Results tagged ‘ Midland RockHounds ’

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (7/25)

GAME #100 (2nd HALF GAME #31)

Frisco RoughRiders (51-48 overall, 13-17 2nd half) at Midland RockHounds (52-48 overall, 19-11 2nd half)
Monday, July 25 – 6:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 17 of 28 (Riders lead, 10-6)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – DH
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  8. Alberto Triunfel – RF
  9. Shaq Matta – C

RHP Ariel Jurado (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday at Corpus Christi (W, 7-6)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Erasing a 5-1 deficit with four runs in the sixth and two in the seventh, the RoughRiders rallied back to beat the Corpus Christi Hooks 7-6 in the series finale, splitting the four-game set and moving just six out of first place Midland…RONALD GUZMAN and LUIS MARTE both blasted two run homers in the sixth, and Guzman put the club ahead with a two-run single in the seventh…A benches-clearing brawl in the second inning after YOHANDER MENDEZ hit the Hooks’ Danry Vasquez led to the ejections Mendez, Vasquez, and outfielder Ramon Laureano…Frisco’s bullpen fired eight innings in relief of Mendez, andJOHN FASOLA pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings for the save.

MOMENTOUS SERIES IN MIDLAND:
Today continues a pivotal seven-game road trip, a trek against the top two teams in the division. After a four-game split at Corpus Christi the RoughRiders tee off against the Midland RockHounds today. The RoughRiders are six games back of Midland with 40 games left in the second half.  Since the Riders fell four games on July 2, they haven’t been closer and have been back by as many as eight games behind the RockHounds.

HIP-HIP-JURADO:
Rangers No. 12 prospect (according to MLBPipeline.com) ARIEL JURADO makes his Double-A debut today. The righty won Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015, leading the organization in wins and is having another good campaign this season. In the hitter-friendly California League, Jurado, just 20 years old, made 16 starts with the Mavericks, going 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA. In 79 1/3 innings, he allowed 83 hits and 24 walks, while recording 71 strikeouts. At the time of promotion, Jurado was eighth on the California League leaderboard in ERA. His ERA also ranks fourth among Rangers full-season starting pitchers.

BOLSTERED BULLPEN:
The Texas Rangers sent JEFRI HERNANDEZ to the RoughRiders today, activated off of the disabled list from Round Rock and transferred to Double-A. Hernandez, 25, missed nearly two months after undergoing an apendectomy. The Riders bullpen needs the help. After playing 14 innings on Saturday, Frisco’s starter YOHANDER MENDEZ was ejected after hitting Corpus Chrsiti’s Danry Vasquez with his first pitch in the second inning. Over the past two games, the Riders have thrown 17 innings, and every reliever except LUKE JACKSON has pitched.

MAGICAL MARTE:
With two more hits last night, LUIS MARTE continues to tear it up at the plate for the Riders. He went 10-for-19 last series and is 13-for-his-last-23 over a current five-game multi-hit streak. Marte collected three hits in the series finale with San Antonio on Wednesday, two in three of the games against Corpus Chrsiti, and four on Saturday. He’s also in the midst of a six-game hitting streak with three homers, a double, and 10 RBI. Only one player (Will Maddox of West Michigan) has more hits (14) than Marte (13) over the past five days in all of Minor League Baseball.

JACKSON’S BIG JULY:
Though he’s been a steady contributor at the plate all season, July has been especially fruitful for Riders outfielder JOE JACKSON. The 24-year-old is hitting .306 in his first 22 games this month after combining to hit .260 in the first three months. He has hits in 19 of the 22 games and holds a .375 on-base percentage since the calendar turned. Jackson is currently riding an nine-game hit streak and an 13-game on-base streak. The former catcher is also getting more experience in the outfield, having played 26 of his last 32 games in the grass after DH’ing early in the year.

