Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 28 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, at Las Vegas (OAK) 7
Round Rock: 7 hits, 7 walks, 2 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 0-1, 1 GB, 44-31 overall

SP Robert Dugger: 6 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 88 P / 57 S, 4.68 ERA
RP Marc Church: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.86 ERA
LF JP Martinez: 1-2, HR (5), 2 BB, SB (22), .340/.466/.560
2B Justin Foscue: 2-4, 2 2B, .281/.407/.498
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 1-3, HR (4), BB, .246/.361/.356

Justin Foscue doubled twice in his return to action, one a firm drive to LCF, the other a gentler liner into to LF corner.

Jonathan Ornelas’s homer (video) approached the upper limit of how hard he can hit (108 MPH) and caromed hard off the scoreboard well above the wall. While he’s no pure power hitter, he did swat 14 homers last year. In 2023, Ornelas has the team’s highest grounder rate as well as his highest in five years as a professional, and I suspect that’s playing a part in the 70-point drop in his slugging percentage from 2022.

Incidentally and annoyingly, the team’s second-highest grounder rate belongs to Sam Huff, who should be fitted with a device that administers a mild shock whenever he hits a grounder. (Not a big shock, just something unpleasant like licking a nine-volt battery. I’m a reasonable man.) 

AA: Frisco 4, at San Antonio (SDG) 2
Frisco: 11 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 1-0, tied for first, 32-37 overall

SP Seth Nordlin: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 64 P / 41 S, 5.88 ERA
RP Danny Duffy: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 3.97 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 3-4, BB, SB (10), .303/.422/.449
DH Trevor Hauver: 3-4, 2B, BB, .241/.363/.394

Evan Carter is batting .500/.556/.909 with four multi-hit games in his first week off the IL.

Danny Duffy had his best outing. AA opponents are hitting .244/.404/.293 against him, which is to say Duffy’s control has been very poor on occasion. I honestly haven’t watched him enough to know whether he has any hope of contributing to the Rangers. When he signed in January, I envisioned the possibility of him in the role Dane Dunning occupies, a former starter in relief pushed back into the rotation by injuries to others.

Hi-A: Hickory 6, Greensboro (PIT) 2
Hickory: 8 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 3 walks, 16 strikeouts
Record: 5-0, 2.5 G up, 32-34 overall

SP Josh Stephan: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 SO, 57 P / 42 S, 2.17 ERA
RP Andy Rodriguez: IP, 1 H (2 HR), 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 2.96 ERA
1B Abi Ortiz: 1-2, HR (10), 2 BB, .359/.431/.750
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-3, 3B, .268/.283/.407

Josh Stephan retired 15 straight, ten via strikeout, and generated 11 swinging strikes with his last 20 pitches. Frustratingly, Stephan also threw his third-fewest pitches of the season, and the other two outings involved a return from a minor injury and his lone start on four days rest. Why so short now? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out. Now 21, Stephan joined the Rangers in 2020 as a free agent after going unpicked in that year’s five-round draft.

Yesterday’s game was over by the time I sent the Wednesday report. When Abi Ortiz homered, at that moment he had the third-most homers (17) of anyone in the two A levels.

Lo-A: Down East 2, Carolina (MIL) 0
Down East: 3 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Record: 3-1, tied for first, 40-25 overall

SP Brayan Mendoza: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 60 P / 39 S, 2.40 ERA
RP Wyatt Sparks: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1.84 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.96 ERA
2B Danyer Cueva: 2-3, .262/.316/.395

Carolina was limited to an infield single and a grounder deflected by 3B Gleider Figuereo. 19-year-old Brayan Mendoza had his best stateside outing.

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: Garcia
Hi-A: Kindrech

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Demarcus Evans struck out six in two scoreless innings for Hickory. Since taking over the high-leverage role for the injured Alex Speas, Evans had a 58% strikeout rate.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 27 June

Box Scores

AAA: off

A weird schedule this week. All but Hickory had Tuesday off and their six-game set shifted forward to accommodate a game on Monday the 3rd, when more people will attend than on a bog-average Tuesday.

Reliever Alex Speas has been promoted to Round Rock, as I’ve been hoping for a little while. His first destination: Las Vegas, one of professional ball’s toughest pitching environments. Speas held AA opponents to a .133/.252/.184 line with a 14% BB/HBP rate and 42% SO rate. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 15 innings and 11 appearances. Six of those 11 lasted longer than one inning.

IF Justin Foscue is off the IL.

Brad Miller’s rehab assignment was transferred to Round Rock. Day 16, I believe.

