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

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Game 89: Corpus Christi Hooks (Erick Abreu) @ Frisco RoughRiders (Joe Wieland)

Time: 7:05 PM CT
Location: Dr. Pepper Ballpark (Frisco, TX)
Team Records: Frisco RoughRiders (11-7, 2 games back in the Texas League South; 51-37 overall)... Corpus Christi Hooks (8-10 5 games back in the Texas League South; 33-55 overall)
Streak: Won 5 in a row
Last 10: 8-2
Road Trip: 5-1
Series Record: 14-9-2
2011 Record against Corpus Christi: 10-10
All-Time Record against Corpus Christi: 105-99
Record on July 14th since 2004: 5-1
Starting Pitchers: Joe Wieland (1-0 2.25 ERA) is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 1 career start against the Corpus Christi Hooks...Erick Abreu (4-2 4.45 ERA) is 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA and 0.76 WHIP in 21 career appearances, including 6 starts against the Frisco RoughRiders.  

What to Watch for on the Mound: Frisco sends Joe Wieland to the mound for the 4th time this season, while Corpus Christi sends Erick Abreu to the mound for the 24th time, including his 9th start in the first of a four game set with the Corpus Christi Hooks... Joe Wieland looks to pitch as effectively as he did in his last start at Dr. Pepper Ballpark. The 21 year old right hander is making his 4th start for Frisco this season. In his last start, Wieland gave up 9 hits, 3 walks, and 5 runs (2 earned) over 5 innings with 5 strikeouts against the Springfield Cardinals on the road. In his last two starts, Wieland has walked more batter (6) than he had in his previous 15 appearances, 14 starts combined (4). In his first home start in Frisco, Wieland gave up 5 hits, 3 walks, and 1 run over 6 innings with 1 strikeout. All 3 walks came in the 6th inning. It was the most he had walked in one inning as a professional and 1 short of tying a career high in walks in a game. On the season for Frisco, Wieland has given up 20 hits and 6 walks with 11 strikeouts in 16 innings. Overall, he has given up 98 hits and 10 walks with 107 strikeouts over 101 2/3 innings between Myrtle Beach and Frisco...  Erick Abreu looks to continue his domination of Frisco as the right hander has never lost to Frisco in 21 appearances. In his last start against the Tulsa Drillers, Abreu gave up 4 hits and 2 runs over 7 innings with 7 strikeouts and 0 walks. Over his last 10 appearances, Abreu has given up 47 hits and 7 walks with 46 strikeouts over 47 innings. He is 3-2 during that time. The 27 year old Texas League veteran has given up 60 hits and 14 walks with 60 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings for the Hooks this season. He is 1-1 with a 5.75 ERA on the road this year and is 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA over 3 starts since the second half began.

Frisco Wins 5th in a Row in 9th Inning Comeback: Frisco trailed 2-0 heading into the 9th inning against the Arkansas Travelers, but 3 Arkansas Travelers errors in the inning helped Frisco defeat the Travelers 3-2 to finish off a 3 game sweep and a 5-1 road trip. Frisco is now 23-13 on the season against the Texas League North and finished off the season 7-5 against Arkansas. It was Frisco's 4th sweep of the season, including their 3rd against a Texas League North team.

Pimentel's Solid Outing: After giving up a 1 out 2-run homerun to Arkansas All-star third baseman Luis Jimenez, Carlos Pimentel pitched effectively for the next 5 2/3 innings and did not allow a run. He set down the order in both the 2nd and the 5th innings. And in between, Pimentel was able to get out of the little trouble he faced. After getting hammered in his first two outings, Pimentel finished with a line of: 6 IP 5 H 2 R 2 ER 2 BB 4 K.

Frisco Manages Win Without RBI: It's not very common that you see a team win with more than 1 run without getting a RBI, but on Tuesday that is what Frisco did as they had 3 runs and 0 RBI in the 3-2 comeback win in the 9th inning over Arkansas. The 3 errors obviously helped lead to all 3 runs as well.

RISP Struggles: Frisco managed to sweep the Arkansas Travelers despite going 5 for 30 with RISP over the 3 game set, including 0 for 9 on Tuesday. On the season, Frisco is batting .287 with RISP as a team. Guilder Rodriguez, who was recently promoted to AAA, has the best team average with RISP this season with a .368 batting average.

Pitches Per PA Since June 16th: A recent project I began working on is a work in progress, but since I didn't start this in the very beginning of the season, it's taking a lot longer. To give you more of an in depth look at the hitters of Frisco, I am using gameday to go back and get data of called strikes, swinging strikes, foul balls, balls hit into play, etc, while also taking down first pitch swinging. Some players you can just tell are free swingers, and others are surprising. At the MLB level, this data is readily available on different websites such as fangraphs. At the minor league level, it's nowhere to be found. For Frisco, we're taking care of that.

