Results tagged ‘ Round Rock Express ’

Riders reflections, part one: Breakout player

As we near the conclusion of the 2016 season, we wanted to take some time to reflect on the year that’s been. From now until Monday, we’ll look back on different elements of the season and some of the people and moments that stand out.

Today, we start by selecting our breakout players from the 2016 season.

STEVE: Yohander Mendez

28664162245_17943c4e80_z

In my opinion, Yohander Mendez was the most improved player we saw in Frisco this season. After beginning the year with High Desert in the California League, Mendez dominated Texas League hitters in his two months with the RoughRiders.

Mendez only allowed more than three runs in one of his 10 starts. The southpaw was called up to make a spot start for Triple-A Round Rock in early July, before he re-joined the Express for good on August 4.

As a member of the 40-man roster, Mendez should have a good chance to make the Major Leagues by next year, or possibly even this September when the MLB rosters expand. Mendez was just a blip in the radar at the beginning of the season, but he has now emerged as the second-ranked player in the Rangers organization, according to MLBPipeline.com.

RYAN: Ronald Guzman

050116 Guzman, Ronald (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) copy

On our final day at Spring Training this year, we had a chance to take in the prospects game between the best farmhands in the Rangers and Cubs organizations. Ronald Guzman was part of that game, and he hit a mammoth homer to right-center field. That was my first introduction to the Dominican first baseman, and he has continued to impress throughout the summer.

In his first season at the Double-A level, Guzman hit .288 with 15 homers and 56 RBI. He also played rather solid first base for the Riders. In addition to being named a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star, he garnered TL Post-Season All-Star honors today as well. Plus, he was invited to participate in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.

Since his promotion to Triple-A Round Rock on August 3, he’s struggled a bit, hitting just .203 with a home run and nine RBI. The homer came on the very first pitch he saw with Round Rock.

All the while, he’s been a great guy to work with as well. We’ll see what next year holds for Guzman, who I’d imagine will start back in Triple-A. It wouldn’t be out of the question for him to end up in Arlington as a September call-up next season.

NATHAN: Ariel Jurado

28579713942_1c810b22e8_z

Although it’s tough to say Jurado truly “broke out” this season, considering he’s been great throughout his young career, I think the poised 20-year-old took a leap forward that few predicted. The right-hander tore up the extremely hitter-friendly California League to the tune of a 7-2 record and a 3.86 ERA. At the time of promotion, Jurado was eighth on the California League leaderboard in ERA.

He’s kept his grove at Double-A as the league’s youngest pitcher. Save for one outing (in seven for Frisco), he’s allowed two runs or fewer every time out. He pounds the zone with a heavy fastball, getting a ton of groundballs and strikes out far more than he walks (33:7 ratio with the Riders). Furthemore, his secondary stuff already plays and is getting better, working with a good changeup and slider and developing curveball.

After Mendez and Michael Roth, Jurado is currently third in the Texas organization in ERA (3.53).

With the departure of Luis Ortiz, it’s hard to argue against Jurado as the top right-handed pitching prospect in the organization, but I, personally, liked Jurado a little more than Ortiz anyhow. A long-time scout even told me in July that he thought Jurado was the third best pitcher RIGHT NOW in the Rangers organization…big league or otherwise, after Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish. While the ceiling might not be as a #1 or even a #2, I could see Jurado as a #3 or #4 starter for year to come in the big leagues, and this season, he’s earned that praise.

———–

Baseball term of the day: Break his dishes – To break a hitter’s bat handle.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: August 26

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

TEXAS RANGERS (75-53 – 1st, AL West)

Texas enters the day 7.5 games up on Seattle and 8.5 ahead of Houston in the AL West race. The Rangers opened their series against first-place Cleveland last night with a resounding 9-0 win over the Indians.

Aside from another dominant outing from Cole Hamels, Carlos Gomez homered in his first at-bat with the Rangers.

The Rangers take on Cleveland for three more before Seattle comes to town. Texas has a chance to really create some space in the standings over the next six games.

Today: vs. Cleveland, 7:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (66-67 – 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

Nashville is about to knock Round Rock and the rest of the American Southern Division out of the playoffs with its magic number at one game.

That said, Round Rock continues to have a productive month of August. The Express are 15-9 this month. On Tuesday, though, they had to watch former teammate Lewis Brinson go deep against them in his first at-bat back at Dell Diamond. As you can see in the clip below, his trip around the bases included a lot of smiling.

