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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Game 69: Midland Rockhounds (Shawn Haviland) @ Frisco RoughRiders (Robbie Erlin)

Time: 7:00 PM CT
Location: Dr. Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (39-29 9 games back in the Texas League South)... Midland Rockhounds (26-42 22 games back in the Texas League South)
Streak: Won 3 in a row
Last 10:7-3
Homestand Record: 0-0
Series Record: 10-8-1
2011 Record against Midland: 10-2
All-Time Record against Midland: 113-99
Record on June 20th since 2004: 3-2
Starting Pitchers: Robbie Erlin (3-0 4.81 ERA) is 1-0 with a 10.80 ERA and 2.40 WHIP in 1 career start against the Midland Rockhounds... Shawn Haviland (2-6 7.56 ERA) is 0-1 with a 9.72 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in 3 career starts against the Frisco RoughRiders

What to Watch on the Mound: Frisco sends Robbie Erlin out to the mound for the 5th time this season, while Midland sends Shawn Haviland out to the mound for the 14th time in a re-match of their June 15th start... Robbie Erlin received a win in his last start despite putting together his worst start this season. Erlin gave up 10 hits, 2 walks, and 6 runs over 5 innings with 5 strikeouts. It was the first time he had given up more hits than innings pitched since his first start of the season for Myrtle Beach when he gave up 5 hits in 4 innings. It was also the most runs he's given up in his pro career. Over his 4 starts for Frisco, Erlin has given up 25 hits and 4 walks with 21 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. On the season, Erlin has given up 50 hits and 9 walks with 83 strikeouts in 79 innings. He is 6-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts for the season. Erlin's 0.75 WHIP is still the best in minor league baseball... Shawn Haviland looks to rebound from his rough start as he has given up more hits than innings pitched in 4 consecutive starts and 9 of his 13 starts overall this season. He also has given up more runs than innings pitched in 7 of his 13 starts. In his last start, which came against Frisco, Haviland gave up 11 hits, 1 walk, and 10 runs (7 earned) with 2 strikeouts over 4 innings pitched. On the season, the 25 year old right hander has given up 93 hits and 20 walks with 51 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings. He has given up 13 homeruns in 13 starts this season. On the road, Haviland is 1-2 with a 7.52 ERA in 5 starts.

Frisco Wins In Extras Again: Frisco comes home after a 6-2 road trip to Midland and Corpus Christi where both series were carbon copies of each other. Frisco lost the first game and won the final 3 of each 4 game set. On Sunday, Frisco won 9-8 in 12 innings, which was 1 inning short of the game on Saturday. The win puts Frisco within striking distance of finishing the first half with 40 wins. With 2 games remaining in the first half, Frisco has 39 wins for the season. They have finished with 40+ wins in the first half 3 different times (2003, 2007, and 2008). They have already surpassed last year's first half total of 38 wins. They won the first half title last year with 38 wins and right now are currently 9 games behind San Antonio.

Brandon Webb Struggles Again: For the second time in his three rehab outings, Brandon Webb struggled to miss bats. He lasted just 2/3 of an inning and gave up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs to the Corpus Christi Hooks. The Hooks also did not start Jose Altuve in the game, who has been their best hitter since joining the team, and came in later in the game to pinch hit and finished 2 for 2. Webb has given up 15 hits and 4 walks over 7 innings and currently has an 11.57 ERA.

Tanner Scheppers: Another notable pitcher for Frisco on Sunday was reliever Tanner Scheppers. He made his 2nd appearance of the 2011 season and pitched 2 scoreless innings for the Riders. Scheppers struck out 4 batters without allowing a baserunner.

Greene Goes Deep Twice: Jonathan Greene homered in the 2nd and 3rd innings en route to matching a career best with 5 RBI. It was his 8th multi homerun game of his pro career and his 4th game with 5 RBI of his career as well. He also returns home now, where Greene has been much better this year.

