‘Riders are now 4-6 after starting 2-0. But keep in mind, this is an up-and-down league. For example, Northwest Arkansas has dropped 3 of 4 after starting 5-1. San Antonio started the year 2-3, and the Missions now sit at 6-4. And Arkansas is 5-1 over the last 6 since beginning the year with four straight losses. Just some food for thought.
  • We’ve had a great response to our “Extra Bases Question” so far. If you haven’t heard of it yet, this is a chance for you to be a part of the post-game show. During our interactive game-day blog (The Extra Bases Blog), you can ask us questions. I will answer the best question from that day during the post-game coverage.
  • Finally, check out this year’s RoughRiders Baseball Academy for children ages 9-12. The information is online here. It is always a great event every year. I could have used some of this training during my baseball “career.”

We’re on early today. 10:30 pre-game. Note to those listening on 1630 KKGM: We will again be on tape-delay. You can hear the game in its entirety at 6:30 this evening. Enjoy!

- Brian

Earning Runs

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.

FRISCO 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!

- Brian

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