After allowing his first two runs as a Triple-A pitcher his last time out, Yohander Mendez came out of the bullpen last night and worked four scoreless innings. His ERA with Round Rock is a ridiculous 0.64 through 28.1 innings. He appears to be running away with Rangers Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors.

Today: at New Orleans, 7:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Michael Roth)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (77-53 overall, 34-26 second half – 2nd in the second half, California League South Division)

In case you haven’t heard already, the Mavericks are entering their final few weeks as a franchise. Next year, we’ll be writing about the Kinston ______s here on “Riding Through the Farm”.

Sam Dykstra at MiLB.com wrote an interesting piece a few days ago about the difference in park effects that Rangers farmhands will experience when they shift from Adelanto to Kinston. Suddenly, the Rangers’ Class A-Advanced affiliate will be in a slight pitcher’s park, according to the metrics.

That said, the end of the regular season won’t be the finale for the Mavs. High Desert is guaranteed a playoff spot by way of winning the first-half crown. The Mavericks are still on track to face Lancaster in the first round of the playoffs.

In player news, Dylan Moore was sent to the Braves this week as part of a three-team deal that garnered international slot money for the Rangers.

Lastly, Luke Tendler was named California League Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .435 with four doubles, three homers, and eight RBI.

Today: vs. Lake Elsinore, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Tyler Davis)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (69-61 overall, 31-29 second half – T-3rd in the second half, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory is quickly sliding out of playoff contention by way of first-place Lakewood’s seven-game winning streak. Hickory was the last team to beat the BlueClaws, but the Crawdads are now six games back in the second-half standings, seeing their elimination number drop to five games.

Yesterday, Josh Altmann was promoted to High Desert. He was hitting .260 with six home runs and 30 RBI prior to the promotion.

Charleston is in town for three, starting tonight. Nick Green, who was part of the Carlos Beltran trade, is slated to start tomorrow. Dillon Tate, also part of that trade, has been used as a reliever with the RiverDogs. He last pitched Tuesday, so perhaps he makes an appearance this weekend at L.P. Frans Stadium. Tate is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in his first four outings (10.0 IP) with Charleston.

Today: vs. Charleston, 6:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Blake Bass)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (28-37 overall, 9-18 second half – 4th in the second half, Northwest League North)

Yesterday’s off day was a much-needed one for Spokane. The Indians enter the day on a seven-game losing streak and are just 1-12 in their last 13 games. In this 13-game dry spell, Spokane is hitting .207 as a team with a 4.91 ERA.

Amazingly, the Indians are just one game out of second place right now, although everybody is looking up at 20-7 Everett. That’s the beauty of winning the first half.

Benjamin Hill of the Ben’s Biz Blog had this fun story about a mysterious safe at Spokane’s Avista Stadium. What do you think is inside it?

Tonight: vs. Tri City, 8:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Mixed ball – A fastball that breaks in.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: August 21

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

TEXAS RANGERS (73-51 – 1st, AL West)

Texas has split the first two games in Tampa Bay this weekend and is currently taking on the Rays in the series finale.

One of the biggest news items out of Arlington this week was the signing of Carlos Gomez yesterday, who was released by Houston recently. Gomez is expected to join Triple-A Round Rock today and play a few games with the Express before joining Texas. Rangers manager Jeff Banister says that Gomez will be the everyday left fielder for Texas when he joins the club.

Today: at Tampa Bay, 12:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (63-65 – 3rd, PCL American Southern Division)

Yohander Mendez is human after all. After four consecutive scoreless outings (19.1 IP) to begin his Triple-A career, the former Riders pitcher gave up a whopping two runs last night in a loss to Colorado Springs. According to Scott Lucas of The Newberg Report, he threw ALL fastballs his first three innings.

Still, he’s sporting a 0.74 ERA on the year with Round Rock and a 2.34 ERA overall across three levels. For more on Mendez, and other insights on the Rangers farm system, check out our interview with Rangers Director of Player Development Mike Daly from earlier this week.

Round Rock is currently battling Colorado Springs, the new home of former Riders outfielder Lewis Brinson. He, however, is currently on the DL. That said, he’ll be eligible to come off near the end of the current series in Round Rock, so if he’s healthy, fans in Round Rock should have a chance to see Brinson play.

The Express won five straight at the end of last week and have come away victorious in seven of their last 10 games overall.

