Results tagged ‘ Patrick Cantwell ’

Breaking Down the 2016 Roster

We’ve all been ready for opening day since the final out of last season. After last week’s excursion to Spring Training, we were that much more excited. And now, we’re about as ready as we can be, after the Rangers announced the Riders initial roster yesterday.

The big excitement, of course, surrounds Lewis Brinson’s return to Frisco after a stellar 2015 campaign. Riders fans can thank the log jam of outfielders in Arlington and Round Rock for the fact that Brinson is coming back, because he’d probably be starting in Triple-A in almost every other organization right now.

But aside from Brinson, there’s a lot to look forward to this summer. Eighteen of the 26 players on this year’s roster (9 pitchers and 9 hitters) donned a RoughRiders uniform for at least part of last season, while some of the organization’s rising stars descend on Dr Pepper Ballpark for the first time.

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Jose Leclerc is a candidate for the starting rotation this season

PITCHERS 

You’d hope the pitching staff can only go up after a rough year in 2015, in which Frisco pitchers combined for a 4.70 staff ERA. There seemed to be a lot of hype surrounding Connor Sadzeck while we were in Surprise. If he can consistently provide strong starts and turn a lead over to the bullpen, that should give the Riders a big boost. Returning starters Frank Lopez, Victor Payano, and Jose Leclerc will be in the running for the starting rotation, as well, but will need to show marked improvement from a year ago, when they combined to go 13-19 with a 5.28 ERA. Reed Garrett started 25 games last year between Hickory and High Desert, and could be another candidate for the rotation.

Out of the bullpen, the biggest intrigue surrounds Matt Bush, who dazzled, sparkled, entertained and then some in his couple spring training outings in major league games (including touching 100 mph earlier this week). If that’s how he threw against major leaguers, imagine how he might dominate at the Double-A level, likely in the back end of the bullpen.

CATCHERS

Alex Burg, Patrick Cantwell, and Kellin Deglan will open the season in the squat for Frisco. Cantwell and Deglan were both invited to major league camp as non-roster invitees this spring in Surprise. Burg, however, might offer the best bat among the three. He hit .271 in 50 games with the Riders last year, launching 11 doubles and 7 homers. Last season was Burg’s first in the Rangers organization after stints with the Giants and Marlins organizations. Depending on how Round Rock’s catching situation plays out, at least one could get the call up at some point in the season. But until then, it will be interesting to see who stakes the starting role.

INFIELDERS

This, perhaps, is the group with the most unknowns heading into 2016. Luis Marte and Luis Mendez are back, but the other three (Ronald Guzman, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Alberto Triunfel) are all new to the Double-A level. Guzman probably has the most upside of anyone, at least from a hitting standpoint. He’s coming off a career year in 2015 between Hickory and High Desert, hitting .283 with 12 homers and 87 RBI, the most in the entire Rangers farm system. He also sports a career .985 fielding percentage. Kiner-Falefa, like Guzman, had a rather strong year between the Crawdads and Mavericks last season, hitting .296 with 12 doubles, 2 triples and 40 RBI. And Triunfel, who jumped straight from the Dominican League to High Desert last summer, offers intrigue as well. It’s a group with potential right now, but until that potential is tapped, it’s hard to say just how strong the Riders infield will be.

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Ryan Cordell is coming back to Frisco after spending time in major-league camp this spring

OUTFIELDERS

If infielders are the biggest question mark, outfield may be the spot with the fewest uncertainties heading into 2016. Brinson, who complemented his hitting prowess by earning Rangers Minor League Defensive Player of the Year honors, is the obvious headliner, but there are some other notable talents out in the grass with him. Ryan Cordell joined Brinson in major league camp this spring and turned a lot of heads. He struggled at the plate last year in Frisco (.217 avg, 5 HR, 18 RBI), but did turn in a perfect fielding percentage in the outfield. With a partial Double-A season and a visit to major league camp under his belt, it’ll be interesting to see how big a step forward he takes this summer. Dallas-native Preston Beck is also back with the Riders, and the versatile player is listed as an outfielder on the initial roster this season. Zach Cone, who provides both power and athleticism, in addition to a .991 career fielding percentage, could be a nice fit in Joe Mikulik’s outfield, too. Joe Jackson is the only outfielder on the opening roster who hasn’t yet been to Double-A, but he comes off a good season in High Desert last year and could eventually work his way into a more regular role, especially as some of the guys in front of him move up to Round Rock.

