Results tagged ‘ Missions ’

Wind of change: Texas League roster turnover

During a Minor League baseball season, there is a whirlwind of player movement in every farm system. Players are shuffled around to different levels nearly every day.

Matt Bush, who began the 2016 season with Frisco, is currently on the Texas Rangers roster.

However, this season, the RoughRiders have maintained a majority of core players from the Opening Day roster. 17 players, to be exact. Matt Bush and Jose Leclerc reached the Majors, with Bush currently remaining on the Rangers 25-man roster. Several others have played for the Triple-A squad this year, with four still remaining in Round Rock. One player is currently with High Desert, and two are no longer in the Rangers organization.

The curiosity bug stung me, and I was interested to find out how Frisco’s totals compared to the other seven teams in the Texas League. After going back into the archives and digging up every team’s Opening Day roster (including players on the disabled list, temporary inactive list, and suspended list), it was much easier to see the breakdown.

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To fully understand this color-coded mess, note the key at the bottom left of the spreadsheet. Players highlighted in red are currently in the Majors, orange for Triple-A, clear for Double-A, and green for a lower level (Class-A or Class A-Advanced). A yellow highlight indicates a player who is no longer with the Texas League team’s parent club (either released or currently in a different organization). Blue font is a special marker for Evan Gattis, who opened the season on a Major League rehabilitation assignment with Corpus Christi.


With the data collected, it turned out the RoughRiders do indeed have the largest number of players from Opening Day (17 of 25) still on their active Texas League roster as of yesterday.

San Antonio had the biggest turnover, with just 12 players remaining from their 25-man Opening Day roster. Seven of those original 25 are no longer in the San Diego Padres organization, which is also a league-high.

In addition to Bush, three other players who opened the campaign in the Texas League are on a Major League roster at the moment. Pitcher Daniel Mengden and infielder Ryon Healy went from Midland to Oakland. Pitcher Cesar Vargas, who started the year in San Antonio, is now with the Padres (although currently on the disabled list).

Northwest Arkansas’ Opening Day roster was quite unique. The Naturals top the other seven clubs with a whopping 10 players currently at Triple-A Omaha. In addition, all 27 players from their April 7 roster are still in the Royals organization. They are the only team in the league who has not had an Opening Day player released or traded yet.

In addition to the Riders holding on to 17 of their initial 25 players, Frisco is tied with Tulsa for the fewest players (four) on an active Triple-A roster. The Drillers had the largest Opening Day roster with 28 total (25 + three on the disabled list).

However, five of them are now playing in a lower level of the Dodgers’ farm system. Comparatively, there are only three other players who started the year in the Texas League, stayed in the farm system, but are playing below the Double-A level (Frisco, Corpus Christi, and Northwest Arkansas each have one).

There is still a month and a half remaining in the season, so I am sure we will continue to see plenty more roster turnover as the weeks move along.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: get-small-quick ball – A home run, so named because of the way the ball appears to get smaller and smaller as it travels into the stands or out of the ballpark.

(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!

– 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

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


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



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 – 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 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.

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.



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 – 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 – 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

Lights, camera, action! Riders shine in the spotlight

Tonight, for the second time this season, a Frisco RoughRiders game will be aired on Fox Sports Southwest.

During the last homestand, it was announced that the network will be airing at least eight Riders games during the 2016 season. The first game was a huge success, with fans across four different states tuning in to watch Frisco defeat the San Antonio Missions 6-5.

Ronald Guzman and Alex Burg both slugged home runs, as the Riders capped off their first four-game sweep of the Missions. Watch the highlights below:

RoughRiders broadcaster Nathan Barnett was joined by analyst Mike Bascik, a former Rangers pitcher, and Paul Kruger, the Assistant Director of Player Development for the Rangers. Tonight, Rangers Senior Director of Player Development Mike Daly will be on the air with Barnett as the RoughRiders host the Midland RockHounds.

In the past, select Riders games have been televised on KTXD 47. While this provided fans across the Metroplex with an opportunity to watch Riders games, it excluded additional fans from the remainder of the state and region.