Next: Tonight vs. Colorado Springs, 6:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Michael Roth)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (73-52 overall, 30-25 second half – 3rd in the second half, California League South Division)

High Desert already has a playoff spot wrapped up, but the Mavericks continue to play good baseball in the second half. That said, High Desert has lost three in a row, including two straight to Inland Empire, the team with the lowest win percentage in the Cal League (.357).

Earlier this week, the Mavs had a game postponed due to the Blue Cut Fire burning in the area, but the good news is the fire is now mostly contained.

The Mavericks will likely face Lancaster (Houston) in the first round of the playoffs, but the JetHawks still have just a 4.5 game lead over Lake Elsinore in the second-half standings.

Today: vs. Inland Empire, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Collin Wiles)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (66-59 overall, 28-27 second half – 4th in the second half, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory has followed up a seven-game losing streak with three consecutive wins to stay within reach of the second-half title. The Crawdads sit four back of first-place Lakewood with 15 games to go.

After defeating Greensboro Friday, the ‘Dads defeated “Jeansboro” last night, as the Grasshoppers honored local jeans producer Wrangler.

Today: at Greensboro, 3:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (28-33 overall, 9-14 second half – 2nd in the second half, Northwest League North)

It’s a good thing the Indians won the first half, because they’re quickly sliding out of the playoff picture in the second half. Spokane was swept by red-hot Eugene (which had a 15-game win streak recently) and has lost eight of nine overall to fall eight games back of Everett in the second half. Assuming the results hold, it’ll be Spokane and the AquaSox in the opening round of the playoffs.

Anderson Tejeda (.275 avg, 3 HR, 10 RBI) continues to swing well, although Leody Taveras (.224, 0 HR, 7 RBI) has cooled down after a hot start. Also, big Curtis Terry (6’2”/255 lbs) was promoted yesterday.

Tonight: at Hillsboro, 3:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Alex Daniele)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Pasteboard – An admission ticket to a baseball game.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: August 14

Riding Through the Farm v3

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

TEXAS RANGERS (69-49 – 1st, AL West)

It’s been a good week for the Rangers, who have won six of their last eight, including five straight earlier this week. After waiting out a loooooooong rain delay (2:42) Friday night, Jonathan Lucroy smashed two of Texas’ four home runs in a 8-5 win over the Tigers.

In 11 games with Texas, Lucroy is hitting .286 with six homers and 11 RBI. Fellow newcomer Carlos Beltran is swinging at a .333 clip with two homers and five RBI.

Today: vs. Detroit, 2:05 p.m. (SP: RHP A.J. Griffin)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (59-62 – 2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

It’s been an up-and-down week for the Express. Tuesday, they came one out away from being perfect-gamed by Nashville’s Jharel Cotton. However, they’ve bounced back with wins of 8-3, 14-3, and 17-3. On Wednesday, a trio of 2016 Riders got in on the action, with Victor Payano earning his first Triple-A win, Preston Beck driving in two with a triple, and Ronald Guzman finishing 3-for-4.

Jared Hoying has three homers in his last two games and has hits in nine of his last 10 games.

Next: Tonight at Salt Lake, 8:35 p.m. (SP: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (70-48 overall, 27-21 second half – 3rd in the second half, California League South Division)

The Mavs are in the midst of a low-scoring road trip, a rarity in the hitter-friendly California League. High Desert has put up just 10 (1 Sat.) runs in the five games at San Jose and Stockton.

Former Rider reliever Cody Palmquist made another start with High Desert – his second of the year – last night in a loss at Stockton. He allowed four earned runs (five total) on five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Fresh off his promotion from Hickory, Dylan Moore is fitting in well with his new club. He had hits in each of his first eight games with High Desert, including three straight games with a homer last week, before going 0-for-4 last night.

Today: at Stockton, 8:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Tyler Davis)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (62-56 overall, 24-24 second half – 6th in the second half, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Crawdads are in the midst of a log jam in the second half standings of the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division, sitting in sixth place, but just three games back. For that reason, their current six-game losing streak is coming at a bad time.

Xavier Turner joined the squad last week and proceeded to hit two homers in his first game up from Spokane. However, he’s just 1-for-10 since.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, LeDarious Clark stole home (albeit, in delayed fashion) last Saturday.

Lastly, here’s a good read on Eric Jenkins, who rides an eight-game hitting streak into today’s game.