—-

Let’s not forget that these are only the guys who will likely be with Frisco on opening day, which is just eight days away at Northwest Arkansas. The incredibly well-stacked Rangers farm system has plenty of other young stars working their way up the ladder. Pitchers, such as Luis Ortiz, Ariel Jurado and Dillon Tate could find themselves in Frisco by the end of the summer, while position players like Michael De Leon, Travis Demeritte, Jairo Beras, and Juremi Profar are all waiting in the wings with High Desert.

You never can quite tell how a roster will pan out, but there’s certainly reason to believe this group canturn things around in 2016. After all, that’s the beauty of Opening Day. Everybody starts with a blank slate and a chance to do some incredible things.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Run for the cycle – For a player to be retired at first base, second base, third base and home (not necessarily in that order) during a game.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

An update from the desert – Keeping tabs on the AFL

2014-AFL

We are past the halfway point in the Arizona Fall League and RoughRiders have plenty of representation in both former and future players out in the desert, so let’s look at how they are all doing. Last year the Rangers’ “affiliate,” the Surprise Saguaros, won the AFL Championship and through Sunday’s games, Delino DeShields Sr.’s team was 18-12-1. Before we dive into the individual numbers, a little context on the AFL.

You may have heard a lot about the Rangers’ new Advanced-A affiliate, the High Desert Mavericks, and the favorable offensive climate at Mavericks Stadium. Because of the relative ease in scoring runs out in Adelanto, California, evaluators and fans will need to take stats generated there with a grain of salt. The impressive offensive numbers we are likely to see there this season may end up being a mirage after a promotion to Frisco. Likewise, we are due to see some pretty garish ERA’s and other pitching statistics from hurlers out there, so we can’t be too harsh in judging the rough numbers that will undoubtedly hit the box scores.

Now, conditions in the AFL don’t exactly mimic the more hitter-friendly locales in the California League, but the thin air and wind there will help the batters more often than the pitchers, so you always see some bloated numbers for both sides.

There is another reason for this, one you don’t hear quite so much about: the AFL isn’t really it’s all made out to be. Don’t get me wrong, you have a very nice collection of good players there, but it is not the concentrated gathering of elite prospects that Minor League Baseball would lead you to believe it is. Many teams do not send their best prospects out to Arizona, especially on the pitching side. Typically, organizations decide to send their pitchers who did not get enough innings under their belt during the regular season, be it for injury, lack of opportunity or developmental speed bumps (i.e., Houston’s Mark Appel). Not every one of these pitchers is potential star and many are there simply to get in some work, regardless of the results. In that sense, it is a little like spring training for Major League veterans.

The Rangers are not much different from most teams in not sending their very best prospects to the AFL. If that was not the case, you would see Chi Chi Gonzalez, Luke Jackson, Jake Thompson, Luis Ortiz and Keone Kela (among others) suiting up for the Surprise Saguaros this year.   Texas was satisfied with all of those pitchers’ workloads during the regular season and elected to send others to the AFL instead. I’m not suggesting that all of the pitchers out in Arizona are non-prospects, simply that the AFL does not typically get the cream of the crop when it comes to pitching.

Another reason to consider the AFL being a bit watered down is that there are so many other leagues in action at the moment. From Venezuela to the Dominican Republic to Australia, Mexico, Colombia and Puerto Rico, there is a lot of competition from other winter/fall leagues and those circuits guzzle up a considerable of minor league talent. Sure, a lot of players in those leagues are veterans (many former big leaguers stay active this way), but young minor leaguers like Jorge Alfaro, Teodoro Martinez and Nomar Mazara occupy their off-seasons in these leagues too.

