Results tagged ‘ MLB ’

MLB Opening Day Rosters Filled With RoughRiders

Opening Day for the Frisco RoughRiders is this Thursday, but former Riders players will have a presence in nearly every Opening Day contest at the start of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. There are 33 former RoughRiders on the Opening Day active rosters of 16 different MLB teams this season, highlighted by the big league debuts of 2014 Frisco players Keone Kela and Odubel Herrera.

Rangers pitcher Keone Kela at spring training in Surprise, Az., (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

Rangers pitcher Keone Kela at spring training in Surprise, Az., (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

The Texas Rangers have an MLB-high 12 former RoughRiders on their roster, with Kela making his first appearance on a major league roster. He is expected to be a member of the Texas bullpen for tonight’s season opener in Oakland. The 21-year-old right-handed pitcher was promoted to Frisco on May 3, 2014 and spent the remainder of the season as a RoughRider. Kela posted a 2-1 record with five saves and a 1.86 ERA in 36 Texas League appearances in 2014, registering a 55:27 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a .162 opponents’ batting average in 38.2 innings. He did not allow an earned run in 30 of his last 32 regular season outings and twice compiled streaks of 14 consecutive scoreless appearances. Kela was the Rangers’ 12th round selection in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Everett (Wash.) Community College.

Herrera is expected to be the Philadelphia Phillies’ everyday centerfielder when the Phillies open the season this afternoon at home against Boston. A Rule 5 Draft selection by Philadelphia in the off-season, Herrera spent the bulk of the past two seasons as a second baseman with the RoughRiders.

 Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies bats during a spring training game. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra /Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies bats during a spring training game. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra /Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

He won the Texas League batting crown last year with a .321 average, 13 points higher than second place. In 96 games with the Riders, Herrera compiled 16 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 48 runs batted in. The left-handed batter was named a Texas League Postseason and Mid-Season All-Star last year; he was also a Mid-Season TL All-Star in 2013. A native of Zulia, Venezuela, Herrera was signed by the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2008.

Twelve of the of the 15 Opening Day games scheduled for last night and today feature a former RoughRider on the 25-man roster of at least one team. Since 2003, Frisco has sent 128 former players to the big leagues (not including Major League rehabbers).

FULL LIST OF FORMER ROUGHRIDERS ON MLB OPENING DAY ACTIVE ROSTERS

Texas Rangers (12)

  • SS Elvis Andrus
  • RHP Neftali Feliz
  • LHP Derek Holland
  • RHP Keone Kela (MLB debut)
  • RHP Phil Klein
  • OF Leonys Martin
  • RHP Nick Martinez
  • RHP Roman Mendez
  • 1B/OF Mitch Moreland
  • 2B Rougned Odor
  • OF Ryan Rua
  • Jake Smolinski

Chicago Cubs (4)

  • RHP Justin Grimm
  • RHP Kyle Hendricks
  • 3B Mike Olt
  • RHP Neil Ramirez

Boston Red Sox (2)

  • RHP Alexi Ogando
  • LHP Robbie Ross, Jr.

Kansas City Royals (2)

  • RHP Edinson Volquez
  • RHP Chris Young

Oakland Athletics (2)

  • RHP Jesse Chavez
  • OF Craig Gentry

Baltimore Orioles (1)

  • RHP Tommy Hunter

Cincinnati Reds (1)

  •  RHP Jumbo Diaz

Chicago White Sox (1)

  • RHP John Danks

Detroit Tigers (1)

  • Ian Kinsler

Houston Astros (1)

  • RHP Scott Feldman

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1)

  • LHP C.J. Wilson

New York Mets (1)

  • OF John Mayberry, Jr.

Philadelphia Phillies (1)

  • OF Odubel Herrera (MLB debut)

San Francisco Giants (1)

  • 3B Joakim Arias

Toronto Blue Jays (1)

  • Justin Smoak

Washington Nationals (1)

  • Tanner Roark

– Alex

Wilson ALDS Game 1 Starter

Remember when C.J. Wilson was a RoughRider?  The Newport Beach native pitched at Dr Pepper Ballpark over the span of three different seasons: 2003, ’05, and ’06.  Overall with the ‘Riders, Wilson went 7-13 with a 4.39 ERA.

During his minor league career, C.J. made 95 appearances, 70 starts.  As a member of the RoughRiders, he spent the majority of the time working in the rotation (43 G/38 S).

I wonder how many RoughRiders’ fans, if any, who watched Wilson here could have ever predicted that his stuff would progress so much that he would become the ace of the Rangers’ staff. Over his 43 career Double-A appearances, the lefty walked 66, fanned 155, and allowed 212 hits over 201.0 innings pitched (9.5 H/9).

Certainly his BB/K ratio was solid, and even if you look at his hits/9 innings, it was slightly was better than 2010 Texas League Pitcher of the Year, Blake Beavan.  The big right-hander surrendered 231 hits in 217 2/3 innings (9.6 H/9). Anyone who saw Blake pitch knows that he threw strikes better than almost anyone in the Texas League, and the result was that he gave up some hits.

Today Wilson is opposed by a kid who has hardly any big league time on his resume.  Matt Moore has just over nine innings of major league experience under his belt, but is Joe Maddon’s choice for a Game 1 starter.  At 22-years-old, the left-hander entered the 2011 season as the Rays’ No. 2 overall prospect as ranked by Baseball America. The same publication also said he has the best fastball and curveball in the system.

Moore made his major league debut 16 days ago and has one big league start and three appearances to his name. According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, Moore’s one career start is the fewest by a Game 1 starer in MLB post-season history.

For what it’s worth, it should be noted that Moore struck out 131 and walked only 28 in 18 starts (102. 1 IP) with Double-A Montgomery.

Should be a fun one this afternoon from the Ballpark in Arlington.  I’m grateful I was able to snag a ticket to today’s game and will be sure to get some pics to post in the coming days.

Enjoy the game,

-AG

Photos courtesy of Getty Images and CBSSports

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