Today: vs. Rome, 4:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (27-27 overall, 8-8 second half – 2nd in the second half, Northwest League North)

Spokane is 5-6 since the All-Star Break, most recently dropping a pair of games to the Eugene Emeralds, one of the NWL’s hottest teams right now.

Though the Indians have lost a few key contributors, such as Xavier Turner and Tyler Ferguson, highly touted newcomers Leody Taveras and Anderson Tejeda are helping to fill the void in Spokane. Tejeda, especially, is off to a nice start, hitting .286 with two homers and four RBI in his first six games with the Indians.

The one and only Benjamin Hill of the Bens Biz Blog was in Spokane on Friday as part of his west coast road trip. I’m sure he’s got more of a writeup coming from his time at Avista Stadium, but in the meantime, here’s his nightly “groundbreaking and subversive ballpark joke of the day.”

Tonight: vs. Eugene, 5:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Kyle Cody)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Gazoonie – A rookie.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Moving parts: checking in on the new and former Riders from the last week

brinson1

Lewis Brinson is off to a great with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox since being traded last Monday. (Paat Kelly / Colorado Springs Sky Sox)

In the last week, the RoughRiders roster has experienced some heavy turnover. With seven guys joining the squad, five going to Triple-A, two to the DL, and two getting traded, the roster looks very different than it did at this time last week.

Here’s an update on how everyone is doing with their new teams:

THE NEW RIDERS (stats reflect results since joining the team last week)

CARLOS ARROYO: 5 G, 3-for-15, 2B, 2 RBI
Arroyo singled in his first at-bat with Frisco but has struggled a bit since then. Sunday, he drove in a pair of runs and picked up an outfield assist in center field.

CARSON BLAIR: 2 G, 1-for-7, HR, RBI
Blair didn’t waste much time making a splash with his new organization, hitting a solo homer Sunday in just his second game as a Rangers farmhand.

SCOTT CARROLL: 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Carroll turned in another strong start for the Riders Sunday, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings.

EDWIN GARCIA: 4 G, 4-for-14, 2B, RBI, SB
Now in his second stint playing with Frisco this season, Garcia has helped fill the void at first base. He also notched three hits Sunday at San Antonio.

JUAN GRULLON: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Grullon pitched well out of the bullpen on Saturday in his first relief outing since rejoining the squad, but took the loss in a 1-0 game at San Antonio.

EDUARD PINTO: 4 G, 6-for-14, 2B, RBI
Pinto picked up four hits Sunday at San Antonio, and he has hits in three of his first four games with the Riders.

JACK SNODGRASS: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
The southpaw made an impressive debut with the Riders, allowing two runs on two hits across six innings of work on Thursday in San Antonio.

84 Snodgrass

Jack Snodgrass earned the win in his Riders debut Thursday. (Dave Michael / San Antonio Missions)

PROMOTED TO TRIPLE-A (stats reflect results since joining the team last week)

JOHN FASOLA: 3 G, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Fasola has already appeared in three games since joining the Express for the second time this season. Like he was in Frisco, he’s continued to be tough on opposing hitters.

RONALD GUZMAN: 6 G, 4-for-21, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 12 K
Guzman got off to a great start in Triple-A, homering and doubling in his first two-at-bats. However, he has since struck out in 12 of his last 19 at-bats.

YOHANDER MENDEZ: 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Mendez turned in a nearly identical line to his Triple-A debut on July 5. He has yet to allow a run as a Triple-A pitcher this season across 10 innings. His combined 2.51 ERA this season would lead Rangers full-season starters if he qualified.

VICTOR PAYANO: 1 G, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 K
Payano got rocked in his Triple-A debut Friday, keyed by four walks. One of the things that helped him have a strong year with the Riders was limiting walks. If he can do that moving forward, the Express will hopefully see the pitcher that did so well in Frisco.

JOSE VALDESPINA: 2 G, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Now in his second stint with Round Rock this season, Valdespina has already come out of the bullpen twice this week and has yet to allow a run.

