Results tagged ‘ Leonys Martin ’

Martin, Rodriguez Promoted to Triple-A

We knew the clock was ticking on Leonys Martin.  He was hitting .348 in 29 games in Double-A and was batting an astounding .429 with runners on base.  Although it’s no surprise that just hours ago his promotion to Round Rock was made official (we prophesied this on the latest Roundtable Podcast), his call up was aided by the injured ankle of former RoughRider Julio Borbon (whose x-rays came back negative).

Leonys Martin hit four home runs and had 24 RBIs in 29 games played with Frisco. (James Garner)

Leonys Martin hit four home runs and had 24 RBIs in 29 games played with Frisco. (James Garner)

Martin was a joy to be around and no doubt made a lasting impression on virtually all who saw him play. His offensive abilities and strong arm stand out, along with his humility off the field.  We don’t know the exact details about what his life in Cuba was like, or how exactly he made it over to the United States, but it’s a sure bet that no matter what, he was placed in an entirely new world once he rolled up to Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.

For a guy who signed a contract in excess of $20 million, Leonys remained humble, kind, and hardworking.  He was taking English lessons three times a week in Frisco and was really improving quickly.  There’s no doubt that I’ll be rooting for Leonys in Round Rock and then one day in Arlington.

Guilder Rodriguez throws from his side during the July 4th weekend (James Garner)

Guilder Rodriguez throws from his side during a game over the July 4th weekend. (James Garner)

Need another guy to root for?  I offer you Guilder Rodriguez.  He’s played in the minors for 10 seasons and is getting his second-ever call up to Triple-A.  G-Rod may never make it to the major leagues (he turns 28 on July 28th), but this is great news for a guy who works hard everyday and is about as good as an organizational shortstop as you’ll find in the minors.

One scout back in Frisco on the previous home stand told me he’d love to have a guy like Guilder in his farm system because of his veteran presence and defensive ability.  Not to mention that at 27-years-old he’s having a career offensive season with a new single-season high 37 RBIs, including four last night.

Guilder gets moved to Round Rock following Omar Quintanilla’s promotion from Triple-A to Arlington. Quintanilla, who is two years older than Rodriguez, played college ball at Texas and hit .298 in 51 games for Round Rock this year.  The Rangers placed infielder Andres Blanco on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday with a stress reaction in his lower back, thus the move to bring Omar up.  Welcome to the musical chairs of professional baseball.

Funny story: Let’s just say that I received some inside info midway through last night’s game that G-Rod would more than likely be getting the call to Triple-A.  Of course I couldn’t say anything about it on-air (big time no-no) because I had to wait for it to be made official.  However in the late innings last night Guilder took one of nastiest hops of the season on a ground ball the jumped up and caught him almost square in the face.  First thought I had after Guilder fell down to the ground was “great, the guy doesn’t even know yet that he’s going to Round Rock after this game is over and now he might go on the DL.”  Somehow Guilder  was alright and finished the game.  Close call.

OK, maybe that wasn’t so funny after all.  Interesting at best.

Both Leo and G-Rod will be active tonight for the Express against Memphis.  Here in Springfield, the ‘Riders and Cards conclude their series at 6:07 p.m.  It’s the final time in the regular season the RoughRiders will play at Hammons Field.  Brian and I will be on at 5:37 p.m. with the pre-game show.  Talk with you then.

AG

Three RoughRiders in Top 50

Baseball America came out with its “Midseason Top 50 Prospect List,” and the RoughRiders were a fixture on the list. Three current ‘Riders are in the top 34. Frisco is the only minor league team that can boast that.

At number six in the rankings is left-hander Martin Perez, who entered the rankings this season at 24. Perez was named to both the Texas League All-Star Game and the XM Futures Game, and he sits 4-2 with a 3.16 earned run average. Perez is second in the TL in strikeouts (83), third in ERA and sixth in WHIP (1.31).

Outfielder Leonys Martin checks in at 25th on the list. Martin, who joined the RoughRiders May 12, is hitting .339 in 28 games. If he were qualified in the league rankings (he is not because of a shortage of necessary at bats), Martin would be fifth in the Texas League since May 12.

Finally, southpaw Robbie Erlin is 34th. Erlin, who was promoted from High-A Myrtle Beach in late May, is 5-0 with a 4.10 in seven career Double-A appearances. Erlin is third among Texas League hurlers since May 29 with 44 strikeouts.

Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar is 12th, and he is the only non-RoughRider from Texas’ farm system who appears on this list. Profar is currently with Low-A Hickory, and he will join Perez on the World Team in the Futures Game this Sunday.

To read the entire list, click here.

