Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 11 May

Corey Seager hit a two-run double in three plate appearances for Frisco.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, Oklahoma City (LAD) 9
Round Rock: 7 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 9 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 21-14, 3.5 GB

SP Cole Winn: 3.1 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 4 R, 4 BB, 4 SO, 81 P / 40 S, 7.88 ERA
RP Grant Anderson: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 3.97 ERA

OKC refused to offer at Cole Winn’s out-of-zone fastballs, of which there were many. Control was manageable until the 4th, when he walked three of his final four batters.

RF Rafael Ortega homered for the fourth time, and 3B Dio Arias hit his first.

Texas released RHP Stephen Villines, who’d been on the shelf for a year.

AA: Frisco 6, Wichita (MIN) 8
Frisco: 13 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 13-17, 4 GB

SP Jack Leiter: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 SO, 89 P / 56 S, 4.35 ERA
2B Luisangel Acuna: 2-5, HR (3), .316/.374/.474
LF Dustin Harris: 3-4, HR (3), BB, 2 SB (13), .215/.366/.402
C Scott Kapers: 2-3, HR (4), HBP, .333/.389/.651

Did Jack Leiter pitch as well as last week? No. Did he pitch better than most of his pro outings? Very much so. Leiter again emphasized the fastball (65% of all pitches) and again dealt it effectively (70% strike rate). One of every six tallied a swinging strike.

Leiter started 13 of 19 batters with a strike. He didn’t throw more curves than sliders, but the curve received nearly equal billing and was more effective than usual. Leiter still tended to use it as a first-pitch strike grabber (seven thrown, four strikes). The slider was rare until the 4th. Relative to the curve, it missed more bats, but ten of 16 were balls. I saw one change for a swinging strike. At least, I think it was a change. I want very badly for it to be a change.

Two liners were scorched directly to waiting outfielders, and Yoyner Fajardo hit a ball at an otherworldly 117 MPH, fortunately on the ground. Still, all told, Leiter had another solid outing.

The bullpen did not. The bullpen has been a problem lately.

Hi-A: Hickory 4, at Bowling Green (TAM) 5
Hickory: 9 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 12-16, 8 GB

SP Kumar Rocker: 4.2 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 69 P / 46 S, 3.86 ERA
RP Seth Clark: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 6.75 ERA
1B Josh Hatcher: 1-4, HR (6), .298/.359/.532
LF Geisel Cepeda: 2-4, .238/.368/.286

One out into the 5th inning, Kumar Rocker was cruising. He’s retired 13 batters on just 46 pitches, dealing 30 strikes including nine swinging. Most of the contact was gentle. Then, suddenly, Rocker ran into trouble, resulting in a strike rate barely over 50%, a walk, two balls over the fence, and a double off the track. Another hit (a single off a not-bad fastball) ended his night.

We’ve been here before. Rocker has pitched 27 full innings and parts of two others. 26 of those 29 were scoreless. 12 runs have scored in the other three. One of those three outings began a game, so it’s not as though he’s unable to recover.

By my count, Rocker missed four bats on fastballs, seven on sliders, and two on curves. Or should I say, “curves.” One pitch I’d marked as a curve was an 84 MPH slider per the announcer, but it and a handful of others lacked the down/glove-side action of his usual slider, so I’m calling it a curve based on its distinct shape. Regardless, it too was a useful pitch. Before his mini-meltdown, Rocker’s 19 breakers drew two calls, 13 swings, and nine swinging strikes. I saw one firm change that was taken outside.

Lo-A: Down East 2, Delmarva (BAL) 4
Down East: 6 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 17-11, 1 G up

SP Josh Gessner: 6 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 72 P / 45 S, 1.69 ERA
DH Yeison Morrobel: 1-3, BB, .185/.371/.185

I haven’t gotten a good look at Gessner this season, but neither have opposing hitters (.119/.286/.209), who have reached 16 times on walks or HBPs but collected only eight hits.

Yeison Morrobel is back from a brief IL stint.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Dugger
AA: White
Hi-A: TBD (Santos listed but is on the IL)
Lo-A: Officially TBD (Porter)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
I saw Frisco’s Brett Martin struggle in San Antonio (5 IP, 13 runners, 4 R), but after two balls to Fernando Tatis Jr., he dropped in two called-strike curves and then blew a fastball by Tatis for strike three. He also completed the other three strikeouts with changeups.