Results tagged ‘ Mark Hamburger ’

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.


  • 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.


  • 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


Indeed. In the NBA, that is. While many national prognosticators are putting the Dallas Mavericks on “upset alert,” I just don’t see it. I expect two rounds of fun for the Mavs this spring.

For what it’s worth, I like the Lakers to three-peat after getting past very tough sets against Dallas and San Antonio to get to the Finals. And I think L.A. will square off against Chicago in that final series, after the Bulls dispose of the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

But hey, while I’m in North Texas, I’m embracing the Mavericks run. Go Dirk!

Now, on to your Thursday Facts.


  • Another day, another roster move by the RoughRiders. Reliever Mark Hamburger has been placed on the “temporary inactive list,” which carries a three-day minimum. To get to 24 players, fellow right Fabio Castillo is activated from the disabled list.
  • Hamburger worked a total of five frames over three appearances, allowing three runs on five hits. He picked up his only decision, a win, Friday against Springfield. That was the ‘Riders’ 7-6, 10-inning triumph.
  • As for Castillo, he will be available for the RoughRiders for the first time during the regular season. Castillo did, however, pitch in both exhibitions against Round Rock. Castillo went one inning in each effort and gave up a total of four runs (three earned) to the Rangers’ Triple-A club.
  • Castillo and the rest of the bullpen will be working behind Martin Perez tonight. This will be Perez’s second chance this year and against these Cardinals. He worked three innings, giving up two runs on five hits. It is only one start, but that line was very similar to Perez’s average during last season. Manager Steve Buechele wanted to see Perez improve in this his second season in Frisco, and tonight is another chance for that.
  • For what it is worth, both runs Perez surrendered in that outing were leadoff runners. Aaron Luna led off the second with a double, and Ryan Jackson began the third with a single.
  • File this under the “random” category: this six-game road trip features five different start times. After a pair of 7:07 p.m. starts tonight and tomorrow, the ‘Riders will play at 2:07 p.m., 4:00 p.m., 11:00 a.m., and 7:10 p.m. Adjust accordingly.
  • Congrats to Neil Ramirez, who dominated in a spot start for Triple-A Round Rock. Ramirez, who had only one start above the low-A level before this outing, went six scoreless innings for a victory against Omaha, a team that has a loaded lineup. He’ll head back to high-A Myrtle Beach, but that’s exciting for Rangers and RoughRiders fans. With starts like those, Ramirez may be in Frisco sooner rather than later.
  • Tonight marks the beginning of the second week of the minor league season, and no team in all of affiliated ball made it through week one unscathed. The final two teams to lose were low-A Hagerstown (Nationals) and high-A Daytona (Cubs). 

Aaron Goldsmith has the call of tonight’s series opener between the ‘Riders and the Cardinals. I’ll be with you along the RRBN for the pre- and post-game shows, with our coverage beginning at the easy-to-remember time of 6:37. Enjoy!

– Brian

Tweeting Away

For some, Twitter is a great way to post news and notes on various subjects. Others use it to tell the world about their thoughts and feeling. And there are plenty of people who think it is just a really weird word.

Here with the RoughRiders, we are all over Twitter at There, you can find links to some of our game stories and blog posts, plus in-game updates for all 140 games. Feel free to send us a question on Twitter during the games, as well. We will try to answer as many as possible.

Unfortunately, I am the only one on the media relations/broadcasting staff who has a Twitter. (Quick shameless plug: But I am trying to convince Aaron and Reid to get on there as well.

After all, @RidersVoice is an available username for Aaron, and Reid’s favorite musical group (Tech N9ne) has one. I suspect they will come around soon.

Without further ado, here are today’s Facts.


  • It’s easy to think back to the offensive surge from last night’s 7-6 comeback victory over Springfield. But those battle-back opportunities came about because of the RoughRiders’ stellar pitching down the stretch. The ‘Riders retired the final 14 Cardinals they faced. Adalberto Flores retired five in a row after allowing a run in the sixth, Mike Perconte set down six straight, and Mark Hamburger dealt a 1-2-3 10th.
  • Delving deeper into that stretch, only three Cardinals got the ball out of the infield, and five went down on strikes. All of this followed the first six innings, when Springfield scored in every frame but the first and had chances for more. During the span, they stranded eight runners, five of which were in scoring position when the inning ended.
  • The comeback had legs once Tommy Mendonca went to the opposite field for a two-run homer, his first at the Double-A level, to trim Frisco’s deficit to one in the eighth. Springfield turned to Ryan Kulik, a fellow left-hander, for a same-side match-up. Mendonca’s lefty/righty split was negligible last year in high-A Bakersfield (.253 v. LHP/.247 v. RHP). However, nine of his ten home runs came against right-handed hurlers.
  • If you spell it out by home runs per at bat, Mendonca went yard every 36 at bats against righties while hitting only one in 93 ABs versus lefties. Overall, that was just Mendonca’s second home run against lefties in 155 minor league at bats.
  • Mendonca was also the man who put down the bunt that eventually resulted in a throwing error and a Frisco win. It was a great bunt down the first base line, but it turned out to be much more meaningful for the ‘Riders. “When I was running, I saw the first baseman jump,” Mendonca said. “First time I’ve had a walk-off bunt. It was a great win. We pulled together.”
  • Manager Steve Buechele on the victory: “The guys battled hard. It was a good crowd, and it was a great win for us.”
  • All of this overshadowed the debut of the Rangers’ top prospect–lefty Martin Perez. Perez threw three innings, giving up five hits and two runs. In those three frames, Perez amassed 71 pitches, or 23.7 per inning. The pitch count was the reason Buechele lifted Perez after the third. He had to face 15 batters.
  • Another day, another juggle to the starting lineup. No surprise here with the season just underway. The top five stay the same (Osuna-Beltre-Butler-Bianucci-Mendonca), but Robbie Diaz gets his first start at catcher and in the six hole. Jose Ruiz is back in the lineup, hitting seventh like he did Thursday. David Paisano falls another two slots to eighth, with Davis Stoneburner rounding it out.
  • Jake Brigham gets the call today for the ‘Riders on the bump. Brigham struggled in his appearance in Sunday’s exhibition against Round Rock, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits in two and two-thirds. This will be his Double-A debut.
  • There are three unbeaten teams in the Texas League so far. Frisco is tied with Midland at the top of the South. The RockHounds have pulled away from Arkansas in the first two games of their three-game set. And Tulsa paces all North clubs after a pair of one-run victories over Corpus Christi.
  • Congratulations to Northwest Arkansas outfielder Nick Van Stratten, who made ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays with a dazzling catch in left field during last night’s victory over San Antonio. The catch was the number three play on the countdown. 

Catch all of the play-by-play action tonight at 6:35, as the RoughRiders aim for their first series sweep since June 25-28 of 2010 at Corpus Christi. As always, you can listen online here. Enjoy!

– Brian