SOMEBODY PAID THE POWER BILL:
The RoughRiders recently went through a shortage of power hitting, but appear to be on the way back up. The Riders hit 24 home runs in the past four series and hit 11 against Northwest Arkansas. Frisco has 25 homers in the last 16 games with homers in 12 of those 16, going just 1-3 when they don’t hit a home run during this stretch. After hitting just one in the previous 11, Frisco currently leads the Texas League with 26 July homers, five more than second place Corpus Christi (21) and Tulsa (21). Since July 8, Frisco has 25 home runs, tied for the third-most in MiLB (Rancho Cucamonga Quakes: 29; Ogden Raptors: 26).

KINER KEEPS ON KEEPING ON…:
Though he struggled in his first few games back from the disabled list, Riders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA is back in the groove of where he was before landing on the DL in late May. He has reached base in 23 straight games, a season-long and the longest active streak in the league. He has hits in 18 of those games and has reached safely in 37 of his 97 plate appearances, a .381 OBP in that span (24 hits, 10 walks, three HBP). Kiner-Falefa has an on-base percentage of .359 this season, which ranks second on the team (RONALD GUZMAN .360) and 11th in the league.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series opener. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 4.35 ERA in four starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Ballpark Bio: Security Bank Ballpark (Midland)

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Today marks part four of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

 Facts and Figures
Opened: March 23, 2002
Capacity: 6,669 (including berm seating)
Dimensions: LF – 330, CF – 410, RF – 322

Today, we round out the four-game series to Midland, and my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark has been a good one.

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The bullpen carves some space out of RF.

There are a lot of unique features here in Midland. One of the first that caught my eye was the way the outfield wall is configured. Most notably, the right field corner is very unique. They’ve carved out a space in the right field corner (on the fair side of the foul pole) for the Midland bullpen, which results in a slightly smaller area of in-play territory in right field. Furthermore, it’s a rather short wall in front of the bullpen, so anything down the line has a good shot to go. Joe Jackson took advantage of that Sunday with his three-run homer.

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The bow of the LF wall.

On the left field side, it’s not quite the same setup, but it’s still a unique configuration. There’s a diagonal cut from the left field foul pole out to the main wall. From there, the wall bends inward in a wavy shape before returning to the normal curvature the rest of the way.

The wall isn’t the only thing that makes this park fun to visit. Out on the concourse in left-center field, there’s a set of water fountains that light up at night. Another thing that stands out is the horn that sounds every time the RockHounds score. It probably isn’t the only parks in Minor League Baseball to do it (the Riders have their own version of a horn, but it’s a bit different), but it adds a nice charm to the experience of Security Bank Ballpark.

You can hear an example of the horn below:

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Midland’s fountain on the concourse looks great in the sunshine and when it’s lit up at night.

The seating bowl is well-maintained and the park has a very intimate feel. Our booth is rather close to the field, which always makes for an enjoyable broadcast.

On top of all that, the staff here in Midland has been great to us. Overall, it’s hard to complain about my first trip to Security Bank Ballpark.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in a few weeks from Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Cashew – An undisciplined, zany nonconformist. A “nutty” player.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/14/16)

GAME #62
Frisco RoughRiders (35-26) vs. Midland RockHounds (30-32)
Tuesday, June 14 – 11:05 a.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Michael Tepid)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 12 of 28 (Riders lead, 7-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Evan Van Hoosier – LF
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – DH
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-1, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (DH: W, 4-2; L, 8-2)

Box Scores: Game one / Game two
Recaps: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Scouting Assistant Justin Aguiar

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the RockHounds at home yesterday…GAME ONE: After falling behind 2-0, the Riders scored four unanswered runs to come back and win 4-2…CONNOR SADZECK went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game…LUIS MENDEZ drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth…KELLIN DEGLAN went 2-3 with two runs scored…GAME TWO: The two teams entered the sixth in a scoreless tie, but Midland erupted for eight runs on eight hits in the last two innings…VICTOR PAYANO hurled five scoreless innings and struck out six batters…ANDY IBANEZ hit his first home run with the Riders, a two run blast with two outs in the seventh.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts an 18-12 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.257) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 11 of the last 18 games (5-13) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 43 of Frisco’s 61 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

