Results tagged ‘ Springfield Cardinals ’

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Springfield (6/4/16)

GAME #53
Frisco RoughRiders (31-21) vs. Springfield Cardinals (29-25)
Saturday, June 4 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Ryan Rouillard)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Barnett and Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 2 of 3 (Riders lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 5 of 12 (Cardinals lead, 3-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Luis Mendez – SS
  2. Lewis Brinson – CF
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Ryan Cordell – LF
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Alex Burg – C
  8. Zach Cone – RF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – 3B

LHP Yohander Mendez (1-0, 2.70 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday vs. Springfield (W, 6-5)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Infield Coordinator Kenny Holmberg (part two)

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-5 win over Springfield at Dr Pepper Ballpark…RONALD GUZMAN led the way for the Riders, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run and the decisive RBI double in the seventh inning…After falling behind 1-0 in the first on a Harrison Bader home run, the RoughRiders lost leads of 2-1 and 5-2, but quickly regained the advantage both times…JOSE VALDESPINA picked up the win after working 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, and ADAM PARKS notched his fourth save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth.

REHABBERS KEEP RIDING THROUGH FRISCO:
Rangers outfielder SHIN-SOO CHOO joined the RoughRiders on a Major League rehabilitation assignment Friday, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Choo was the latest in a long string of big leaguers that have rehabbed with the RoughRiders this season.  Already, the Riders have welcomed right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH, outfielder JOSH HAMILTON, and catchersCHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS.

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
With Frisco’s recent eight-game losing streak and Corpus Christi’s four-game win streak, the Riders are in second place in the South Division for the first time all season. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year but held sole possession of first place for the next 54 days. The Riders still have a chance to control their own fate in the South Division though, with five remaining first-half matchups against the Hooks and six more against third-place Midland.

NORTH DIVISION WOES:
Even with their win against Springfield Friday, the RoughRiders are still struggling against North Division foes, holding a 10-9 record against the four teams from up north. Six of the 10 wins are against Northwest Arkansas, while the Riders have struggled against the other three teams. In 13 games against Springfield, Tulsa, and Arkansas (4-9), the Riders are averaging just 2.9 runs per game. They only have two remaining first-half matchups against the North, both of which come against Springfield this weekend.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. Eight of the last 10 games (2-8) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including three one-run games. On the season, 40 of Frisco’s 52 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 18 one-run games (10-8), tied for the most in the Texas League.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
Riders outfielder PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last few weeks. Beck has reached base in 15 of his last 16 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six- and seven-game hit streak. Over the last 16 games, Beck his hitting .344 (4th best in the Texas League), with a double, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .385 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .525 in that span.

STARTERS STAYING STRONG:
SAM WOLFF’s 4.2 innings Friday marked the shortest start since in 17 games for the RoughRiders, but starting pitching continues to excel in that 17-game span. Starting pitchers have lasted at least six innings in six of those games, including five quality starts. No starters have allowed more than four earned runs in this recent stretch. In total, starters have combined for an ERA of 3.24 (34 ER / 94.1 IP) in that span.

TRIO OF RIDERS EARN MONTHLY HONORS:
On May 19, three Riders were awarded monthly honors by the Rangers. RYAN CORDELL earned Player of the Month honors, while ISIAH KINER-FALEFA was named Defender of the Month. Left-hander RYNE SLACK garnered the Reliever of the Month award.

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN has gotten off to a  torrid start this season, most recently accentuated by his 3-for-4 performance Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career Saturday night, and his season-high nine game hitting streak ended Sunday. During the run, Guzman hit .400 (14-for-35) with five extra-base hits (2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR) and 3 RBI. Guzman leads the team with 19 multi-hit games in 2016, his first year at the Double-A level.

VIEW FROM THE TOP:
Frisco outfielder RYAN CORDELL has been one of the best offensive players in the league thus far. In addition to an impressive league-best 37-game on-base streak earlier this year, he also leads the Texas League in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder tops the Texas League in RBI (41), runs (40), doubles (T-1st, 14), and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in average (3rd, .319), home runs (T-4th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .592), and triples (T-2nd, 4).

