Results tagged ‘ Texas League ’

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (5/5/16)

GAME #26
Frisco RoughRiders (19-6) at San Antonio Missions (9-17)
Thursday, May 5 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, TX)
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Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 3 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-0)
This season: Game 7 of 32 (Riders lead, 6-0)

041416 Lopez, Frank (Photo Credit - Frisco RoughRiders)

Lefty Frank Lopez gets the start for the Riders tonight in San Antonio

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Garrett Weber – 2B
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ryan Cordell – DH
  5. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  6. Alex Burg – C
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Preston Beck – RF
  9. Luis Mendez – 3B

LHP Frank Lopez (2-0, 3.25 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at San Antonio (W, 8-6)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
In come-from-behind fashion, the RoughRiders toppled the Missions 8-6 on Wednesday night…Down 6-3 after five innings, Frisco scored a pair of runs in the sixth and three runs in the eighth to move ahead for good…ZACH CONE drove in a pair of runs, and JUAN GRULLON earned the win, firing three innings of one-run ball in relief..RYNE SLACK and MATT BUSHclosed things out with perfect eighth and ninth innings respectively.

ON A MISSION:
With the win last night, the RoughRiders are 6-0 against San Antonio this season and have won their last nine games against the Missions, dating back to last season. The RoughRiders have dominated the season-series thus far, outscoring the Missions by 1.8 runs per game, hitting .286 to San Antonio’s .231. The Riders are outhomering the Missions 6-3 and have 19 extra-base hits to San Antonio’s 12. The Missions have the edge in one cateogory, however: stolen bases, where they lead 7 to 1.

COMEBACK KIDS:
Coming from behind again on Wednesday for a victory, the RoughRiders now have nine comeback wins of their 19 this season. Five of the last eight Riders wins have come when the team trailed at one point, including three straight April 28-30.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
At 19-6, the RoughRiders have the best 25-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders, 18-7 through 25 games, finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

‘DELL-IGHTFUL START:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, currently in the top five of eight major statistical categories in the Texas League, including batting avergae (5th, .341), slugging (3rd, .659), RBI (2nd,24), doubles (2nd, 9), runs (2nd, 22), and extra-base hits (2nd, 16). He’s already tied or surpassed many of his stats with Frisco from last year, when he hit .217 with five doubles, five home runs, and 18 RBI in 56 games. Cordell was rewarded with Texas League Player of the Month honors Monday, after winning Player of the Week last Monday. The 24-year-old hit .363 in April with five home runs (two grand slams) and 22 RBI.

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 Monday, he contimued his season-long on-base streak to 24 games last night with a single in the first. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 27 straight contests.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+40), Frisco has played in seven one-run contests, winning five, over the last 11 games. The Riders have a 6-3 record in games decided by one run this year and are 3-0 in games decided by two runs, including the win last night.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 21-8, in the last 14 first innings. Frisco has scored at least one first-inning run in four of six games against San Antonio this year.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.57 through the first 25 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSHhas five saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 9-for-10 in save situations.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied 10 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed six innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:
The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 27-9, in the sixth frame through 25 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas and outscored the Missions 2-0 last night in the sixth.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 70-32 (.686), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 19-8, while Class-A Hickory is 17-8, and Triple-A Round Rock is 15-10. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Bryce Morrow makes his third Double-A start for the Missions this season, coming out of Extended Spring Training…The right-hander signed out of the Independent Frontier League in 2013 is in his third season in the Padres system…He split last season between Class A-Short Season, Double-A, and Triple-A…In San Antonio last year, the 28-year-old made 13 outings, including 5 starts, going 5-3 with a 4.01 ERA, striking out 34 and walking 16 in 49 1/3 innings of work… He throws with 3/4 arm slot, with a 4-seam fastball, a 2-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

Matta’s moves hype up Riders

Erick “Shaq” Matta isn’t a member of the Riders active roster, but that doesn’t stop him from making contributions to the squad. In addition to helping out as a bullpen catcher with the RoughRiders, Matta has assumed the unofficial role of pre-game motivator by way of a short dance.

