Results tagged ‘ Texas League ’

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/23/16)

GAME #72 (2nd HALF GAME #3)

Frisco RoughRiders (39-32 overall, 1-1 2nd half) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (48-24, 1-1 2nd half)
Thursday, June 23 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4 (Riders lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 17 of 32 (Hooks lead, 10-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – C
  6. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Chris Garia – LF
  9. Luis Silva – 3B

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.04 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Wednesday at Midland: (L, 2-1 – 10 innings)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Infielder Alberto Triunfel

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

 LAST TIME OUT:Although the Riders led 1-0 early, Midland came back to win the series finale 2-1 in 10 innings…RONALD GUZMAN hit his 10th home run of the season in the top of the fourth as the Riders got on the board first for the second consecutive game…With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th, Midland loaded the bases with a trio of walks against RYNE SLACKwith no outs. JASON RICHMAN entered the game and recorded the first out, but he issued a four-pitch walk to Josh Rodriguez that allowed Brett Vertigan to score the winning run…For the first time in six starts as a RoughRider, YOHANDER MENDEZ did not make it through five frames. The southpaw departed the game after 4 2/3 innings, once he gave up the tying run on Viosergy Rosa’s two-out RBI single.

BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH:
The RoughRiders have become very familiar with playing in close games lately. All four games in the last series against Midland were decided by a single run. During the month of June, 12 of the Riders’ 22 games have been decided by two runs or less. On the season, Frisco is 16-10 in one-run games and 6-5 in two-run contests.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:
Last Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. InfielderRONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL  were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth-straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place next Tuesday in Springfield, Missouri.

BECK BUSTING OUT:
PRESTON BECK has become a key contributor for the Riders over the last month. The Dallas-native has reached base in 29 of his last 33 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 32 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .295 with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 13 RBI. He also sports a .348 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .443 in that span.

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:
For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 17 games, the RoughRiders have committed 19 errors (1.1 per game), leading to 18 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he was adjusting to playing the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span, and LUIS SILVA made two blunders in his stateside debut on Sunday.

CORDELL COMES BACK CRUSHING:
RoughRiders outfielder RYAN CORDELL broke out of his longest homerless stretch of the season last Tuesday in a big way, hitting a pair of solo home runs in a 5-4 win over Midland. It was his second multi-home run game of the season, both of which have come against the RockHounds. After hitting 10 home runs in his first 35 games, Cordell went homerless in 26 straight games (90 at-bats) from May 16 through June 13 before his big day last Tuesday. Cordell continued his recent surge with a 3-for-4 performance in game one of last Thursday’s doubleheader, including his 13th home run of the year. Friday, he hit his 14th homer and his first opposite-field shot of the year. He posted a multi-hit game Tuesday as well.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
Thanks to their geographic proximity to Arlington, the Riders have already had a handful of Rangers join the squad on Major League rehabilitation assignments this season. A.J. GRIFFIN made his third rehab start with Frisco Sunday and is the sixth rehabber to suit up for the RoughRiders this season. The list also includes catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Kyle Smith makes his sixth start of the season and second against Frisco, with the first coming back on April 21 at Whataburger Field…He has also pitched in seven games out of the bullpen, including two appearances against the Riders on May 14 and June 17…Smith was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft…Houston acquired the right-handed pitcher in exchange for outfielder Justin Maxwell at the trade deadline on July 31, 2013…Named a mid-season All-Star for Wilmington (Carolina League) in 2013 and Corpus Christi in 2014…Smith bypassed an opportunity to play at the University of Florida by signing with the Royals out of Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida…Went 9-1 with a 0.40 ERA and 116 strikeouts over 69 innings as a senior…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-91, T93), curveball, and changeup.

Maintaining a lawn like the pros: Part two

IMG_6260

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to an integral player in every RoughRiders home game – Head Groundskeeper David Bicknell. Talking to Bicknell provided a valuable reminder of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping the playing field looking beautiful in the hot summer months. He also explained the impact it had on the players.