ERRORS LEAD TO RUNS:
Despite committing the fourth-fewest number of errors in the Texas League, the RoughRiders have made an alarming number of blunders against Midland this season. In 11 games, Frisco and Midland have both made 11 errors. In addition, 29 of the 95 runs scored between the two teams this year have been unearned. Frisco committed a season-high four errors leading to four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss Saturday.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 21 of his last 23 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 23 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .338 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .398 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .488 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is slated to start for Frisco again today. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he is near the top of the Texas League rankings in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (4th, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .520), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 147-103 (.588). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 41-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-26, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-28. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series finale. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in two starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/13/16)

GAMES #60 and 61
Frisco RoughRiders (34-25) vs. Midland RockHounds (29-31)
Sunday, June 13 – Doubleheader starts at 5:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Games 2 and 3 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 10 and 11 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Ronald Guzman – DH
  2. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  3. Preston Beck – 1B
  4. Kellin Deglan – C
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Ryan Cordell – RF
  8. Luis Mendez – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Connor Sadzeck (5-4, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Midland (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders gave up four unearned runs Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to Midland in the series opener…The Hounds tallied a pair of unearned runs against LUIS ORTIZ, who gave up five hits and struck out four in four innings of work…JOE JACKSON had his 10th multi-hit game of the season and drove in the lone run for Frisco on an RBI single in the fifth…Major League rehabber SHIN-SOO CHOO went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a strikeout in his sixth start with the Riders.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-11 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.259) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 16 games (4-12) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 59 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 20 of his last 21 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 21 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .360 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .415 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .520 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is expected to start for Frisco again Tuesday. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-3rd, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .532), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 145-100 (.592). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 40-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, is in his second season in Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
GAME ONE: Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make his third start against the RoughRiders this season. He has allowed just one earned run over 11.2 innings pitched in those two outings. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. Alcantara is ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and No. 19 by Baseball America. He is a member of the Athletics’ 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup…GAME TWO: Right-hander Daniel Gossett is quickly climbing the ladder in the Athletics’ farm system. The second round draft pick in 2014 out of Clemson is listed in both MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 prospects in the organization (No. 24 in MLBPipeline, No 26. in BA). Gossett spent a full season with Class-A Beloit last year in the Midwest League before a stint with Class A-Advanced Stockton to begin this season. The Lyman, South Carolina native, went 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in nine starts with the Ports. Tonight’s start against the RoughRiders will be his first career appearance against a Rangers affiliate. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (91-96), two-seam fastball, curveball (82-83), changeup (82-85), slider.

Riders vs. RockHounds: a season series defined by double plays and unearned runs

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Through the first nine games of the season series between the RoughRiders and Midland, we’ve seen both the good and the bad of defense at an unusually high level.

Let’s keep the glass half full and start with the good…

DOUBLE PLAYS: We have seen an incredibly high amount of double plays between these two teams in their first nine games. Midland has turned a whopping 18 double plays in 84 defensive innings (one every 4.7 innings), while the Riders have turned two 11 times in 86 defensive innings (one every 7.8 innings).

In total, the two teams have turned 29 twin killings in 170 defensive innings. That’s a double play every 5.9 innings. To put that number in context, the league average is one double play every 11.9 innings, more than twice the rate the Riders and RockHounds are running at.

That’s the fun part of defense. Now for the not-so-good part:

ERRORS: Defensive miscues have become an unfortunate part of this season series early on. Midland (11) and Frisco (9) have combined to commit 20 errors in nine games against each other this season and 24 of the 79 runs scored between the two this year have been unearned.

The RoughRiders committed a season-high four errors Saturday, giving up four costly unearned runs in a four-run loss. Midland, meanwhile, made eight blunders in a four-game series against the Riders May 16-19, and 16 of the 26 runs the RockHounds allowed were unearned.

