Results tagged ‘ Minor League ’

Top 10 first half highlights

10. Lewis Brinson’s leadoff home run (May 22 vs. San Antonio)

9. Preston Beck hits the first home run at home this season…into the Choctaw Lazy River (April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas)

8. Joe Jackson and Kellin Deglan hit walk-off singles (April 26 vs. San Antonio and June 16 Game 1 vs. Corpus Christi)

7. Ryan Cordell hits two grand slams less than a week apart (April 16 vs. Northwest Arkansas and April 21 at Corpus Christi)

6. Ronald Guzman makes two incredible plays in the same game (April 27 vs. San Antonio)

5. Joe Mikulik ejections (May 13 Game 2 at Corpus Christi and May 24 at Tulsa)

4. Ryan Cordell miraculous catch (April 30 vs. Corpus Christi)

3. Victor Payano strikes out a career-high 13 batters (May 3 at San Antonio)

2. Yu Darvish makes a pair of rehab starts at Dr Pepper Ballpark (May 1 vs. Corpus Christi and May 22 vs. San Antonio)

1. Preston Beck hits a walk-off home run (June 14 vs. Midland)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: baseballese – The overall language of baseball, comprising official terminology, slang, and jargon. Each setting in baseball, from the dugout to the front office and press box, has its own specialized language.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Texas League teams and their respective farm systems

Every week on the Riders Insider Blog, we look at the Rangers farm system and provide updates on the other full-season affiliates in the organization. In today’s post, let’s widen our scope a little bit more as we are nearing the halfway point of the season.

Texas Rangers Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Texas Rangers (45-25, 1st place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Round Rock Express (38-21, 2nd place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Frisco RoughRiders (37-31, 2nd place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: High Desert Mavericks (43-27, 1st place California League South)
  • Class-A: Hickory Crawdads (38-32, T-3rd place South Atlantic League Northern)

Houston Astros Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Houston Astros (34-36, 3rd place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Fresno Grizzlies (31-37, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Northern)
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks (46-23, 1st place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lancaster JetHawks (34-35, 3rd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Quad Cities River Bandits (31-38, 8th place Midwest League Western)

Houston Astros Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Houston Astros (34-36, 3rd place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Fresno Grizzlies (31-37, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Pacific Northern)
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks (46-23, 1st place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lancaster JetHawks (34-35, 3rd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Quad Cities River Bandits (31-38, 8th place Midwest League Western)

Oakland Athletics Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Oakland Athletics (28-41, 5th place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Nashville Sounds (42-29, 1st place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Midland RockHounds (33-36, 3rd place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Stockton Ports (27-43, 4th place California League North)
  • Class-A: Beloit Snappers (32-37, 6th place Midwest League Western)

San Diego Padres Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: San Diego Padres (29-42, 5th place National League West)
  • Triple-A: El Paso Chihuahuas (40-29, 1st place Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
  • Double-A: San Antonio Missions (22-47, 4th place Texas League South)
  • Class A-Advanced: Lake Elsinore Storm (32-38, 4th place California League South)
  • Class-A: Fort Wayne TinCaps (36-34, T-5th place Midwest League Eastern)

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (31-38, 4th place American League West)
  • Triple-A: Salt Lake Bees (33-35, 3rd place Pacific Coast League Pacific Southern)
  • Double-A: Arkansas Travelers (31-38, 3rd place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Inland Empire 66ers (23-47, 5th place California League South)
  • Class-A: Burlington Bees (32-38, 7th place Midwest League Western)

Kansas City Royals Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Kansas City Royals (38-31, 2nd place American League Central)
  • Triple-A: Omaha Storm Chasers (30-38, 4th place Pacific Coast League American Northern)
  • Double-A: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (29-40, 4th place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Wilmington Blue Rocks (27-42, 4th place California League Northern)
  • Class-A: Lexington Legends (25-44, 7th place South Atlantic League Southern)

St. Louis Cardinals Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: St. Louis Cardinals (35-33, 2nd place National League Central)
  • Triple-A: Memphis Redbirds (32-35, 3rd place Pacific Coast League American Southern)
  • Double-A: Springfield Cardinals (40-29, 1st place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Palm Beach Cardinals (31-34, 4th place Florida State League South)
  • Class-A: Peoria Chiefs (40-30, 1st place Midwest League Western)

