Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’
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)
7 – Wins in series openers
8 – Comeback wins
9 – 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)
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)
This week has been an eventful one for the RoughRiders, winning all five games at home. The Riders have also been joined by Rangers catcher Chris Gimenez, another highlight of the past few days in addition to the success on the field. Gimenez was added to the roster earlier this week on a rehab assignment.
During the Major League veteran’s time here in Frisco, Gimenez has been assisting the younger players and giving valuable advice to everyone in the clubhouse. Earlier this week, we caught up with him and chatted about the experience. Here is an excerpt from the interview.
Steve Goldberg: You had a chance to meet a bunch of these guys at Spring Training. What did you know about the Riders players coming in to your rehab assignment?
Chris Gimenez: It’s just a good group of goofballs. The one thing I’ve noticed is that they keep the clubhouse extremely light and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot of music and a lot of talking. I think that’s good. That’s something you don’t see a lot of these days, with the iPads and iPhones. Everyone is in their chair playing on their different device. But this group is a good, close-knit group. These guys are having fun.
SG: How does being back here now compare to your own experience as a Minor Leaguer?
CG: This is the nicest ballpark I’ve ever played in aside from the big leagues, so it doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the Minor Leagues. From the ballpark, to the crowd, to the scenery around here, everything is gorgeous. Like I said, they take such good care of us around here that it really doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the Minor Leagues at all.
SG: Did you have experience working with Major League players on rehab assignments when you were in the Minors coming up?
CG: Absolutely. And at every level too. I always remember it being a really cool experience, just to try to talk to some of the guys. I’ve had some conversations with a couple of the guys down here that I’ve known for a little while as well. It’s nice to offer any sort of advice or just be there as someone to listen. Sometimes, you just need a deaf ear to fall on and somebody that you can just go out and have a normal conversation with. Someone that’s not a coach, someone that’s not trying to give you four different things you can do to fix your swing or to throw a strike. It’s the same for me. When you’re struggling, you just want to get out of it as quick as you can. But a lot of times, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do that. I think the biggest part of it is just trying to be relaxed as possible. Try to keep it like you were playing in Little League. We never had slumps in Little League because we always had fun doing it. That’s the motto I try to portray when I talk about stuff like that.
SG: You’re fighting for a spot as a catcher on the Rangers [25-man] roster. Does that competition impact you at all during these rehab games?
CG: Not at all. It’s out of my control. The only I can control is just trying to get myself back, in the best game shape I can possibly be in, and put myself in a position for them to have to make a decision on it. As much as I would like to say it’s in my control, I know it’s not. They’re going to have a decision to make.
Baseball term of the day: baby act – A play considered “ungentlemanly” in the late 19th century, such as a bunt or an intentional base on balls.
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
The RoughRiders are off to a 15-4 start and lead the Texas League South division, and the other teams in the farm system have stayed hot as well. Every team affiliated with the Rangers, including the big league club, has a winning record and four of the five are in first place in their respective divisions.
Texas Rangers (MLB):
Elvis Andrus (Riders ’08) currently leads the Rangers with a .343 batting average. The mark is good for third in the American League behind Mark Trumbo (.354) and another former Rider Ian Kinsler (.345). Andrus also leads the league with three triples. The Rangers in first place, half a game ahead of the Seattle Mariners, in the AL West with a 12-10 record and begin a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight.
Round Rock Express (Triple-A):
Round Rock is currently in first place in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division with an 11-8 record. Joey Gallo (Riders ’14-15 – Rangers No. 1 prospect, MLB Pipeline) is tied for the league-lead with seven home runs, which is also the second highest total in Minor League Baseball.
High Desert Mavericks (High-A):
Travis Demeritte (Rangers No. 21 prospect) continues to pace the explosive offense for the 17-4 Mavericks. Demeritte leads all of Minor League Baseball with eight home runs. Meanwhile, Luke Tendler paces the circuit with a .377 batting average and is second in the league with 19 RBI. High Desert is in first place in the California League South division, leading Rancho Cucamonga by three games.
Hickory Crawdads (Single-A):
The 14-7 Crawdads have been putting up some impress totals as well, at the lowest full-season level. Andy Ibanez (Rangers No. 16 prospect) leads the entire farm system with his .397 batting average. Pedro Payano (Rangers No. 29 prospect) has a farm system and league-best 0.38 ERA (1 ER in 24 IP). Eric Jenkins (Rangers No. 7 prospect) and Dylan Moore lead Rangers Minor Leaguers with 10 stolen bases each. The Crawdads are tied for second place in the South Atlantic League Northern division, half a game behind Hagerstown.
Stay tuned for more updates from the farm system over the course of the season.
Baseball term of the day: foul screecher – An untutored spectator who cheers foul balls not knowing that they are not hits
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
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.
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.”
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).