To put that in perspective, the RoughRiders have allowed just 18 unearned runs in their other 50 games and the RockHounds have let just 36 unearned runs cross in their other 51 contests.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Daylight play – A defensive maneuver performed by an infielder and the pitcher in an effort to pick off a baserunner.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/11/16)

GAME #59
Frisco RoughRiders (34-24) vs. Midland RockHounds (28-31)
Saturday, June 11 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 9 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-2)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – RF
  2. Ryan Cordell – CF
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Evan Van Hoosier – 3B
  5. Preston Beck – LF
  6. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  7. Joe Jackson – DH
  8. Alex Burg – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-2, 4.61 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at San Antonio (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Outfielder Preston Beck

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders finished a four-game road set against the San Antonio Missions on a positive note, earning a series split with a 3-2 win. The victory came following two straight losses…YOHANDER MENDEZ earned his third win in four starts with the Riders, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out seven batters, while allowing just four hits…ANDY IBANEZ broke a 0-0 tie with his first hit as a RoughRider, an RBI triple in the fourth inning…JOE JACKSON and LUIS MENDEZ drove in two more runs with RBI singles in the sixth…After the Missions scored runs in the sixth and seventh, REED GARRETT worked out of jams in the seventh and eighth, and ADAM PARKS earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth…Major League rehabberSHIN-SOO CHOO went 0-for-3 with two walks and one strikeout.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by 2.5 games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. Beginning tonight, the Riders open a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-10 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slighty better batting average at home (.261) compared to on the road (.243).

RANGERS ON REHAB:
SHIN-SOO CHOO continues his Major League rehab assignment with the RoughRiders tonight, playing in his sixth game with Frisco…A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness and is expected to start for Frisco again on Tuesday.

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 10 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks and six more against third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 15 games (4-11) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 58 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), one behind league-leading Arkansas, Corpus Christi, and Midland.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 19 of his last 20 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped last Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 20 games, Beck is hitting .347 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .397 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .514 in that span.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder tops the circuit in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-2nd, 40), home runs (T-5th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .535), and doubles (T-4th, 14).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 139-99 (.584). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 38-23, Class-A Hickory is 35-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 32-27. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes nine players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11),ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Chris Jensen takes the ball for the RockHounds tonight in the series opener. Now in his third season with the Hounds, Jensen is slated to make his 10th career start against the RoughRiders, holding a 2-3 record with a 3.60 ERA. Last year, he faced Frisco three times and was 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA over 17 innings. In his only start against the Riders this season, he surrendered six runs on six hits in five innings pitched. Jensen was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of the University of San Diego. He came to the Athletics in a December 2013 trade for left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (94-95), two-seam FB (88-92), hard curve, slow curve, changeup.

 

South Division set for frantic race to the finish

June is here. Whether it feels like it’s already here or it’s finally here, the start of the year’s sixth month marks the beginning of the stretch run to the end of the first half.

Here’s a look at the South Division standings as we enter play today.

TEAM W L WIN % GB
Frisco 30 19 .612
Corpus Christi 30 20 .600 0.5
Midland 26 24 .520 4.5
San Antonio 16 34 .320 14.5

San Antonio is pretty much out of it, but the other three teams have a very legitimate shot of claiming the first-half crown and one of the two playoff spots from the South Division come September.

Corpus Christi was about as impressive in May as the Riders were in April. The Hooks finished the month 21-8, including a 6-0 record against the RoughRiders. Even as some of their stars get promoted to Triple-A or sent to the disabled list, the Hooks haven’t seemed to lose a beat. The Riders face off with Corpus Christi for their final five games of the first half June 15-18 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. At this rate, it looks like that series could go a long way in determining the first-half champion.