Los Angeles Dodgers Full-Season Affiliates

  • MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers (38-33, 2nd place National League West)
  • Triple-A: Oklahoma City Dodgers (37-31, 1st place Pacific Coast League American Northern)
  • Double-A: Tulsa Drillers (37-31, 2nd place Texas League North)
  • Class A-Advanced: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (42-28, 2nd place California League South)
  • Class-A: Great Lakes Loons (29-41, 7th place Midwest League Eastern)

Best of the best:

  • MLB: Texas Rangers
  • Triple-A: Nashville Sounds
  • Double-A: Corpus Christi Hooks
  • Class A-Advanced: High Desert Mavericks
  • Class-A: Peoria Chiefs

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hustle bump – One of the marks and bruises on a player’s body.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

A look back at the greatest Riders first half

The first half of the season is coming to a close over the next few days. Although comparisons have been made between this year’s Riders team and the 2008 squad, the 2008 RoughRiders do not hold the best first-half record in team history.

In fact, the 2007 Frisco RoughRiders had a better first half of the season than the 2008 club that made the Texas League Championship series and finished the year 84-56.

While the ’07 Riders fell short of the championship series, being swept 3-0 by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, they still accomplished a lot in a dominant first half.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

The team went 47-23 in the first half of the season, winning the division by 4 1/2 games over Midland. Dave Anderson was named Manager of the Year. German Duran and Steve Murphy both won Player of the Week awards on May 28 and June 18, respectively. Doug Mathis won a Pitcher of the Week award on May 14.

The Riders also posted a league-best 44-26 record at home during the 2007 season. They also had a league-high 14 shutouts and had a stellar 22-9 (.710) mark in one-run games. Duran and Luis Mendoza were both named Texas League post-season All-Stars.

After a great start in April, this year’s team went through a slide in late May to slip out of first place in the division. However, the 2016 RoughRiders still have a great chance to etch their names into the record books with the second half beginning Tuesday.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hubcap hands – Synonym of bad hands. So called because the ball bounces off the hands as if they were metal.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Texas League Scrabble

In the Texas League, logos with letters are a common theme among all eight teams. During the Riders’ recent road trip to San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think of a Scrabble board when viewing the Missions’ “SA” logo.

So I began to devise a list of words that could be created from Texas League teams’ logos. Some of the best: catamarans, tsars, maracas, cataracts, transacts, and mascara.

The most difficult thing about finding words is only having the power to use one vowel, thanks to the Arkansas Travelers’ logo. The other seven teams use consonants.

The following is an attempt to compile as many words as possible made up of all the Texas League logos, arranged accordingly on a Scrabble board. Enjoy!

Tulsa_Drillers14.ai

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: first and fifteenth player – A player who thinks only of paydays, such as the first and fifteenth days of the month.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: June 10

“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (37-23, 1st place, AL West)

The Rangers entered the week tied with the Seattle Mariners for first place in the American League West. They have emerged in sole possession of the top spot, four games ahead of the Mariners, and now have the best record in the entire American League.

Texas swept Seattle in a three-game series at home last weekend. They followed by taking three of four from the Houston Astros this week. The Rangers lead the 2016 Lone Star Series 9-1, just one win away from clinching the season series, with the next meeting coming in August in Houston.

Beginning this weekend, the Rangers hit the road for 10 games in Seattle, Oakland, and St. Louis.

Tonight: at Seattle, 9:10 p.m. CT (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (31-27, 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express trail Nashville by five games in the PCL American Southern Division. However, the Pacific Coast League does not split their season into two halves, so there is no first-half division champion.

Round Rock is currently in the middle of a four-game series against the Iowa Cubs. The Express won the series opener 8-5 last night, highlighted by former Rider Hanser Alberto‘s three-run double in the ninth inning.

Tonight: at Iowa, 7:08 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (37-23, 1st, California League South Division)

The Mavericks continue to hold off Rancho Cucamonga, sitting in first place in the California League South Division. However, the Quakes are just one game behind with 10 games remaining before the All-Star break. High Desert do not play the Quakes again in the first half.

Travis Demeritte still leads the circuit with 15 home runs and 48 runs scored. Luke Tendler leads the club with a .296 batting average.

Tonight: at Inland Empire, 9:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (34-25, 2nd, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Despite having the third-best record in the 14-team circuit, the Crawdads are in second place in the North Division, four games behind the first-place Hagerstown Suns.

After Andy Ibanez and Chris Garia were promoted to Frisco, the Crawdads lost two of three games against Greensboro. However, the club bounced back with a 1-0 win over Kannapolis yesterday. Dillon TateOmarlin Lopez, and John Werner combined to shut out the Intimidators. Tate pitched the first six innings and allowed just three hits to earn his second professional win.

Tonight: at Kannapolis, 6:05 p.m. CT (SP: RHP Peter Fairbanks)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: one-cushion shot – A line drive that caroms off the wall, like a billiard or pool ball, usually for extra bases, and that is often difficult for an outfielder to field.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

2016 Texas League All-Star Game, featuring the best player names

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With the Texas League All-Star Game coming up on June 28 in Springfield, it is time to start considering who will be representing the North and South Division squads this year.

Surely, many players have put up All-Star Game-worthy numbers. However, we are completely disregarding statistics in this blog post and focusing solely on awesome names alone.

Here is a list of what I consider to be the best names by position in the Texas League from the North and South Divisions. (* = not on team’s active roster as of June 1)

From the North Division…

Catcher: *Anthony Bemboom (Arkansas)

First Baseman: Frank Schwindel (Northwest Arkansas)

Second baseman: Breyvic Valera (Springfield)

Third baseman: Brandon Trinkwon (Tulsa)

Shortstop: *Erisbel Arruebarrena (Tulsa)

Outfielder: Bo Way (Arkansas)

Outfielder: *Orlando Calixte (Northwest Arkansas)

Outfielder: Kyle Garlick (Tulsa)

Designated Hitter: Jacob Scavuzzo (Tulsa)

Pitcher: *Alan Busenitz (Arkansas)

Pitcher: Daniel Poncedeleon (Springfield)

Pitcher: Ralston Cash (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Tim Shibuya (Tulsa)

Pitcher: Ronnie Shaban (Springfield)

Pitcher: *Estarlin Cordero (Northwest Arkansas)

From the South Division…

Catcher: *Rocky Gale (San Antonio)

First Baseman: Conrad Gregor (Corpus Christi)

Second baseman: Evan Van Hoosier (Frisco)

Third baseman: *Isiah Kiner-Falefa (Frisco)

Shortstop: *River Stevens (San Antonio)

Outfielder: Teoscar Hernandez (Corpus Christi)

Outfielder: Danny Oh (Midland)

Outfielder: Brett Vertigan (Midland)

Designated Hitter: Chan-Jong Moon (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Keegan Yuhl (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Cy Sneed (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: *Reymin Guduan (Corpus Christi)

Pitcher: Ryne Slack (Frisco)

Pitcher: Trey Cochran-Gill (Midland)

Pitcher: Jose Valdespina (Frisco)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: jam sandwich – Throwing a pitch near the batter’s fists with a fastball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Meaning behind the mascots

NORTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

Arkansas-Primary

Arkansas Travelers  Name derived from an old folk song, The Arkansas Traveler, which was the state song of Arkansas from 1949 to 1963. The music was composed in the 19th century by Colonel Sanford C. ‘Sandy’ Faulkner, and the lyrics were written in 1947.

 

Northwest_Arkansas_Naturals_Main

Northwest Arkansas Naturals – Named partially after the state’s nickname as the “Natural State” and also after the Robert Redford film, The NaturalBob Rich, Jr. of Rich Products Corporation, the Naturals ownership group, bought the Double-A Buffalo Bisons in 1983. That year, Hollywood producers approached Rich about filming scenes of The Natural at Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium. Following the release of the film, attendance at Bisons’ games nearly tripled and the team moved to the Triple-A American Association. In a fan vote, the “Naturals” name was chosen, receiving 33% of the vote. The second-place choice “Thunder Chickens” received 27%.