Picking up our conversation with Bicknell, we received a little more insight on the cut of the grass. His crew has to find balance between a higher cut that the defense prefers to slow down the ball, versus a lower cut for a faster ball which favors hitters. “Obviously it’s hard to make both parties happy on something like that. That’s the type of thing that we’ll work out at the start of the season with the ball club and just try to determine how they want to have it and go with that,” said Bicknell.

Fortunately for home owners, that kind of pressure doesn’t exist when it comes to lawn care. However, summer lawn maintenance can still be a challenge (especially in north Texas!). That’s why we asked Bicknell for a few more tips to maintain a beautiful back yard:

  1. Apply Scotts Southern Turf Builder fertilizer 3-4 times during the growing season for a lawn that’s healthy, lush, and green.
  1. To control weeds use Scotts Bonus S Weed and Feed on St. Augustine lawns and Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed on Bermuda grass lawns.

If you’re wondering where to find the aforementioned Scotts products, just visit your local Home Depot, a proud partner of the Frisco RoughRiders. When you find the Scotts products, you may find a way to make that lawn maintenance even easier….

This season, the RoughRiders will pick one lucky contestant to be eligible to win free lawn care for life at a select RoughRiders home game. At that game, one inning will be designated as the Mow ‘em Down Inning. If a RoughRiders pitcher “mows down” three batters in a row by striking them all out to start the inning, the contestant will win free lawn care for life!

To enter, visit your nearest north Dallas area Home Depot, look for the Scotts Green Max and Ortho display in the home and garden section, and sign-up for your chance to win free lawn care for life, along with other great RoughRiders prizes! Be sure to check out the list of participating locations and contest rules for your chance to enter.

A look back at the greatest Riders first half

The first half of the season is coming to a close over the next few days. Although comparisons have been made between this year’s Riders team and the 2008 squad, the 2008 RoughRiders do not hold the best first-half record in team history.

In fact, the 2007 Frisco RoughRiders had a better first half of the season than the 2008 club that made the Texas League Championship series and finished the year 84-56.

While the ’07 Riders fell short of the championship series, being swept 3-0 by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, they still accomplished a lot in a dominant first half.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

Infielder German Duran was one of the star players on the RoughRiders in 2007.

The team went 47-23 in the first half of the season, winning the division by 4 1/2 games over Midland. Dave Anderson was named Manager of the Year. German Duran and Steve Murphy both won Player of the Week awards on May 28 and June 18, respectively. Doug Mathis won a Pitcher of the Week award on May 14.

The Riders also posted a league-best 44-26 record at home during the 2007 season. They also had a league-high 14 shutouts and had a stellar 22-9 (.710) mark in one-run games. Duran and Luis Mendoza were both named Texas League post-season All-Stars.

After a great start in April, this year’s team went through a slide in late May to slip out of first place in the division. However, the 2016 RoughRiders still have a great chance to etch their names into the record books with the second half beginning Tuesday.

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: hubcap hands – Synonym of bad hands. So called because the ball bounces off the hands as if they were metal.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Corpus Christi (6/17/16)

GAME #66

Frisco RoughRiders (37-28) vs. Corpus Christi Hooks (43-23)
Friday, June 17 – 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
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 5 (Hooks lead, 2-1)
This season: Games 15 of 32 (Hooks lead, 9-5)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Ryan Cordell – DH
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – LF
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Kellin Deglan – C
  8. Alberto Triunfel – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-3, 3.57 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday vs. Corpus Christi: (W, 4-3; L, 2-0)

Box Score: Game one / Game two
Recap: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Jake Shortslef

Coming soon. Listen to the interview live on the Dr Pepper Pregame Show around 6:45.

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:

The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the Corpus Christi Hooks Thursday, winning game one 4-3 before dropping game two 2-0…GAME ONE: The RoughRiders fell behind 2-0 early on but took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third… PRESTON BECK drove in a run with an infield single and RYAN CORDELL smashed his 13th home run to put Frisco ahead 3-2…Corpus Christi tied the game on Conrad Gregor’s single in the sixth… In the ninth, KELLIN DEGLAN delivered a walk-off single to get the Riders the win…GAME TWO: Edison Frias dealt six shutout innings for Corpus Christi, surrendering just two infield hits to earn the victory… Alex Bregman’s two-run homer in the third proved to be the only runs the Hooks would need…The Hooks clinched the South Division’s first-half title with the victory.