THE NEW BREWERS (stats reflect results since joining the team last week)

LEWIS BRINSON: 7 G, 13-for-29 (.448), 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3-4 SB
We probably shouldn’t be too surprised that Brinson is tearing it up with his new club, but it’s still pretty impressive that he has burst right on to the scene and been a consistent contributor for the Sky Sox. He has hits in all seven games with his new club, including a four-hit night in his debut and a grand slam the next game. If you factor what he did with Round Rock at the end of last year, he’s a career .441 hitter (26-for-59) in Triple-A.LOLBTrade640x360.jpg

LUIS ORTIZ: 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Ortiz debuted with Double-A Biloxi Saturday night, working another short outing as he recovers from his time on the DL. Ortiz also had an at-bat (he’ll have more to come, too) and struck out in his only AB of the night.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Nellie hitter – A hitter who hits to left center and to right center.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm (August 5)

Riding Through the Farm v3

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

TEXAS RANGERS (63-46 – 1st, AL West)

After making moves to acquire Jonathan LucroyCarlos Beltran, and Jeremy Jeffress at the trade deadline, all three have had success in the past week for the Rangers. Lucroy and Beltran both hit home runs in the three-game series against Baltimore, and Jeffress pitched a scoreless inning in yesterday’s 5-3 victory in the finale.

A huge three-game road series against the Houston Astros begins tonight at Minute Maid Park. The Rangers have won nine of 10 games against the Astros so far this season and lead Houston by 6 1/2 games in the American League West.

Today: at Houston, 7:10 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (54-59 – T-2nd, PCL American Southern Division)

On Wednesday, Round Rock received four players from the RoughRidersYohander Mendez and Ronald Guzman, two of the Top 5 prospects in the Rangers farm system (according to MLBPipeline.com), have already made an impact with the E-Train.

Guzman went 2-for-4 in his Triple-A debut Thursday, mashing a solo home run in his first at-bat and driving in another run with a double later in the game.

In his second start with the Express last night, Mendez pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits in a win over Oklahoma City. The southpaw has now fired a total of 10 scoreless innings in two Triple-A starts this season.

Today: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (66-44 overall, 23-17 second half – 3rd place, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have won seven of their last 10 games, including a four-game sweep of Rancho Cucamonga on the road last week. High Desert is back at home battling the Quakes again, and they started the series with a win yesterday.

Former Rider Cody Palmquist continues to dominate California League opponents out of the bullpen for High Desert. Palmquist was named Rangers Reliever of the Month last month after not allowing a run in all of June. He has given up just four earned runs in 17 relief appearances (26.1 innings pitched) since joining the Mavs on June 4.

Today: vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Jeff Springs)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (60-49 overall, 22-17 second half – 3rd place, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

A five-game win streak has propelled the Crawdads into third place in the SAL Northern Division standings. Hickory is now just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Hagerstown, who won the division in the first half of the season. The ‘Dads are half a game behind Greensboro for second place and the second-best overall record the division.

However, the Crawdads recently lost outfielder Eduard Pinto and infielder Dylan Moore, who were both promoted to higher affiliates. Pinto joined the RoughRiders last night, while Moore was moved up to High Desert.

Infielder Xavier Turner was just assigned to Hickory from Spokane yesterday. He has a chance to make a big impact for the Crawdads in their push for a playoff spot. Turner played nine games with the Crawdads last season after starting his professional career in the Arizona League.

Today: at Lexington, 6:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Joe Palumbo)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (23-22 overall, 4-3 second half  3rd place, Northwest League North Division)

As mentioned above, Xavier Turner was promoted to Hickory yesterday after a spectacular performance Tuesday in the Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game. Turner won the MiLB.com Top Star Award for the Northwest League, going 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of runs scored.

Four former Spokane Indians were involved in the Rangers’ trade deadline deal for Carlos Beltran. In addition to Dillon Tate (2015), Erik Swanson (2014), and Nick Green (2016), Beltran was also an Indian back in 1996. Spokane was affiliated with the Kansas City Royals at the time.

Tonight: at Salem-Keizer, 8:35 p.m. (SP: LHP Sal Mendez)

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: pastureworker – An outfielder.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm (July 31)

Riding Through the Farm v3

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

TEXAS RANGERS (61-44 – 1st, AL West)

The Rangers are starting to turn the corner after a slow resumption from the All-Star break. Texas has taken the first three games from Kansas City and is going for the sweep this afternoon.

Earlier this week, the Rangers traded High Desert infielder Travis Demeritte to the Atlanta organization for pitchers Lucas Harrell (starting today) and Dario Alvarez. Demeritte has been assigned to Class A-Advanced Carolina.

Joey Gallo is back with the Rangers and homered in his return to the big leagues earlier this week.

Plus, Mitch Moreland is blistering hot right now, hitting a walk-off homer last night and has four homers in his last four games (including today)

Texas is reportedly making a push for Jonathan Lucroy, who blocked a potential trade to Cleveland earlier today. The trade deadline is tomorrow. Per Jon Morosi, the Brewers would potentially be seeking Luis Ortiz or Yohander Mendez as part of the return package.

