Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 13 August

Texas is recalling RHP Yerry Rodriguez to replace Matt Moore, who’s on the paternity list.

Rodriguez deals a fastball (60%), slider (30%) and change (10%). He averages 96.8 with the fastball and has thrown the only 100 MPH pitch by the Express this season. He can usually control it despite ample movement, and his swinging strike rate is a high 17%. The slider ranges from 78 to 85, and its effectiveness varies. The change doesn’t engender a ton of misses but I’ve always thought it good enough to keep in his repertoire.

Rodriguez was a mess to begin the season but settled into a nearly unhittable two-month stretch. Unfortunately, that has concluded, and his April issues have returned. He’s hit or walked seven of his last 23 batters. Still, Texas needs to give him a look. As I’ve mentioned, with the active roster’s demands on the 40-man roster being greater than ever because of a 26-man active list plus a reliever carousel, space for relievers who aren’t in the mix for MLB innings is close to nil. This time next year, Rodriguez will either be on that carousel or off the 40.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Oklahoma City (LAD) 9
Round Rock: 8 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 9 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 59-51, 4 GB

SP Dallas Keuchel: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 93 P / 52 S, 3.31 ERA
LF Mark Mathias: 2-4, HR (1), .308/.367/.462
DH Josh Jung: 2-4, HR (2)

Dallas Keuchel was Dallas Keuchel. Opponents are slugging a meager .268 but walking at a 17% rate against him. That rate against MLB hitters sounds like disaster, but we’ll see, maybe. I ran a twitter poll last week, and roughly two of three voted that he would pitch for the Rangers in 2022. That feels about right.

John Jung homered again. Statcast doesn’t list a distance, but at 103 MPH and 37 degrees off the bat, the ball’s fate was relatively assured. See for yourself.

AA: Frisco 4, San Antonio (SDG) 5
Frisco: 8 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts
Record: 22-16, 3 GB, 58-49 overall

SP Zak Kent: 5 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 3 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 84 P / 57 S, 5.12 ERA
RP Avery Weems: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 5.03 ERA
3B Justin Foscue: 1-4, 2B, BB, .291/.375/.488
RF Jax Biggers: 2-4, 2B, SB (3), .288/.343/.387

Zak Kent returned from a brief stay on the IL. Kent started the year in a slump, issuing more walks that strikeouts through mid-May. In his last eight appearances, he has 40 strikeouts versus just seven walks in 32 innings.

Justin Foscue doesn’t have a significant hitting or on-base streak, but since breaking a lengthy homer drought he’s at .355/.437/.736. He’s started at third the past two nights.

High-A: Hickory 6, at Greenville (BOS) 4
Hickory: 9 hits, 5 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 18-23, 10 GB, 56-51 overall

SP Ricky Vanasco: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 84 P / 51 S, 4.76 ERA
LF Trevor Hauver: 1-5, HR (13), .221/.380/.419

Vanasco was a strike machine early, retiring seven of eight on just 24 pitches, 19 for strikes. He followed with a stretch of four walks to 11 batters and missed on more than half his pitches. Nobody else put an effective ball in play, however, so Vanasco left with a 1-0 lead.

Low-A: Down East 6, at Fayetteville (HOU) 4 (-4.5)
Down East: 6 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 21-20, tied for first, 54-53 overall

SP Josh Gessner: 3 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SO, 62 P / 37 S, 4.85 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.25 ERA
C Ian Moller: 2-4, 2B, SB (14), .218/.376/.338
3B Miguel Villarroel: 2-4, 2B, .297/.375/.391

Josh Gessner made his first start in full-season ball, having pitched in a weekly tandem role before now. He’s been effective if wild most of the time. Six of his 16 runs came in one outing.

Ignoring appearances as a pinch runner or defensive replacement, Ian Moller has reached in 17 straight while batting .333/.493/.491 with 18 walks. Before then, he was .141/.293/.235.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Miller
AA: Kelly
Hi-A: Ahlstrom listed, but he pitched last night.
Lo-A: TBD (Garcia)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hickory swept Columbia in a four-game set by a combined score of 30-7 to take a two-game lead in the second-half title race.