Of course, you can’t count out Midland yet either. The RockHounds have had an up-and-down kind of season up to this point, but still remain in striking distance of first place. Midland pitching continues to struggle, with the team ERA of 4.17 ranking second-to-last in the Texas League. That said, the bats are strong enough to keep them in the race. What’s hurt Midland most has been the loss of key contributors to Triple-A, including Ryon Healy, Jaycob Brugman, Aaron Kurcz, and Daniel Mengden. The Riders play their final two games of the first half in Midland, plus four other games in Frisco next week. If they can stay in the race, those series could also mean a lot toward deciding the first-half championship.

It’s hard to say if this will be a two- or three-horse race down the stretch, but either way, it should be a fun month of June in the South Division in the quest for a first-half title.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Put a new handle on it – Time-tested advice given to a player who has just broken his bat.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (DH, 5/19/16)

GAMES #38 and 39
Frisco RoughRiders (25-12) at Midland RockHounds (20-17)
Thursday, May 19 – Game one starts at 4:30 p.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Game oneGame two
—————————————–
This series: Games 3 and 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-0)
This season: Games 7 and 8 of 28 (Riders lead, 4-2)

FRISCO LINEUP (Game one)

  1. Lewis Brinson RF
  2. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Preston Beck – DH
  6. Garrett Weber – SS
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Luis Mendez – 3B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Connor Sadzeck (4-0, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at Midland (W, 11-8 – 15 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

Highlight of the night: Ronald Guzman‘s two-run triple adds insurance in the 15th

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Catcher Kellin Deglan

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders game with Midland yesterday was postponed due to rain…On Tuesday, the two teams played a 15-inning affair, ending in an 11-8 RoughRiders victory…Frisco led 6-1 after five innings behind masterful work from YU DARVISH in his rehab appearance. He struck out six and allowed just three hits, all singles, surrendering an unearned run in the first…Midland rallied back, however, with four runs in the sixth off of JOSE MONEGRO and another marker off of RYNE SLACK in the ninth to send the games to extra innings…Frisco and Midland traded solo home runs in the 13th before the RoughRiders jumped on the Hounds with four unearned runs in the 15th and held on for the win…PRESTON BECK earned the win in his 2016 pitching debut, allowing one run in two innings.

YU SAW SOMETHING SPECIAL:
Right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH re-joined the Riders to continue his Major League rehabilitation assignment Tuesday. The three-time American League All-Star worked five innings and allowed just three hits and an unearned run, while walking one and striking out six. Of Darvish’s 68 pitches, 47 were strikes.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
Frisco’s 25-12 record is the best through 37 games in team history, one game ahead of the 2008 RoughRiders who were 24-13 at this point. The 2008 squad finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:
RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end May 2, he continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 36 games Tuesday and reached twice in the win. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 39 straight contests.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
In addition to Cordell’s impressive on-base streak, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. With a solo home run in the eighth inning Monday, the Riders outfielder passed Midland’s Matt Chapman for the league lead in home runs (10) and Ryon Healy for the lead in RBI (35). Cordell also tops the the league in batting average (.353) and runs scored (34), and he leads all of Minor League Baseball in slugging percentage (.699).

STRIKEOUT FEVER:
After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 per game), Riders pitching has amassed 125 punchouts in the last 14 games (8.9 per game). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts during that stretch (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10;CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With a win Monday night, the Riders now have a 9-2 record in series openers this year. The only two blemishes were one-run defeats, in last Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Midland and last Thursday’s 6-5 loss to Corpus Christi. The Riders have won six of their first 10 series, including two sweeps of Northwest Arkansas and San Antonio.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+43), Frisco has played in 11 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 20 games. The Riders have an 8-5 record in games decided by one run this year and are 4-1 in games decided by two runs.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:
Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts but has allowed just two earned runs in 12.0 innings of relief, good for a 1.50 ERA.

HOW SWEEP IT ISN’T:
After losing all four games to Corpus Christi in the last series, the RoughRiders were swept for the first time this season. It was the first time Frisco had been swept since losing three games to Midland in the final series of last year (September 5-7).