THE SPRINGFIELD SEVEN:

Tuesday, the Texas League announced its midseason all-stars and seven RoughRiders earned all-star honors. Infielder RONALD GUZMAN and outfielder RYAN CORDELL were both named starters, while outfielder PRESTON BECK and catcher ISIAH KINER-FALEFA earned reserve spots. Starting pitchers CONNOR SADZECK and VICTOR PAYANO, along with reliever ADAM PARKS also were named mid-season all-stars. It was the sixth- straight year the RoughRiders had at least seven players named to the All-Star Game, and Frisco’s seven selections were third-most in the Texas League, behind Tulsa (nine) and Corpus Christi (nine). The 2016 Texas League All-Star Game takes place Tuesday, June 28 in Springfield, Missouri.

THAT WAS CLOSE:

The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 14 of the last 22 games (7-15) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including seven one-run games. On the season, 46 of Frisco’s 65 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 22 one-run games (14-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi (16-9).

EATEN UP BY ERRORS:

For most of the season, the RoughRiders have been one of the best defensive teams in the Texas League. However, in the last 11 games, the RoughRiders have committed 13 errors (1.18 per game), leading to 15 unearned runs. By comparison, they had committed just 37 errors in the first 54 games (0.69 per game). EVAN VAN HOOSIER, who played his first five career games at third base last week, made four of the 13 errors as he adjusts to the new position. ANDY IBANEZ has accounted for three of the miscues in that span.

BECK BUSTING OUT:

PRESTON BECK’s walk-off home run Tuesday was his latest contribution in what’s been an impressive last month for the Dallas-native. Beck has reached base in 24 of his last 27 games, including on-base streaks of 14 (5/13-6/1) and seven (6/3-6/13) games. Over his last 27 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .313 (seventh-best in the Texas League), with three doubles, two triples, three home runs, and 11 RBI. He also sports a .371 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .479 in that span. Beck qualified for the league leaderboard yesterday and enters the rankings with the seventh-best average in the circuit (.288).

 

Texas League Scrabble

In the Texas League, logos with letters are a common theme among all eight teams. During the Riders’ recent road trip to San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think of a Scrabble board when viewing the Missions’ “SA” logo.

So I began to devise a list of words that could be created from Texas League teams’ logos. Some of the best: catamarans, tsars, maracas, cataracts, transacts, and mascara.

The most difficult thing about finding words is only having the power to use one vowel, thanks to the Arkansas Travelers’ logo. The other seven teams use consonants.

The following is an attempt to compile as many words as possible made up of all the Texas League logos, arranged accordingly on a Scrabble board. Enjoy!

Tulsa_Drillers14.ai

– Steve

Baseball term of the day: first and fifteenth player – A player who thinks only of paydays, such as the first and fifteenth days of the month.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/14/16)

GAME #62
Frisco RoughRiders (35-26) vs. Midland RockHounds (30-32)
Tuesday, June 14 – 11:05 a.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: Fox Sports Southwest and MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Michael Tepid)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Steve Goldberg and Ryan Rouillard)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 4 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 2-1)
This season: Game 12 of 28 (Riders lead, 7-4)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Preston Beck – RF
  2. Evan Van Hoosier – LF
  3. Ryan Cordell – CF
  4. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  5. Joe Jackson – DH
  6. Alex Burg – 3B
  7. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  8. Kellin Deglan – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP A.J. Griffin (0-1, 3.86 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Monday vs. Midland (DH: W, 4-2; L, 8-2)

Box Scores: Game one / Game two
Recaps: Game one / Game two
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Rangers Minor League Scouting Assistant Justin Aguiar

