Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 27 July

Sean Bass of The Ticket, Michael Tepid of Lone Star Ball and I have a new edition of Diamond Pod. Link in signature.

I omitted a critical piece of news yesterday. RHP Owen White has been IL’ed with right forearm fatigue. The stated expectation is 7-10 days of rest, as was the case with Jack Leiter earlier this month, but you’re forgiven for feeling nervous.

Texas released righty Jason Bahr from Round Rock. Acquired along with OF Austin Jackson and RHP Cory Gearrin in 2018 for cash, Bahr was the unlikely centerpiece despite being listed third. The Rangers essentially accepted about two thirds of Jackson’s two-year, $6 million contract for Bahr and a decent reliever. Bahr didn’t develop as hoped. Pre-covid, he was a back-of-the-rotation candidate, but during 2021-2022 he missed several chunks of time in Round Rock, and opponents were reaching against him at over a .400 rate. As you might recall, Texas DFA’ed and then released Jackson immediately, and incidentally, Jackson’s departure from the Giants freed more playing time for one Steven Dugger, now with the Rangers in AAA.

Texas announced the signing of 4th-round righty Brock Porter.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 8, Sacramento (SFO) 10
Round Rock: 10 hits, 12 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 7 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 50-45, 7 GB

SP Tyson Miller: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 78 P / 54 S, 4.79 ERA
RF Josh Sale: 2-4, .267/.367/.483
2B Dio Arias: 2-4, BB, .313/.385/.466
SS Ryan Dorow: 1-4, HR (3), BB, .232/.321/.338
C Matt Whatley: 1-2, 2B, 3 BB, .214/.389/.286

Round Rock lost an early 8-0 lead. Following Tyson Miller’s strong start, Sacramento chipped away at the lead with increasing ferocity. Spencer Patton (1 IP, 1 R), Hever Bueno (0.2 IP, 3 R), John King (0.2 IP, 5 R), and Yerry Rodriguez (1.2 IP, 1 R) were the victims. Bueno looks like a Major Leaguer sometimes, but his down periods flout the norms of polite society. In June and July, Bueno has a .339/.460/.814 oppo line and 13.81 ERA.

Dorow can man short and hit well enough last year to reach the Majors briefly as a covid replacement. He hasn’t been able to build on that success, but his current line sells him short. He’s hitting only .264 when he doesn’t strike out, and I think some of that is bad luck.

AA: Frisco 5, at Springfield (STL) 2
Frisco: 5 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 13-10, 4 GB, 49-43 overall

SP Seth Nordlin: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 46 P / 35 S, 2.89 ERA
RP Grant Anderson: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.33 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 5.63 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 1-4, HR (5), .274/.360/.426
CF Josh Stowers: 2-3, 2B, HR (6), .226/.268/.322

On the podcast, we talked about Justin Foscue having four homers in nearly four months of play. Now, he’s at five. Unlike say Josh Smith and Ezequiel Duran, Foscue isn’t going to play the left side of the infield or bolster his WAR with defensive highlights. Texas doesn’t have to worry about 40-man eligibility until November 2023, but it would be nice to see some progress down the stretch.

High-A: Hickory 14, Rome (ATL) 6
Hickory: 15 hits, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 11-15, 5 GB, 49-43 overall

SP Larson Kindreich: 2 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 3 R, 5 BB, 3 SO, 67 P / 30 S, 3.60 ERA
RP Leury Tejada: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.75 ERA
SS Luisangel Acuna: 2-5, BB, SB (25), .312/.409/.487
3B Thomas Saggese: 3-5, 2B, .320/.368/.516
LF Trevor Hauver: 1-3, HR (12), BB, .227/.382/.424
1B Cristian Inoa: 4-5, .293/.354/.448

Hickory has taken the first two of six against the division leader. Larson Kindreich has been a mess since the no-hitter, to be frank, retiring only 14 of 31 hitters and allowing three homers in his last two starts. It’s a long season.

I said I wanted Trevor Hauver to “turn on the jets” in these final weeks, and he immediately rewarded me with a grand slam.

Thomas Saggese is batting .526/.550/1.026 with ten extra-base hits and two strikeouts in his last nine games. If you ever run into him, you’ll have the reaction people did to Dalton in Road House — “I thought you’d be bigger” — but don’t say that out loud, it’s rude. He’s Joe Average physically, 5’10” and 175, more or less, but he’s not an average hitter.

Low-A: Down East 10, at Charleston (TAM) 3
Down East: 11 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 14-11, 3.5 GB, 47-44 overall

SP Winston Santos: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 71 P / 48 S, 3.87 ERA
RP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2.79 ERA
2B Maximo Acosta: 3-5, 2B, .274/.355/.380
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-4, 2 SB (32), .274/.318/.409
DH Alejandro Osuna: 1-4, BB, SB (32), .311/.396/.456
3B Miguel Villarroel: 3-4, SB (1), .421/.476/.474

Down East reversed the previous night’s drubbing. Maximo Acosta is hitting .300/.373/.410 since a chilly April.

Another five steals brought the team total to 217, 27 more than any other low-A squad. Down East’s success rate is 75%, slightly below the league rate of 79%.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Arihara
AA: Kent
Hi-A: Englert

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Down East defeated Houston-affiliated Buies Creek 5-2 in the first of a three-game set to improve to 40-63 overall and 15-18 in the second half, eight games behind the 23-11 Astros. That seemingly nondescript win commenced an extremely unlikely romp to the Carolina League title. Down East would win 23 of 37 down the stretch including eight of ten against the Astros to eke out a second-half division title. An impending hurricane shortened the four-team playoff to two best-of-three sets to determine co-champions. Down East swept Myrtle Beach to claim the title.