If you needed another reason not to take too much stock in the stats you see for individual players, keep in mind that five weeks of baseball in October and November is a relatively small sample size in the context of the full season we see from April through Labor Day. We are all glad we did not make any long-term evaluations of Mazara after his first five weeks (sub-.200 average with one homer in Hickory), right? In addition to the sample size issue, it is the end of a long year for many of these players. It is not uncommon for them to be worn down, masking their true potential. Last year Ryan Rua hit .175 in 17 games for Surprise, two points lower than AFL teammate Jonathan Schoop. Can’t remember if either guy did anything of note in 2014…

The AFL has once again tilted in the direction of the hitters, as through Sunday’s games offenses were averaging more than five runs scored per game and the league ERA was 4.51. The Rangers have seven players on the Saguaros roster this season:

PITCHERS

Lisalverto Bonilla made his big league debut this season with the Rangers. (AP Photo/John F. Rhodes)

Lisalverto Bonilla made his big league debut this season with the Rangers. (AP Photo/John F. Rhodes)

RHP Lisalverto Bonilla: 3 GS, 0-1, 5.40 ERA, 11.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 11 SO, 2.43 GO/AO, .222 AVG

Bonilla, a RoughRider in 2013, did not put together eye-popping numbers for Triple-A Round Rock in the regular season, but his performance was enough to earn him a promotion to Arlington, where he won his first three big league starts and posted a 3.05 ERA in 20.2 innings. The Rangers want to see how he can hold up as a starting pitcher, which is not a bad idea given his tools (excellent changeup, solid slider and a low-to-mid-90s fastball. He will compete for a spot on the big league team in the spring and will begin the season either there or in the Pacific Coast League.

RHP Cody Kendall: 6 G, 0-0, 5.68 ERA, 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.33 GO/AO, .296 AVG

The 24-year-old Kendall (he will be 25 in December) had a tremendous year out of the bullpen for both Hickory and Myrtle Beach, going 8-3 with a 1.11 ERA in 56.2 innings. He was not a huge strikeout guy (51 whiffs), but limited runners (1.06 WHIP). Given his age, the Rangers will likely push him to Frisco in 2015, perhaps to start the season, and see if the 2012 eighth rounder is capable of matching his success against more advanced hitters.

RHP Josh McElwee: 6 G, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1.25 GO/AO, .143 AVG

The South Carolinian has picked up Arizona right where he left off following his successful late-season Double-A cameo. He is tied for the best ERA in the AFL and is eighth in WHIP (0.75). McElwee is exactly six months older than Kendall and is in a similar position in needing to prove himself against top hitters. After an up-and-down stint with Hickory to start the season, he did just that in Myrtle Beach (0.42 ERA in 21.2 IP) and Frisco (1.00 ERA in 9 IP). He flashed a good breaking ball and kept his sinker away from the good part of the bat when we saw him in August. The affable McElwee posted a 2.25 ERA and a 92-25 SO-BB ratio across 66.2 minor league innings this season and should be back in the Texas League to begin 2015.

RHP Sam Wolff: 6 G, 0-0, 9.45 ERA, 6.2 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 6 SO, 2.00 GO/AO, .323 AVG

Some in the Carolina League attested that Wolff was the most impressive pitcher in the circuit at times, but he suffered a second half swoon in his first full professional season (not uncommon at all), finishing 9-5 with a 3.37 ERA in 120.1 innings. After three scoreless outings to begin his AFL stint, Wolff has struggled in his last three, allowing eight runs in 2.2 innings. A favorite of Frisco pitching coach Jeff Andrews (they are both from South Dakota), I would expect the right-hander to pitch for the RoughRiders at some point in 2015.

 

HITTERS

C Patrick Cantwell: 6 G, .200 (4 for 20), 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 XBH, 4 BB, 6 SO, .333 OBP, .200 SLG, .533 OPS

Cantwell spent all of 2014 with Frisco and surprised many with a solid offensive campaign after a very slow start. He finished with a .268/.360/.341 line while excelling defensively behind the plate. Cantwell is a contact hitter/get-on-base guy and has great intangibles. I would expect to see him spend a lot of time in big league camp spelling Robinson Chirinos & Co. in spring training games, then either head to Double-A or Triple-A to begin the season.

SS Michael De Leon: 7 G, .231 (6 for 26), 3 R, 2 RBI, 0 XBH, 1 BB, 5 SO, .259 OBP, .231 SLG, .490 OPS

17-year-old Michael De Leon played in one game for Frisco this season. (Grant Nelson/Frisco RoughRiders)

17-year-old Michael De Leon played in one game for Frisco this season. (Grant Nelson/Frisco RoughRiders)

The youngest player in the history of the AFL, De Leon does not turn 18 until January (his birthday is January 14, 1997 if you would like to feel old). He has held his own after doing the same (and sometimes more) in his time with Frisco, Myrtle Beach and Hickory. After making his regular season pro debut as an emergency fill-in with the RoughRiders in May, he spent the bulk of his season with the Crawdads before a late-year promotion to the Carolina League, where he was one of the Pelicans’ top offensive performers in the postseason. De Leon hit .248/.307/.314 across all levels, flashed some of the potential that led Texas to award him a mid-six-figure bonus in 2013 and showed everyone what a 160-pound player physically looks like (rough approximation would be Pablo Sandoval ÷ 2). He may be in High Desert for the entirety of 2015.