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK saw an impressive stretch come to an end in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game. The southpaw began the season with 14 1/3 scoreless innings between April 8 and May 8 until the Hooks finally tagged him for two runs Saturday. However, his .098 opposing average is still the best in the Texas League.

KINER CAN CATCH:
RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made seven starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last four baserunners who have attempted to steal on his watch. He had not allowed a passed ball for the first five games until allowing one in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 97-57 (.630), which is the second-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland. Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A Hickory enters the day at 26-13, Class A-Advanced High Desert is 26-14, and Triple-A Round Rock is 20-18. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:
GAME ONE: The RoughRiders face Corey Walter for the first time this year in Game One of the twin bill. Walter moved into the rotation when Daniel Megden was promoted to Triple-A, but he missed Frisco in the first series between the two teams…Drafted in the 28th Round of the 2014 Draft out of West Virginia University, Walter throws a two-seam sinker and a slider and is working on his changeup….GAME TWO: Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland tonight in the back-half of the doubleheader. Seddon has turn things around after a rough start, alllowed three or fewer earned runs in three of his last four outings, including one against Frisco. Seddon is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. His arsenal includes a two-seam and four-seam fastball, changeup, slider, and curveball.

By the numbers: Tuesday’s wild win in Midland

26413997862_94f0740c63_zThere were all kinds of twists and turns in the Riders 15-inning win at Midland Tuesday. Here’s the numerical breakdown of all the madness.

302

Minutes played (5 hrs. 2 min.)

135

Plate appearances

19

Runs

7

Unearned runs

30

Hits (23 singles)

5

Errors

26

Men left on base

5

Double plays turned

9

Players with multiple hits

4

Home runs

16

Walks

19

Strikeouts

13

Pitchers used

495

Pitches thrown (307 strikes)

5

1-2-3 innings (out of 30 half-innings)

11

Half-innings with a run scored

6-1

The lead for Frisco when Yu Darvish completed his five innings of work in his rehab start

2

Number of times Midland rallied to tie the game when facing its final out

1-0

Preston Beck’s career record as a pitcher after yesterday. The Riders starting right fielder came on in the 14th and worked the final two innings to pick up the win. It was his second career appearance on the mound as a pro, with the other coming in the final game last season (also against Midland).

6:41

Unofficial time of delay while umpires determined whether Ryan Cordell’s pop-up was cleanly caught in the top of the 15th. They ultimately ruled it was dropped, which brought in the decisive runs.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Fiddle Hitcher – A pitcher who uses delaying tactics.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at Midland (5/17/16)

GAME #37
Frisco RoughRiders (24-12) at Midland RockHounds (20-16)
Tuesday, May 17 – 11:00 a.m.
Security Bank Ballpark – Midland, TX
—————————————–

Watch: MiLB.TV (Midland feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 6 of 28 (Riders lead, 3-2)

050116 Darvish, Yu 5 (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Yu Darivsh makes his second rehab start with the Riders today.

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Lewis Brinson CF
  2. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  3. Ryan Cordell – LF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alex Burg – DH
  6. Preston Beck – RF
  7. Alberto Triunfel – 2B
  8. Luis Mendez – 3B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Yu Darvish (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday at Midland (W, 4-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

Highlight of the night: Ryan Cordell blasts his 10th homer of the year

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Garrett Weber

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Erasing an early deficit, the RoughRiders scored three runs in the third inning, two unearned, to move ahead for good…RYAN CORDELL hit a solo homer in the eighth to put Frisco ahead by a pair, and JOSE LECLERC shut the door in the ninth for the save, despite a near-game-ending fly out for the final out…REED GARRETT tossed five innings and allowed just two runs, only one of which was earned, on two hits and a pair of walks for his first win…CODY PALMQUIST faced the minimum in three innings, allowing only a single.