MULTI-HIT MADNESS:
Multi-hit performances have become a consistent trend up and down the Riders lineup this year. There have been 111 multi-hit performances out of a possible 468 lineup spots (23.7%). 28 of the 111 multi-hit performances (25.2%) are with three or more hits. RONALD GUZMAN leads the Riders with 19 multi-hit games, including his 3-for-4 performance Friday vs. Springfield. Guzman is one of four players on the squad to have at least 10 multi-hit games this season.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 124-90 (.579), which is the third-best winning percentage among all Minor League systems behind Cleveland and New York (AL). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 33-22, Class A Hickory is 31-23, and Triple-A Round Rock is 29-24. Round Rock was ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis earlier this season.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders roster includes eight players ranked on either the MLBPipeline.com and/or Baseball America Rangers Top 30 Prospects list. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in the Texas farm system according to MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America, returns to Frisco. He appeared in 28 games for the Riders last season, hitting .291 with six home runs and 23 RBI before being promoted to Round Rock. LUIS ORTIZ (No. 4 in MLBPipeline.com, No. 4 in BA) is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on the squad. Aside from Brinson and Ortiz, YOHANDER MENDEZ (13, 24), RYAN CORDELL (14, 11),EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
26-year-old Corey Baker makes the start against the RoughRiders tonight. The righty, in his fourth season with Springfield, has spent a large majority of his career coming out of the bullpen (124 of 160 career appearances have come in relief). This season, all 10 outings have come in a starter’s role. Baker, whose final five appearances last year were also starts, started the year 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA over the course of his first five starts, but is 0-3 with a 8.41 ERA in his last five games. His most recent start lasted just 1/3 of an inning after surrendering five runs (three earned) in a loss Tuesday at Midland. He makes his sixth career appearance (third start) against the RoughRiders tonight. He holds a 1-1 record with a career 6.14 ERA against Frisco, and his ERA at Dr Pepper Ballpark is 7.27 (7 ER / 8.2 IP).

 

Ballpark Bio: Hammons Field (Springfield)

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Today marks part three of a seven-part series in which I’ll show you the different parks of the Texas League and give you an idea of the various places the Riders are playing, aside from Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Facts and Figures
Opened: April 12, 2005 (Missouri State University, which also uses the park, began playing here in 2004)
Capacity: 6,750
Dimensions: LF – 315, CF – 400, RF – 330

We’re 225 miles down the road from St. Louis, but we’re still very much in Cardinals country this weekend here at Hammons Field in Springfield. It’s a ballpark that has a more traditional feel to it than some of the other ballparks in the league, and the vibe here has been great.

It’s a park that seems to be fueled by its fans, many of whom also root for the other Cardinals a little bit northwest of here. Yesterday, we saw a handful of people camped outside the stadium gates five hours before first pitch so that they could make sure they got one of the giveaway replica championship rings they were handing out here. That’s dedication. When the Cardinals rallied for victory last night, many of the 5,000+ fans in the park were still there and were locked in to the action.

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The folks in Springfield know the way to this baseball fan’s heart.

My favorite feature of this ballpark is definitely the hand-operated, out-of-town scoreboard behind the left field wall. If you don’t already know it, now’s the time to tell you that I’m a sucker for hand-operated scoreboards. I’ve never been able to quite put my finger on why I love them so much, but I think it’s a neat vintage feature, especially in an era where ballparks are constantly evolving.

One of the other cool aspects of this park is the batter’s eye, which is not just a giant wall/screen. Instead, it’s an area with a handful of trees, flowers, and other plants. In some ways, it’s somewhat like the large garden beyond the centerfield fence at Denver’s Coors Field. Here at Hammons Field, the batter’s eye isn’t just a nice change of pace, but it adds a lot of aesthetic value to the stadium. (Plus, as someone that grew up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a reminder of home.)

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The batter’s eye at Hammons Field is pretty unique.

It may not have a Choctaw Lazy River or something else exotic like that, but Hammons Field still has plenty to like. Plus, when the dedicated fans pack the place, the atmosphere is pretty special.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming in June from Midland’s Security Bank Ballpark, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Hoopdy scoop – A curveball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

‘Riders Rewind – June 1

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.