Greene w/ 5 RBI:
7/15/2007 for Spokane (Short Season A ball) 2 for 3 with 1 HR
8/25/2009 for Frisco (AA) 2 for 3 with 2 HR 
7/21/2010 for Bakersfield (high-A) 3 for 5 with 2 HR
6/19/2011 for Frisco (AA) 2 for 5 with 2 HR

Mendonca Extends Streaks: Tommy Mendonca finished up his road trip of terror with a 2 for 6 day including a double and RBI. He extended his road on base streak to 35 games this season and 41 overall. He also extended his hitting streak to 11 games, RBI streak to 7 games, and RBI or run scored streak to 10 games. On the road trip, Mendonca went 19 for 37 with 6 doubles, 1 homerun, 12 RBI, and 11 runs scored. He walked 6 times, including 2 intentional walks, and struck out 4 times. He is currently batting .403/.451/.664/1.115 on the road through 35 games (149 at bats).

Can Big Bats Hit at The Pep'?: Frisco brings a hot offense home with them for a four game homestand with the Midland Rockhounds. Frisco scored 64 runs over 8 games on the road trip and accumulated 102 hits over the 8 games. The problem has been that Frisco's 3-4 hitters, Tommy Mendonca and Mike Bianucci, have struggled to put up good production in Frisco.

Mendonca: .227/.277/.482/.759
Bianucci: .227/.282/.420/.702
Team: .264/.324/.411/.735

Mendonca: .403/.451/.664/1.115
Bianucci: .306/.363/.563/.926
Team: .283/.342/.426/.768

Frisco Powers Up: With 2 games left in the first half of the season, the question surrounding Frisco is... can they hit three more homeruns? Frisco has hit 29 homeruns in 32 home games this season. They are currently at 66 homeruns for the season. With three more homeruns in the first half they would already have more homeruns than they had all of last season. Mendonca and Bianucci both have more homeruns already than the Rider's top two players (Joey Butler and Andy Jenkins) had all of last season, which was 10 for the year. With Shawn Haviland going for Midland, there is the possibility of fireworks. Joey Butler also led the Rider's with 58 RBI last season and Tommy Mendonca takes 55 RBI for the season into the final 2 games of the first half.

Homecoming Killer: Matt Sulentic is in the middle of his third full year in AA and so far the pressbox has found him to be quite a havoc for Frisco pitchers... especially in Frisco. In his career, Sulentic is a .326 hitter with a career .864 OPS against the Frisco RoughRiders. That's especially good when you consider that the Hillcrest High School graduate hasn't put up an OPS higher than .759 in the Texas League and his highest batting average in the Texas League is .288. In Frisco, however, the 23 year old outfielder holds a career batting line of: .359/.432/.553/.986 with 10 doubles in 30 games there. The highlight of his games in Frisco was on June 24th, 2009 during a morning game where Midland crushed Frisco 14-3. Sulentic went 4 for 5 with a single, triples, 2 homeruns, a walk, and 6 RBI. His second homerun, a grand slam in the 9th inning, barely got over the wall. Had it hit the double, he would have likely had a bases clearing double and finished the game with the cycle.Needless to say, Sulentic seems to enjoy playing in Frisco.

Tracking Texas League Homeruns: 502 homeruns in 538 games (0.933 HR/G)

Term of the Day: Marginal value over replacement player (MORP)- A measure of how much a player ought to be paid based on his performance, computed by turning value over replacement player into a dollar figure in the context of present-day salary norms. One can compare the measure to a player's actual salary to evaluate whether he is earning his salary; one can also project the measure for subsequent seasons (with an 8 percent annual inflation adjustment to reflect the normal rise in salaries) to evaluate whether a player is likely to perform well enough to justify a long -term contract. The measure was introduced by Baseball Prospectus.