The routine takes place in the Riders dugout, shortly before each game. Matta gets in the middle of his teammates, who circle around him, and get energized by watching him dance. The ensuing claps, chants, and cheers from his teammates are noticeable around the ballpark.

Matta, the 22-year-old catcher, was a member of the active roster for a short while earlier this season and played in one game on April 18. The native of San Juan, Puerto Rico says the tradition started early in the season on a day when the energy wasn’t quite at normal levels before a game.

“I said, ‘let’s go do that’ and see the reaction after that,” said Matta. “Now, they do it for motivation.”

“I like it because – you know, Puerto Ricans, Latins, they like dance, you know?” said Matta. “Sometimes, the American guys don’t like that, but now, they like it.”

It’s a simple dance, but it’s brought Matta and his teammates closer together, while giving them a little extra energy boost before they take the field.

As Matta puts it, “I’m not on the roster, but I feel like I am.”

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Dancer – A knuckleball

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders at San Antonio (5/4/16)

GAME #25
Frisco RoughRiders (18-6) at San Antonio Missions (9-16)
Wednesday, May 4 – 7:05 p.m.
Wolff Stadium (San Antonio, TX)
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Watch: MiLB.TV (San Antonio feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 4 (Riders lead, 1-0)
This season: Game 6 of 32 (Riders lead, 5-0)

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Alex Burg drove in a pair of runs in Tuesday’s 3-0 win at San Antonio

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Garrett Weber – 3B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Alex Burg – DH
  6. Preston Beck – DH
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Alberto Triunfel – 2B
  9. Kellin Deglan – C

RHP Reed Garrett (0-0, 3.09 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Tuesday at San Antonio (W, 3-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders shut out the San Antonio Missions 3-0 on Tuesday night, in a game that was closer than the final score indicated…Frisco plated a run on a bases loaded hit batter in the first inning and did not score again until the ninth…VICTOR PAYANO struck out a career-high 13 batters and walked none in 6 2/3 scoreless innings…ADAM PARKS (1.1 IP) and MATT BUSH (1.0 IP) completed the shutout…All three runs were driven in without a base hit (HBP, SF, and fielder’s choice)…The RoughRiders are now 5-0 against the Missions this season.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
At 18-6, the RoughRiders have the best 24-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

‘DELL-IGHTFUL START:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, currently leading the Texas League in slugging percentage (.678) and ranking second in doubles (9), RBI (23), and runs (21). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (16) than singles (14). He’s already tied or surpassed many of his stats with Frisco from last year, when he hit .217 with five doubles, five home runs, and 18 RBI in 56 games. Cordell was rewarded with Texas League Player of the Month honors Monday, after winning Player of the Week last Monday. The 24-year-old hit .363 in April with five home runs (two grand slams) and 22 RBI.

GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. Although his 17-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 Monday, he drew a walk to increase his league-high on-base streak to 23 games. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 26 straight contests.

TO THE VICTOR GO THE SPOILS:
VICTOR PAYANO was dominant in yesterday’s start against San Antonio. In 6 2/3 shutout innings, Payano fanned a career-high 13 batters. It was the most strikeouts by a Riders pitcher since Robbie Erlin fanned 14 batters against Corpus Christi on June 26, 2011 and the second-most in team history in a single-game.

YU BETTER BELIEVE IT:
Right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH threw two scoreless innings for the RoughRiders Sunday afternoon, allowing just one walk. It was the right-hander’s first rehabilitation start, as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery last year.

