The Farm Report -- 8/8/2017

Your newest Texas Rangers is RHP Ricardo Rodriguez. Who? Honestly, I don't know much about him myself. I've seen him live at least once, as he pitched the final inning of Matt Harrison's rehab start in Round Rock on June 19, 2015. But, to be honest, I've no memory of him, as it was fully occupied by the scuffle between Harrison and Iowa's Matt Szczur. The 24-year-old Venezuelan has been around since December 2010, but aside from two AAA appearances, he'd never pitched above low-A until this year and was shelved all of 2016 by Tommy John surgery.

Always possessed of good control, Rodriguez has been a revelation this season, once retiring 45 consecutive batters (20 by strikeout) over the course of ten appearances in high-A Down East. In June I called him a name emerging from the system's depth. Texas promoted him to Frisco July 1, and he hasn't suffered a bit, posting a 1.20 ERA with 17 strikeouts and a lone walk in 15 innings. Through others, I've confirmed this impression from a Baseball America article (which you should check out): "Rodriguez does a good job of hiding the ball behind his body during his delivery and he has a hard, downer curveball and a usable slider. But his biggest asset is his ability to locate his hard, riding 93-96 mph fastball to both sides of the plate."

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Monday 7 August
Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 9, at Col. Springs (MIL) 1 (8)
Record: 54-61, 20.5 GB

SP James Dykstra: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 7.11 ERA
RP Dario Alvarez: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1.53 ERA
SS Jurickson Profar: 1-4, HR (5), walk, .299/.387/.448
C Kevin Torres: 1-3, HR (1), walk
LF Willie Calhoun: 2-5, .296/.353/.585

LF Willie Calhoun settled for two singles and threw out Chris Colabello stretching for second base, so maybe there's some defensive value in him after all.

Kevin Torres, in the Texas system since before you were born, homered in his first AAA game. Jurickson Profar has returned to active duty.

Texas traded reliever Ernesto Frieri to the Mariners for cash. The Rangers also released RHP Jaye Chapman (6.89 ERA in AAA), who'd been DL'ed in late June and was rehabbing with the rookie squad.

AA: off

High-A: off

Low-A: rain

Hickory will play two against its closest division competitor tonight. The Dads lead Greensboro and Hagerstown by one game with 27 to play, 17 of which will occur against competitive division rivals.

Short-A: at Spokane 6, Eugene (CHC) 5
Record: 9-3, +2 G

SP Demarcus Evans: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 SO, 9.00 ERA
RP Parker Sanburn: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Alex Speas: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 8.63 ERA
SS Chris Seise: 2-4, walk, .188/.222/.313
RF Chad Smith: 0-2, 3 walks, .289/.372/.463
DH Clayton Middleton: 2-4, double, .345/.394/.603
1B Curtis Terry: 2-4, HR (8), .246/.287/.465

More drama in the 9th, as pinch-hitter Tyler Ratliff doubled home Nick Kaye (who singled to start the inning) with two out after an intentional walk to Chad Smith.

Alex Speas pitched well in relief again, and per a game report, he's more comfortable in that role right now. I doubt the Rangers have foregone the idea of Speas (last year's 2nd-round pick) in the rotation in the long term, but he'll be a pen arm for the rest of 2017.  Reporter Whitney Ogden tweeted that manager Matt Hagen wanted to cut down on the free bases, but that was before Demarcus Evans arrived in Spokane. He's got some promise, but walks are simply part of the package for now.

The Indians, which early on were reminding me of the woeful 28-48 squad of 2012, have improved to 25-25 overall.

Rookie: Rangers 6, at Dodgers 1
Record: 5-2, +1 G

SP Hans Crouse: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0.69 ERA
RP Ryan Dease: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2.77 ERA
RP Chris Morris: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 4.50 ERA
SS Yonny Hernandez: 3-5, double, .375/.525/.500
C Juan Ventura: 3-4, 2 doubles, .292/.320/.500
2B Ryan Dorow: 2-3, walk, .296/.389/.383

Ho hum, another two scoreless innings from Hans Crouse, who whiffed a career-low one batter.

Texas sent OF Kobie Taylor and IF Yonny Hernandez to Surprise from Spokane. Hernandez was hitting well but had to contend with Chris Seise, Cristian Inoa and Kole Enright for middle-infield at-bats. Taylor, who didn't play last summer, was off to a slower start and should also get more action in rookie league.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
A slow day.  Myrtle Beach 2B Odubel Herrera (.279/.330/.368) doubled, walked, was hit by a pitch and stole his 22nd base. 

Today's Starters:
AAA: Tyler Wagner
AA: Ariel Jurado
High-A: Kyle Cody
Low-A: Sanmartin / Anderson
Short-A: Tyler Phillips
Rookie: TBA

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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