OF Nick Williams: 15 G, .267 (16 for 60), 4 2B, 3B, HR, 9 HR, 5 R, 0 BB, 16 SO, 0-1 SB, .290 OBP, .417 SLG, .707 OPS

The Galveston native has carried the water for the Rangers hitters on the Saguaros, as he has the highest batting average and is the only one with an extra-base hit (he has six). Williams is tied for fourth in the AFL in hits, tied for ninth in RBI, third in total bases (25) and tied for second in strikeouts (with no walks). The lefty batter oozes potential at the plate and is considered by many to be the best pure hitter in the farm system. As the former second rounder out of high school ball matures, he will need to develop a more controlled approach. When he does, he will really be a special player to watch in the batter’s box. Williams should spend 2015 with the RoughRiders after finishing up the season in Frisco (.226-0-4); he hit .283/.331/.462 for the season (the bulk coming in Myrtle Beach).

 

– Alex

A Tale of Two Halves


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.

Yes, I know a nine-inning baseball game is not bisected into halves (but give me a break, college football starts this weekend!). But Frisco’s 5-4 win over Corpus Christi in 11 innings on Wednesday read like a story with a part one and a part two. Click here to read Monday’s game recap.

Once again, the ‘Riders made a starting pitcher look like a minor league Cy Young. Last night, it was Jordan Jankowski, who allowed one hit and struck out ten in six innings. The streak of consecutive innings without a run scored against a starting arm is still active and stands at 33 straight frames going into Thursday’s action. The offensive slump sunk to further depths in the first half of Wednesday’s game as well. When the ‘Riders finally scored in the seventh inning (via a bases-loaded walk) it broke a streak of 28 innings without an earned run.

But after halftime (represented by a Corpus Christi pitching change), the ‘Riders came out of the locker room with a second wind. They scored three runs in the seventh. With one out in the top of the ninth, Joey Gallo delivered another clutch home run to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. The ‘Riders capitalized on two Telvin Nash blunders in the 11th to score the go-ahead run in extras. And Ryan Rodebaugh submitted his best outing of the season, tossing two scoreless innings to preserve the tie and protect the win. There’s no question the ‘Riders are batting at low tide right now, but they keep finding ways to eke out wins in tight situations.

Star of the Game: 1B Joey Gallo – 1/4, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB

Joey had three RBI on the night, but he didn’t get ’em all at once. He worked a walk with the bases loaded to put the ‘Riders on the board for the first time. He belted his 20th home run in the Texas League in the top of the ninth inning to up his season total to 41. Watch the video of the home run and the pitch from Mitchell Lambson was, unsurprisingly, right in Joey’s sweet spot (down and in). He produced a productive out in the 11th to drive in Patrick Cantwell for the second time in the game and give the ‘Riders a 5-4 lead. And, Joey did it all without a strikeout.

In case you missed it:

-Honorable mention goes to Ryan Rodebaugh, who tossed two innings in extras and allowed just one hit with one strikeout. He faced one above the minimum and produced his own win to move to 3-0 on the season.

-Will Lamb continues to provide thrills on the mound. In the bottom of the ninth, he issued three walks (one intentional) with the score tied at four, but managed to strike out Teoscar Hernandez looking at a fastball to end the inning and usher the game into extras.

-The RoughRiders scored five unanswered runs to cap the win.

-Corpus Christi left 13 men on base and outhit the ‘Riders 9-7.

-Hanser Alberto extended his hitting streak to 11 with his two-RBI single in the seventh inning.

-The ‘Riders clinched the season series against Corpus Christi and lead the Hooks 17-13 with two games remaining between the two sides in 2014.

-Gallo watch: See Above

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

1. Joey Gallo (20)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. J.T. Wise (6)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Jorge Alfaro (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

With Guilder Rodriguez serving as translator, Francisco Mendoza joins the Pregame Show and talks about his pitching style and an accident that nearly cost him his baseball career:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Pitching Spectacular


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.