BURG BUSTING BACK ON TO THE SCENE:
Since returning from a short stay with Triple-A Round Rock, ALEX BURG has been on a tear for Frisco. In his first eight games back, Burg is hitting .407 (11-for-27), with three home runs and nine RBI. Burg has hits in seven of eight games since his return.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+38), Frisco has played in seven one-run contests, winning five, over the last 10 games. The Riders have a 6-3 record in games decided by one run this year.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With yesterday’s win, the RoughRiders improved to 8-0 in series openers this season. The Riders have won five of their first seven series, including a four-game sweep against San Antonio at Dr Pepper Ballpark last week.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 19-6, in the last 13 first innings. Frisco has scored a first-inning run in three of five games against San Antonio this year.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.61 through the first 24 games and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSHhas four saves, ADAM PARKS has three, and the team is 8-for-9 in save situations.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied 10 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed five innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:
The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 25-9, in the sixth frame through 24 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth on April 14 vs. Northwest Arkansas.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 68-31 (.687), which is the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 19-7, while Class-A Hickory is 17-8, and Triple-A Round Rock is 14-10. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

TOP OF THE CLASS:
The RoughRiders enter the season with six players ranked in either Baseball America or MLBPipeline.com’s Rangers Top 30 Prospects. LEWIS BRINSON, the No. 2 prospect in Rangers’ 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. Brinson is joined by five other players named in the lists—RYAN CORDELL (No. 15 in MLB, No. 11 in BA), RONALD GUZMAN (23, 29), JOSE LECLERC (25, 21), SAM WOLFF (26, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (27, 26).

OPPOSING STARTER:
Part of the Zach Greinke trade that sent the right-hander from the Brewers to the Angels (along with SS Jean Segura and P Ariel Pena), Johnny Hellweg is now in his first season with the Padres, signing as a free agent in November…Originally drafted by the Marlins in the 46th round in 2007, Hellweg passed up going pro, playing a year at Florida Community College before signing with the Angels for $150,000 as a 16th-round pick in 2008…The Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Hellweg as the 31st-best prospect in the Angel’s organization in the spring of 2010. He was moved up to #23 in the winter before 2011 spring training…They had Johnny at #6 in the offseason before 2013 spring camps opened, and he moved up again in the spring of 2014, when he was rated 4th-best in the Brewers’ farm system…But Hellweg was dropped to #21 in the spring of 2015…Hellweg was named the Brewers’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year a day before rejoining the Major League rotation for a start against the Cubs…He also was named the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s Player of the Year for 2013,only the fourth Nashville Sounds pitcher to win the league’s award and first since R.A. Dickey (2007)…Repertoire: Hellweg has a lively 91-98 mph FASTBALL with sink, an 81-83 mph slurvy-CURVEBALL, as well as a CHANGEUP.

 

April by the Numbers

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)

– Wins in series openers

8 – Comeback wins

– 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)

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– Steve

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)

Saddle Up: Riders vs Corpus Christi (5/1/16)

GAME #22
Frisco RoughRiders (17-4) vs Corpus Christi Hooks (9-12)
Sunday, May 1 – 4:05 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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Darvish

Yu Darvish makes the start for the Riders today, as he begins a rehab assignment

This series: Game 3 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-0)
This season: Game 6 of 32 (Riders lead, 4-1)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – SS
  2. Chris Gimenez – C
  3. Lewis Brinson – CF
  4. Ryan Cordell – LF
  5. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  6. Zach Cone – RF
  7. Joe Jackson – DH
  8. Garrett Weber – 3B
  9. Alberto Triunfel – 2B

RHP Yu Darvish (0-0, -.– ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Corpus Christi (W, 4-3)
Video highlights
Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
For the second straight night, the Riders staged a dramatic comeback late in the game, putting up three runs in the ninth to walk off on the Hooks, 4-3. ZACH CONE delivered the walk-off single, giving Frisco its second walk-off win of the homestand.CHASE McDONALD homered for the second time in as many games to get the Hooks a 2-1 lead in the sixth, and Corpus Christi added an unearned run in the 9th, canceling out an unearned run for the Riders in the second inning.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
At 17-4, the RoughRiders have the best 21-game start in team history, besting the 2008 squad. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

‘DELL-IGHTFUL START:
RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in average doubles (9), runs (20), and slugging percentage (.688), while he ranks second in many other categories. In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (15) than singles (14). He’s already tied or surpassed many of his stats with Frisco from last year, when he hit .217 with five doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI in 56 games.
GOING STREAKING:
Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producing consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides a 16-game hit streak into today’s game and has been on base in all 21 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest streaks. Dating back to the final three games of 2015, he has reached base in 24 straight contests.