Last Year on This Date: Frisco lost 7-1 on the road to the Corpus Christi Hooks. Richard Bleier started for Frisco and gave up 13 hits and 7 runs over 7 innings with 3 strikeouts and 0 walks. Adalberto Flores pitched a scoreless 8th inning in the loss. Guilder Rodriguez led Frisco with 2 hits in 4 at bats in the game. Renny Osuna and Elio Sarmiento had the only other 2 hits in the game, as they had one a piece.

Around the Ranger's System

Yesterday's Record: 3-1

Round Rock (AAA) took a 9-0 lead after 3 innings and defeated the Omaha Storm Chasers 11-7 at home. Tommy Hunter started for Round Rock and gave up 10 hits and 4 runs over 6 innings. He struck out 2 batters and did not issue a walk. Seth McClung gave up 1 run in 2 innings of relief, while Beau Jones gave up 2 runs in 1 inning of relief. Chris Davis finished the game 3 for 4 with 2 RBI. Chad Tracy went 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI for the Express. Brian Barden and Luis Cruz each had 2 hits and 2 RBI a piece as well. Brad Nelson had 1 hit with 2 RBI. Joey Butler and Julio Borbon each had hits as well. Omar Quintanilla finished 3 for 5 with a double, homerun, and RBI as well.

Myrtle Beach (High-A) had their game postponed due to rain. They have an off day today. Their next game is Thursday at home against the Potomac Nationals.

Hickory (Low-A) gave up 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning to lose to the Charleston RiverDogs 7-4. Nicholas McBride started for Hickory and gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs (2 earned) over 2 2/3 innings with 2 strikeouts. Ben Henry gave up 1 run over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Jimmy Reyes pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief. Jorge Marban took the loss after giving up 3 runs in 1 inning of relief. Colby Killian pitched a scoreless 9th inning. Teodoro Martinez finished the game 2 for 5 with a triple and 2 RBI. Alejandro Selen, Kellin Deglan, and Jhonny Gomez, batting 6th-8th, combined to go 6 for 12 with a double, 2 homeruns, 2 RBI, and 4 runs scored for the Crawdads. Jonathan Roof added a single and a walk.

Spokane (Short Season A-Ball) got a walkoff single by Brett Nicholas to defeat the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-3 in 9 innings. Santo Perez started for Spokane and gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs over 5 innings with 3 strikeouts. Will Lamb and Andres Perez-Lobo pitched 2 scoreless innings. Francisco Mendoza picked up the win after giving up 1 run in his 2 innings of work. Hanser Alberto finished the game 3 for 5 with a double for Spokane. Brett Nicholas went 4 for 5 with a double, homerun, and 3 RBI for the Indians. Ruben Sierra Jr. went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI. Jorge Alfaro, Braxton Lane, and Ryan Rua each had a hit for Spokane.

Minor League Performance of the Month

Michael Choice has seemingly gotten better as the 2011 season has gone further along and on Sunday, the former University of Texas-Arlington star had a big day. Choice hit a walkoff 3-run homerun to finish off a great game and give the Stockton Ports a 14-12 victory over Rancho Cucamonga. In the victory, Choice went 3 for 6 with a double, 2 homeruns, 4 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Choice, a 2010 first round pick by the Oakland Athletics, is hitting .248 with 17 doubles, 16 homeruns, 44 RBI, and 49 runs scored in 65 games. His OPS is .853 for the season. In the month of June, he is batting .239 with an .860 OPS. He has hit 4 doubles and 5 homeruns in 17 games. Michael Choice was rated by Baseball America as the #3 prospect in the Oakland Athletic's organization.

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
Follow Us on Twitter atwww.twitter.com/pressboxchatter 
Follow the Extra Bases Live Blog throughout the Game at: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/multimedia/page.jsp?ymd=20100305&content_id=8685092&vkey=multimedia_t540&fext=.jsp&sid=t540
And Check Out the Riders Insider Blog for more Frisco RoughRiders info: http://ridersinsider.mlblogs.com/

- By Michael Damman

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