 

Springfield_Cardinals15.ai

Springfield Cardinals – The only team in the Texas League who currently shares the same name as their Major League affiliate. In 1931, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased a Minor League team, renamed it the Cardinals, and moved it to Springfield. Following the 1946 season, St. Louis moved the team to St. Joseph, Mo. The new Springfield Cardinals began play in the Texas League in 2005, but the dugouts at Hammons Field still include championship banners from the 1930s and 1940s.
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Tulsa Drillers – Name was carried over from the Lafayette Drillers who moved to Tulsa in 1977. Tulsa’s original Minor League team was named the Oilers and played Triple-A baseball, but the team moved to New Orleans. The new team opted to keep the Drillers name, due to the importance of oil to the city’s economy, and the ballpark changed its name from Oiler Park to Driller Park.

 

SOUTH DIVISION OPPONENTS:

CC Primary

Corpus Christi Hooks – Named for the city’s association with fishing, which is very popular on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Team’s colors are navy blue and light blue, representing the sea water and the sky.

 

Midland_RockHounds

Midland RockHounds – Nickname originated in 1999 when Midland’s team became an Oakland Athletic affiliate. They were originally known as the Midland Cubs and the Midland Angels, but the team wanted to have a name that would honor local tradition and be unique. A RockHound is simply a nickname for a geologist and it acknowledges the oil and gas industry in west Texas. The RockHounds became one of the early adopters in the current wave of fun, kid-friendly, location-specific Minor League nicknames.

 

San_Antonio_Missions

San Antonio Missions – Named after a chain of five missions that were established along the San Antonio River in the 18th century. It became the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America. The most famous mission is The Alamo, which is featured on the Missions’ logo.

 

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: light tower power piece – A towering home run; a truly awesome blast.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

April by the Numbers

0 – Losses in series openers

1 – Place in Texas League South division standings

2 – Grand slams for Ryan Cordell

2.95 – Earned run average (lowest in league)

3 – Series sweeps

3.5 – Games ahead of second-place Midland

4 – Total losses

5 – Straight road wins to open the season

5.2 – Runs scored per game (most in league)

6 – Longest win streak (4/25-4/30)

– Wins in series openers

8 – Comeback wins

– Doubles for Cordell (leads league)

10 – Innings with four or more runs scored

11.1 – Consecutive scoreless innings pitched by Ryne Slack

12 – Longest game (innings), Riders came back to beat Arkansas 6-4

13 – Wins when leading after six innings (no losses)

14 – Singles for Cordell

15 – Extra-base hits for Cordell

16 – Cordell’s league-leading hit streak

17 – Total wins

18 – Home runs

19 – Consecutive batters retired by Richelson Pena (4/7-4/11)

20 – Runs scored by Cordell (leads league)

21 – Games played (best start in team history)

22 – RBI for Cordell (leads Rangers organization – MLB & MiLB)

24 – Sixth-inning runs

42 – Run differential (largest in league)

61 – Total wins by Rangers affiliates, more than any other farm system

6,682 – Average attendance (highest in league)

10,004 – Largest crowd at Dr Pepper Ballpark (4/30)

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– Steve

Baseball term of the day: automobile squint – The theory when automobiles first became popular that driving one adversely affected a ballplayer’s batting eye.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Cordell crushes his way into the record books

Ryan Cordell etched his name into the RoughRiders record books in the second inning of last night’s 5-2 victory over Corpus Christi.

Cordell blasted his second grand slam of the season, which is awfully impressive. But in addition, it was also his second one of the week. His first one was on Saturday against Northwest Arkansas.

With two grand slams already, Cordell became the only Minor Leaguer to reach that mark so far in 2016. He joins Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper as the only other player in professional baseball to accomplish the feat this year.

Cordell has already surpassed Frisco’s total number of grand slams as a team last season. The Riders only hit one, coming off the bat of Pat Cantwell on June 24 against Midland. Frisco’s largest number of grand slams as a team in a single regular season is five, occurring in both 2009 and 2013.