HERE COMES HAMILTON:
Rangers outfielder JOSH HAMILTON began his rehabilitation assignment with the RoughRiders Saturday, going 0-for-2 (flyout, reach on error) in four innings as the starting left fielder.

YU READY FOR DARVISH?:
Right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH is scheduled to begin a Major League rehabilitation assignment with the Riders today. The three-time American League All-Star is slateed to throw two innings or 30 pitches.

GIMENEZ JIVING IN REHAB STINT:
While Hamilton and Darvish are just arriving, catcher CHRIS GIMENEZ has been rehabbing with Frisco since Monday, and has performed very well. He has recorded hits in all five games, and has driven in a run in four. Gimenez has split his time between catcher and designated hitter so far.

BURG BUSTING BACK ON TO THE SCENE:
Since returning from a short stay with Triple-A Round Rock, ALEX BURG has been on a tear for Frisco. In his first six games back, Burg is hitting .476 (10-for-21), with three home runs and seven RBI. Burg has hits in all six games since his return.

“ONE”-DERFUL IN CLOSE GAMES:
Despite leading the Texas League in run differential (+42), Frisco’s last seven games have been decided by a total of nine runs, including six one-run contests (5-1). The Riders are 6-2 in one-run games this year.

FIRST FRAME FUN:
After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have outscored opponents, 16-2, in the last ten first innings. The Riders have scored first-inning runs in four of five games against the Hooks this year, outscoring them, 10-2.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:
Part of the key for the Riders historic start to the season has been the strong bullpen, protecting leads late in games. The bullpen holds an ERA of just 2.39 through the first 21 games, and has wiggled out of numerous late-game jams. MATT BUSH and ADAM PARKS each have three saves so far for Frisco, and the team is 7-for-7 in save chances.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:
Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied 10 innings of four or more runs (five four-run innings, four five-run frames and a six-spot). Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed four innings of more than two runs.

SEPARATION IN THE SIXTH:
The RoughRiders have found immense success, both at the plate and on the mound, in the sixth inning this season. Frisco has outscored opponents, 24-7, in the sixth frame through 21 games. The Riders struck for their biggest inning of the year with a six-run sixth April 14 vs Northwest Arkansas.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:
With Friday night’s win, the RoughRiders improved to 7-0 in series openers this season. The Riders have won five of their first six series, including a series victory at Corpus Christi last weekend.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 61-27 (.693), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 17-6, while Class-A Hickory is 15-8, and Triple-A Round Rock is 12-9. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Riding Through the Farm: Rangers Organization Continues to Crush

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.

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Former Rider Joey Gallo is tied for the PCL lead with seven home runs.

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.

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Travis Demeritte leads all of Minor League Baseball with eight home runs for High Desert.

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.

– Steve

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)

Guzman’s got a good glove

For as impressive a start as Ronald Guzman is having at the plate, perhaps his defense has been the more impressive feature of his game so far this season.

Guzman, who holds a career fielding percentage of .986, has played error-free baseball in 16 starts at first base this season, after making 16 errors in 130 games between Class-A Hickory and Class A-Advanced High Desert in 2015.

“I’ve been having some tough plays, but I feel a lot more athletic this year, so I feel like I’m able to make those plays,” said Guzman.

Guzman3

Guzman is one of three first basemen in the Texas League with a perfect fielding percentage (minimum 100 total chances)

Those tough plays have included scoops, dives, and leaps, which fit the job description of most first basemen. But Guzman has also shown an ability that a lot of first basemen don’t have: going into the splits to receive throws.