Now, fans from the DFW area and beyond have the opportunity to watch the games on television tonight and at least six other times this year. Fox Sports Southwest reaches over 10 million cable and satellite TV homes in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, as well as nationally via satellite television and streaming online with Fox Sports Go.

After tonight’s 7:05 p.m. game against Midland, Fox Sports Southwest will air the following remaining RoughRiders games this season. Make sure to tune in on these dates and catch the Riders in action!

Date: Time: Opponent: Opponent Affiliate:
Monday, May 23 11:00 a.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, June 2 7:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Tuesday, June 14 11:00 a.m.  vs. Midland RockHounds  (Oakland Athletics)
Sunday, July 31 6:00 p.m.  vs. San Antonio Missions  (San Diego Padres)
Thursday, Aug. 18 7:00 p.m.  vs. Springfield Cardinals  (St. Louis Cardinals)
Sunday, Aug. 21 6:00 p.m.  vs. Tulsa Drillers  (Los Angeles Dodgers)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: Freak show stat – A baseball statistic that is cute or entertaining but of little real value; e.g., players’ double-figure totals in doubles, triples, and home runs

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Playoff Pitching Matchups

The RoughRiders and Missions will begin their divisional round series Wednesday night in San Antonio. At this point, we know the probable pitchers for both Game 1 and Game 2. Let’s go inside the matchups.

Game 1 – Wednesday
Frisco at San Antonio
LHP Robbie Ross (1-1, 2.61 ERA) v. RHP Joe Wieland (3-1, 2.77 ERA)
These two hurlers led the Rangers’ High-A affiliate–the Myrtle Beach Pelicans–to a first-half division title earlier this season. Wieland earned a promotion to Frisco in late June. All the righty did with the RoughRiders was post a 1.23 ERA in seven starts. Two days after tossing a no-hitter in San Antonio, Wieland joined the Missions after the Rangers’ shipped him and Robbie Erlin to San Diego’s system for Mike Adams.

Robbie Ross gets the call for Game 1 Wednesday (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

With the Missions, Wieland still has great numbers. However, his final outing of the regular season was his shakiest at the Double-A level. Wieland surrendered four runs on ten hits in five innings Wednesday night against Midland. He needed more than 100 pitches to get through those five frames.

Ross remained with the Pelicans through July and earned the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year honor. Despite the tougher competition, Ross has had similar success with the RoughRiders. In 38 innings of work, Ross has struck out 36 and given up only 11 earned runs.

The southpaw faced San Antonio August 26 and lasted seven innings. He gave up three runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits. While Ross did not get the win, Frisco earned the victory that night.

Game 2 – Thursday
Frisco at San Antonio
LHP Ben Snyder (11-5, 3.87 ERA) v. RHP Simon Castro (5-6, 4.33 ERA)
After 26 relief appearances, Snyder joined the RoughRiders’ starting rotation at the outset of the second half. Snyder has been steady for Frisco, posting a 4.15 ERA in his 14 starts. Entering the playoffs, Snyder has notched a quality start in five straight efforts, and he has worked through six frames in his last seven starts. He leads the club in wins with 11.

Ben Snyder hopes to continue his success against lefties Thursday night (Alex Yocum-Beeman).

Snyder is dominant against fellow left-handers, who have just a .202 average against the Bellevue, Ohio native. This could be a huge asset against San Antonio. The Missions carry six lefties, including the likes of Jaff Decker, Sawyer Carroll and Blake Tekotte.

The Padres’ number three prospect according to Baseball America, Castro has made 16 starts with the Missions this season. Castro is a specimen at 6’5″, 210 pounds, and he has strong strikeout numbers (73 in 89 1/3 innings). Since August 1, the righty is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA.

Against the RoughRiders, Castro has been pretty solid. He is only 1-2, but his ERA sits at 2.67. He has whiffed 25 in 27 innings of work over the course of four starts.

Beyond these two games, the RoughRiders’ starters have yet to be announced. For San Antonio, right-hander Casey Kelly will start Game 3. Game 4 and Game 5’s hurlers have not been set yet. Stay tuned for continuing playoff coverage, including an interview with Frisco’s Game 1 starter–Robbie Ross.

– Brian