Magic Number: 10

Frisco dropped its first game in the month of June by a 3-2 decision to the Springfield Cardinals. Click here to read the full game recap.

It was just the fourth time this season the ‘Riders have lost a game by one run. They have won 13 one-run games, the most in the Texas League. The squad embarks on a pivotal homestand on June 3 as the scorching San Antonio Missions come to town.

As of June 3, Frisco sits atop the south division with a 33-22 record. The three other teams in the division are all knotted at 29-27, 4 1/2 games behind the ‘Riders. June 16 marks the final game of the first half. Buckle up!

With race for a first-half division title in full swing, we will update the magic number needed for the ‘Riders to clinch a playoff berth. To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played (14), add one (14+1=15), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (15-5=10).

In case you missed it: A pair of double plays doomed the RoughRiders. Tomás Telis lined into an unassisted double play to second baseman Jacob Wilson, who proceeded to double off Patrick Cantwell at second base. The ‘Riders had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth when Wilson made a great play to keep Frisco off the board. One inning later, Teo Martinez grounded into a double play to wipe off Ryan Rua, who had opened the ninth with a single. Reliever Joey Donofrio presided over both twin killings, the first two on his watch this season.

Star of the Game: SS Guilder Rodriguez – 2/4, R

G-Rod takes home “S.O.T.G” honors for the second consecutive game with another multiple-hit showing. Guilder has three straight multi-hit games on his current eight-game hitting streak. He leads the team in on-base percentage (.426) and ranks second on the team in batting average (.326). Twenty-seven of the Venezuelan’s 28 base knocks have been singles and he boasts an inverted slash line with a higher on-base percentage than slugging percentage (.337).

Honorable mention to Jake Smolinski, who has back-to-back games with a home run. He is now tied with Ryan Rua for most on the team (9).

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 31

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.

The RoughRiders closed the second month of the regular season on a high note with an 9-1 win over the Springfield Cardinals on Saturday. Click here to read the full game recap.

After the Redbirds won handily in game one, Frisco returned the favor with a romp in the middle installment of the three-game series. The ‘Riders fell one hit shy of tying their single-game high this season (17).

In case you missed it: Jake Smolinski cracked his eighth home run of the season in the fifth inning. Unlike his previous seven, however, Jake’s latest was not a solo home run. Jake’s parents live in Rockford, Illinois, and made the trek down to Springfield, Missouri to watch their son play. The left fielder blew a kiss to his folks as he crossed home plate. Along with Tomás Telis, Springfield’s center fielder Rafael Ortega is a native of El Tigre, Venezuela.

Star of the Game: SS Guilder Rodriguez – 4/5, R, 2RBI

G-Rod continues to shine since his return to the RoughRiders on May 14 from Triple-A Round Rock. Guilder racked up a season-high four hits in Saturday’s game and drove in a pair of runs on a single to right field as the ‘Riders pulled away in the fifth inning. The Venezuelan is now on a seven-game hit streak. The 30-year-old has only one extra-base hit this season, but that hasn’t stopped the switch-hitter from batting .317 with a .423 on-base percentage.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 30

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.

Highlights from the RoughRiders’ 8-4 loss to the Springfield Cardinals on Friday night in Missouri. Click here to read the full game recap.

A grand slam in the second inning by Springfield’s Jacob Wilson (his second home run of the year) effectively decided the game. Give the ‘Riders credit, however. They played with pride until the final out and tacked on a pair of runs in the ninth inning against a pitcher (Justin Wright) who had allowed only one run in 19 innings this season. We’ll see if Frisco carries the late offensive momentum into Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals.

In case you missed it: The Cardinals have won the series opener both times this season. The first seven of Springfield’s eight runs in the game on Friday were unearned as a pair of errors proved costly for Frisco. Wilson’s grand slam was the second against the ‘Riders this season (Rymer Liriano).

Star of the Game: RHP Jon Edwards – 3.0IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K

Jon shined on an otherwise unglamorous night for the pitching staff. In his finest performance of the season, the chiseled right-hander faced ten batters in three innings (one over the minimum). The only runner Jon allowed reached via a walk. The 26-year-old threw his fastball as hard as 98-mph and with excellent command. It was great to see this kind of performance from Jon, who has struggled to find his rhythm on the hill this season and is one of the nicest guys in the clubhouse.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – Memorial Day

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.

The RoughRiders notched their 30th win of the season with a 5-2 win over the Springfield Cardinals on Memorial Day. Click here to read the full game recap.

The ‘Riders took the series the hard way; they won the final two games after dropping game one on Saturday. Frisco is the first team in the Texas League to 30 wins this season and the 18th team in Minor League Baseball to reach the mark.

With two more series wins at home, the ‘Riders have not dropped a set at the Doc since the Arkansas Travelers took 2-of-3 on April 7-8. Although the team continues to protect its house (18-10 at home this season), the RoughRiders are 3-7 on the road in May and play out the month with a six-game road trip to a pair of north division towns-Tulsa and Springfield, respectively.

Frisco departs with a three game lead over the Midland RockHounds for the top spot in the south division. Remember, the season reaches its midway point the third week of June, and the division leader at that point earns an automatic berth in the playoffs. The chase is officially on.

In case you missed it: A poignant moment occurred before the bottom of the seventh inning when right-handed relief pitcher Mitch Harris entered the game for Springfield. Harris pitched for the Naval Academy in college and began his professional baseball career after a pair of deployments with the U.S. Navy. He pitched two scoreless and innings against the ‘Riders with no hits allowed and earned an enthusiastic welcome from his teammates upon his return from the mound. A great moment on day to commemorate the service and sacrifice of our nation’s servicemen and women.

Star of the Game: LHP Edwar Cabrera – 6.1IP, 6H, R, 2BB, 6K

Cabrera has thrown his fastball for strikes in his last three outings and the results have been commendable. While not his longest outing of the season, Cabrera did not have a rough inning and tied his season-high with six strikeouts in the game. The southpaw allowed a pair of base hits to the first two batters he faced, but went to retire 11 of the next 12 hitters. Cabrera twice stranded runners on third base and lowered his ERA to 3.11, second-lowest on the team among starters.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 25

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.

Thanks to three solo home runs, the RoughRiders took a 3-1 lead over the Springfield Cardinals and–after a two-hour, 26-minute rain delay–held on to win 3-2 and even the series. Click here to read the full game recap.

Teodoro Martinez, Jake Smolinski and Ryan Rua each homered to provide all the offense necessary for the win. Rua’s team-leading eighth home run (tied for fourth-most in the Texas League) gave the ‘Riders 41 jacks for the season, which ranks third-highest in the league.

The RoughRiders should be commended for their ability to remain focused after a rain delay that lasted almost as long as the game itself. It’s no easy task to redial an in-game mentality after an extended and unexpected intermission.

Springfield’s manager Mike Schildt pushed hard to resume the game after the rain subsided. It would have been unsurprising, but also extremely disappointing, if the Cardinals charged back to either tie or take the lead after play resumed in the bottom of the sixth. But after the Birds crept within one run, the ‘Riders clamped down and showed true grit en route to their 29th win of the season.

Star of the Game: RHP Phil Klein – 2.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, SV

Klein became the team leader in saves with his fifth of the season. After the Cardinals tallied a run in the seventh to make it a 3-2 ballgame, Klein entered and shut down the Double-A redbirds over the final two frames. The righty did not allow a run, a hit or a walk and ended both of his innings with a strikeout. He has not blown a save this season.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

Home Sweet Home: New faces and a Rangers Rehabber

The RoughRiders return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. to host the same two opponents of last week’s road trip, the Springfield Cardinals and the Tulsa Drillers.  Frisco will play three games each against both teams, looking to recover from a tough six-game road stint.  Last week, the ‘Riders were swept by the Cardinals in three straight one-run games.  Frisco lost their first game against the Drillers, but won game two, ending a streak of six straight one-run losses.  The RoughRiders lost the series in Sunday’s matchup, ending the road trip in third place, twelve games out of first place.

This will be the first time for fans to see the four newest RoughRiders, who were added to the roster during the road trip. Infielder Ryan Rua was promoted from Class-A Hickory and the Rangers signed former San Antonio Missions outfielder Kalian Sams and assigned him to Frisco. Pitchers Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Martinez were promoted from Myrtle Beach.  Martinez will start Friday against the Drillers, and Eickhoff is scheduled to throw the following game.

This six-game home stand will be the last time this season that the ‘Riders will face the Cardinals and the Drillers and will be the next-to-last home stand of the season.

Rangers’ designated hitter Lance Berkman has been transfered to Frisco to continue his rehab assignment, and is expected to serve as the DH for the ‘Riders on Tuesday and Wednesday when the team hosts the Springfield Cardinals at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Berkman is rehabbing from inflammation in his left hip.

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These are the matchups we expect to see on the mound for the upcoming two series:

Tuesday: RHP Neil Ramirez (9-3, 3.61 ERA)  vs RHP Seth Blair (3-9, 4.63 ERA)

Wednesday: RHP Luke Jackson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs RHP Richard Castillo (7-7, 4.14 ERA)

Thursday: RHP Tyler Tufts (3-4, 3.28 ERA) vs LHP Tim Cooney  (6-7, 4.05 ERA)

Friday: RHP Nick Martinez (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs RHP Tim Gustafson (6-8, 4.76 ERA)

Saturday: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (0-1, 6.55 ERA) vs RHP Christian Bergman (7-7, 3.28 ERA)

Sunday: RHP Neil Ramirez vs RHP Tyler Matzek (8-7, 3.43 ERA)

 

Tuesday, August 13   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Wednesday, August 14   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Dollar Dog Night
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Thursday, August 15   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Springfield Cardinals (STL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • $1 Dr Pepper Thursdays

Friday, August 16  |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Tulsa Drillers (COL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Friday Night Post-game fireworks
  • Round the Bases Brew Tasting
    BrewTastingRoundBases
  • Smashburger SMASH inning

Saturday, August 17   |   7:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Tulsa Drillers (COL)
TV: KTXD    Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Free ‘Riders Tumbler
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  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

Sunday, August 18 |   6:05 p.m.   | RoughRiders vs. Tulsa Drillers (COL)
Radio: RidersBaseball.com    Webstream: MiLB.tv 

Promotions (click here and also here for more details):

  • Kids Run the Bases
  • Raising Cane’s Grand Slam Sunday
  • RoughRiders Horse Race presented by Whataburger

 

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Truck horse – A very slow runner

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Two More Pelicans Migrate to Frisco: Eickhoff and Martinez

080613 Pelicans pitchers

Jerad Eickhoff and Nick Martinez arrived in Springfield, Missouri yesterday to join the team as they opened a six-game road trip with three against the Springfield Cardinals. Eickhoff made an immediate impact, starting the game for the ‘Riders last night in the 4-3 walk-off defeat. After a shaky three-run first inning, Eickhoff faced two over the minimum through the next four innings. He allowed a walk and a lone single–that was it. He picked up a no-decision.

Nick Martinez makes his Double-A debut at ONEOK Field on Saturday against the Tulsa Drillers.

To introduce you to these two guys a bit, an excerpt from the press release over at RidersBaseball.com:

Eickhoff, 23, receives his first career promotion to Double-A and is expected to start tonight’s series opener at the Springfield Cardinals. Drafted by Texas in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft, the right-hander has spent the entire season in the Pelicans rotation. In 21 starts, he posted a 7-3 record and a 3.41 ERA. The Evansville, Illinois native struck out 80 batters in 116 innings with 26 walks allowed. A reliever in his first professional season in 2011, Eickhoff has pitched just once out of the bullpen over the last two seasons. In 2012 with Hickory, he posted a 13-7 record, and his 13 wins were tied for the second most in team history.

Martinez, 23, was drafted by the Rangers in 2011 as well, taken in the 18th round out of Fordham University. Like Eickhoff, Martinez began 2013 in the Myrtle Beach rotation (aside from one relief appearance) and is making his first trip to Double-A. In 22 outings for the Pelicans, he went 10-7 with a 2.87 ERA. Ranked #27 by Baseball America among Rangers prospects entering 2012, the Carolina League All-Star fanned 105 and walked 38 in 119.1 innings before his promotion. The former Fordham Ram pitched in relief and played second base in college. His All-Star selection this season marked the second straight year he has participated in his league’s mid-season All-Star Game, as he earned the same honors in the South Atlantic League in 2012.