“I’ve always been flexible,” he said. “I don’t usually use it very often, but when it’s needed, I will go for it…When I feel like it’s going to be a close play, I always think about doing the splits to get the out.”

Guzman, who’s appearing in Double-A for the first time in his career this season, worked on his lower-body positioning during the offseason, in an attempt to make himself more ready to make a play at first base. He says it has helped, especially, when it comes to fielding ground balls.

“I know defense is a big deal, especially up here,” said the 21-year-old. “You’ve got to be able to make the plays for your pitcher, for your teammates. So I felt like it was really important [to improve in the offseason] and I’m pretty happy with the plays that I’ve done.”

– Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Gloveman – A good defensive player

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs San Antonio (4/25/16)

GAME #16
Frisco RoughRiders (11-4) vs San Antonio Missions (8-8)
Monday, April 25 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
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Audio: Listen online or through the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Watch: MiLB.TV (Barnett and Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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Ryan Cordell is the first Minor League player to hit two grand slams in 2016.

Ryan Cordell was named Texas League Player of the Week today

This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 1 of 32

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  2. Chris Gimenez – C
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Garrett Weber – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – DH
  7. Zach Cone – LF
  8. Preston Beck – RF
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

LHP Frank Lopez (1-0, 4.11)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Corpus Christi (L, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

Sunday’s RoughRiders game was postponed due to wet grounds…On Saturday, for the fourth straight game, the Riders scored in the first inning, plating two runs on RYAN CORDELL’s fourth homer of the year. However, they didn’t score the rest of the way, and fell by a score of 3-2. The Hooks got runs off starter VICTOR PAYANO in the first and third innings, before scoring the go-ahead run in unearned fashion in the fifth inning against reliever JOSE LECLERC. Riders pitching (Payano, Leclerc and MATT BUSH) held Corpus Christi to just three hits in the game but still came out on the losing side.

RIDING HIGH:

The RoughRiders won nine of their first 10 games this season, marking the best 10-game start in team history. At 11-4, the RoughRiders are one game off the pace of the 2008 squad for the best start in the 14-year history of the franchise. The 2008 RoughRiders finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

EXTRA! EXTRA!:

RYAN CORDELL has been on a roll early in the season, leading the Texas League in slugging (.702), doubles (7), extra-base hits (11), RBI (18), and runs (14). In addition, Cordell has more extra-base hits (10) than singles (7).

GOING STREAKING:

Cordell has not only been off to a great start, but he’s been producting consistently for Frisco early in 2016. He rides a 10-game hitting streak into tonight’s game, and has been on-base in all 15 contests this year, both of which are the Texas League’s longest active streaks. Dating back to the final three games last season, he’s reached base in 18 straight contests.

DOUBLE TROUBLE:

Entering play tonight, the Riders are tied for second in Texas League with 29 doubles. 11 of Frisco’s 13 hitters already have a double this year, and seven of them have multiple two-baggers.

CONE IN THE ZONE:

After starting the season 4-for-26, ZACH CONE has 7 hits in his last 19 at-bats, including 4 extra-base hits and 7 RBI. He has driven in at least one run in four of the last six games. Cone went 3-for-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI in Tuesday’s loss to Arkansas.

STARTING SERIES STRONG:

With their win Thursday night, the RoughRiders have yet to lose a series-opening game in five tries this season. Frisco has won four of its first five series, including two sweeps.

SCORING SOONER:

Early on, the Riders had trouble scoring early in games. 25 of the 34 runs they scored over their first seven games came in the sixth inning or later. But in their last seven games, 35 of their 40 runs have come within the first five innings.

FIRST FRAME FUN:

After scoring just one first-inning run in the first 11 games, the Riders have scored 12 in the last four games, including five on Friday.

THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER:

While almost every facet of the RoughRiders team has been clicking early on, the bullpen has been especially strong for the Riders. Over the past 11 games, the ‘pen has allowed just six earned runs in the last 47 2/3 innings (1.13 ERA). Over that stretch, relievers have allowed just 23 hits and 23 walks (0.97 WHIP), while striking out 41.

CRANKING UP CROOKED NUMBERS:

Early in the season, the RoughRiders have shown an ability to not only score in bunches but keep opponents from doing the same. The RoughRiders have tallied four four-run innings, three five-run frames and a six-spot. Meanwhile, the Riders have only allowed one run of more than two innings (4, 4/19/16 vs Arkansas).

REELING IN A SERIES WIN:

After a rough season series against the Hooks in 2015 (9-23), the RoughRiders won their first series against Corpus Christi this season. The last time that the RoughRiders won a series against the Hooks was July 15-18, 2015.

 

RANGER DANGER:

The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate off to a hot start. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 46-22 (.676), good for the best winning percentage among all minor-league systems. Class A-Advanced High Desert enters today at 14-4, Class-A Hickory is 11-7, and Triple-A Round Rock is 9-7. Round Rock was recently ranked the fifth-best Minor League team (any level) by MLB.com’s Jim Callis.

Sadzeck starting strong in 2016

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.

Sadzeck won 12 games for Class A Hickory in 2013. (Photo by Tracy Proffitt - Hickory Crawdads)

Sadzeck won 12 games for Class A Hickory in 2013. (Photo by Tracy Proffitt – Hickory Crawdads)

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.”

Sadzeck earned a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster and is one of 17 Riders returning from last season

Sadzeck earned a spot on the Rangers 40-man roster and is one of 17 Riders returning from last season.

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).

– Steve

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)

Riding Through the Farm: Rangers Organization Leading Respective Divisions

The RoughRiders have won six of their first seven games and lead the Texas League South division, but they are not the only team in the farm system playing great baseball right now. Every team affiliated with the Rangers, including the big league club, has a winning record and are in first place in their respective divisions.

Texas Rangers (MLB):

Two former Riders, Nomar Mazara and Brett Nicholas, have already made their Major League debuts with the Rangers in the first two weeks of the season. In Mazara’s first five games, he is hitting .400 (8-for-20) with one home run in his first game on April 10. Nicholas has only played in two games, but he is 2-for-8 with a double and two runs scored. The Rangers are tied with the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim for first place in the American League West.

Former Rider Jared Hoying leads the PCL in RBI (12)

Former Rider Jared Hoying leads the PCL in RBI (12)

Round Rock Express (Triple-A):

Round Rock is currently in first place in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division. The Express have a 5-3 record, including a four-game sweep of the Iowa Cubs in the first series of the season. Joey Gallo (Riders ’14-15 – Rangers No. 1 prospect, MLB Pipeline) is leading the PCL with four home runs, and Jared Hoying (Riders ’12-13) paces the league with 12 RBI.

High Desert Mavericks (High-A):

Travis Demeritte (Rangers No. 19 prospect) is leading the Mavericks’ explosive offense. Demeritte is third in the circuit with a .435 batting average, while posting league-high totals in home runs (5) and runs batted in (9). High Desert is in first place in the California League South division, leading Lake Elsinore and Rancho Cucamonga by one game.

Dillon Tate signs autographs for fans at Spring Training

Dillon Tate signs autographs for fans at Spring Training

Hickory Crawdads (Single-A):

Dillon Tate (No. 4 prospect), the Rangers’ top pitching prospect, picked up his first professional win Thursday. Tate struck out a career-high 10 batters over six shutout innings in Hickory’s 6-1 win over Kannapolis. He held the Intimidators to just four hits, did not walk a batter, and threw 53 of his 65 pitches for strikes. The Crawdads are in first place in the South Atlantic League Northern division with wins in seven of their first eight games.

Stay tuned for more updates from the farm system over the course of the season.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: gopher hunter – A sharply batted ground ball

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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