The Farm Report -- 8/14/2013

Texas released Manny Ramirez. 

Rangers Farm Report: Games of 8/13

Stars of the Day
AAA: Pimentel, Ortiz / Adduci, Bianucci
AA: Nicholas, Sams, Benson
Hi-A: Lamb / Adams, Bolinger, Robinson
Lo-A: Monegro, Valdespina / Williams, Mazara
Short-A: Alvarez / Akins, Serrato
Rookie: Samayoa / Demeritte, Lantigua, Vivili, Kiner-Falefa

AAA: at Round Rock 3, Tacoma (SEA) 4 (12 innings)
Record: 64-60, -5.0

The Express squandered a chance to gain ground on division-leading OKC.  Staked to a 3-2 lead in the 9th, Cory Burns walked three and threw a wild pitch, though the tying run would score on an Alex Buchholz error.  Burns will be recalled as an extra lefty arm in September, I assume, but since coming off the DL for a finger problem at the end of June, he's been highly erratic.  Opponents have a .384 OBP and 13% walk rate (not including intentionals) since his return.  The Express offense put the leadoff batter on in the 9th and 10th but couldn't take advantage.

Evan Meek allowed 11 runners in five innings but only two scored.  Carlos Pimentel was a mechanical mess, like when I saw him Friday, but he managed to fan three in two scoreless innings.  Joseph Ortiz got the last out in the 9th and tossed two additional scoreless frames.  Ben Rowen allowed his first earned run in 41 innings on an awful but effective bunt single by Carlos Triunfel, two groundouts and a dribbled infield single.  Jim Adduci was 3-5 with a walk and two steals, and Mike Bianucci walked twice and singled.

The Rangers threw some cash at Houston for LHP Travis Blackley, who struggled badly with his control with the Astros (4.89 ERA, 20 walks in 35 innings).  He's not on the 40-man roster.  Frisco catcher Zach Zaneski was bumped to Round Rock, and the itinerant Brett Teschner joined Frisco.  Catcher Eli Whiteside was DL'ed.

AA: at Frisco 7, Springfield (STL) 9
Record: 19-32, -8.0

Every pitcher was roughed up save Randy Henry, who threw a scoreless 9th.  Starter Neil Ramirez (3.73 ERA) struck out the side in order in the 1st but was pulled after 35 2nd-inning pitches.  Ramirez recorded two outs and allowed two runs on two hits and a walk.

Joe Benson singled and hit his sixth homer.  Since coming off the DL, Benson is hitting .241/.343/.368.  Frisco also received homers from Brett Nicholas (20) and Kalian Sams (1).  Ryan Rua is hitting .200 with one walk and no extra-base hits in five AA games.

High-A: Myrtle Beach 10, at Frederick (BAL) 8 (10 innings)
Record: 30-20, +2.5

Trever Adams hit a game-tying grand slam on a full count with two outs in the 9th.  Adams (.255/.336/.390) hit a solo shot earlier; his ten homers for the season are a career high.  3B Drew Robinson walked twice and singled, and LF Royce Bolinger singled twice, tripled and was hit by a pitch.  Bolinger has a seven-game hit streak and .321/.387/.429 line since returning from a wrist injury.

Alex Gonzalez didn't match the results of his first high-A start, allowing nine of 17 batters to reach (albeit one via error), fanning none and allowing five runs (three earned) in three innings.  Will Lamb struck out five in three scoreless innings.  Lamb has a 3.35 ERA and opposing line of .234/.331/.305 since the end of May. 

Low-A: at Hickory 7, Asheville (COL) 1
Record: 29-22. -3.5

Nick Williams and Nomar Mazara doubled and singled; Williams also reached on an HBP.  CF Lewis Brinson (.230/.318/.421) reached on a single and HBP and stole his 20th base.

Not-quite spot-starter Jose Monegro (3.48 ERA) threw six innings of one-run ball, and Jose Valdespina followed with four strikeouts in three scoreless innings.  Like Lamb, Valdespina has been much better of late, posting a 3.50 ERA and line of .231/.324/.308 in the second half.

Short-A: Spokane 7, at Tri-City (COL) 2
Record: 9-10, tied for 1st

David Ledbetter (2.23 ERA) permitted only one run in three innings despite four hits, four walks and two wild pitches.  He struck out two.  Richard Alvarez (2.70 ERA) whiffed seven in five nearly perfect innings.  Jordan Akins doubled twice and hit his second homer with Spokane, and 1B Barrett Serrato was 2-3 with a double and walk.

Rookie: at Rangers 11, Athletics 7

Record: 10-6, +1.0

3B Travis Demeritte was 3-4 with a double, walk and his fifth steal.  SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, DH Fernando Vivili and 1B Smerling Lantigua all singled and doubled, and Kiner-Falefa added his 12th steal. 

Five Years Ago Yesterday
My first-hand report on Derek Holland: " Nobody I know ranked him among Texas’s top 30 prospects in the offseason [2007-2008]. He’d had a fine debut in Spokane, but that in itself didn’t set him apart. I’d summarize my thoughts at the time as: 'Great start – let’s see how he does in a full-season league.'  He's done well.  From the Wallace State press release when Holland signed with Texas: 'Holland will continue to be a starting pitcher and throws consistently at 90-92 miles per hour.' Not anymore. Holland’s fastball ranged between 92-97. His 107th and final pitch of the night was 95. The slider and change are definitely works in progress; Holland didn’t use them often and didn’t need to. Holland struck out 10 in eight innings, walked one, and allowed one extremely unearned run."

Today's Starters
AAA: Michael Kirkman
AA: Luke Jackson
Hi-A:  Luis Parra
Lo-A: Paul Schwendel
Short-A: John Niggli
Rookie: off

Scott Lucas
Newberg Report  (
twitter: @scottrlucas


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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