Fans of defense were treated to a classic last night. 2013 first overall choice Mark Appel looked every bit the part on Tuesday as he cranked out his most impressive outing as a member of the Astros organization. Click here to read Monday’s game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Jake Thompson – 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K

Appel was transcendent, but Jake was pretty darn good, too. The righty kept the ‘Riders in position to win the game and fortunately avoided a loss on his record. His ERA with Frisco now sits at 2.93.

In case you missed it:

-The bus-lagged RoughRiders turned in another sleepy offensive performance and registered just two hits and a total of five baserunners (three in the ninth).

-The ‘Riders have not scored against an opponent’s starting pitcher on this road trip (four games), a period of 27 innings.

-Hanser Alberto chased Appel from the game in the ninth inning when he led off the frame with a double. It extended Hanser’s hit streak to ten straight.

-Trever Adams went hitless in four at-bats and has gone consecutive games without a base knock for the first time in the second half.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-3, SO

Four batters in the lineup struck out multiple times on Tuesday. Joey was not a part of that club.

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

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. J.T. Wise (6)

4. Jake Skole (5)

5. Teodoro Martinez (3)

5. Jorge Alfaro (3)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

7. Nomar Mazara (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Southpaw Joseph Ortiz chats about his recovery from a freak accident in the offseason and the joys of being a father for the first time. He also reflects on his season with the Rangers in 2013 and how he told his family of his promotion to the major leagues:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

2014 Playoffs: It’s Going to be Midland


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.

It’s official. The RoughRiders and RockHounds will square off the first week of September in the Texas League South Division Championship Series. Midland’s first playoff berth since 2010 was clinched on Monday because of two outcomes: 1) Midland knocked off Frisco 5-1 AND 2) San Antonio lost in spectacular fashion to Corpus Christi by a final score of 23-7. Yes, 23-7. The Hooks scored 12 runs and sent 16 men to the plate in the 5th inning alone.

The Missions and the Hooks are now mathematically eliminated, which means the ‘Riders and Hounds will spend the rest of the regular season in a battle for home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Going into Tuesday’s action, Frisco holds a one game lead over Midland for the division lead in the second half and owns a 3 1/2 game edge in the overall standings. Click here to read Monday’s game recap.

Star of the Game: SS Hanser Alberto – 1/3, SO

Hanser registered one of the RoughRiders’ three hits in the game and extended his hitting streak to nine straight.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders scored their only run in unearned fashion. Guilder Rodriguez reached second base on an error by second baseman Conner Crumbliss, and took third on a wild pitch. Odubel Herrera picked up the lone RBI of the game for the ‘Riders when he scored G-Rod on a groundout.

-Frisco did not score a run against a Midland starting pitcher in the series. Of the 27 innings in the series, the ‘Riders scored in three.

-Had Frisco swept Midland, it would have been the ‘Riders first sweep of the Hounds since May 2011 and their first sweep in Midland since 2007.

-The ‘Riders did not hit a home run in the series and last went yard in the first inning of a 5-4 win against San Antonio on August 19 (Trever Adams).

-Gallo watch: DNP

On his Pregame Show interview a few Sundays ago, Jason Wood revealed his plan to rest certain players in anticipation of the playoffs. True to his word, Joey has been given a few extra off days lately, which will hopefully pay dividends in September.

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

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

8. Nomar Mazara (2)

11. Patrick Cantwell (1)

11. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

After a slow start, Hanser Alberto has been on a role at the plate for the RoughRiders. He continues his trend of stellar defensive play at short as well:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Fun in the Fifth


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.

Another big inning for the RoughRiders spelled another victory in Midland where the ‘Riders are 5-1 in the second half. Frisco has contained all its runs in this series to just two innings, but they’ve been highly productive. Good pitching never hurts, either, and the RoughRiders’ arms have kept a potent Midland attack mostly under wraps through the first two-thirds of the set. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: RHP Jerad Eickhoff – 7.0 IP, 3 H, R, 3 BB, 7 K

Eick hit the double-digit win mark with his third straight outing of seven innings on the hill. Lauded by his coaches for his dedicated work ethic, Jerad sent his season ERA south to 3.96, the lowest mark since after his second outing of the season on April 14.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders scored five runs on five hits in the fifth inning. They sent nine men to the plate.

