Results tagged ‘ Midland RockHounds ’

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
—————————————–

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

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

GAME #36
Frisco RoughRiders (23-12) at Midland RockHounds (20-15)
Monday, May 16 – 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 and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 5 of 28 (Series tied, 2-2)

042716 Kiner-Falefa, Isiah (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) 1

Isiah Kiner-Falefa is batting outside the leadoff spot for the first time this season.

FRISCO LINEUP

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

RHP Reed Garrett (0-0, 5.03 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Corpus Christi (L, 6-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

Highlight of the night: Garrett Weber goes yard in the ninth

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Emerson Martinez

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Shut out until the ninth inning, the RoughRiders dropped game four of the five-game set with Corpus Christi 6-3…The Riders snapped a 19-inning scoreless drought with an RBI double from RONALD GUZMAN and a two-run homer by GARRETT WEBERDavid Paulino blanked Frisco over the first five innings, and Kyle Smith posted three perfect innings before the partial rally in the ninth by the Riders…Frisco needed five pitchers to complete their eight innings with only newcomersJASON RICHMAN and EMERSON MARTINEZ unscored upon…The Hooks scored two runs in the second, two in the fifth, and two in the eighth and loaded the bases in four different innings, leaving on 15 baserunners in eight innings.

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 visiting Toronto Blue Jays.

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).

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
Through the first 10 series of the season, the Riders have an 8-2 record in series openers. 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:
The 23-12 record ties the the 2008 squad for the best record through 35 games in team history. The 2008 RoughRiders 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 34 games Saturday by drawing a walk in the ninth inning. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 37 straight contests.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:
After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 109 punchouts in the last 12 games (9.1 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 four-game series, Riders relievers combined to allow just three runs on nine hits in 19 innings of relief, while walking just five and striking out 21. On the season, the Riders bullpen holds a 2.42 ERA.

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 (+38), Frisco has played in 11 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 18 games. The Riders have an 8-5 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-1 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 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 1.64 ERA.

DOUBLE TROUBLE:
The Riders were swept in Friday’s doubleheader, dropping both games to Corpus Christi and scoring just two runs in 14 innings. The last time Frisco dropped both games of a twinbill was last year on June 16 at Whataburger Field. The Riders were shut out in both games (2-0 and 5-0) and went on to lose all four games in the series.

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 six starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run 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 89-52 (.631), 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 24-11, Class A-Advanced High Desert is 24-12, and Triple-A Round Rock is 18-17. Three of the four affiliates currently lead their respective divisions. 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:
Right-hander Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make the start for Midland in tonight’s series finale. The 23-year-old was named Texas League Player of the Week last week after dealing six no-hit innings in a win over Corpus Christi on May 4. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December of 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. His season ended after just three starts, though, due to injury. Alcantara spent last season at Class A-Advanced Stockton, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Alcantara is ranked as the 16th-best prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and 19th by Baseball America. He is a member of the A’s 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup.

Saddle Up: Riders vs Midland (5/10/16)

GAME #31
Frisco RoughRiders (23-7) vs. Midland RockHounds (18-13)
Tuesday, May 10 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 4 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 4 of 28 (Riders lead, 2-1)

042916 Cordell, Ryan (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Ryan Cordell recorded his third career multi-home run game on Monday vs Midland

FRISCO LINEUP

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

LHP Frank Lopez (3-0, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (W, 6-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jose Leclerc

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
RYAN CORDELL homered twice to lead the RoughRiders to a 6-5 win over Midland…The Riders scored five run in the second, and Cordell’s go-ahead blast in the fifth proved to be the difference…Midland’s Yairo Munoz also hit two homers Monday and finished 3-for-4 with 4 RBI…JOSE LECLERC worked three perfect innings out of the bullpen, and JOSE VALDESPINA earned his first save of the year.

NO MINOR FEAT:
Entering the day at 23-7 (.767), the Riders have the best winning percentage among all 120 full-season affiliates in Minor League Baseball.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
The 23-7 record marks the best 30-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad that started 22-8. The 2008 RoughRiders, 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 after going 0-for-3 last Monday, he continued his on-base streak to an MiLB-leading 29 games last night with his two-home run performance. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 32 straight contests.

CONDOR FLYING HIGH:
RONALD “CONDOR” GUZMAN is tearing it up as of late, having reached base safely in 17 straight games, the third-longest active streak in the Texas League. He has hits in 15 of those 17 games, and RBI in ten. In that span, he’s hitting .381, with six doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI.

STRIKEOUT FEVER:
After striking out 180 hitters in the first 23 games (7.8 SO/9 IP), Riders pitching has amassed 72 punchouts in the last seven games (10.3). In addition, three starters have set career-highs in single-game strikeouts recently (VICTOR PAYANO, 13;SAM WOLFF, 10; CONNOR SADZECK, 9).

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+53), Frisco has played in 10 one-run contests, winning seven, over the last 14 games. The Riders have a 8-4 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-0 in games decided by two runs.

CUT THEM SOME SLACK:
Reliever RYNE SLACK is in the midst of an impressive stretch, not having allowed a hit in his last 11 2/3 innings of work. He still has yet to permit a run in 14 1/3 innings of relief work this season, and his .049 opposing average is the best in the Texas League.