Last year, Renato Nunez (Midland) hit grand slams on back-to-back days against Frisco on September 5 and 6. The RockHounds hit more grand slams in 2015 than any other team in Texas League with seven, while the RoughRiders were tagged for a league-high five.

Brett Nicholas was the last player to hit two grand slams for the Riders in 2013.

The last time the Riders hit grand slams in the same week as a team was in 2013. Ryan Rua knocked one out against Corpus Christi on August 28, and Teodoro Martinez followed with another on September 1 at Midland.

Prior to Cordell, Brett Nicholas was the most recent Rider to hit two grand slams. His were also in 2013, on April 28 against Corpus Christi and August 18 facing Tulsa.

Mike Olt and Chris McGuiness hit grand slams two days apart in 2012, on June 9 and 11 against San Antonio and Midland, respectively. McGuiness went on to slug another one later in the season on August 12 at Northwest Arkansas.

Jason Botts and Ian Kinsler were the only RoughRiders to hit grand slams in the same game on July 21, 2004. Botts’ grand slam came off San Antonio’s Felix Hernandez, just over a year before “King Felix” made his Major League debut with Seattle in August 2005.

Cordell joins Nicholas, McGuiness, and Chad Tracy as the only players to hit two grand slams in the same season for the Riders. Tracy’s two came in 2009 on July 10 against Springfield and August 7 against San Antonio. Adam Fox also had two grand slams for Frisco, one in 2005 and another in 2009.

33 different players have combined to hit 38 grand slams for the Riders in team history. However, nobody has ever hit more than two. But if the bases are loaded again for Cordell in his time with Frisco, he will have a chance to become the first.

Riders grand slams by year (regular season only):

2016:

Ryan Cordell (2)

 

 

 

2013:

Brett Nicholas (2)

Jared Hoying

Teodoro Martinez

Ryan Rua

 

2010:

Emerson Frostad

Matthew Lawson

 

 

 

2007:

Brandon Boggs

Salomon Manriquez

 

2004:

Jason Botts

Patrick Boyd

Ian Kinsler

G.J. Raymundo

2015:

Pat Cantwell

 

 

 

2012:

Chris McGuiness (2)

Engel Beltre

Mike Olt

 

 

2009:

Chad Tracy (2)

Adam Fox

Tim Smith

John Whittleman

 

2006:

Casey Benjamin

Kevin Mahar

 

2003:

Ryan Soules

Laynce Nix

 

 

2014:

Trever Adams

Joey Gallo

J.T. Wise

 

2011:

Michael Bianucci

Renny Osuna

 

 

 

2008:

Ben Harrison

Stephen Murphy

Corey Ragsdale

 

 

2005:

Adam Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: apply the whitewash – To shut out; to keep the opponent from scoring.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Sadzeck starting strong in 2016

For Connor Sadzeck, the road to Frisco and a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster was a unique one.

The Crystal Lake, Illinois native was selected by Texas in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft after his freshman year at Howard College in Big Spring, Texas, located 45 miles northeast of Midland. After a year with short-season Single-A Spokane, Sadzeck shined in his first full season with Single-A Hickory.

Sadzeck won 12 games for Class A Hickory in 2013. (Photo by Tracy Proffitt - Hickory Crawdads)

Sadzeck won 12 games for Class A Hickory in 2013. (Photo by Tracy Proffitt – Hickory Crawdads)

The righty went 12-4 for the Crawdads and led the South Atlantic League with a 2.25 ERA. He was a candidate to start the 2014 season in either High-A Myrtle Beach or Frisco. However, things did not go according to that plan.

In the offseason, Sadzeck had “Tommy John” surgery and was unable to pitch in 2014. However, he came back even stronger than ever. His fastball was clocked as fast as 101 miles per hour, according to Baseball America.

On the road to recovery, Sadzeck and his newfound velocity made the journey out west the following year with High-A High Desert in the California League. Two years later and 3,000 miles away from his last stop in Hickory, he experienced many up and downs during 11 games and eight starts with the Mavericks.

“I was feeling it out and learning how to pitch again,” Sadzeck said. “I was throwing a lot harder than I had been, so I was just learning how to pitch with that newfound velocity.”