-Frisco scored all five runs in the frame in singular fashion.

-Three consecutive doubles (J.T. Wise, Nomar Mazara, Hanser Alberto) opened the big fifth inning.

-Patrick Cantwell scored the fifth run for the ‘Riders on a delayed double steal from third base. It was the first stolen base of the season for Cantwell. The ‘Riders swiped three bags in the game.

-Wise, Alberto, Cantwell and Nick Williams all had multiple hits for the ‘Riders.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-4, 3 SO

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

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

8. Nomar Mazara (2)

11. Patrick Cantwell (1)

11. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

The starting pitching staff has been the backbone of the team’s sustained success this season. After a bumpy homestand against San Antonio, field manager Jason Wood comments on the state of the rotation in the latest “Sunday with the Skipper” conversation:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Change in Tide


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.

When you’ve seen 130 games of baseball over the course of a summer, you develop a sixth sense for the game’s eventual outcome. Or think you do anyway. Sometimes, the trajectory of game shifts course suddenly and that is exactly what happened on Saturday night. The ‘Riders sprung four runs on the RockHounds in the eighth and reversed the flow of the night for their third straight win at Security Bank Ballpark. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: CF Jake Skole – 2/4, 2B, 3 RBI

Jake turned in one of his finest at-bats of the season to give the ‘Riders their eighth-inning lead. Working against Midland’s closer, Jose Flores, Skole sent an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded over the head of center fielder D’Arby Myers to wipe the bags clean and put the RoughRiders atop 4-3.

In case you missed it:

-All three runs that scored on the Skole double were unearned because of a two-out error on Midland shortstop Dusty Coleman. Coleman botched a groundball from Joey Gallo, who reached to keep the inning alive. The RockHounds’ infield, per usual against Gallo, shifted to put three infielders on the right side of second base. Thus, Coleman fielded the Gallo grounder in a different position than normal.

-Tip of the cap also goes to Francisco Mendoza. The right-hander has made more appearances on the hill than anyone else on the RoughRiders’ staff and earned his fourth win of the season on Saturday. In one of his finer performances, Mendoza pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and protected the tenuous 4-3 lead. He allowed just one hit on a leadoff single in the eighth inning.

-Trever Adams picked up his 35th double of the season, a career high and good for second in the Texas League.

-The RoughRiders won for the fourth time this season when trailing after seven innings.

-Midland’s Jose Flores blew his first save of the season with the RockHounds.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-2, R, 2 BB, ROE

The RockHounds wanted nothing to do with Gallo in the early stages of the game and he drew a pair of walks in each of his first two plate appearances. He scored the tying run in the eighth after initially reaching on an error.

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

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

8. Nomar Mazara (2)

11. Patrick Cantwell (1)

11. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Newcomer Josh McElwee makes his debut on the ‘Riders Pregame Show and talks about his season and his first two mound outings at the Double-A level:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Missions Blast the ‘Riders Out of Town


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.

It may be a good thing the ‘Riders are hitting the road for a seven-game road trip. The RoughRiders own a better road record in the second half than at home. Frisco is just 16-15 at Dr Pepper Ballpark in the second half, a mark exasperated by the San Antonio Missions, who took three games off the RoughRiders in a four-game series. Click here to read the game recap.

Star of the Game: C Jorge Alfaro – 2/4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, GIDP

Forget Star of the Game. Jorge was the Star of the Series. The backstop batted .333 (6-for-18) with four RBI and multiple hits in three games. Jorge has reached safely in 12-of-15 games at the Double-A level and has knocked in 12 runs over that span.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders lost a home series to a South Division opponent for the first time in 2014.

-The ‘Riders still won the season series with San Antonio 17-15.

-The Missions scored double digit runs against the RoughRiders for the first time this season.

-Robert Kral once again put his best foot forward in Frisco. Two of his five home runs this season and 12 of his 22 RBI have come versus the RoughRiders.

-Gallo watch: DNP

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

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

8. Nomar Mazara (2)

11. Patrick Cantwell (1)

11. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Former big league closer Trevor Hoffman joins the program as a special guest. Hoffman works as a special assistant in the Padres organization and travels to the club’s upper level affiliates to work with the pitchers. He talks about his playing career, staying close to the game in retirement and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

What Might Have Been…


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.