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders split a doubleheader against the RockHounds at home yesterday…GAME ONE: After falling behind 2-0, the Riders scored four unanswered runs to come back and win 4-2…CONNOR SADZECK went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game…LUIS MENDEZ drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth…KELLIN DEGLAN went 2-3 with two runs scored…GAME TWO: The two teams entered the sixth in a scoreless tie, but Midland erupted for eight runs on eight hits in the last two innings…VICTOR PAYANO hurled five scoreless innings and struck out six batters…ANDY IBANEZ hit his first home run with the Riders, a two run blast with two outs in the seventh.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts an 18-12 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.257) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then 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 both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 11 of the last 18 games (5-13) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 43 of Frisco’s 61 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

ERRORS LEAD TO RUNS:
Despite committing the fourth-fewest number of errors in the Texas League, the RoughRiders have made an alarming number of blunders against Midland this season. In 11 games, Frisco and Midland have both made 11 errors. In addition, 29 of the 95 runs scored between the two teams this year have been unearned. Frisco committed a season-high four errors leading to four unearned runs in a 5-1 loss Saturday.

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 21 of his last 23 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 23 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .338 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .398 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .488 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is slated to start for Frisco again today. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

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 got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last 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.

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 is near the top of the Texas League rankings in numerous categories. The Riders outfielder is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (4th, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .520), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 147-103 (.588). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 41-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-26, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-28. 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 nine 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, is in his second season in 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), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
Righty Joel Seddon takes the ball for Midland in today’s series finale. He is in his third season as a professional and his first with the RockHounds. Seddon has a 0-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in two starts against Frisco. The University of South Carolina product was selected by the Athletics in the 11th round of the 2014 draft. He was previously selected in the 20th round by Toronto out of St. Clair High School in 2011. He was mostly a reliever in college and in his first season in the Oakland farm system, but he made 14 starts in 34 appearances with Class A-Advanced Stockton last season. REPERTOIRE: Four-seam fastball, two-seam FB, changeup, slider, curveball.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/13/16)

GAMES #60 and 61
Frisco RoughRiders (34-25) vs. Midland RockHounds (29-31)
Sunday, June 13 – Doubleheader starts at 5:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Games 2 and 3 of 4 (RockHounds lead, 1-0)
This season: Games 10 and 11 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-3)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Ronald Guzman – DH
  2. Alberto Triunfel – 3B
  3. Preston Beck – 1B
  4. Kellin Deglan – C
  5. Evan Van Hoosier – 2B
  6. Joe Jackson – LF
  7. Ryan Cordell – RF
  8. Luis Mendez – SS
  9. Chris Garia – CF

RHP Connor Sadzeck (5-4, 3.24 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday vs. Midland (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders gave up four unearned runs Saturday night in a 5-1 loss to Midland in the series opener…The Hounds tallied a pair of unearned runs against LUIS ORTIZ, who gave up five hits and struck out four in four innings of work…JOE JACKSON had his 10th multi-hit game of the season and drove in the lone run for Frisco on an RBI single in the fifth…Major League rehabber SHIN-SOO CHOO went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a strikeout in his sixth start with the Riders.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by four games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. The Riders are currently in the midst of a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-11 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slightly better batting average at home (.259) compared to on the road (.243).

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 12 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then 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 both the Hooks and third-place Midland.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 16 games (4-12) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 59 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), three behind league-leading Corpus Christi.

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 20 of his last 21 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped June 1 vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 21 games (since May 13), Beck is hitting .360 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .415 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .520 in that span.

RANGERS ON REHAB:
A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness, and he is expected to start for Frisco again Tuesday. The Riders have also welcomed catchers CHRIS GIMENEZ and ROBINSON CHIRINOS, outfielders JOSH HAMILTON and SHIN-SOO CHOO, and right-handed pitcher YU DARVISH on rehab assignments this season.

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 got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last 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.

