Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 23 June

The Rangers traded OF Willie Calhoun for 28-year-old San Francisco OF Steven Duggar, who’s recently completed a rehab assignment for a strained oblique. Duggar performed well during the Giants’ amazing 2021 (.257/.330/.437 as a busy role player) but was off to a slower start before his injury. I’d thought he was out of options, but per local media he has another. That may matter down the road, but for now it appears he’ll be joining the active roster.

Calhoun was completely superfluous to the Rangers at this point, basically taking up playing time in Round Rock that the Rangers would rather give to others, so that logjam is eased, and Calhoun has a chance to re-establish himself elsewhere. Duggar’s a better return than I expected.

Texas designated reliever Spencer Patton for assignment. Patton pitched capably overall in a handful of early outings, but his control problems have crept up. In 17.1 innings between Texas and Round Rock, he’s walked or hit 15.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 6
Round Rock: 6 hits, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 35-34, 7 GB

SP Cole Winn: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 88 P / 51 S, 5.43 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.88 ERA
LF Zach Reks: 1-3, BB, HBP, .340/.440/.623
RF Josh Sale: 1-3, 2 BB, SB (1), .349/.429/.674

Unfortunately, I could recycle an old report for last night. Winn walked four, struggling in particular during a 33-pitch 1st. He threw only 19 of 40 fastballs for strikes, but 32 of 48 secondaries hit the mark or a bat. The Dodgers didn’t cause much damage with the bat (the one extra-base hit, a double, was a cheapie), but the park barely contained two deep flies.

Bubba Thompson stole his 36th base in 53 games, walked and was hit by a pitch. Billy Hamilton’s 75 steals in 2013 are in the most in AAA during the 2000s.

AA: Frisco 0, at Arkansas (SEA) 9
Frisco: 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 34-32, 2 GB, elimination number 1

SP Cody Bradford: 4.2 IP, 8 H (2 HR), 7 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 4 SO, 95 P / 63 S, 6.71 ERA

Not Bradford’s day. He didn’t walk anyone but hit two batters in the 4th and allowed two homers in the 5th.

San Antonio recovered to win Wednesday night’s suspended contest and then lost its regularly scheduled game. Frisco needs three straight wins and three Missions losses to win the first-half division title.

High-A: Hickory 0, at Rome (ATL) 3
Hickory: 6 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 38-28, 3.5 GB, first half over

SP Robby Ahlstrom: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 79 P / 53 S, 6.14 ERA
RP Destin Dotson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 2.25 ERA
C Cody Freeman: 2-3, BB, .250/.329/.408

SS Luisangel Acuna singled twice, and Aaron Zavala walked twice. At the halfway mark, Zavala’s 50 walks lead all of high-A, and his .422 OBP ranks third.

Bowling Green (TAM) won Hickory’s division with a 41-24 record, and Aberdeen (BAL) ran away with the other first-half crown with a 43 wins and a 7.5-game cushion. Hickory has the league’s third-best record and second-best run differential at +76.

Low-A: Down East 3, Carolina (MIL) 2
Down East: 6 hits, 2 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 33-33, 2 GB, first half over

SP Ryan Garcia: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 59 P / 38 S, 2.08 ERA
RP Josh Gessner: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 SO, 2.35 ERA
RP Theo McDowell: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.16 ERA
CF Daniel Mateo: 1-3, BB, SB (20), .274/.335/.401
LF Yosy Galan: 1-4, HR (9), .248/.331/.460
1B Abi Ortiz: 1-4, HR (4), .188/.259/.299

Abi Ortiz hit a solo walk-off blast. Yosy Galan’s team-leading ninth homer opened Down East’s scoring in the 5th.

Carolina led the division entering the series with Down East but fell to third by losing three straight. Salem held the crown for a little while, but Cleveland-affiliated Lynchburg swept yesterday’s doubleheader to finish 35-31 and take the first-half title on a tiebreaker.

Myrtle Beach (CHC, 47-19) held off Charleston (TAM, 46-20) for the other postseason berth.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Allard
AA: Leiter
Hi-A: TBD (Krauth’s turn but he missed last week, not on IL)
Lo-A: TBD (Stephan, maybe)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Kate Morrison, subbing for me: “The minors are funny. Every once in a while you’ll see something spectacular, and then that moment of ephemeral beauty turns out to be just that – ephemeral. One of the best minor league sliders I’ve ever seen in person was Jake Thompson, just after Texas traded for him. It was big, had incredibly two-plane break, and no one could get a bat on it. Since being traded to Philadelphia, Thompson, sadly, has proceeded to do not much, and the slider that once was so lovely is now harder, and yet easier to hit.”

Quite so. I could’ve written the same thing, and in fact I thought I did write this until I came across a different paragraph in that day’s report that didn’t sound like me. My experience with his slider was identical, except I saw it in San Antonio, not Frisco. Thompson is currently pitching for Yucatan in Mexico, sporting a 5.74 ERA, which sounds bad but is actually better than the league average.