Jerad Eickhoff

Charles Slate / thesunnews.com

Charles Slate / thesunnews.com

A bit outdated at this point, Jason Cole of Baseball Prospectus wrote this in July 2011:

Since signing with the Rangers, the 6-foot-4 hurler has displayed solid command of a 91-94 mph fastball. He also mixes in a 73-75 mph curveball, which has good shape but is deliberate out of the hand and lags behind his fastball.

I got an update from Jason today though, who saw Jerad in early July of this year:

Eickhoff is almost like a Nick Tepesch starter kit. The arsenal is very similar, and he’ll have to make some of the same improvements Tepesch made. I think he profiles as a no. 4 or 5 starter at the end of the day. He’s a big right-hander with a durable build and a nice command/control profile.

When I saw him with Myrtle Beach last month, he sat comfortably in the low-90s with his four-seam fastball and not only held velocity, but he also touched 94-95 mph pretty consistently while working out of his jam near the 100-pitch mark. He’s also got an upper-80s cutter, a changeup that has progressed well this year, and a curveball.

For me, the curve will be the biggest key for Eickhoff. It’s a fringy pitch right now. If he can bring the curveball along over the next year or two into even an average offering, it’s going to make a big difference. He doesn’t project for a plus secondary pitch and won’t miss a lot of bats, but he should throw strikes with a big body and a deep arsenal.

The velocity stuck around last night as well, with Jerad throwing in the low to mid 90s near the end of his 81 pitch start (touching 97 mph on what appeared to be a hot gun in Springfield). His next start comes Sunday night in Tulsa in the road trip finale. He lines up to make his Dr Pepper Ballpark debut on Saturday, August 17.

Here are the numbers on Eickhoff:

Year Tm Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011 2 Teams A–Rk 1 2 2.37 14 0 19.0 9 5 5 1 4 22 0.684 4.3 1.9 10.4
2011 Rangers Rk 0 1 1.93 4 0 4.2 1 1 1 0 1 4 0.429 1.9 1.9 7.7
2011 Spokane A- 1 1 2.51 10 0 14.1 8 4 4 1 3 18 0.767 5.0 1.9 11.3
2012 Hickory A 13 7 4.69 26 25 126.2 132 75 66 22 38 90 1.342 9.4 2.7 6.4
2013 2 Teams A+-AA 7 3 3.50 22 22 121.0 114 55 47 9 29 83 1.182 8.5 2.2 6.2
2013 Myrtle Beach A+ 7 3 3.41 21 21 116.0 110 52 44 9 26 80 1.172 8.5 2.0 6.2
2013 Frisco AA 0 0 5.40 1 1 5.0 4 3 3 0 3 3 1.400 7.2 5.4 5.4
3 Seasons 21 12 3.98 62 47 266.2 255 135 118 32 71 195 1.222 8.6 2.4 6.6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/7/2013.

Nick Martinez

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An interesting story, Martinez is just two years removed from being drafted by Texas and converted to a full-time pitcher. The Fordham University product was a middle-of-the-order bat that played second base and was used out of the bullpen as a college player, but has quickly adapted to the starting rotation as a pro.

Jason Cole sent over his thoughts on Martinez as well, who he saw on the same trip to Salem while the Pelicans were in town last month:

Martinez is an intriguing guy because he was primarily a second baseman in college. He’d come in and relieve maybe once per weekend. The Rangers liked the arm, athleticism, and delivery, though, and snapped him up as a pitcher in the draft. Martinez took to full-time pitching immediately and showed good command of an 88-94 mph fastball in his first season. The velocity is the same today.

He, like Eickhoff, doesn’t necessarily have a dominant secondary pitch, but he has pitchability with a mix of four usable pitches – fastball, slider, curveball, changeup. It’s a back of the rotation ceiling or perhaps long man/up-and-down profile, but an overall intriguing arm worth watching. He has adjusted his delivery a bit this year to get a little more downward angle on his stuff, and I think it has translated well. As a result, his ground-ball rates have improved and the command/control has remained the same as last year, which is solid.