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)
This marks the sixth day of the RoughRiders Media Relations Department’s travels at Spring Training in and around Phoenix, Arizona. In this installment, Steve Goldberg tells the story of a RoughRiders fan who has traveled with the Rangers to Spring Training for the past 27 years. All installments can be found here, including Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5.
Nathan, Ryan, and I have spent the majority of our week here at Spring Training out on the back fields in Surprise, covering former RoughRiders and other players that will soon be a part of the team.
When you watch a game on the back fields, it is an entirely different experience than taking in the action at the main stadium. There are small crowds of about 50 people made up of mostly players, coaches, a few writers, and a handful of Minor League baseball fans.
I was watching the Rangers squad play the Royals the other day and encountered a fan sitting next to me who was a Northwest Arkansas Naturals season ticket holder since their inaugural Texas League season in 2008. Every time a former Natural stepped up to bat, she screamed their name and said, “Come on! Hit a home run! It’s your turn now!”
The second day we were here, Ryan and I had just finished talking to Ryan Strausborger when two RoughRiders fans approached us. They introduced themselves and recounted their memories of Strausborger playing at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
Sheree Bernstein and her mother Edie are loyal Riders fans and Rangers fans. Sheree, a founder of the Riders Booster Club, has followed the Rangers to Spring Training for the past 27 years and can frequently be seen on the back fields in Surprise watching the Minor League games.
Sheree and her mother Edie have countless Spring Training stories about their experiences with former RoughRiders and Rangers over the years. They are season ticket holders at Dr Pepper Ballpark. As much as they love attending RoughRiders home games, they also enjoy the feeling of watching past, present, and future Riders play on practice fields in front of very small crowds.
After meeting Sheree and Edie, I asked if they would share their Spring Training story with our readers here on the blog. They agreed. The following words are Sheree’s.
I would consider us “baseball lifers”. We might not have played or started life as fans. But somewhere along the way, the game and interest in those that play it, run it, and also love it grabbed a hold. We don’t foresee a time it’s not a big part of our lives.
It all began for me when I became an ‘Astros Buddy’ in the mid ‘70s. Going to Astros games in Houston was a way for me to spend quality time with my dad. My love for baseball evolved over time. Mom and I both have spent time as baseball employees. I was an usher, and Mom was a hostess at Dr Pepper Ballpark’s JCPenney Club.
Spring Training has been a big part of our baseball lives for the last 27 years. We started back at the Rangers’ camp in Port Charlotte, Fla., and continued on to the current complex in Surprise. We love the climate, the scenery, the people, and the immersion of baseball for a couple weeks each year.
Mom likes to remember seeing Elvis Andrus when he was young and shy. She has enjoyed seeing him grow into a team leader. Not to mention, he is also an All-Star caliber player.
We love Spring Training so much because it is an opportunity to meet up with friends and get to see the big league team come together up close. We also reacquaint with former players who have already come through Frisco and those that may soon be arriving. We love the relaxed atmosphere and the chance to see the players develop, grow, and mature from one year to the next.
As you can see, Sheree’s passion for baseball is evident. The small handful of fans like Sheree and Edie who attend the Minor League games feel like they are a part of the action on the opposite side of the chain-link fence.
The back fields provide a much more intimate Spring Training setting than the main Surprise Stadium. The “baseball lifers” like Sheree, Edie, and that Northwest Arkansas Naturals fan know that even though the players on the field may not be superstars yet, their opportunity is just a few steps away.
And that, to me, is the most beautiful thing about baseball.
Baseball term of the day: foozler – a lucky base hit
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)
This time ten years ago, the Frisco RoughRiders Inaugural season was just getting under way. 2012 was the 10th season of ‘Riders baseball, but 2013 marks ten full years in Frisco. As we continue Opening Weekend at Dr Pepper Ballpark, we’d like to take a small look at the past ten years.
Recently, while cleaning a storage area in the press box, we came across an April 1, 2003 Special Edition issue of The Dallas Morning News featuring Opening Day of the Frisco RoughRiders at Dr Pepper/Seven Up Ballpark.
Much can change in ten years. This time ten years ago, the US had been at war in Iraq for a little more than a month, occupying the majority of news coverage. In sports, A-Rod was playing his last season with the Rangers, and Don Nelson was still in Dallas as coach of the Mavs.
In their ten-year history, the RoughRiders organization and Dr Pepper Ballpark have had a number of changes and improvements added. However, it is neat to take a look at the ballpark and at the team as they were ten years ago. In 2003, Tim Ireland was the manager of the ‘Riders. Since then, others have taken the role, including Darryl Kennedy (’05-’06) Dave Anderson (‘07), Scott Little (‘08), Mike Miccuci (’09) and our current manager, former Rangers’ third baseman Steve Buchele, who made his Frisco debut in 2010.