AA: off

Hi-A: Hickory 7, Greensboro (PIT) 2
Hickory: 7 hits, 6 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 4-0, 1.5 G up, 31-34 overall

SP Dane Acker: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 69 P / 39 S, 2.11 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 2.25 ERA
1B Abi Ortiz: 2-2, HR (9), 2 BB, .356/.419/.722
RF Yosy Galan: 2-4, 2 SB (3)
2B Jayce Easley: 1-2, 2 BB, SB (13), .206/.351/.250

Dane Acker was fine until the 4th when he walked four of six batters. Courtesy of an itinerant college career, covid, and injuries, Acker has a spotty statistical record that makes assessment of his in-game control difficult. Jose Corniell’s line was nearly identical to his high-A debut, which is to say terrific.

Abi Ortiz led Down East with seven homers when promoted and already leads Hickory now. (He in fact leads all of high-A during his five weeks at the level.) Maybe send him to Frisco to see if he can surpass Thomas Saggese’s team-best ten dingers in a month’s time, and then, on to Round Rock.

Lo-A: off

Rookie: 2-4 record since I last checked in, 6-11 overall
(counting stats are for the week, ERA/rate stats are for the season)
LHP Thomas Ireland: 5 IP, 4 H (1 HR), BB, 7 SO, 0.00 ERA
LHP Kohl Drake: 3 IP, 2 H, BB, HBP, 5 SO, 2.35 ERA
RHP Wilian Bormie: 3.2 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 2 BB, 5 SO, 3.00 ERA
LHP Chris Widger: 2.2 IP, 1 H, BB, HBP, 5 SO, 1.17 ERA
RHP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA

SS Sebastian Walcott: 5-13, 2 triples, HR (1), .385/.385/.923
C Jesus Lopez: 6-16, double, 2 HR (2), 4 BB, .200/.300/.350
IF Echedry Vargas: 5-20, double, 2 HR (3), 3 BB, 2 SB, .246/.319/.446
OF Wady Mendez: 6-16, 2 doubles, BB, SB (1), .239/.352/.304
SS/2B Chandler Pollard: 4-17, 2 triples, 2 BB, 2 SB (4), .222/.364/.352

Sebastian Walcott’s first week in the US went to plan. The 17-year-old Walcott is nine months younger than anyone else on the roster, and he’s slugging .923. Yes, it’s just a 13 plate appearances in rookie league, but we’re allowed to enjoy it. 

We have an Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa sighting. “Bubba” was held back during the spring and then longer into the season than I’d expected. Last year, he struck out 67 in 43.2 innings for Down East, and hopefully he’ll return there before long.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Dugger
Hi-A: Stephan

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Spokane’s Hans Crouse shut out Everett for five innings, and Curtis Terry clubbed his league-leading sixth homer.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 25 June

RHP Owen White has been chosen to participate in the upcoming Futures Game.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, Sacramento (SFO) 4
Round Rock: 9 hits, 8 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 7 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 44-30, 6.5 GB, 2nd of 10 teams, first half over

SP Cole Ragans: 4 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 SO, 66 P / 40 S, 2.79 ERA
RP Cole Winn: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 7.71 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1.13 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 2-4, SB (3), .250/.400/.300
RF Elier Hernandez: 2-4, BB, .336/.405/.564
LF Sandro Fabian: 2-4, HR (9), .281/.326/.510

Cole Ragans was similar to Owen White on Friday, tough to hit but lacking his usual control. Cole Winn was solid for a second straight relief outing, relying heavily on a fastball that didn’t overwhelm the opposition but generated plenty of strikes. Elier Hernandez has a hit in 26 straight starts, during which he’s batted .422/.465/.750.

Half-Season Summary:
Offense: 6.1 runs per game (1% worse than park-adjusted league average), .271/.377/.456, 104 OPS+
Pitching/Defense: 5.2 runs per game (16% better than average), opposing line ..259/.355/.398, 85 OPS+
Best Hitter: OF Elier Hernandez (.336/.406/.564, 20 2B/3B, 12 HR, 136 OPS+)
Best Pitcher: LHP Cody Bradford (59.1 IP, 1.82 ERA, .192/.249/.305 oppo line, 22% SO)
If you want JP Martinez (.338/.459/.540, 145 OPS+, but 29 fewer games than Hernandez), that’s fine. My best hitter/pitcher picks are purely performance, unbiased by prospect status. Also, to reiterate the extreme playing environment, park-adjusted league-average runs per game for the Express is 6.2. Someone batting .269/.364/.453 has a 100 OPS+.

