Results tagged ‘ Tulsa Drillers ’

Saddle Up: Riders at Tulsa (8/14)

GAME #119 (2nd HALF GAME #50)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-62 overall, 18-31 2nd half) at Tulsa Drillers (59-59 overall, 22-27 2nd half)
Sunday, August 14 – 1:05 p.m.
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Tulsa feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
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This series: Game 3 of 3 (Drillers lead 2-0)
This season: Game 8 of 11 (Drillers lead 7-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – RF
  3. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Carson Blair – C
  6. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B
  7. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  8. Kellin Deglan – DH
  9. Alberto Triunfel – SS

RHP Connor Sadzeck (9-5, 3.79 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Saturday at Tulsa (L, 7-3)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: Manager Joe Mikulik

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
After a sluggish start, the RoughRiders made a late push but came up short in a 7-3 loss to the Drillers Saturday night…Frisco was held hitless through the first 5 1/3 innings by Alfredo Figaro, but DARIN MASTROIANNI broke up the no-hitter with a single in the sixth…After ending the no-hit bid, the RoughRiders finally pushed across a run in the seventh on an RBI single byCARSON BLAIR, cutting the Tulsa lead to 7-1…An RBI double by Mastroianni and an RBI groundout by EDUARD PINTO made it 7-3, but the Riders got no closer.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:
The Riders have lost all seven games against the Drillers this season. Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark, and the Riders have dropped the first two games of this series. Frisco’s last victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Current Riders pitcherCONNOR SADZECK, who makes the start today, tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win.

SCORELESS STREAK STOPS:
After 23 straight scoreless innings, the Riders finally broke through with a run in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth last night. The stretch was the second-longest of the season for the RoughRiders. The longest streak was 25 innings, also on this road trip, which included back-to-back shutout losses at San Antonio last Friday and Saturday.

NO GAS AGAINST THE DRILLERS:
Out of the seven Texas League opponents, the Riders’ offense has had the lowest numbers against Tulsa this year. In seven meetings between the teams, Frisco is batting just .205 (45-for-219). The Riders have not hit a home run and have been held to just nine runs, eight earned, by Tulsa’s pitching staff. Tulsa pitchers have a collective 1.22 ERA against the Riders across 59 innings of work with nine walks and 52 strikeouts.

SILENT NIGHTS:
The Riders have been held to three or fewer runs in eight of the first 12 games this month. The Riders are hitting .227 (90-for-397) in August, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .296. June was the worst offensive month for Frisco this season, when the Riders hit .208 with a .262 on-base percentage.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Friday’s shutout loss to Tulsa was the 15th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League) and already the fourth time this month. The 15 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A and tied for the most in team history (2009). Brevard County (Brewers Class A-Advanced affiliate, Florida State League), has the most shutout losses in the minors with 19.

THE NORTH REMEMBERS:
Since winning the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had success against the Riders. Frisco has gone a dismal 7-23 in the last 30 cross-divisional matchups, and the RoughRiders have won just two of the last 11 series (June 3-5 vs. Springfield and July 9-11 vs. Northwest Arkansas). The Riders have not won a road series against a North Division opponent since opening the season with five straight wins in Springdale and North Little Rock (April 7-9 at Northwest Arkansas, April 10-12 at Arkansas).

MASTROIANNI IN THE MIX:
Outfielder DARIN MASTROIANNI was recently acquired by the Texas Rangers, and he joined the RoughRiders Friday. After going 0-for-5 in his first game Friday night, Mastroianni collected two hits and an RBI yesterday. The 30-year-old was released by the Minnesota Twins Monday and signed with the Rangers Wednesday. Mastroianni is in his 10th year as a professional and has spent time in the big leagues during five different seasons (2011-2014, 2016), most recently appearing with the Twins in May. Mastroianni becomes the fourth player on the Riders active roster with Major League service time, joining catcher CARSON BLAIR and pitchers SCOTT CARROLL and LUKE JACKSON.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 21 games left in the regular season, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by nine games over San Antonio, 11 over Corpus Christi, and 16 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to six. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29 at Security Bank Ballpark, September 3-5 at Dr Pepper Ballpark).

