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

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Game 45: Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Buddy Bauman) @ Frisco RoughRiders (Richard Bleier

Time: 7:00 PM CT
Location: Dr. Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (23-21 7 games back in the Texas League South)... Northwest Arkansas Naturals (21-18 1st place in the Texas League North)
Streak: Won 1 in a row
Last 10: 6-4
Series Record: 5-6-1
Record against NW Arkansas: 0-0
All-time Record against NW Arkansas/Wichita: 64-64
Record since 2004 on May 25th: 2-3 with 1 rain out and off day
Starting Pitchers: Richard Bleier (0-1 5.50 ERA) is 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 3 career starts against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals... Buddy Bauman (0-2 5.68 ERA) is making his first career start against the Frisco RoughRiders.

What to Watch for on the Mound: Frisco sends Richard Bleier out to the mound for his 4th start of the season and 5th appearance, while Northwest Arkansas sends Buddy Bauman out to the mound for his 2nd start of the year and 11th appearance... Richard Bleier got blasted for 11 hits and 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings during his last start. He has given up 20 hits in his last 9 1/3 innings with 9 runs crossing the plate during that time. Frisco's innings pitched leader from a year ago has picked up where he left off from last year, allowing more hits than innings pitched, but walking very few batters. Last year in 164 1/3 innings, Bleier walked just 28 batters and struck out 81 with 191 hits allowed. So far this season, Bleier has allowed 28 hits and just 2 walks in 18 innings pitched with 10 strikeouts. Opponents are batting .354 against him on the season, including a .409 batting average from left handed hitters... Buddy Bauman on the other hand has struggled with command all season long and has still given up more hits than innings pitched. In his first start of the year on May 15th, Bauman gave up 1 hit, 5 walks, and 1 run over 4 innings with 4 strikeouts. In the month of May, he has appeared in 5 games (1 start) and is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He has given up 13 hits and 9 walks with 15 strikeouts in 15 innings for the month. On the season, Bauman has given up 30 hits and 17 walks with 24 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. The 23 year old southpaw made 14 starts and 17 appearances out of the bullpen in 2010 for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (high-A) and gave up 76 hits and 36 walks in 100 1/3 innings with 113 strikeouts. He was 4-2 with a 2.24 ERA for the season. Bauman was drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 draft by the Kansas City Royals out of Missouri State University.

From One Division Leader to Another: After losing 3 of 4 to Texas League South divsion leader San Antonio, Frisco now comes home to play the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Tulsa Drillers for the first time. Both the Naturals and Drillers are tied a top the Texas League North division.

Winning In May: Despite the series loss to the Missions, Frisco is still 15-7 in the month of May and needs 4 wins to tie a franchise best in wins in the month of May (19 set last season) and 5 to pass it. With just 6 games left in the month, however, it will be tough to achieve this. Last homestand the Riders won 6 out of 8 games, so it may not be impossible.

Heating Up, Cooling Down in May: Two players have gone in completely opposite directions for the RoughRiders as the season has progressed. In the month of April Jonathan Greene was one of the Rider's best hitters (.339 batting average, .994 OPS), while Davis Stoneburner struggled to hit (.188 batting average, .615 OPS). However, in the month of May Stoneburner has been the best hitter on the Rider's (.367 batting average, 1.036 OPS), while Greene has cooled way down (.230 batting average, .639 OPS). For the season, Davis Stoneburner has 13 extra base hits in 118 at bats (31 hits). His percentage of hits for extra bases is highest on the team not named Leonys Martin.

Notes on Northwest Arkansas: 

Wil Myers: The biggest name player on the Northwest Arkansas is Wil Myers, who unfortunately has been on the DL with a knee infection. Myers, 20 years old, was drafted as a catcher, but moved to the outfield this spring to fast track his bat to the major leagues. Last season Myers split time between low-A (Burlington) and high-A (Wilmington) and batted .315 with 37 doubles and 14 homeruns in 447 at bats for the season. He put up a .934 OPS as well. This season Myers has hit .284 with 2 doubles and 2 homeruns in 74 at bats for Northwest Arkansas. He has a .749 OPS on the season. Myers was rated by Baseball America as the 2nd best prospect in a loaded Kansas City Royal's system behind Eric Hosmer, who has been up in the majors for over a week. Myers was also rated as the 10th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. Ironically, on the top 100 list he was rated behind fellow Royal's prospect Mike Moustakas (#9), despite being listed ahead of him in the organizational list. That just goes to show how the trio of Hosmer, Moustakas, and Myers is almost interchangeable. 