- Brian

We Have You To Thank

It was quite a month for the RoughRiders. The ‘Riders went 18-10, finished second in the Texas League in the first half, and sent nine men to the Texas League All-Star Game.

Also, the guys here at the ‘Riders Insider Blog also enjoyed quite a month. We had our best readership ever, and we have you to thank.

This blog is dedicated to all of you who come to our site on a day-to-day basis. We would love to hear ideas that you have for future posts. Please feel free to give us ideas in the comments section.

Today, here is a look back at the most popular posts from the month. Relive the fun from the month of June!

FRISCO FACTS (June blog edition):

Again, we would love to hear from you about posts you would like to see moving forward. Thanks again for reading, and we look forward to having you along for the broadcast tonight. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

Martin Back In Lineup, More Notes

For the first time since June 8, outfielder Leonys Martin is in the RoughRiders starting lineup. Martin is leading off and playing in center field.

Martin has missed 19 games with a herniated disc in his back. He did play in four games with the Rangers’ Arizona League team in Surprise. In those four contests, he hit .267 (4-for-15) with two runs and one RBI.

Before getting injured, Martin was hitting .357 with the RoughRiders in 22 games. He had three home runs and 18 RBIs. Martin’s OPS sat at a ridiculous 1.028.

Here are a few other notes before the ‘Riders and Cardinals take the field tonight.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • The RoughRiders have shuffled around the rotation a little bit to begin the post-All-Star break slate. Ben Snyder will start tonight, and Carlos Pimentel and Joe Wieland will round out the rotation in this three-game series against Springfield.
  • Behind that trio, Martin Perez will pitch Sunday against Arkansas, and Robbie Erlin will go Monday. For Perez, it will be his first start with the ‘Riders since June 22 (11 days). He did pitch in the All-Star Game last night.
  • Springfield has the services of St. Louis’ top prospect–right-hander Shelby Miller. Miller is 3-1 with a 1.69 earned run average in five Double-A starts. He is scheduled to pitch tomorrow night against the ‘Riders.
  • The Texas League has been blessed with top prospects in 2011. Currently, five of the eight teams have their respective organization’s top prospect. Along with Miller, Grant Green (Midland, Athletics), Casey Kelly (San Antonio, Padres), Martin Perez (Frisco, Rangers), and Mike Trout (Arkansas, Angels) are in the TL.
  • The ‘Riders and Cardinals have split their first six games this season. Frisco took two of three from Springfield at Dr Pepper Ballpark in the first series of the season April 7-9.

We’re back on the air with you beginning at 6:35 p.m. Listen live on the RoughRiders Baseball Network. Enjoy!

- Brian

All-Star Game Recap: Perez Earns Win

Frisco starter Martin Perez earned the victory in the South Division’s 3-2 victory over the North All-Stars Wednesday night in the 75th Texas League All-Star Game.

Perez tossed a 1-2-3 second inning. He retired the first two men he faced on ground outs to second. The Rangers’ top prospect finished the frame with a six-pitch strikeout of Anthony Seratelli.

Both Adalberto Flores and Justin Miller earned holds. Flores allowed a solo shot to Matt Adams in an otherwise solid sixth inning, and Miller set down a pair of North All-Stars in the top of the ninth.

Offensively, Mike Bianucci went 1-for-4 with a fourth-inning single. Leonys Martin finished 0-for-3 as the South’s leadoff hitter. Tommy Mendonca walked and struck out.

Jose Felix, Renny Osuna and Jose Ruiz also appeared in the game.

The South scored once in the second and two more times in the third. The North tallied a run in both the sixth and seventh.

It’s a quick turnaround for the nine Frisco All-Stars, as the RoughRiders open a three-game series with the Springfield Cardinals Thursday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. First pitch is set for 7:05.

Martin, Bianucci, Osuna in Starting Lineup

Frisco outfielder Leonys Martin, who has not played with the RoughRiders since June 8, is the leadoff hitter for the South Division in tonight’s 2011 Texas League All-Star Game.

Joining Martin in the starting lineup are Mike Bianucci and Renny Osuna. Bianucci is the designated hitter, and he is hitting third. Osuna rounds out the South squad’s lineup and is playing at second base.

Catcher Jose Felix, third baseman Tommy Mendonca and first baseman Jose Ruiz are available on the South Division’s bench. Also, pitchers Adalberto Flores, Justin Miller and Martin Perez are in the South’s bullpen.

First pitch is set for 7:05. You can follow the game here.

Remember When…

The All-Star Break will be gone before we know it. That’s how these short breaks work, especially when they are only two days long.

The last time there were two straight days without a RoughRiders game that counted? April 5 and 6, right before the 2011 regular season started. A few Texas League clubs (I’m looking at you, Northwest Arkansas and Arkansas) had some games washed out because of rain. Not the RoughRiders.