Baseball America, who ranked Martinez #27 among Rangers prospects entering 2013, adds that “his breaking ball has made the most progress of any of his secondary pitches since he signed.”

Following his ‘Riders debut on Sunday, he would line up to make his Dr Pepper Ballpark debut in the home stand finale on Sunday, August 18.

And the stats on Martinez:

Year Tm Lev W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011 2 Teams A–Rk 3 3 2.30 15 11 58.2 58 24 15 0 18 56 1.295 8.9 2.8 8.6
2011 Rangers Rk 2 1 1.83 6 4 19.2 21 6 4 0 2 19 1.169 9.6 0.9 8.7
2011 Spokane A- 1 2 2.54 9 7 39.0 37 18 11 0 16 37 1.359 8.5 3.7 8.5
2012 Hickory A 8 6 4.83 31 20 117.1 121 66 63 8 37 109 1.347 9.3 2.8 8.4
2013 Myrtle Beach A+ 10 7 2.87 22 21 119.1 106 47 38 5 38 105 1.207 8.0 2.9 7.9
3 Seasons 21 16 3.53 68 52 295.1 285 137 116 13 93 270 1.280 8.7 2.8 8.2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/7/2013.

_________

‘Riders notes:

  • ‘Riders return to action in Springfield tonight at 7:09 p.m.
  • Neil Ramirez returns from disabled list tonight and makes his first outing since July 19. He was placed on the DL on July 24, retroactive to July 21, with an injury to his right shoulder.
  • Correspondingly, the RoughRiders have placed LHP Alex Claudio on the 7-day disabled list.
  • Read more in tonight’s game notes
  • Want to tune in…find out how

– Nathan

Baseball term of the day: yakker – curve ball

(Term from MLB.com Baseball Basics: Lingo)

‘Riders Insider ranked MiLB Pro Top 10 for April

It is with excitement that we at ‘Riders Insider announce that our blog has been ranked in the Top 10 of all Minor League Pro blogs for the month of April.

Each month, MLB.com Blogs ranks the team and fan blogs based on popularity and page views.  In previous years, all team blogs were compiled together, both Major League and Minor League.  With that system, ‘Riders Insider consistently stayed in the Top 50, remaining near #40 for the past year.  Our highest rank in 2012 was at #32 in November (with ten Minor League blogs above ‘Riders Insider).

This year, MLB.com Blogs added the category of MiLB Pro, and during the first month of the 2013 season, ‘Riders Insider earned the #10 spot, sixth among minor league teams.

We would like to congratulate the top MiLB Pro blog of the month of April, Ben’s Biz Blog.  Above ‘Riders Insider, ranked at #9, is 45 Miles From Fenway, the blog for the Pawtucket Red Sox (Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Redsox).  In the 11th spot is Porcupines in Pinstripes, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders blog  (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees).

In keeping up with this blog, we strive to provide quality posts that our readers will enjoy.  We don’t always post about baseball; however, we like to provide you with the inside scoop on the Frisco RoughRiders as a team and individual players, the Texas Rangers and events at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Thank you to our readers for viewing our blog and placing us in the Top 10.  We are really excited about this ranking, so please help us maintain and move us up in the rankings.  We would love to hear from you about posts you’ve particularly enjoyed, or if you have suggestions on what you’d like us to cover in future posts.

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 11.50.44 AM

Frisco RoughRider’s April 2013 schedule.

In ‘Riders News:

We would like to wish pitcher Wilmer Font a happy 23rd birthday.

Last night, Carlos Pimentel threw seven innings of one-hit baseball and allowed just three baserunners as the Frisco RoughRiders went on to beat the Springfield Cardinals 1-0, tying the series at one apiece.  The RoughRiders conclude their series with the defending Texas League Champion Cardinals tonight at 7:09 at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO.

Frisco continues their road trip tomorrow as they face the Tulsa Drillers for the first time this season.

Baseball term of the day: Whiz chuck: a swiftly pitched ball

-Ryan

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