Welcome to "Chatter from the Pressbox", the website dedicated to the Pressbox of the Frisco RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

Today's Matchups Around the Ranger's System

Today's (5/20) Match-Ups Around the Ranger's System

Round Rock: Martin Perez (3-3 5.27) vs. Fresno Grizzlies: Andrew Kown (3-1 2.61) @ 1:00 PM CT

Myrtle Beach: Kyle Hendricks (1-4 2.91) @ Wilmington Blue Rocks: Sugar Ray Marimon (3-0 2.65) @ 12:30 PM CT

Hickory : Santo Perez (2-2 6.19) @ Asheville Tourists: Daniel Winkler (4-2 6.06) @ 1:05 PM CT

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Game 12: Frisco RoughRiders (Martin Perez) @ Arkansas Travelers (Trevor Reckling)

Time: 7:10 PM CT
Location: Dickey-Stephens Park (Little Rock, AR)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (4-7 3 games back in the Texas League South)... Arkansas Travelers (6-5 1 game back in the Texas League North)
Streak: Lost 3 in a row
Last 10: 3-7
Starting Pitchers: Martin Perez (0-0 2.25 ERA)... Trevor Reckling (0-1 2.70 ERA)

What to Watch for on the Mound: Frisco and Arkansas send Perez and Reckling out to the mound for the 3rd time and the first time each pitcher will face the opposing team this season. Both pitchers are in their 3rd season in the Texas League, despite being 20 and 21 years old respectively... Martin Perez, the Ranger's #1 prospect according to Baseball America, had one of his best outings for Frisco to date in his last start. Perez went 5 strong innings, allowed 4 hits, 0 runs, walked 2, and tied a career high with 9 strikeouts. On the season, the southpaw has allowed 9 hits and 4 walks in 8 innings with 12 strikeouts. He didn't receive a decision in either of his first two starts... Opposing Perez will be another southpaw in Trevor Reckling. Like Perez, Reckling's 2nd start of the season was much better than his first. Reckling pitched 5 shutout innings against the Midland Rockhounds, and allowed 2 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 2 batters in the no-decision. On the season, Reckling has allowed 9 hits and 3 walks in 10 innings with 6 strikeouts.

Success the Second Time Around: A week ago Wilfredo Boscan got beat around by Arkansas on get-away day, as he allowed 5 runs and 6 hits in 1 inning. On Monday, Boscan went 180 by pitching 5 solid innings against the Travelers. He gave up 5 hits, 2 runs, struck out a season high 6 batters, and did not issue a walk. Unfortunately, he did not receive a decision as the game went 15 innings.

Flores on a Roll: Adalberto Flores started the season a bit rocky by giving up a double, single, and sac fly in his first inning of work. Since then, however, Flores has been as good as any Rider reliever. He pitched a second scoreless inning in that first outing and has made 4 other appearances since then. Since the first inning of his first game, Flores has pitched 7 scoreless innings and has allowed just 1 hit and 3 walks, while he has struck out 7 batters. On Monday, Flores came in at the beginning of the bottom of the 9th inning and pitched 3 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts.

Getting the Strikeout: In the middle of the tremendous work by Riders pitchers on Monday was their ability to get the strikeout. Riders pitchers struck out Travelers hitters 16 times. In the 5th and 7th Riders pitchers struck out the side.

Stonecold: Davis Stoneburner batted .297 in 10 games in 2010, however, he hasn't had quite the success in 2011 that he did in the short time in 2010. A 1 for 6 day on Monday lowered his season average to .194, a team low for regulars. He has shown a bit more pop with 3 extra base hits in the 10 games this year, but his OPS is still .654 for the season.

Discipline Issues: On Monday in the 15 inning game, Riders batters walked just 1 time in 58 trips to the plate. The 1 walk matched a season low, which also happened on April 8th and 14th, both against Springfield. They also struck out 11 times, which matched a season high, also done on April 12th against Arkansas. Over the last 5 games, Riders hitters have walked just 11 times, while they have struck out 41 times, which means they have struck out 3.72 times for every walk during that stretch. They have seemed to miss Butler's bat since he was promoted to AAA, as the Riders averaged 3.5 walks per game with him, and have averaged 2.2 walks since he was promoted. Butler had walked 4 times in 6 games.