Let’s take you back to the last time this club enjoyed an off day similar to this one. What was this world like back on April 6? Let’s tell you about it in an All-Star edition of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Dr Pepper Ballpark had been without a meaningful baseball game for 209 days.
  • Texas League fans’ lasting memory of San Antonio was that the club’s offense was bad.
  • Tommy Mendonca and Martin Perez were hoping for bounce-back seasons. Wish granted.
  • The most ridiculous stat of them all: defending MVP Josh Hamilton had not posted a Double-A home run. He hit his first this year.
  • Martin Perez had not had a perfect game in his career.
  • Leonys Martin was very much a free agent.
  • The Rangers won their sixth straight game to start their A.L. pennant defense.
  • Baltimore, Kansas City and Pittsburgh were a combined 13-6.
  • Boston and Tampa Bay were a combined 0-12.
  • South Carolina’s baseball program had only won six straight College World Series games.
  • California’s baseball program was not scheduled to survive past 2011.
  • The Dallas Mavericks were an afterthought.
  • The greatest poll ever had not been created: Can you name the player who has won an NBA Title between LeBron and Dirk?)
  • Kemba Walker was the talk of the basketball world.
  • The NFL was in a lockout. Oh wait…
  • VCU and Butler’s application numbers were going up. Big time.
  • Osama bin Laden was alive.
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Joplin, Missouri, looked very different.
  • I had never heard of a “Royal Wedding.”
  • Oprah was still on the air.

There are many more changes than those 20, but this is a good start. Enjoy another day away from the RoughRiders. We’ll be back with you for more coverage in advance of the ‘Riders and the Springfield Cardinals Thursday.

- Brian

First Half Countdown

April 7 seems like a long time ago. September 5 seems like a long time from now. Welcome to the halfway point of the 2011 season. The RoughRiders finished up the first half at 40-30, which is good for the second best record in the Texas League.

Before the ‘Riders begin the second half, let’s take a look back at the first half. It’s a Top 10 edition of the Facts.

FRISCO FACTS (Top 10 moments from the first half):

10. Three straight blowouts (June 15–Frisco 14, Midland 7)
The RoughRiders were rolling on the road in the month of June, and the trend continued in a big way at Midland. Frisco posted double-digit run totals in three consecutive games for just the second time in franchise history. In those three contests, the ‘Riders scored 37 runs on 54 hits. This game, a 14-7 beating at Citibank Ballpark, capped off the three-day dominance. Frisco was 9-1 on the road in June after this one.

Mike Bianucci is second in the Texas League with 16 home runs (James Garner).

9. Bianucci’s blast sinks Hooks (June 18–Frisco 9, Corpus Christi 6)
You don’t have to look too far for this one. Saturday night, Mike Bianucci crushed a three-run home run off Kyle Greenwalt to give the ‘Riders the lead for good in the 13th inning. This blast rewarded Adalberto Flores, who set highs in innings pitched (4) and strikeouts (6) by a Frisco reliever in a single game, with his second win of the season. Bianucci leads the club and is in the top five in the Texas League with 16 home runs.

8. Adair’s single stuns San Antonio (June 10–Frisco 5, San Antonio 4)
After San Antonio finally mustered a hit (and four runs) against starter Robbie Erlin, Travis Adair decided to save the day. His RBI single in the bottom of the ninth kept the ‘Riders in the playoff chase. Unfortunately, the Missions would go on to clinch the first half title. Still, it was a memorable moment in front of a Fireworks Friday crowd at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

7. Adair’s two-out, bases-clearing magic (May 7–Frisco 9, Midland 8 )
This one foreshadowed the dominance that the ‘Riders would have over the RockHounds this year. Midland took an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the eighth with three runs. In the top of the ninth, the ‘Riders packed the bases with two down. Travis Adair, a new outfielder fresh up from High-A Myrtle Beach, doubled home everyone with a shot down the left field line. It was a big win for a club starting to come into its own.

Jose Ruiz's three-run blast clinched a perfect road trip June 6 (James Garner).

6. Ruiz’s shot clinches 6-0 trip (June 6–Frisco 9, Tulsa 4)
The score wouldn’t indicate it, but this game was close throughout. The RoughRiders took a 5-4 lead into the ninth and scored four more, capped off by Jose Ruiz’s three-run home run. The win wrapped up Frisco’s first perfect road trip since April 29–May 2, 2008. At that point, the ‘Riders had won 24 of 34 games.

5. Throwing error hands ‘Riders win (April 8–Frisco 7, Springfield 6)
In front of the first of many 10,000+ crowds at Dr Pepper Ballpark, the RoughRiders erased a four-run deficit and completed the comeback when Richard Castillo overthrew first base on a sacrifice bunt try by Tommy Mendonca. The win gave Frisco an early 2-0 start.