Today: vs. Kansas City, 2:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Lucas Harrell)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (51-57 – T-3rd, PCL American Southern Division)

The Express have been sliding a bit lately, but bounced back last night with a 13-7 win over Memphis that featured four home runs.

Preston Beck is hitting .320 (8-for-25) through his first six games with the Express, but hasn’t played since Tuesday. Alex Burg is 4-for-19 with three doubles since going up last week.

Next: Tonight vs. Memphis (SP: RHP Nick Martinez)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (63-42 overall, 20-15 second half – 1st place overall, California League South Division)

The Mavericks have thrived late in games the last few nights, scoring come-from-behind wins against Dodgers-affiliated Rancho Cucamonga, joining the Mavericks as one of the best teams in the California League.

Outfielder Scott Heineman is in the midst of a hot stretch for the Mavericks, going 9-for-20 with four homers and six RBI in his last five games.

Former Riders pitcher Reed Garrett makes the start tonight for the Mavs, his second since going down on July 22. Garrett gave up six earned runs in five innings in his first start back with High Desert.

Today: at Rancho Cucamonga, 4:05 (SP: RHP Reed Garrett)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (55-49 overall, 17-17 second half – 4th overall, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

After struggling for awhile, the Crawdads are leveling back out a bit in the last few weeks. They remain in the hunt for the second-half title, sitting 3.5 games behind first-place Hagerstown with 36 games to go.

The ‘Dads are currently taking on Hagerstown but have dropped two of the first three games in the four-game set. The finale is today, and a split would be important toward keeping Hickory close in the race.

Last year’s first-round pick Dillon Tate had another so-so outing on Thursday, giving up four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Tate has a 3-3 record and a 5.12 ERA through 17 outings (16 starts) this year.

Today: vs. Hagerstown, 5:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Jonathan Hernandez)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (21-22 overall, 2-3 second half – Northwest League North Division first half champions)

The Indians finished strong in the first half, edging out Padres-affiliated Tri-City to win the first half. They join High Desert as the two teams in the farm system to win the opening half, while the other affiliates are still seeking a playoff berth in the latter half of the season.

Xavier Turner is pacing the Mavericks with a .333 average in his first 28 games. On the mound, the team ERA of 4.01 doesn’t sound all that good, but it puts the Indians fourth in the eight-team Northwest League, where the league’s best ERA is currently 3.42 (Tri-City).

Tonight: vs. Everett, 5:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: KP Duty – Assignment to the bullpen

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: July 13

Riding Through the Farm v3

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

TEXAS RANGERS (54-36 – 1st, AL West)

The Rangers are slumping a bit at the All-Star Break, coming in with a four-game series loss vs. Minnesota last weekend. That said, they’re still leading the division and are expected to get Yu Darvish back Saturday in Chicago.

Cole Hamels and Ian Desmond represented the club in last night’s All-Star Game. Hamels worked a scoreless third inning, allowing two hits and striking out Kris Bryant to end the inning. Desmond came on as a defensive sub in the sixth and went 0-for-1, reaching on a fielder’s choice.

It’s on to Wrigley Field this weekend, where the Rangers start a three-game series against the Cubs on Friday

Next: Friday at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m. (SP: LHP Martin Perez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (46-45 – 3rd, PCL American Southern Division)

Like the Rangers, the Express are struggling coming into the All-Star Break. Round Rock lost five straight and six of seven before the off days. The lone win came Tuesday in New Orleans on the strength of five scoreless innings from Yohander Mendez in his Triple-A debut.

Remember, the PCL doesn’t have halves, so Round Rocks’ bid for a playoff spot will be a marathon, not a 72-game sprint. The Express only trail first-place Nashville by three games with 53 to go, so there’s plenty of time.

Brett Nicholas and Michael Roth were selected to the PCL All-Star Game, which takes place tonight in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Next: Tomorrow vs. Sacramento, 7:05 p.m. (SP: TBA)

Palmquist

Former Riders pitcher Cody Palmquist has been one of the top relievers in High Desert’s bullpen since joining the squad last month.

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (53-36 overall, 10-9 second half – T-2nd place, California League South Division)

The Mavericks come off a big series win over Rancho Cucamonga, taking three of the four games from the Quakes, who finished right behind the Mavs for the first half title. After an off day yesterday, the Mavericks head to Stockton to start a three-game series against the Athletics’ Class A-Advanced affiliate.