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 12 games, the Riders have hit six home runs as a team. However, three of these homers have come off the bat ofKELLIN DEGLAN. Last Wednesday against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit seven long balls this year, but they have come in surges. The catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and three over the first two weeks of August.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Seth Frankoff will make his 17th appearance with Tulsa and fifth start of the season…Prior to this year, Frankoff had not started a game since 2012 with Class-A Burlington…The Raleigh, North Carolina native was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 27th round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of UNC Wilmington…Frankoff pitched in a total of 65 games with Midland in 2014 and 2015, and he was named a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star in 2014…He was released by the Athletics on March 30 and signed with the Dodgers on April 5… After a short relief outing against the Riders on May 25, he spent over a month on the disabled list starting May 31 (Catcher Kyle Farmer (wrist) and outfielder Alex Verdugo (hamstring) also went on the disabled list that day)…Frankoff earned his only win of the year in one of three rehab appearances with the AZL Dodgers on July 10…He pitched four games with Triple-A Oklahoma City last month before returning to Tulsa on July 26…REPERTOIRE: Fastball, curveball, changeup, cutter.

 

Saddle Up: Riders at Tulsa (8/13)

GAME #118 (2nd HALF GAME #49)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-61 overall, 18-30 2nd half) at Tulsa Drillers (58-59 overall, 21-27 2nd half)
Saturday, August 13 – 7:05 p.m.
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Tulsa feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 2 of 3 (Drillers lead 1-0)
This season: Game 7 of 11 (Drillers lead 6-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  3. Eduard Pinto – RF
  4. Joe Jackson – LF
  5. Luis Marte – SS
  6. Carson Blair – 1B
  7. Alexeis Bell – DH
  8. Edwin Garcia – 3B
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – C

RHP Scott Carroll (0-0, 2.70 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Friday at Tulsa (L, 7-0)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Luis Marte

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Despite having baserunners in eight of nine innings, the RoughRiders were shut out 7-0 by the Drillers Friday night…A night after managing just two hits in Springfield, the Riders tallied nine but went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base…Tulsa starter Chase De Jong worked six scoreless innings to earn his league-leading 12th win…Meanwhile, Riders starter ARIEL JURADO gave up five runs on a career-high 11 hits in five innings of work, including a pair of home runs…ANDY IBANEZ and ALEXEIS BELL each recorded three hits.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:
The Riders have lost all six games against the Drillers this season. In addition to last night’s loss, Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, and then Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The Riders’ last victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Current Riders pitcher CONNOR SADZECK tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win.

NO GAS AGAINST THE DRILLERS:
Out of the seven Texas League opponents, the Riders’ offense has had the lowest numbers against Tulsa this year. In six meetings between the teams, Frisco hitters are batting just .212 (39-for-184). The Riders have not hit a home run and have been held to just six runs, five earned, by Tulsa’s pitching staff. Tulsa pitchers have a collective 0.90 ERA against the Riders across 50 innings of work, with seven walks and 45 strikeouts.

SILENT NIGHTS:
The Riders have been held scoreless for the past 17 innings since Andy Ibanez hit a first-inning solo home run Thursday night at Springfield. Frisco was held to just two hits by the Cardinals in that game, a season-low for a nine-inning game, and did not have any after the second inning. The Riders are hitting .232 (84-for-362) through the first 11 games this month, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .304. June was the worst offensive month for Frisco this season, when the Riders hit just .208 with a .262 on-base percentage.

NOTHING BUT GOOSE EGGS:
Yesterday’s shutout loss to Tulsa was the 15th time that Frisco has been shut out this season (most in the Texas League) and already the fourth time this month. The 15 shutout defeats is the most in Double-A and tied for the most in team history (2009). Brevard County (Brewers Class A-Advanced affiliate, Florida State League), has the most shutout losses in the minors with 19.

THE NORTH REMEMBERS:
Since winning the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had success against the Riders. Frisco has gone a dismal 7-22 in the last 29 cross-divisional matchups, and the RoughRiders have won just two of the last 10 series (June 3-5 vs. Springfield and July 9-11 vs. Northwest Arkansas). The Riders have not won a road series against a North Division opponent since opening the season with five straight wins in Springdale and North Little Rock (April 7-9 at Northwest Arkansas, April 10-12 at Arkansas).

MASTROIANNI IN THE MIX:
Outfielder DARIN MASTROIANNI was recently acquired by the Texas Rangers, and he joined the RoughRiders yesterday. The 30-year-old was released by the Minnesota Twins Monday and signed with the Rangers Wednesday. Mastroianni is in his 10th year as a professional and has spent time in the big leagues during five different seasons (2011-2014, 2016), most recently appearaing with the Twins in May. Mastroianni becomes the fourth player on the Riders active roster with Major League service time, joining catcher CARSON BLAIR and pitchers SCOTT CARROLL and LUKE JACKSON.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 22 games left in the regular season, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by eight games over San Antonio, 10 over Corpus Christi, and 15 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to eight. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29 at Security Bank Ballpark, September 3-5 at Dr Pepper Ballpark).

THE POWER OF PINTO:
EDUARD PINTO has only played eight games with the RoughRiders, but he has already become a force to reckon with in the lineup. Pinto has 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats, including two four-hit outputs in the Riders last five games. By comparison, Pinto had just one four-hit performance in 51 games with Class-A Hickory this year.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 12 games, the Riders have hit six home runs as a team. However, three of these homers have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN. Last Wednesday against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit seven long balls this year, but they have come in surges. The catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and three over the first two weeks of August.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Isaac Anderson will make his second Double-A start tonight for the Drillers…In his first outing Sunday at Northwest Arkansas, Anderson allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts in a five-inning no-decision…The 22-year-old spent the majority of the season with Class-A Great Lakes, going 5-5 with a 4.22 ERA in 16 starts…He pitched in just three games with Class A-Advanced Rancho Cucamonga before making the jump to the Texas League…Anderson was selected by the Dodgers in the 40th round of last year’s MLB Draft out of Wichita State University…The Boise, Idaho native began his college career at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-91), curveball (low 70s), changeup (high 70s to low 80s).

Saddle Up: Riders at Tulsa (8/12)

GAME #117 (2nd HALF GAME #48)

Frisco RoughRiders (56-60 overall, 18-29 2nd half) at Tulsa Drillers (57-59 overall, 20-27 2nd half)
Friday, August 12 – 7:05 p.m.
ONEOK Field – Tulsa, OK
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Watch: MiLB.TV (Tulsa feed)
Listen: Streaming online and on the TuneIn Radio app (Nathan Barnett and Steve Goldberg)
Live stats: Click here
—————————————–
This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 6 of 11 (Drillers lead 5-0)

FRISCO LINEUP

  1. Darin Mastroianni – CF
  2. Eduard Pinto – LF
  3. Joe Jackson – DH
  4. Carson Blair – C
  5. Andy Ibanez – 2B
  6. Luis Marte – SS
  7. Alexeis Bell – RF
  8. Edwin Garcia – 1B
  9. Isiah Kiner-Falefa – 3B

RHP Ariel Jurado (1-1, 1.59 ERA)

RIDERS RECAP: Thursday at Springfield (L, 5-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: IF Edwin Garcia

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Despite a first-inning home run from ANDY IBANEZ, the RoughRiders were kept quiet the rest of the way in a 5-1 loss to Springfield Thursday night…Ibanez clubbed his fifth home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the first, but the Riders did not get a hit against Cardinals pitching after the second inning…The only runner to reach after that was ISIAH KINER-FALEFA on a throwing error in the fourth…The Cardinals got on the board with three runs in the third inning to take the lead, and they added two unearned runs of insurance in the eighth.

TROUBLE WITH TULSA:
The Riders have lost all five games against the Drillers this season. Frisco was swept in a three-game series at ONEOK Field in May, and then Tulsa won both games of a doubleheader on June 1 at Dr Pepper Ballpark. The Riders’ last victory over Tulsa came last year on August 20 at ONEOK Field. Current Riders pitcher CONNOR SADZECK tossed six no-hit innings and earned the win.

PANAMANIAN PHENOM:
Today’s starter ARIEL JURADO is off to an impressive start with the RoughRiders. Since he was received from Class A-Advanced High Desert on July 23, Jurado has given up just three runs in his first three starts (17.0 IP), good for a 1.59 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .155 against the righty with 13 strikeouts, including six in each of his last two starts. Jurado is currently ranked the No. 8 prospect and No. 3 pitching prospect in the Rangers farm system, according to MLBPipeline.com.

SILENT NIGHT:
The Riders were held to just two hits by Springfield last night, a season-low for a nine-inning game, and did not have any after the second inning. The Riders are hitting .230 (75-for-326) through the first 10 games this month, and the team’s on-base percentage is just .305. June was the worst offensive month for Frisco this season, when the Riders hit just .208 with a .262 on-base percentage.

THE POWER OF PINTO:
EDUARD PINTO has only played seven games with the RoughRiders, but he has already become a force to reckon with in the lineup. Pinto has nine hits in his last 18 at-bats, including two four-hit outputs in the Riders last four games. By comparison, Pinto had just one four-hit performance in 51 games with Class-A Hickory this year.

BACKS AGAINST THE WALL:
With 23 games left in the regular season, the Riders face a tremendous uphill battle for a postseason spot. Midland currently leads the South Division by eight games over San Antonio, 10 over Corpus Christi, and 14 over Frisco. The Riders’ elimination number for a second-half division title is now down to 10. However, Frisco still plays six more games against the RockHounds this season (August 27-29, September 3-5).

THE NORTH REMEMBERS:
Since winning the first three series and nine of the first 10 games against North Division opponents this year, the North squads have had success against the Riders. Frisco has gone a dismal 7-21 in the last 28 cross-divisional matchups, and the Riders have won just two of the last 10 series.

GETTING STARTED RIGHT: 
Through 10 games this month, Riders starters have excelled. They have combined to allow just 20 earned runs in 52 1/3 innings of work, good for a 3.44 ERA, and have given up just two home runs. DAVID PEREZ and ARIEL JURADO both pitched five scoreless frames in their starts, and only one starter this month has allowed more than three runs. Riders starters had a tough time in July, posting a 4.51 ERA and allowed 21 homers in 149 2/3 innings. The best month for the starting pitchers this year was the month of April, when Frisco went an outstanding 17-4. Frisco’s starters had a 3.10 ERA and allowed 0.56 HR/9.0 innings pitched.

MAPLE LEAF MASHER: 
Over the last 11 games, the Riders have hit six home runs as a team. However, three of these homers have come off the bat of KELLIN DEGLAN. Last Wednesday against Midland, he had his first two-homer game since June 24, 2014 with Class-A Hickory. Deglan has hit seven long balls this year, but they have come in surges. The catcher went homerless in the months of April and June but hit two jacks in May, two more in a six-game span in July, and three over the first two weeks of August.

OPPOSING STARTER:
Right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong takes the ball for Tulsa tonight in the series opener…After taking the loss in four of his first seven outings this year, De Jong is currently on a nine-game win streak over his last 14 starts and has not lost since May 10 against Springfield…He is tied with Jordan Kipper (Arkansas) for the most wins (11) in the Texas League this year…The 22-year-old is in his fifth professional season but just his first full season in the Dodgers farm system…De Jong came over from the Toronto organization last July in a trade for international slot value…He spent the remainder of last season with Class A-Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and joined the Drillers to start this year…De Jong made a start against Frisco on May 24, the series opener the last time the Riders visited ONEOK Field…The Long Beach, California native pitched seven scoreless innings, allowed just two hits, struck out six, and did not issue a walk…De Jong is currently ranked as the No. 17 prospect in the Dodgers organization by MLBPipeline.com…REPERTOIRE: Fastball (88-92, T94), curveball, changeup.

Saddle Up: Riders vs. Tulsa (DH, 6/1/16)

GAME #50
Frisco RoughRiders (30-19) vs. Tulsa Drillers (25-24)
Wednesday, June 1 – Game one starts at 5:05
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: Game one / Game two
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This series: Game 1 of 3
This season: Game 4 of 12 (Drillers lead, 3-0)

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Connor Sadzeck makes the start for the RoughRiders in game one.

FRISCO LINEUP (Game one)

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

RHP Connor Sadzeck (5-1, 3.56)

RIDERS RECAP: Sunday at Springfield (L, 4-1)

Box Score
Recap
Postgame Notes

PREGAME INTERVIEW: RHP Cody Palmquist

SETTING THE STAGE (full game notes here)

LAST TIME OUT:
Frisco’s series opener with the Tulsa Drillers last night was postponed to today due to rain…On Sunday, in the series finale with Tulsa, the Riders allowed a two-run homer in the first and never had a lead in a 4-1 loss to the Springfield Cardinals in the series finale Sunday afternoon…The only run for the Riders came on PRESTON BECK’s solo home run in the fourth inning…All five Riders runs in the series against Springfield came on homers…LUIS ORITZ (5.0 IP) allowed three runs and took the loss in his second start with Frisco, despite only giving up four hits…CODY PALMQUIST’s streaks of 19 straight batters retired and 12 consecutive scoreless innings both came to an end.  Frisco has lost six straight games, the longest drought of the season

NORTH DIVISION WOES:
After a 9-1 start to the season against North Division opponents, the RoughRiders have been on a skid against teams from the Texas League’s other division. Frisco has lost eight consecutive games against the North, with the last win coming in the first game of a home series against Arkansas on April 18 and 19. The Riders play their next six games against the North Division with Springfield coming to town on Friday after the current series with Tulsa concludes.

HEARTBREAK AWAY FROM HOME:
On the last six-game road trip, the Riders lost all six games, three of which were come-from-behind wins by Tulsa and Springfield. Two games in the last series with the Cardinals were lost in the final turn at-bat by Springfield, including Saturday night’s walk-off loss. The current six-game losing skid is the longest of the year, and the six losses have all come by three runs or fewer for a combined total of 12 runs.

SCORING POSITION STRUGGLES:
A big component of Frisco’s issues scoring runs on the last road trip was the club’s failure to hit with runners in scoring position. The Riders were just 4-for-36 (.111) hitting with runners in scoring position on the road trip, and the club is 1-for-its-last-24 (.042) in such at-bats. They came into the trip hitting .322 (125-for-388) and are now hitting .304 for the year.

QUALITY AND QUANTITY:
After going 15 games between quality starts, Riders starting pitchers have posted four quality starts in their last eight outings, which includes a rehab start from YU DARVISH. However, during this run of eight starts, the Riders are just 2-6. Additionally, losses last Tuesday and Thursday were the first losses this year when the Riders got a quality start (12-2).

ROARING RONALD GUZMAN:
Riders first baseman RONALD GUZMAN continues his torrid season. The slugger put together the first two-homer game of his career Saturday night, and his a season-high nine game hitting streak just 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. Of the nine games during the streak, four were multi-hit games, including a three hit-game on Monday against the San Antonio Missions.

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.

RIDING INTO THE HISTORY BOOKS:
The RoughRiders have had the best record in team history at almost every point this season. With six straight losses, however, the 30-19 record is now three games back of the 2008 RoughRiders who were 33-16 through 49 games. The 2008 squad finished with an 84-56 record and lost to Arkansas in the Texas League championship series.

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 (40), runs (39), doubles (13), and extra-base hits (26). Cordell is also on the leaderboard in average (5th, .315), home runs (T-4th, 10), slugging percentage (3rd, .586), and triples (T-2nd, 3).

MULTI-HIT MADNESS:
Multi-hit performances have become a consistent trend up and down the Riders lineup this year. There have already been 108 multi-hit performances out of a possible 441 lineup spots (24.5%). 27 of the 108 multi-hit performances (25.0%) are with three or more hits. RONALD GUZMAN leads the Riders with 18 multi-hit games and is one of four players to have at least 10 games with two or more hits.

RANGER DANGER:
The RoughRiders aren’t the only Rangers affiliate with a winning record. Overall, the Rangers farm system is 118-84 (.584), 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 31-21, Class A Hickory is 29-21, and Triple-A Round Rock is 28-23. 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 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 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. 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 Rangers top 30 prospects.

OPPOSING STARTER:
GAME ONE: Brock Stewart was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 draft out of Illinois State University. After struggling in 18 games, 12 starts with Rancho Cucamonga last year, he returned to the Quakes and went 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts to begin this season. Stewart was quickly promoted to Tulsa, where he has allowed just six earned runs over 43 1/3 innings pitched. His father, Jeff, is a scout for the San Diego Padres. REPERTOIRE: Fastball, Changeup, Slider…GAME TWO: Today’s starter Scott Barlow is off to a great start with the Drillers through his first eight games this season, posting an ERA of just 1.93, second in the Texas League among qualifying starting pitchers. After his first professional season, Barlow missed the entire 2012 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The righty was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of Golden Valley High School in California…Repertoire: fastball in the low 90s, a curveball in the low 70s, a changeup in the low 80s, and a 78-82 mph slider.

Ballpark Bio: ONEOK Field (Tulsa, OK)

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Today marks the second installment in 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 8, 2010
Capacity: 7,833
Dimensions: LF – 330, CF – 400, RF – 307

The plot of land upon which Tulsa’s ONEOK Field rests is not all that large, but the Drillers do a great job of maximizing the space they have to work with.

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With no backstop behind home plate, fans get a very intimate feel with the action.