Since June 16th

Pitches Per Plate Appearance (Active Players)

Renny Osuna: 3.89 
Davis Stoneburner 3.72
Jose Ruiz 3.65
Jonathan Greene 3.62
Mike Bianucci: 3.50
Elio Sarmiento 3.40
Tommy Mendonca 3.38
Jose Felix 3.12
Engel Beltre:  2.96

First Pitch Swinging% (Active Players)

Mike Bianucci 58.9% (66 of 112)
Tommy Mendonca 55.3% (42 of 76)
Engel Beltre 52.0% (52 of 100)
Jose Felix 43.1% (22 of 51)
Jonathan Greene 40.2% (39 of 97)
Elio Sarmiento 38.0% (19 of 50)
Davis Stoneburner: 25.3% (22 of 87)
Jose Ruiz: 22.3% (23 of 103)
Renny Osuna: 21.1% (24 of 114)

First Look at Jose Altuve at Dr. Pepper Ballpark: Listed at 5'7" on the Hook's roster, don't let the height get you too confident. Jose Altuve has been rising fast up prospect charts this season as the up and coming second base prospect is hitting a collective .389 between high-A and AA. For Corpus Christi he has hit .360 over 34 games as he has hit 16 extra base hits. Altuve was an Astro's representative at the Futures Game and went 2 for 3. He has a plus hit tool going forward and obviously he has been using that to get noticed. Over his last 10 games, Altuve has 6 multi hit games for the Hooks.

Tracking Texas League Homeruns: 667 in 698 games (0.955 HR/G)

Term of the Day: Handle Hit- A batted ball that is hit off the handle of the bat, often a groundball that dribbles down the line.

Last Year on This Date: Frisco had an off day.

Around the Ranger's System

Yesterday's Record: 3-0

Round Rock (AAA) had the day off yesterday due to the All-star game.

Myrtle Beach (High-A) scored 5 runs in the first 3 innings and defeated the Salem Red Sox 8-3 at home. Miguel De Los Santos started for Myrtle Beach and gave up 1 hit, 4 walks, and struck out 6 over 5 shutout innings. Chad Bell pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief. Ryan Rodebaugh gave up 3 runs over 2/3 of an inning, while Joe Ortiz and Kasey Kiker combined for 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Jared Bolden led Myrtle Beach with a 3 for 4 game including a double, homerun, 3 RBI, walk, and run scored. Santiago Chirino and Jared Hoying each had 2 hits in the game, including a double a piece. Ryan Strausborger went 1 for 2 with a double, RBI, walk, and run for the Pelicans. Leury Garcia added a hit, 2 walks, and 3 runs scored, while Zach Zaneski added 2 hits of his own. Travis Adair and Andres James each had hits as well. Salem's starting pitcher Stolmy Pimentel fell to 0-10 on the season, becoming the second pitcher in minor league baseball this season to have more than 10 losses without a win. The other is Florida Marlin's 2009 1st round pick, Chad James.

Hickory (Low-A) also scored 5 runs in the first 3 innings and defeated the West Virginia Power 7-2 on the road. Roman Mendez started for Hickory and gave up 6 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs with 8 strikeouts over 6 innings. Joseph Van Meter gave 3 innings of shutout relief for his 5th save. Andrew Clark led the Hickory attack with a 2 for 4 day including a double, homerun, 4 RBI, and 2 runs. Jurickson Profar went 1 for 3 with a double, walk, and 2 runs for the Crawdads. Odubel Herrera went 1 for 3 with a RBI on a sacrifice fly, while Josh Richmond went 1 for 3 with a walk. Teodoro Martinez added a hit, as did Jhonny Gomez. Jake Skole added a triple for his lone hit in 4 at bats.

Spokane (Short Season A-Ball) scored 6 runs over the 6th-8th and defeated the Everett AquaSox 6-3 on the road. David Perez started for Spokane and gave up 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs over 4 1/3 innings with 5 strikeouts. Francisco Mendoza and Kyle Hendricks combined for 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Brett Nicholas went 2 for 5 with a double, homerun, 2 RBI and 2 runs for Spokane. Trever Adams went 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI at the plate as well. Zach Cone added a 1 for 4 day with a double and a RBI for the Indians as well. Gullermo Pimentel added a hit as well.

Minor League Performance of the Day

Taijuan Walker continued his dominant season thus far in 2011 with a complete game pitching performance. In the Clinton LumberKing's 6-2 victory over the Great Lakes Loons, Walker went the full 9 innings, gave up just 2 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs, both of which came on a 2-run homerun. Walker also struck out 7 batters in the victory. On the season for Clinton, Walker has given up just 47 hits, walked 28 batters, and struck out 90 over 71 innings pitched. He is 4-4 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 starts. The 18 year old right hander was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 1st round of the 2010 draft out of a California high school.

As always...

A special thanks to any blog followers from Tortilla Flat, AZ!

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/

- By Michael Damman

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