Travis Demeritte joined Ronald Guzman as the other Rangers representative in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Sunday. He posted the same line as Guzman, going 0-for-1 with a walk. Demeritte started at second base for the US team.

Remember Cody Palmquist? He’s been sensational for the Mavericks since leaving the RoughRiders June 4. Palmquist is 2-1 with a miniscule 0.55 ERA (1 ER in 16 1/3 innings) over his 11 outings and is 3-of-4 in save opportunities.

Tonight: at Stockton, 9:10 p.m. (SP: TBA)


CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (47-43 overall, 9-11 second half – 6th, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The Crawdads are starting to ride the roller coaster, struggling to find consistency in the win column. After winning three of four against Rome over the weekend, the ‘Dads have dropped two straight to Lakewood.

Eduard Pinto is not struggling with consistency lately, hitting .559 (!) in his last eight games with two homers and eight RBI. Former RoughRiders pitcher Emerson Martinez is 0-2 in eight appearances with Hickory and took the loss earlier today.

Next: Tomorrow vs. Lakewood, 6:00 p.m. (SP: RHP Dillon Tate)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (11-15, – 4th, Northwest League North Division)

Spokane is struggling a bit in the early going, with eight of the 15 losses coming by five or more runs. The Indians lost 14-2 last night to Salem-Keizer, getting no-hit until the ninth inning.

The Indians had to face Major League rehabber Felix Hernandez in Everett and fared pretty well, touching “King Felix” up for three runs on six hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Second baseman Blaine Prescott is coming around for Spokane, going 13-for-28 (.464) in his last seven games. His 12-game hit streak ended last night. It was tied for the longest in the NWL this year.

Tonight: vs. Salem-Keizer, 8:30 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Green)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Confrere – A teammate

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

 

Riding Through the Farm: Into the second half

Riding Through the Farm v3“Riding Through the Farm” is your weekly look at what’s going on in the Rangers organization outside of Frisco.

TEXAS RANGERS (47-26, 1st – AL West)

Texas had its seven-game winning streak snapped Tuesday against the Reds, but got a new streak started with a win on Wednesday. After the off day, Boston comes to town tonight to begin a three-game set.

The Rangers continue to hold the best record in the American League and are tied for the most wins in all of baseball (47, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco). With Seattle’s recent skid, the lead in the AL West is suddenly at 10 games.

Tonight: vs. Boston, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Nick Martinez)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (39-34, 2nd – PCL American Southern Division)

Round Rock picked up its second win against Oklahoma City in 11 tries last night after struggling most of the year with the Dodgers affiliate. With the aid of the infield fly rule, the Express turned a 6-7-5-2 double play last night.

Doug Bernier is hitting .389 in his last five games for the “E-Train,” while former RoughRiders catcher Pat Cantwell continues to hit well, hitting .303 in his first 35 games.

On the mound, former RoughRiders pitcher Richelson Pena teamed up with Jose Monegro (who has since rejoined the Riders) to allow one run on seven hits in a seven-inning game against first-place Nashville earlier this week.

Tonight: at Oklahoma City, 7:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Richelson Pena)

<img class="wp-image-2206122" src="https://mlblogsridersinsider.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/travis-demeritte.jpg?w=555&quot; alt="Travis Demeritte” width=”304″ height=”171″ /> Travis Demeritte was one of two High Desert Mavericks to play in the All-Star Game Tuesday.

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (43-28, 1st half champions – California League South Division)

High Desert edged out Rancho Cucamonga to win the first-half championship, making the Mavs the only Rangers affiliate to win the opening half. They began the second half with a tough walk-off loss last night against the Quakes.

Tuesday, the Mavericks had a pair participate in the California-Carolina All-Star Game. Travis Demeritte was 1-for-2 with a double, while Jose Trevino was 0-for-2.

Tonight: at Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Adam Quintana)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (38-33, Finished tied for 3rd – South Atlantic League Northern Division)

Hickory went sliding into the all-star break and the struggles continued Thursday with a walk-off loss in 11 innings at Greensboro. The ‘Dads have lost eight of their last nine.

Thursday’s extra-inning loss was Hickory’s eighth of the year. The Crawdads have now played 29 extra innings this year, including games of 14, 17, and 19 innings.