BULLING DOWN THE HOUNDS:
While Midland has found some success scoring early, the Riders bullpen has made the going tough late in games. Through the first three games of the series, Riders relievers have combined to allow just one run on three hits in 14 innings of relief, while walking just four and striking out 14. On the season, the Riders bullpen holds a 2.20 ERA.

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 one earned run in 11.0 innings of relief, good for a 0.82 ERA. Among active relievers, only RYNE SLACK has a better ERA (0.00).

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 five starts behind the plate. The new position has worked incredibly well for Kiner-Falefa, who has caught the last three baserunners who have run on his watch, including Midland’s Matt Chapman Saturday night. He also has yet to have a passed ball.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 82-40 (.672), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert Class-A Hickory enters the day at 21-10 while Class A-Advaned High Desert is 20-11, and Triple-A Round Rock is 18-12. Three of the four affiliates currently lead their respective divisions. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-hander Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make the start for Midland in tonight’s series finale. The 23-year-old was named Texas League Player of the Week on Monday after dealing six no-hit innings last Wednesday in a win over Corpus Christi. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December of 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. His season ended after just three starts, though, due to injury. Alcantara spent last season at Class A-Advanced Stockton, as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Alcantara is ranked as the 16th-best prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and 19th by Baseball America. He is a member of the A’s 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup.

SDCS Game Three Notes: Do or Die


Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

A 3-2 win for the Midland RockHounds in game three sets up a must-win scenario for the RoughRiders in game four of the Texas League South Division Championship Series. Click here to read the Game Two recap.

Much has attention has been paid the RoughRiders for their “prospect-packed” roster, and deservedly so. But a pair of prospects on Midland’s veteran-laden lineup have played a key role in the outcome of this series. Daniel Robertson, the number one prospect in the A’s organization, drove in a run in his Double-A debut to give Midland a 1-0 lead. Fellow infielder Matt Chapman, in his first full year of professional baseball, batted 2-for-3 on Friday with two RBI, a double and a back-breaking home run off Alec Asher in the seventh to snap a 2-2 tie. Chapman’s home run was a particularly sharp dagger because the ‘Riders had managed to tie the score in the top of the inning.

It’s not like the A’s are stacking Midland’s roster for a playoff push, either. Robertson arrived after his Advanced-A Stockton squad fell in the California League playoffs. He replaces Hiro Nakajima, who broke his wrist in game one at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Chapman, meanwhile, takes the place of Jefry Marte, who was shut down on the final day of the regular season with an oblique injury.

Star of the Game: 2B Odubel Herrera – 2/3, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 SB, SO

Odubel has had a great series with five hits in three games. He also has three RBI, three walks, a double and a home run. The ‘Riders will need him to stay hot to have a chance in game four.

In case you missed it:

-Frisco outhit Midland 9-8.

-The ‘Riders had a chance to score early with men at the corners in the first inning. They stranded both runners and abandoned men on second and third in the seventh with the score knotted at 2-2.

-The RoughRiders scored another unearned run on a throwing error by Max Muncy in the third inning. There has been at least one unearned run scored by either team in all three games of the series.

-Nick Williams has a hit in all three games of the series.

 

Game two starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff shares his thoughts about what went right and what went wrong against the RockHounds in a 6-3 loss on Thursday:

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

They Came to Play

Miss the last RoughRiders game? Catch up on the action or relive the highlights with ‘Riders Rewind, a daily capsule of yesterday’s big moments. Listen to previous editions of ‘Riders Rewind here.

The RoughRiders earned the right to feel good about themselves after they emerged from the Permian basin as winners of 3-of-4. While the pitching battled itself at times as much as Midland’s potent lineup (season-high 11 walks on Wednesday), the offense shelled the RockHounds for 44 hits and 25 runs. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game(s): 1B Joey Gallo – 1/4, R, HR, 2RBI, BB, 2SO

Impossible to ignore Joey for the second straight night after he knocked game-winning home run with two outs in the top of the ninth in a tie ballgame. The 20-year-old moves into a tie for the minor league home run lead with friend Kris Bryant, each with 33 jacks on the season. Joey also moves into a tie for fifth in the Texas League with 12 home runs. The T.L. is paced by Preston Tucker’s 17. However, with Tucker now in Triple-A, the active leader is Corpus Christi’s Telvin Nash with 15.

In case you missed it:

-Patrick Cantwell finished 0-for-2 with two runs, a walk and two hit-by-pitches. He also reached on an error.

-Cantwell leads the Texas League with 13 hit-by-pitches this season.

-Another double for Trever Adams places him in third place in the Texas League with 23 two-baggers this season. Arkansas’ Alex Yarbrough leads the league with 33.

-J.T. Wise raised his batting average 88 points after a 4-for-4 night in game two of the double header on Tuesday.

-Gallo watch: See above

-A look at the RoughRiders home run leader board (active players only):

1. Joey Gallo (12)

2. Trever Adams (11)

3. Drew Robinson (9)

4. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Chris Grayson (2)

5. Jake Skole (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (1)

7. Patrick Cantwell (1)

 

 

Alex Claudio joins the RoughRiders PreGame Show and talks about his Reliever of the Month honors in June and his experiences as a new father. Special thanks to Guilder Rodriguez for translating:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

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