Bulls-eye On the Riders?: Frisco RoughRiders batters were hit by pitches 3 times on Monday, which brought their season total to 14 through 11 games. That puts them on pace to be hit 178 times, which would shatter the previous Riders high of 77 in 2004. Davis Stoneburner leads the team with 4 hit by pitches, which puts him on pace for 51 hit by pitches this season, which again would shatter the individual high set by Craig Gentry in 2009 with 16. At least one Rider hitter has been hit by a pitch in 7 of the 11 games played this season.

Successful Steals vs. Unsuccessful Steals: No, we're not talking about Cincinnati Reds pitcher Mike Leake here, but instead about the Riders as a team. Riders players have stolen 13 bases in 15 attempts (86.667%). The success rate of Frisco is the best in the Texas League and is tied for the 2nd best in the three AA leagues of teams with at least 10 steal attempts (23 teams meet the criteria). The Texas Ranger's system in particularly seems to be successful in steals early on. The Ranger's minor league teams have combined to steal 61 bases in 75 attempts (81.33%). Sabermetricians have argued that the rate of success should be 75% or higher to break even in runs production. So by anyone's standards the Rangers minor leaguers have done a good job on the bases.

Pitching Woes: While the basestealing has been a success for Frisco, the pitching has not been one. Riders pitchers have a 5.67 ERA coming into Tuesday's game, which is the 3rd worst ERA in the Texas League. They also have walked tied for the 2nd most batters in the Texas League (50 in 98 1/3 innings pitched), and the team's 1.64 WHIP is worst in the league.

Mistake: "Chatter from the Pressbox" will admit there was a mistake on yesterday's preview. The Riders gave up an unearned run on Sunday's game during Carlos Pimentel's 2 innings pitched. With a successful game on Sunday, the Jacksonville Suns were the last team standing. And last night, thanks to a passed ball by catching prospect Kyle Skipworth and an eventual run, the Suns gave up their first unearned run of the season. So, Frisco still is tied for the minor league lead in least amount of unearned runs.

Around the Ranger's System: 

Round Rock (AAA) defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs 3-1 to take 3 out of 4 from the Zephyrs. However, the story was not at the game when it ended, as the starting pitcher for the Express, Eric Hurley, was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons after he was hit in the right side of the head while fielding a comebacker. On the field, Craig Gentry went 2 for 3 with a RBI, walk, and stole a base. Chris Mobley picked up the win as he pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings in relief of the injured Hurley. Zach Phillips picked up a hold with 2 shutout innings of relief, and Yoshinori Tateyama closed out the game for his first save.

Myrtle Beach (high-A) defeated Winston-Salem 2-1 in a close game. Michael Olt, who was named the Carolina League player of the week last week, went 1 for 4 at the plate. Leury Garcia, Travis Adair, and Andres James all had 2 hits in the game. Joseph Wieland made the start for Myrtle Beach and went 6 innings, allowed 7 hits, 1 run, walked 1 batter, and struck out 7. Andrw Doyle got the win with 2 shutout innings of relief, and Trevor Hurley picked up his first save.

Hickory (low-A) beat Kannapolis by a score of 6-1. All, but one of Hickory's starting position players had a hit, and nobody had more than 1 hit in the game. Jake Skole went 1 for 5 with a run scored. Tomas Telis had a 1 for 3 game with a RBI on a sacrifice fly. Teodoro Martinez went 1 for 4 with a run, a walk, and stole 3 bases in the game. Roman Mendez made the start for Hickory and went 5 1/3 innings, allowed 4 hits, 1 run, walked 2, and struck out 4 batters.

Minor League Performance of the Night: 

Hagerstown starting pitcher Cameron Selik has had a good start to the season, even before Monday night's performance. The 23 year old 2010 22nd round pick out of Kansas by the Washington Nationals, hadn't given up a run in his first 2 starts spanning 10 innings. On Monday night, Selik again did not give up a run in 5 innings, allowed 1 hit, walked 1 batter, and struck out 11 in a 1-0 win over Lakewood. Unfortunately, the run didn't come until the 9th inning, as his team had as much trouble with the opposition as the opposition did hitting Selik. Hagerstown managed just 2 hits in the game. The game winning run was scored on a sac fly in the 9th by a hitter who happened to have pinch hit earlier in the game for phenom Bryce Harper, who was the designated hitter for Hagerstown. In the game, Hagerstown pitchers struck out Lakewood hitters 18 times to just 1 walk.

As always...

Station to Listen to the Game on: 1630 AM (KKGM)

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And Check Out the Riders Insider Blog for more Frisco RoughRiders info: http://ridersinsider.mlblogs.com/

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