Hickory sent five guys to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Yeyson Yrizarri played the whole way, going 1-for-4. Tyler Sanchez came in as a backup catcher and was hit by a pitch in his only plate appearance. On the hill, Pedro Payano and Erik Swanson each worked a scoreless inning, while Jeffrey Springs came on for 1/3 of an inning.

Tonight: at Greensboro, 6:00 p.m. (SP: LHP Wes Benjamin)

CLASS A-SHORT SEASON SPOKANE INDIANS (4-3, T-1st – Northwest League North Division)

The Indians are off to a good start in 2016, winning four of their first seven games, including an 11-run outburst in Eugene last night. Former Rider Jake Shortslef made the start for Spokane and allowed two runs in four innings, starting the game with three hitless innings.

Chad Smith is off to a great start for Spokane, hitting .346 with four doubles and six RBI in his first six games. On the mound, Rangers sixth-round pick Kyle Cody has a 1.80 ERA in his first two outings.

The unfortunate news out of the Evergreen State this week is that highly-regarded prospect Michael Matuella will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury. Matuella worked three scoreless innings in his first start with Spokane on Friday, his first career pro appearance after missing all of 2015 recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Tonight: at Eugene, 9:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Tyler Phillips)

AZL RANGERS

We won’t have updates every week, but we’re keeping our eye on the AZL squad at the moment because both Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Luis Marte are rehabbing with the squad.

Marte debuted last night, going 2-for-3 with a RBI double and a stolen base. Kiner-Falefa is 1-for-10 with an RBI and a stolen base in his first three games.

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Neutral win/loss – An estimate of a pitcher’s won-lost record if that pitcher were given league-average run support.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Riding Through the Farm: May 16

041516 Bush, Matt (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders) 2

Matt Bush made his big league debut this weekend with the Rangers.

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

TEXAS RANGERS (22-16, 1st place, AL West)

The big talk around the organization in the last 24 hours has been about the melee that ensued yesterday. Plenty has already been written about it, so we won’t any more words on the matter.

Aside from all that, the big news of the weekend was Matt Bush’s promotion to the Rangers.  He had two good outings for the Rangers, mowing down the Blue Jays 1-2-3 in his debut on Friday and picking up his first big league win yesterday.

With yesterday’s win, the Rangers are back atop the AL West.

Tonight: at Oakland, 9:05 p.m. (SP: LHP Derek Holland)

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK EXPRESS (18-18, 1st, PCL American Southern Division)

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate in the midst of a long losing streak. The Express had their losing streak run to six games Sunday in Albuquerque, despite a three-run homer from Shin Soo Choo in his first rehab game. Three of the six losses, however, have been by two runs or fewer.

Before yesterday’s game, skipper Jason Wood became the first player to have his number retired by the Isotopes.

Tonight: at Albuquerque, 7:35 p.m. (SP: LHP Michael Roth)

CLASS-A ADVANCED HIGH DESERT MAVERICKS (25-12, T-1st, California League South Division)

When we last updated you, the Mavericks were in the midst of a rough 2-5 stretch. Last week was much better, though, as the Mavericks won five of six games, including the first three against a good Visalia team.

25840956220_df585fca0c_z

Luis Ortiz, seen here during Spring Training, is off to a great start with the Mavericks.

One of the big stories this week was quality starting pitching. Saturday, it was Luis Ortiz who allowed just one hit (a home run) and one run over six innings of work. Yesterday, Yohander Mendez followed that performance up with five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, while walking one and striking out seven.

Another highly touted arm, righty Ariel Jurado, goes for the Mavericks this afternoon against Visalia.

Tonight: at Visalia, 3:05 p.m. (SP: RHP Ariel Jurado)

CLASS-A HICKORY CRAWDADS (24-12, 1st, South Atlantic League Northern Division)

The schedule says the ‘Dads played just one game yesterday, but they played the equivalent of more than two. Hickory got tangled in a 19-inning affair with the Rome Braves, allowing seven runs in the top of the 19th to fall, 9-2. It culminated a four-game series split for the Crawdads.

The much-talked-about Andy Ibanez is starting to find his groove again, going 9-for-27 in his last seven games, with four of those nine hits going for doubles. He was 2-for-18 his previous seven games.

Tonight: at Lexington, 6:05 p.m. (SP: TBD)

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Baseballically – Relating to the game of baseball. (“The Babe [Ruth] was one of my children, you know, baseballistically speaking.” – Former Yankees president Edward G. Barrow)

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary