Rangers Farm Report: Games of 8/15
Stars of the Day
AAA: Blackley, Feierabend, Burns / Buchholz
AA: Tufts / Rua
Hi-A: Harvey / Maloney, Bolinger, Alberto
Lo-A: Sadzeck, Burns / Williams
Short-A: Brooks, Sprenger / Pinto
Rookie: Sosa, Wiper / McDonald AAA: at Round Rock 5, Tacoma (SEA) 3
Record: 65-61, -5.0
Through four innings, top Seattle prospect Taijuan Walker allowed an Alex Buchholz solo homer
and little else, reaching 98 on his fastball, adding a wicked lower-90s cutter and the occasional curve and change. His velocity and control began to dwindle in the 5th as the steady drizzle worsened field conditions. Walker allowed two walks and two singles to open the 6th, by which time Tacoma manager John Stearns was repeatedly voicing his displeasure over conditions that were causing players to lose their footing. After a run-scoring balk, Aaron Cunningham drove a pitch that skidded under the left fielder's glove, and Cunningham himself slipped and was tagged out. Stearns exploded and was ejected. Finally, the umps stopped play to let the rain dissipate, but by then, Round Rock had turned a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
Travis Blackley pitched to form in three scoreless innings: 87-91 FB, slider or cut fastball, slow curve, change. Ryan Feierabend allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, for which I'm awarding a star because of the conditions. Cory Burns fanned two on changes and watched Engel Beltre end the game with a diving stab of a short fly.
The Pacific Coast League announced a divisional realignment coinciding with Tucson's move to El Paso in 2014. Round Rock will lose Oklahoma City (Astros) and Albuquerque (Dodgers) as division opponents and gain Memphis (Cards) and Nashville (Brewers). Unless the league also changes the schedule, the only other material difference for Round Rock will be more games against Colorado Springs (which is moving to the "eastern" half of the league) and fewer against Albuquerque. As it stands, the Express play 16 games against its easternmost opponents, irrespective of division, and just four against the western teams. AA: at Frisco 1, Springfield (STL) 7
Record: 20-33, -13.0, elimination number 5
Springfield attacked Jon Edwards ( 1 IP, 5 baserunners, 4 R) after Tyler Tufts worked a solid opening five (5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SO). Ryan Rua hit his first AA homer
and 30th overall. Others to reach 30 homers in the minors for Texas in recent years are Joey Gallo this season, Mike Bianucci (30 in 2009 and 2011), Nelson Cruz (37 in 2008) and Ian Gac (32 in 2008). High-A: Myrtle Beach 5, at Carolina (CLE) 4
Record: 31-21, +2.5
Kevin Pucetas issued six walks and hit a batter in 4.2 innings but suffered only two runs. Ryan Harvey (1.86 ERA) fanned three in two scoreless innings for his seventh save.
SS Hanser Alberto (.209/.277/.56 in Myrtle Beach) doubled twice and walked twice. After last year's mid-season promotion to high-A, Alberto drew two walks in 66 games. CF Royce Bolinger reached on a walk and two singles, and Joe Maloney hit his fifth homer.
Low-A: at Hickory 4, Asheville (COL) 1
Record: 30-23, -3.5
Nick Williams (.303/.348/.577) broke a 24-game dry spell with his 16th homer, doubled, walked twice and stole his seventh base. He still batted a quite respectable .287/.354/.379 during the power outage.
Connor Sadzeck (2.29 ERA) allowed a run in five innings on five hits, a walk and four strikeouts. In 23 starts, Sadzeck has never failed to reach five innings, a remarkable achievement for a young pitcher at that level. Joe Burns (4.30 ERA) followed with nine consecutive batters retired.
Short-A: Spokane 5, at Tri-City (COL) 2
Record: 11-10, +1.0
Eric Brooks (3.70 ERA) tossed five scoreless innings with five strikeouts and just four runners allowed. Justin Sprenger (4.09 ERA) closed out by retiring seven of eight, the last three on strikeouts. RF Eduard Pinto (.268/.333/.268) was 3-5, while Cam Schiller, Barrett Serrato and Gabriel Roa singled twice. Rookie: Rangers 7, at Angels 2
Record: 11-6, +1.0
Cole Wiper (3.12 ERA) fanned three and allowed three singles in four scoreless innings, his longest outing to date. Kevin Sosa (3.58 ERA) preceded him with five walk-free innings and two runs allowed on four hits. CF Todd McDonald doubled, singled, walked twice and stole his fourth base. Five Years Ago Yesterday
Justin Smoak and Robbie Ross signed deadline-day deals. I suggested that Smoak would be slightly more likely to play a couple of weeks at short-season Spokane than low-A Clinton, an incorrect guess. The younger Ross would debut in Spokane in 2009. In what would be his last appearance anywhere, John Rheinecker allowed six runs in two innings for the rookie-level Rangers. He was returning from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which, if memory serves, afflicted 80% of the organization during the previous decade. Texas acquired Rheinecker and John Koronka in early 2006 for the notorious Juan Dominguez.
AAA: Jake Brigham
AA: Nick Martinez
Hi-A: Alec Asher
Lo-A: Frank Lopez
Short-A: Ryne Slack