Dr Pepper /Seven Up Ballpark was renamed Dr Pepper Ballpark on March 31, 2006, and has held the name since. Since 2003, many changes have been made to the ballpark itself with the addition and renovation of the concessions, scoreboard and lighting systems and other aspects. Just prior to the 2013 season, the ballpark underwent a major improvement process on new concessions and playground areas. Since its opening, Dr Pepper Ballpark has earned numerous recognition for its unique design, feel and fan amenities.
There have been 324 players to have played in the ‘Riders uniform, with 97 former RoughRiders making it to the big leagues. Many big-name players have starred in Frisco in these ten years, and the RoughRiders have had many successful season and memorable highlights. We look forward to another ten years of Frisco RoughRiders baseball.
Baseball term of the day: Through the Slot– A pitch that passes directly over home plate.
The rain has stopped, the clouds have parted, and Rangers baseball is back in Arlington! Many people will call in sick from work, pull their kids out early from school, and make the drive to the ballpark to welcome our Rangers back home for the 2013 season. Opening Day is finally here as the Rangers face the LA Angels this afternoon at 1:05.
Today also marks Josh Hamilton’s first return to Rangers Ballpark since leaving for LA. This return has sparked a number of reactions by Rangers fans, especially after remarks made by Hamilton questioning the loyalty of DFW baseball fans.
I am personally on the edge of my seat waiting to know how Josh will be received at today’s game. Will the stadium erupt in boos? Will there be cheers for the once-adored All-Star? Or will he receive the silent treatment, getting little acknowledgement from the fans of his former team?
More than likely, there will be a combination of all three. There are a number of fans who feel Hamilton leaving the Rangers and the way he left was a betrayal, and boos will be heard throughout the stadium. Others will try to look past the hurt feelings and the tension, and cheer. However, the hope for many is that there will be silence, no boos or cheers, proving Rangers fans stand strongly behind their team and can move past the tensions from the last few months.
Regardless of how Hamilton’s reception plays out, the fact is today is the Rangers Home Opener. The day Rangers fans have been looking forward to is finally here. Enjoy it and look forward to many enjoyable days and nights at the ballpark!
Other notes from the week:
-The Rangers began the season this past Sunday on the road in Houston. Despite dropping the first game of the series 2-8 in the Astros’ first game in the American League, the Rangers came back to win the series in back-to-back shutouts.
Yu Darvish was one strike away from pitching a perfect game in Game 2, tallying a career-high 14 strikeouts. Former RoughRider Alexi Ogando also had a career-high 10 strikeouts in Game 3. In total, the Rangers had 43 strikeouts, the most by a major-league team in the first three games of the season, breaking the mark set by the 1966 Cleveland Indians.
-Elvis Andrus is in Texas for a while. The 24-year-old shortstop announced Thursday that he signed an eight-year contract extension, securing him at least through 2018 (he has an opt-out in his contract at that point).
Where was Nolan Ryan? At Thursday’s press conference announcing Andrus’ contract extension, Ryan was noticeably absent. This only fueled the curiosities of his future with the Rangers. It was reported later that Nolan attended the Round Rock Express season opener.
What does the future hold for Jurickson Profar? With the Elvis Andrus contract extension, the future for Rangers’ top prospect Profar is up in the air. The former RoughRider, will be in Round Rock this season, but playing the same position as Andrus brings questions regarding the 20-year-old’s future.
Baseball term of the day: Parachute Hitter – another term for a singles hitter
Every year after the season is over the RoughRiders are kind enough to let me escape for about 10 days and simply get away from things. For the second straight year, my wife Heather and I ventured to the east coast to visit her family in Boston and some friends I made while broadcasting in Portland, Maine in 2009.
Along with Boston and Portland, we also made it to Cape Cod, Vermont, and New Hampshire. It was great to experience the fall season out there and see some family. Plus, we got to go to my all-time favorite sea food restaurant in Hull, MA, Jake’s Seafood.
Now it’s back to the ballpark just in time for the World Series. Over the course of the last two seasons broadcasting for the RoughRiders, I’ve tried not to talk much on-air about the fact that I spent the majority of my life in St. Louis and even own a pair of seats from the old Busch Stadium (seats 16 and 17, if you’re wondering).
It’s especially hard to not sound like a Cardinals fan when the ‘Riders play the Springfield Cardinals. Well now it’s become really hard with the Redbirds taking on the Rangers. Before even the first pitch is thrown in the World Series, this matchup has already taught me how much of a Rangers fan I’ve become over the last couple of years. I’ve written about it on here and talked about it on-air, the Rangers are a class franchise top to bottom and go about things the right way. I’m sure there are some things they they and/or the fans would have liked to have seen done differently, but overall, it’s a fantastic organization to be associated with.
I’ve had some people here at the ballpark ask me who I’ll be rooting for and to be honest, I’m actually torn.
If nothing else, here’s hoping for a good series.