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 is tied for the league-lead in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-3rd, 40), slugging percentage (3rd, .532), and total bases (2nd, 116).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 145-100 (.592). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 40-23, Class-A Hickory is 37-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 34-27. 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 nine 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, is in his second season in 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), ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), EVAN VAN HOOSIER (18, 23),RONALD GUZMAN (22, 29), SAM WOLFF (25, NR), and CONNOR SADZECK (26, 26) rank among Texas’ top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTERS:
GAME ONE: Raul Alcantara is scheduled to make his third start against the RoughRiders this season. He has allowed just one earned run over 11.2 innings pitched in those two outings. Acquired in a trade with the Red Sox in December 2011, this is Alcantara’s second season in Midland, with the other being a short stint at the beginning of 2014. Alcantara is ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the Oakland organization by MLBPipeline.com and No. 19 by Baseball America. He is a member of the Athletics’ 40-man roster, joining it for the first time in November 2013. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, slider, changeup…GAME TWO: Right-hander Daniel Gossett is quickly climbing the ladder in the Athletics’ farm system. The second round draft pick in 2014 out of Clemson is listed in both MLBPipeline.com and Baseball America’s list of the Top 30 prospects in the organization (No. 24 in MLBPipeline, No 26. in BA). Gossett spent a full season with Class-A Beloit last year in the Midwest League before a stint with Class A-Advanced Stockton to begin this season. The Lyman, South Carolina native, went 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA in nine starts with the Ports. Tonight’s start against the RoughRiders will be his first career appearance against a Rangers affiliate. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (91-96), two-seam fastball, curveball (82-83), changeup (82-85), slider.

Riders vs. RockHounds: a season series defined by double plays and unearned runs

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Through the first nine games of the season series between the RoughRiders and Midland, we’ve seen both the good and the bad of defense at an unusually high level.

Let’s keep the glass half full and start with the good…

DOUBLE PLAYS: We have seen an incredibly high amount of double plays between these two teams in their first nine games. Midland has turned a whopping 18 double plays in 84 defensive innings (one every 4.7 innings), while the Riders have turned two 11 times in 86 defensive innings (one every 7.8 innings).

In total, the two teams have turned 29 twin killings in 170 defensive innings. That’s a double play every 5.9 innings. To put that number in context, the league average is one double play every 11.9 innings, more than twice the rate the Riders and RockHounds are running at.

That’s the fun part of defense. Now for the not-so-good part:

ERRORS: Defensive miscues have become an unfortunate part of this season series early on. Midland (11) and Frisco (9) have combined to commit 20 errors in nine games against each other this season and 24 of the 79 runs scored between the two this year have been unearned.

The RoughRiders committed a season-high four errors Saturday, giving up four costly unearned runs in a four-run loss. Midland, meanwhile, made eight blunders in a four-game series against the Riders May 16-19, and 16 of the 26 runs the RockHounds allowed were unearned.

To put that in perspective, the RoughRiders have allowed just 18 unearned runs in their other 50 games and the RockHounds have let just 36 unearned runs cross in their other 51 contests.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Daylight play – A defensive maneuver performed by an infielder and the pitcher in an effort to pick off a baserunner.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Midland (6/11/16)

GAME #59
Frisco RoughRiders (34-24) vs. Midland RockHounds (28-31)
Saturday, June 11 – 7:05 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark – Frisco, TX
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 4
This season: Game 9 of 28 (Riders lead, 6-2)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Shin-Soo Choo – RF
  2. Ryan Cordell – CF
  3. Ronald Guzman – 1B
  4. Evan Van Hoosier – 3B
  5. Preston Beck – LF
  6. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  7. Joe Jackson – DH
  8. Alex Burg – C
  9. Luis Mendez – SS

RHP Luis Ortiz (1-2, 4.61 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at San Antonio (W, 3-2)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Outfielder Preston Beck

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
The RoughRiders finished a four-game road set against the San Antonio Missions on a positive note, earning a series split with a 3-2 win. The victory came following two straight losses…YOHANDER MENDEZ earned his third win in four starts with the Riders, pitching five scoreless innings and striking out seven batters, while allowing just four hits…ANDY IBANEZ broke a 0-0 tie with his first hit as a RoughRider, an RBI triple in the fourth inning…JOE JACKSON and LUIS MENDEZ drove in two more runs with RBI singles in the sixth…After the Missions scored runs in the sixth and seventh, REED GARRETT worked out of jams in the seventh and eighth, and ADAM PARKS earned his sixth save with a scoreless ninth…Major League rehabberSHIN-SOO CHOO went 0-for-3 with two walks and one strikeout.