YU READY FOR DARVISH?:
Right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH re-joins the Riders today as he continues his Major League rehabilitation assignment. The three-time American League All-Star is slated to throw five innings or about 75 pitches in his fourth Minor League start (second with Frisco).

BUSH IN THE BIGS:
After being on the Riders roster from Opening Day until Thursday, Matt Bush was promoted straight to the Major Leagues on Friday. The right-handed pitcher has worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings for the Texas Rangers in two relief appearances against the Toronto Blue Jays.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With a win last night, the Riders now have a 9-2 record in series openers this year. The only two blemishes were one-run defeats, in last Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Midland and Thursday’s 6-5 loss to Corpus Christi. The Riders have won six of their first 10 series, including two sweeps of Northwest Arkansas and San Antonio.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
Frisco’s 24-12 record is the best through 36 games in team history, one game ahead of the 2008 RoughRiders who were 23-13 at this point. The 2008 squad finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

GOING STREAKING:
RYAN CORDELL has been off to a great start in 2016, including a Texas League Player of the Week and Player of the Month honor. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end May 2, he continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 35 games Monday and reached twice in the win. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 38 straight contests.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
In addition to Cordell’s impressive on-base streak, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. With a solo home run in the eighth inning yesterday, Cordell passed Midland’s Matt Chapman for the league lead in home runs (10) and Ryon Healy for the lead in RBI (35). Cordell also tops the the league in runs scored (31) and leads all of Minor League Baseball in slugging percentage (.719).

STRIKEOUT FEVER:
After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 113 punchouts in the last 13 games (8.7 per game). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13; SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

BULLING DOWN THE HOUNDS:
While Midland has found some success scoring early, the Riders bullpen has made the going tough late in games. In the first five games against the Hounds, Riders relievers have combined to allow just three runs on 12 hits in 23 innings (1.17 ERA), while walking just five and striking out 23. On the season, the Riders bullpen holds a 2.34 ERA.

HOW SWEEP IT ISN’T:
After losing all four games to Corpus Christi in the last series, the RoughRiders were swept for the first time this season. It was the first time Frisco had been swept since losing three games to Midland in the final series of last year (September 5-7).

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK saw an impressive stretch come to an end in the eighth inning of Saturday’s game. The southpaw began the season with 14 1/3 scoreless innings between April 8 and May 8 until the Hooks finally tagged him for two runs yesterday. Going into last night, Slack had also not allowed a hit in 11 2/3 innings of work. His .068 opposing average is still the best in the Texas League.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+40), Frisco has played in 11 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 19 games. The Riders have an 8-5 record in games decided by one run this year and are 4-1 in games decided by two runs.

HOME IS WHERE THE ‘PEN IS:
Right-handed pitcher JOSE LECLERC has made a marked improvement since transitioning from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Leclerc had an ERA of 7.88 in two starts but has allowed just two earned runs in 12.0 innings of relief, good for a 1.50 ERA.

KINER CAN CATCH:
RoughRiders utility man ISIAH KINER-FALEFA has found a new skillset, and it comes from behind the plate. The 21-year-old is catching for the first time in his career this season, having made seven starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last four baserunners who have attempted to steal on his watch. He had not allowed a passed ball for the first five games until allowing one in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 94-54 (.635), which is the second-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland. Every full-season affiliate in the organization won yesterday and has a record above .500, good for first-place in their respective divisions, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 26-12, Class A Hickory is 25-12, and Triple-A Round Rock is 19-18. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:
Signed by the Oakland Athletics as a free agent to a Minor League contract on July 30, 2014, Joey Wagman makes his 2016 RockHounds debut today…The right-hander made one appearance for Midland a year ago but spent most of the season in A-ball…Wagman was originally selected by the Chicago White Sox out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo in the 17th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, but was released on April 9, 2014…The Athletics signed Wagman after he spent 12 games, 11 starts, with the Rockford Aviators of the independent Frontier League…He offers a four-pitch mix, throwing an 87-88 mph fastball, curveball, slider, and a changeup