Leonys Martin is a Texas League All-Star in his first minor league season (James Garner).

4. Leonys Martin thrives in debut (May 12–Frisco 10, Corpus Christi 7)
Days after signing a $15.5 million dollar contract with a $5 million signing bonus, Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin went 3-for-5 in his debut with the ‘Riders. In his first at bat, Martin doubled to deep center. Martin drove in a run and scored one in a game that was decided by a three-run eighth.

3. Ruiz walks off with a RoughRiders win (May 17–Frisco 1, Midland 0)
Scoreless game. Two down. Bases empty. Bottom nine. The game was destined for extras, until Jose Ruiz corked a towering home run over the right field fence. To this point, it is the only walk-off home run for the RoughRiders this year, and it was the most dramatic Frisco win during a four-game sweep of the ‘Hounds in mid May.

2010 A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton played in two games with Frisco (James Garner).

2. Hamilton homers in rehab start (May 18–Frisco 8, Midland 7)
The defending American League Most Valuable Player made a stop at Dr Pepper Ballpark before heading back to the Rangers following a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for more than a month. Swinging at the first pitch in his second at bat, Hamilton lined a two-run home run to left field. Hamilton finished the day 2-for-4 and helped the ‘Riders win a close one against the RockHounds. He also made many RoughRiders fans very happy after the game.

1. Perez tosses rain-shortened perfect game (April 19–Frisco 1, Arkansas 0)
Martin Perez, the Rangers’ number one prospect, set down the first 15 men he faced. In those situations, with a pitcher that is as talented as Perez, it is easy to start thinking about history. However, mother nature wanted to make sure Perez made history. Severe thunderstorms rolled through North Little Rock, Ark., forcing the game’s umpires to call the game in the top of the sixth inning.

Perez’s perfecto was the fifth in Texas League history and the second in RoughRiders history. Not only was it a historic night, but it showed that Perez was going to improve upon his 2010 numbers when with the ‘Riders. So far, so good for Perez, who boasts a 4-1 record and a 3.30 ERA.

What does the second half have in store? You can find out beginning tonight from Dr Pepper Ballpark. Pre-game coverage along the RoughRiders Baseball Network begins at 6:35. Enjoy!

- Brian

Happy Memorial Day

Have a great Memorial Day today, everyone. I hope you all have a chance to take a breather from your everyday life. Here are a few Facts for you to chew on before today’s series finale.

FRISCO FACTS:

  • Brandon Webb will indeed be the RoughRiders’ starting pitcher today, with Richard Bleier slated to enter the game after Webb is finished. Webb will wear number 39 today in his first minor league effort since three appearances with Triple-A Tacoma in 2003.
  • Julio Borbon will lead off and be Frisco’s designated hitter. Borbon’s presence in the lead-off spot forces Mike Bianucci to left field and pushes Leonys Martin to the three hole in the order, which will be the first time all season that Martin will hit outside of the top spot. Borbon will wear number 10.
  • Borbon played in 60 games with the RoughRiders in 2008. He hit .337 with five homers and 22 runs batted in while here in Frisco. His last appearance in the minors came in 2009 with the Rangers’ former Triple-A affiliate, Oklahoma City.
  • When Webb and Borbon suit up for the ‘Riders today, they will not be wearing the typical red unis. The RoughRiders will don camouflage uniforms today in honor of Memorial Day. Frisco will also wear those uniforms on the Fourth of July.
  • Jonathan Greene continued his recent surge by going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and RBIs. In his last two games, he has driven in five runs. Greene really loves Dr Pepper Ballpark, as he owns a .412 average in 19 home games. Four of his five home runs and 15 of his 23 RBIs have come in North Texas. Compare that to Greene’s .205 average away from home.
  • Justin Miller was able to notch a save for the first time since May 7 with an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief. Miller is now just 3-of-7 in save opportunities this year even though he has a respectable 3.76 ERA.
  • We are planning a few new features for you. First off, look for Aaron Goldsmith to be posting on here a few times each road trip with his take on life on the road in the Texas League. He and I will be splitting the blog coverage up during those trips.
  • Also, Aaron and I will both begin to weigh in during the Extra Bases Blog at home games. Reid Copeland will continue to give you his great coverage, and Aaron and I will drop in here and there to give the radio booth’s perspective on things. We encourage you to join the conversation for all games–home and road!

Pre-game coverage for some Memorial Day baseball begins at 3:35. First pitch is set for 4:05. Enjoy!

- Brian

Fair Warning

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.

FRISCO 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.

- Brian

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