HOME COOKIN’:
Despite trailing Corpus Christi by 2.5 games in the South Division standings, the remaining first-half schedule is favorable for the RoughRiders. Beginning tonight, the Riders open a nine-game homestand with four games against Midland and five with the Hooks. Frisco boasts a 17-10 record at Dr Pepper Ballpark this season, and the team has a slighty better batting average at home (.261) compared to on the road (.243).

RANGERS ON REHAB:
SHIN-SOO CHOO continues his Major League rehab assignment with the RoughRiders tonight, playing in his sixth game with Frisco…A.J. GRIFFIN made his first rehab start Thursday, coming back from shoulder stiffness and is expected to start for Frisco again on Tuesday.

LOOKING UP FOR THE FIRST TIME:
Ahead in the South Division race for much of the first half, the Riders have been in second place for the first time this season over the last 10 days. They shared the top spot with Corpus Christi and Midland on the first day of the year and then 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.

ALL KINDS OF CLOSE CALLS:
The RoughRiders have consistently found themselves in close games over the last few weeks. 10 of the last 15 games (4-11) have been decided by three runs or fewer, including five one-run games. On the season, 42 of Frisco’s 58 games have been decided by three or fewer, and the Riders have played in 20 one-run games (12-8), one behind league-leading Arkansas, Corpus Christi, and Midland.

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 19 of his last 20 games and had his 14-game on-base streak snapped last Wednesday vs. Tulsa. In that stretch, he had a six and seven-game hitting streak. Over his last 20 games, Beck is hitting .347 (third-best in the Texas League), with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, and nine RBI. He also sports a .397 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .514 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 got off to a torrid start in his first Double-A season and has yet to look back. Most recently, he finished just a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 performance last Friday vs. Springfield. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career two weekends ago in Springfield, and his season-high nine-game hitting streak ended last 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.

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 circuit in RBI (42) and extra-base hits (28). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in runs (T-2nd, 40), home runs (T-5th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .535), and doubles (T-4th, 14).

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Among full-season affiliates, the Rangers farm system is 139-99 (.584). Every full-season affiliate in the organization has a record above .500, as Class A-Advanced High Desert enters the day at 38-23, Class-A Hickory is 35-25, and Triple-A Round Rock is 32-27. 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 nine 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),ANDY IBANEZ (15, 8), 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:
Right-hander Chris Jensen takes the ball for the RockHounds tonight in the series opener. Now in his third season with the Hounds, Jensen is slated to make his 10th career start against the RoughRiders, holding a 2-3 record with a 3.60 ERA. Last year, he faced Frisco three times and was 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA over 17 innings. In his only start against the Riders this season, he surrendered six runs on six hits in five innings pitched. Jensen was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of the University of San Diego. He came to the Athletics in a December 2013 trade for left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson. REPERTOIRE: Fastball (94-95), two-seam FB (88-92), hard curve, slow curve, changeup.

 

Close calls common in the first half

Walk-off celebration

One of the things that’s made first half of this season so exciting is the fact that almost all the games have been close.

Last night, the RoughRiders held on for a 3-2 win in San Antonio, marking the 20th one-run game Frisco has played in through the first 58 contests, putting the Riders only behind Corpus Christi, Midland, and Arkansas (21 each) for most one-run games played in the league. They are 12-8 in such games.

Last night was also the 42nd game decided by three runs or fewer this season. That’s 72% of games played so far this year. By comparison, the RoughRiders played in 86 games decided by three or fewer, out of 139 total games (62%).

Midland comes to town tonight, and if trends hold, we should be in for more close games over the course of this series. All eight games between the two teams have been decided by three runs or fewer so far, including three one-run contests.

It certainly has made for some tense moments, but that’s part of what makes baseball fun. Occasionally, it’s fun to watch your favorite team erupt for a blowout win, but more often than not, the best games are the ones in which the drama and excitement is there, all the way through the 27th out.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Doozie Maroony – An extra-base hit. The term was coined by pioneer Pittsburg Pirates broadcaster Rowdy Rowswell.

(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary

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