One of the first things that struck me about the park is its orientation. Unlike most parks (including Dr Pepper Ballpark) which face North, ONEOK Field faces South. As a result, fans (and broadcasters) are lent a great view of the skyline in nearby downtown.

Inside the park, it’s been a very intimate feel, thanks to the fact that the park sits on only about seven acres. The seats are very close to the field, and the way they curve in near the foul poles makes it feel even more intimate.

Another things that’s stood out to me here is the fact that there is no backstop behind the plate (although there is a net), very similar to Dodger Stadium, home of the Drillers’ parent club.

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The left field terrace looks like a great place to watch a game with a large group.

It helps add to that intimate feel, and the tables to the left side of the area by the backstop look like a great place to enjoy a meal with a view.

In the outfield, I was immediately fascinated by the terrace seating that makes up most of the seating area behind the left field wall. With rows of picnic tables, it seems like a great place to bring a group, while having a great view of the field at the same time.

The game atmosphere in Tulsa has been great the first few nights. Furthermore, this team has done a great job of creating an enjoyable experience without the need of all kinds of attractions.

IMG_3939 (1)

With tight spacing in the RF corner, there’s not much foul territory to work with.

That’s not to say I don’t like ballparks with fun attractions (see my review of Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field for reference), but it’s cool to see a team keep things relatively simple and still put on a great show.

All in all, there may not be a heap of room to work with on a great plot of land near downtown Tulsa, but I’ve been impressed by how well it’s been put to use.

Stay tuned for the next ballpark bio, coming this weekend from Hammons Field in Springfield, as I take you along for the ride on my first journey through the Texas League.

-Ryan

Baseball term of the day: Beany – Said of a player who is a bit off mentally, a condition attributed to being hit by a ball.

(term from The Dickson Baseball DictionaryIMG_3938 (1)

‘Riders Rewind – May 23

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 boatraced the Tulsa Drillers 13-0 on Friday night to take the series over their north division opponent. Click here to read the full game recap.

Pitching remained the prominent storyline throughout the three-game set. Both teams had it on Wednesday, the Drillers dominated on Thursday with Jon Gray, and the ‘Riders flexed their muscle in the finale as Luke Jackson and Jimmy Reyes shut out the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate and allowed just four hits.

While the arms were the overarching theme of the series, the RoughRiders’ bats stole the show on FFN (Friday Fireworks Night). The ‘Riders rocked the Drillers for 13 hits and drew seven walks. Every man in the order reached base for Frisco, seven different players recorded hits and seven men scored a run.

In case you missed it: Trever Adams and Jake Smolinski swapped positions in the ninth inning. Adams moved out to left field and Smolinksi appeared at first base. It was the first time this season Smolinski played in the infield. He had been fielding ground balls and throws from second base during batting practice before the game, and in the wake of his team’s 13-run lead, received some in-game experience at first. He didn’t record a putout, however, as Reyes retired the Drillers on a popout and two strikeouts.

Star of the Game: 1B Trever Adams – 2/3, GS HR, 3R, 6RBI, BB, SF

It would have been larceny to deprive Adams of his second consecutive “Star of the Game” designation after his performance on Friday. The 6-foot 200 pound right-hander turned in perhaps the best single-game hitting performance of the season for the RoughRiders (fans could make an argument for Rougned Odor’s showing on April 12: 4/6, 2HR, 2B, 4R, 3RBI, SB).

Adams blew the game open with his grand slam in the fourth inning off Ryan Arrowood. The blast capped a five-run fourth inning for the RoughRiders, who took a 9-0 lead and coasted the rest of the way. The 25-year-old hit the first grand slam of the season for Frisco and vaulted himself into a tie with Smolinski for most RBI on the team (24). Adams set a new single-game career high with a half-dozen runs driven in and also owns the high-water mark on the team in the same respect.

Honorable mention: I can’t sign off on this post without acknowledging two other key players in the lineup last night. Guilder Rodriguez has been resurgent since his return to the RoughRiders on May 14. On Friday, G-Rod went 2-for-3 with two runs and two walks. He scored the first run of the game and the first run of what became a five-run fourth inning for the ‘Riders. The Venezuelan is batting 8-for-21 in his second stint with the club this year.

Patrick Cantwell built on the momentum accrued from his solo home run on Wednesday. The backstop registered his first three-hit game of the season, scored two runs and drove in two more. He cracked his third double of the season in the third inning and would eventually hit in– you guessed it–three straight innings as the offense rolled through the middle part of the contest.