Other Notable Top 30 Kansas City Royal's prospects on Northwest Arkansas:
4. LHP John Lamb (1-2 3.09 ERA)
6. SS Chris Colon (.250 AVG 2 HR .653 OPS)
8. RHP Chris Dwyer (1-3 5.82 ERA)
17. C Salvador Perez (.269 AVG 3 HR .720 OPS)
21. SS Jeff Bianchi (.244 AVG 1 HR .645 OPS)
22. RHP Patrick Keating (14 G 5 SV 4.91 ERA)
26. OF Derrick Robinson (.241 AVG 9 SB-0 CS .341 OBP)

Offense: Northwest Arkansas's offense has struggled to score runs at times this year. They are batting just .252 (lowest in the Texas League) as a team with a .719 OPS (2nd lowest in the league) so far. They have averaged 4.667 runs per game as well this season, which ranks 5th in the league.

Pitching: The Natural's pitching has been a little better than the offense, but not a ton better. Their team ERA is 4th in the league at 4.49. Their 1.44 team WHIP ranks 6th in the league. They also have the least amount of strikeouts with 261 and are 7th in strikeouts per game.

Affected by Weather: Northwest Arkansas has played just 39 games in the 2011 season so far due to the severe thunderstorms this spring. That is 5 less games than the Frisco RoughRiders have played, which is quite a significant percentage when you're only 44 games into the season so far.

Last Year on this Date: Frisco had the day off

Answer to Yesterday's Question of the Day: Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings and the game went a total of 33 innings played over 2 different days. The game started on Saturday April 18, 1981 and 32 innings were played from the 18th to the morning of the 19th. At 4:07 AM, the game was stopped after 32 innings and 8 hours of play. The game was resumed on June 23rd and lasted one more inning when Pawtucket scored a run in the bottom of the 33rd inning. Cal Ripken Jr. and Wade Boggs were the two most notable player names involved.

For Frisco's part, the most notable name involved is Public Address (PA) announcer John Clemens, who hosted a radio sports segment that did pregame, post game, and between innings during this game. You can read more about it here.

Around the Ranger's System

Yesterday's Record: 1-1

Round Rock (AAA) scored 5 runs in the 5th and 6th innings to defeat the Reno Aces 5-4. Scott Feldman made his 2nd AAA rehab start and gave up 8 hits, 3 walks, and 4 runs (all earned) over 5 2/3 innings with 1 strikeout. Michael Kirkman earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Cody Eppley got a hold, while Pedro Strop recorded his 1st save as they combined for 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief as well. Taylor Teagarden and Joey Butler led the team with hits with 2 a piece, including a triple by Teagarden. Chris Davis hit a 3-run homerun as part of a 1 for 3 game. Chad Tracy, Luis Cruz, and Brad Nelson (solo homerun) added a hit a piece as well.

Myrtle Beach (high-A) gave up 6 runs over the final 3 innings and lost 8-1 to the Salem Red Sox. Robbie Erlin started for Myrtle Beach and once again was good. Erlin gave up 5 hits, 0 walks, and 2 runs (1 earned) over 6 innings with 6 strikeouts. He still took the loss, but his ERA dropped to 2.14. Ryan Strausborger went 1 for 3 at the plate with a hit by pitch and stole 2 bases. Mike Olt went 0 for 3 with a walk as well. Santiago Chirino led the Pelicans with a 2 for 4 game including a double. Kennil Gomez and Zach Osborne combined to give up 6 runs over 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.

Hickory (low-A) had an off day.

Minor League Performance of the Day

Southpaw James Paxton has struggled with command this season for the Clinton LumberKings (Seattle Mariner's low-A affiliate), but on Tuesday the 22 year old pitcher had better command and the still dominant stuff. Paxton gave up 3 hits, 2 walks, and 1 run over 6 innings with 12 strikeouts in the LumberKing's 7-1 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels. On the season, Paxton has allowed 22 hits, and 17 walks over 28 1/3 innings with 38 strikeouts. Paxton was drafted in the 1st round by the Blue Jays in the 2009 draft, but did not sign. He was then drafted in the 2010 draft in the 4th round by the Seattle Mariners and signed. Paxton is originally from British Columbia, but went to college at the University of Kentucky.

As always...

Station to Listen to the Game on: 1630 AM (KKGM)
Follow the Game Online at: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/scoreboard/league.jsp?sid=milb&lid=109
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And Check Out the Riders Insider Blog for more Frisco RoughRiders info: http://ridersinsider.mlblogs.com/

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