Alex Dickerson’s grand slam in the fifth inning turned the tide, but the ‘Riders missed out on several chances to get back in the ballgame. Eleven men left on base spelled defeat on Thursday for Frisco. Click here to read the game recap.

The ‘Riders left runners on first and third in the third inning, first and second in the fifth and a full pond on board in the sixth. In the eighth, a great throw from left fielder Hunter Renfroe eliminated Nomar Mazara at home.

Star of the Game: C Jorge Alfaro – 2/5, 2 RBI, 2 SO

Another multi-hit night for Jorge, who has hit safely in 11-of-14 Double-A games. In batting practice before the game, Jorge flashed his raw power when he knocked a ball off the Nationwide scoreboard in left-center. The blast crashed off the top row of the LED display and knocked out a section of the screen.

In case you missed it:

-The RoughRiders stranded 11 men on base on Thursday and have left 30 aboard in the series.

-Alex Dickerson’s grand salami was San Antonio’s third of the season against Frisco. Rymer Liriano and Robert Kral also smacked four-run homers against the ‘Riders.

-Patrick Cantwell was hit by a pitch for the 20th time this season.

-Trever Adams committed an error for the first time since June 25.

-The Rangers had an off day on Thursday, so several members of the brass were in attendance, including Jon Daniels and Mike Maddux. A.J. Preller and Don Welke also made appearances. Awkward.

-Gallo watch: 1-for-4, 2 SO

Joey popped a ball to shallow center beyond the reach of the center fielder and the shortstop. It was Joey’s second hit of the series as his double in game one was changed to an error.

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

1. Joey Gallo (19)

2. Trever Adams (13)

3. Drew Robinson (11)

4. J.T. Wise (6)

5. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

6. Jorge Alfaro (3)

8. Chris Grayson (2)

8. Odubel Herrera (2)

8. Nomar Mazara (2)

11. Patrick Cantwell (1)

11. Hanser Alberto (1)

 

Patrick Cantwell talks about his improvements offensively, his rapport with pitchers on the staff and his support of the Green Bay Packers:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

Grounded

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 2-1 game, in which all three runs scored in the fifth inning, lasted three hours and 16 minutes and the ball just did not bounce Frisco’s way as Springfield flies out of town with a series victory under wing. Click here to read the game recap.

The tough breaks came on a ground ball from Cody Stanley that took a trampoline bounce over Trever Adams’ head at first and brought home a run for Springfield. They popped up on a great catch by Rafael Ortega in center field to rob Nomar Mazara of a base hit. And on the play when Ortega gambled and let a ball from Hanser Alberto roll under his glove, left fielder Charlie Tilson cleaned up the mess and instigated a 7-4-2 relay that gunned out Teodoro Martinez at home in the eighth. It wasn’t the first time the ‘Riders lost the potential tying run at home. In the seventh, with runners on second and third, Adams bounced a ball to his counterpart Jonathan Rodriguez at first, who rifled home to put away Patrick Cantwell.

Star of the Game: C Patrick Cantwell – 2/3, R, 2B, 2 HBP

It’s no longer out of the ordinary to see Patrick wear a pitch on down to first base. But twice in one game? Pat now has been hit 17 times this season, the most in the Texas League (he’s drawn 14 walks).

In case you missed it:

-The ‘Riders committed six errors in the three-game series. On Thursday, the RoughRiders committed three gaffes, one shy of their season high of four. Coincidentally, that four-error game also dropped against the Cardinals on May 24.

-Jorge Alfaro picked up a pair of singles for his first multi-hit game as a RoughRider.

-Trever Adams batted 0-for-2 and drew a pair of walks, but saw his season-long 13-game hit streak come to an end.

-Gallo watch: 0-for-4, 2 SO

Tough series for Joey, who finished 1-for-12 and accounted for the final out in three innings in which the ‘Riders had men in scoring position.

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

1. Joey Gallo (16)

2. Trever Adams (12)

3. Drew Robinson (10)

4. J.T. Wise (5)

4. Jake Skole (5)

6. Teodoro Martinez (3)

7. Chris Grayson (2)

7. Odubel Herrera (2)

9. Patrick Cantwell (1)

9. Jorge Alfaro (1)

 

Get the inside scoop from the batter’s eye as Jake Skole talks through his big night at the plate against Springfield on Wednesday:

 

Thanks for tuning in,

-Chris V.

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