 

 

Enjoy the highlights and thanks for tuning in.

-Chris V.

 

‘Riders Rewind – May 22

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 Frisco’s 7-2 loss to the Tulsa Drillers on Thursday afternoon at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Tulsa starter Jon Gray lived up to expectations, and allowed one run and five hits over six innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Gray’s performance was the right-hander’s pitch efficiency; he threw 75 pitches for an average of 12 1/2 pitches per inning.  Click here to read the full game recap.

Star of the Game: 1B Trever Adams – 3/4, 2B, RBI

Adams totaled half of the RoughRiders’ hits in the game on Thursday, two of which came off Gray. The native of Nebraska has become the Swiss Army knife of the ‘Riders order, capable of hitting virtually anywhere in the lineup. Skipper Jason Wood has slotted Adams in seven different holes in the order. The only spots in which the right-hander has not hit are third and ninth. Adams also flashed versatility between power and touch. His RBI double in the eighth followed a bunt single in the sixth.

 

 

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
    ADVENT_Carrier_FREE_TUMBLER_RV_35ec4qpq
  • 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 on the Record: the first day of school, home runs over touchdowns and the return of Mike Olt

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‘Riders on the Record is a weekly rundown of the pre-game interviews record by broadcasters Alex Vispoli and Nathan Barnett with RoughRiders players and coaches and occasionally a special guest. You can find all previous editions by clicking here.  

Another busy week of player transactions, the RoughRiders saw the return of Alex Buchholz and Arlett Mavare from Triple-A, the departure of Barret Serrato (back to extended spring training), Roman Mendez sustain a season-ending injury, Mike Olt return from the DL and Alexi Ogando make a rehab start for the Rangers at Dr Pepper Ballpark.

Highlights from this week eight’s ‘Riders on the Record include Steve Buechele’s assessment of his two aces in Neil Ramirez and Carlos Pimentel, Dennis Higgins (The Voice of the Drillers) talking about former Clemson QB Kyle Parker’s focus on baseball, Joe Benson’s acclimation to the RoughRiders clubhouse, and Mike Olt on his lengthy journey back to health from a vision issue he dealt with in spring training and while at Triple-A Round Rock.

Happy Sunday and enjoy!

Sunday, May 26, 2013 – Manager Steve Buechele


In their weekly sit-down, ‘Riders Manager Steve Buechele speaks about the gritty outing of Neil Ramirez, the continued success of recently named Texas League Pitcher of the Week Carlos Pimentel, the return of Alex Buchholz from Triple-A, and the addition of Joe Benson from Minnesota. (w/ Alex Vispoli)

Monday, May 27, 2013 – Tulsa Broadcaster Dennis Higgins 


Tulsa broadcaster Dennis Higgins joins Alex to give us a Drillers perspective. He talks about Kyle Parker‘s commitment to baseball after starring at Clemson as a QB in addition to playing baseball. They talk about the Rockies relationship with the Tulsa franchise and the new instructional program put in place by Colorado this offseason. (w/ Alex)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – OF Joe Benson


The Texas Rangers claimed Joe Benson off waivers from Minnesota on Saturday. He sat down with Nathan Barnett before his home debut at Dr Pepper Ballpark and discussed his whirlwind of a weekend. He explains his speedy home run trot and expresses his excitement for a fresh start in the Rangers organization. (w/ Nathan Barnett)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – Hanser Alberto


RoughRiders shortstop Hanser Alberto talks about his big three-run home run that lifted the ‘Riders over the Cardinals on Tuesday. He explains the origins of his nickname “Radio” as well. (w/ Nathan)

Friday, May 31, 2013 – 3B Alex Buchholz


In his first week back at Double-A, Alex Buchholz discusses his time with Triple-A Round Rock. In his ever stint at the highest minor league level, Buchholz excelled, and he explained the differences between Double-A and Triple-A pitching as well as the routine of the players around him. (w/ Nathan)

Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 3B Mike Olt


Mike Olt returned from the disabled list and played over the weekend for the RoughRiders. In his first game, he homered to left field, just his second of the season. He hit only one as a member of the Express in his 20 games, but with his vision issues resolved, Mike says he feels more like himself. He talked about his long road to recovery and the legions of doctor visits. (w/ Nathan)

– Nathan

Baseball term of the day: tobasco tapa hard-hit ground ball
(term from The Dickson Baseball Dictionary)