On the first day of August, Sadzeck received his promotion to the Riders. The highlight of his month with the Riders came on August 20 at Tulsa. Sadzeck pitched six no-hit innings against the Drillers in his only win of the season with Frisco. He threw 88 pitches in the outing before he was relieved, which was his highest pitch count since returning from the surgery.

“Last year, I felt pretty good coming back,” Sadzeck said. “I felt strong last year. I think I had a little stint two starts into the season where the shoulder flared up a little bit, which was normal. But I felt pretty strong throughout the year.”

During the offseason, while pitching with the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League, Sadzeck received a call from the Texas Rangers sharing the news that he had been added to the 40-man roster.

“Our pitching coordinator gave me a call in the morning and let me know I was going to be added,” Sadzeck said. “But the toughest part was I couldn’t say anything until it was officially released. It didn’t feel real because I couldn’t share it with anyone for about five hours until it was released. But it was awesome and a great day.”

When the news of Sadzeck’s addition was finally released, the first people he called were his parents. The tight-lipped pitcher had managed to not say a word to anyone, even his mother and father, until it was official.

“I didn’t want to jeopardize anything, so I did not let them know right away,” Sadzeck said. “I know they would be excited and probably tell some people. So I didn’t share it. But I called them first after it was announced, and they were obviously ecstatic.”

Sadzeck was joined on the 40-man roster by many former Riders as well as current pitcher Jose Leclerc. This year, in his second season at the Double-A level, Sadzeck has been focusing on making several adjustments to help improve his skills on the mound.

“So far this year, I have been kind of dialing it back and learning how to stay within my mechanics,” Sadzeck said. “It has been helping me keep the ball in the zone. I am very excited about this year and seeing how I can bounce back a little better down the stretch this year.”

Sadzeck earned a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster and is one of 17 Riders returning from last season

Sadzeck earned a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster and is one of 17 Riders returning from last season.

If his first start was any indication, Sadzeck may be in for another milestone campaign like the one he had three years ago with Hickory. On April 8, Frisco’s second game of the season on the road against Northwest Arkansas, Sadzeck hurled six scoreless innings and only allowed two hits in a win.

Despite only striking out three batters, Sadzeck was extremely efficient on the mound in the start. He only needed 64 pitches to get through his six innings of work, and he also induced a pair of ground-ball double plays.

“I felt like I was just pitching to contact, throwing my fastball over the plate,” Sadzeck said. “The velocity was good and my breaking pitches were effective as well.”

He followed up the impressive first start with another win the following week in the RoughRiders’ second home game at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Sadzeck held the same Naturals to just one run and struck out five batters in his second straight victory.

Sadzeck is currently ranked the No. 27 prospect in the Rangers organization, according to MLB Pipeline. He is one of six players on the RoughRiders roster listed in either MLB Pipeline or Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 Rangers prospects. Although the expectations are even higher this year, Sadzeck believes he is prepared to succeed with the Riders this season.

“I think last year I just put a lot of pressure on myself because I was coming off ‘Tommy John’ surgery, and knew I had the possibility of being added to the 40-man roster,” Sadzeck said. “I added that stress to myself. But this year I can kind of rest easier, knowing that I’m healthy, and I can be a little more relaxed.”

Sadzeck is one of the 17 players returning to the Riders this season, including four of the five pitchers in the starting rotation. This year’s Frisco team begins with a whole lot of veteran experience, as the group continues their quest for a first-half division title, a berth in the Texas League playoffs, and their first league championship since 2004.

Sadzeck (2-0, 0.82 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the season tonight at 7:05 against Corpus Christi. Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard).

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: ancient mariner – A poor infielder.

The beginning of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (1798): “Like the Ancient Mariner, he stoppeth one of three. / By the long gray beard and glittering eye, / Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?”

The Mariner detained one of three young men going to a wedding feast and mesmerized him with the story of his youthful experiences at sea.

Bob Edwards (Fridays with Red, 1993, p.45) mentioned a letter from John Bunzel, who attributed the term to Red Barber: “One afternoon he described a game in which the shortstop kicked away two ground balls before making a good play on the third–at which Red declared, ‘Like the Ancient Mariner, he stoppeth one of three!”

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

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