AA: Frisco 9, Springfield (STL) 6
Frisco: 13 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 31-37, 5.5 GB, 5th of 5 teams, first half over

SP Nick Krauth: 4 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 61 P / 44 S, 6.48 ERA
RP Alex Speas: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0.64 ERA
RP Justin Slaten: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0.95 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0.95 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 2-3, 2B, HR (5), BB, .293/.414/.442
SS Luisangel Acuna: 2-4, 2B, .297/.359/.440
2B Thomas Saggese: 2-4, 2B, .312/.372/.502
DH Aaron Zavala: 2-3, 2B, BB, .207/.361/.319.

Down 6-2 at the stretch, Frisco scored six runs in the 7th, capped by an Evan Carter laser to right.

Alex Speas’ last 15 innings: five hits, four walks, a hit batter, 28 strikeouts (52% of opposing hitters).

Ricky Vanasco hasn’t pitched in a real game since joining the Dodgers. I assume he’s on LA’s Development List but the info is sketchy.

Half-Season Summary:
Offense: 5.5 runs per game (6% better than park-adjusted league average), .253/.355/.401, 104 OPS+
Pitching/Defense: 5.6 runs per game (7% worse than average), opposing line .248/.352/.406, 104 OPS+
Best Hitter: IF Thomas Saggese (.312/.372/.502, 18 2B/3B, 10 HR, 134 OPS+)
Best Pitcher: RHP Owen White (56.1 IP, 3.51 ERA, .205/.302/.313 oppo line, 21% SO)

Hi-A: Hickory 5, at Asheville (HOU) 2
Hickory: 12 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 3-0, tied for first

SP Mitch Bratt: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 71 P / 53 S, 2.91 ERA
RP Seth Clark: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 3.50 ERA
RP Robby Ahlstrom: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.07 ERA
DH Abi Ortiz: 1-3, HR (8), BB, .341/.396/.682
C Tucker Mitchell: 2-4, 2B, .268/.386/.408
C Cody Freeman: 3-4, 2 2B, .210/.277/.395
CF Daniel Mateo: 2-4, 2B, .263/.278/.395

Abimelec Ortiz leads the team in homers and ranks 18th in the league. Not bad considering he spent the first six weeks of the season with Down East, for whom he’s still ranked second with seven homers. As I’ve mentioned, Ortiz’s 2022 at Down East wasn’t much to write about, but on the other hand he was 20 and had skipped rookie ball. Ortiz hadn’t hit for average until this season.  

Mitch Bratt’s 25% strikeout rate is middle-of-the-park in the Sally League, but his 5% walk rate is among the best. Bratt turns 20 in a week. I suppose he could reach AA in 2023, but I don’t feel any urgency, and spending the entire season in Hickory would not be a disappointment.

Lo-A: Down East 2, at Salem (BOS) 7
Down East: 5 hits, 0 walks, 17 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 2-1, tied for first

SP DJ McCarty: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 47 P / 32 S, 2.00 ERA
RP Dylan MacLean: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 3.08 ERA

In the 3rd, Salem scored seven runs on three hits and a whole lot of chaos. Adrian Rodriguez retired one of five batters faced. Against him in June, opponents are just 2-for-20 with no extra-base hits, but one of every three batters has reached on a walk or HBP.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Rehabbing Martin Perez threw five scoreless innings for low-A Hickory. Sam Huff caught Perez and hit his 9th homer, Bubba Thompson was 3-6, and Joe Barlow closed out a 4-3 win with 2.2 scoreless.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 22 June

Yesterday’s Diamond Pod is special. One day before his retirement, The Ticket’s Norm Hitzges joined us for an hour of reminiscing, assessment of Texas’s current situation and prospect development, and much more. Links are in the signature at bottom. Most of my experience with Norm dates to the 1980s when I lived in DFW and he called Rangers games on television. Here he is with Greg Lucas (no relation) on Home Sports Entertainment calling the Rangers and Red Sox on August 26, 1986. I probably had never seen any of this contest until today. I’d moved from Arlington to Austin three days before, and college dorms didn’t have cable. Best wishes to Norm on his next adventure.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 11, Sacramento (SFO) 5
Round Rock: 13 hits, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 42-29, eliminated

SP Robert Dugger: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 77 P / 49 S, 4.43 ERA
RP Jonathan Hernandez: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1.29 ERA
RP Yerry Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 4.29 ERA
3B Davis Wendzel: 1-2, 3 BB, .255/.383/.537
1B Blaine Crim: 2-4, HR (7), .271/.385/.463
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, BB, .243/.357/.342
RF Sandro Fabian: 3-5, 2B, HR (7), .275/.323/.485
LF Dustin Harris: 3-4, 3B

Dustin Harris has decided that Pacific Coast League opposition is no tougher than rec-league softball, and I fully support this viewpoint. In two games, Harris has a homer, triple, double, two singles, and two walks.

Jonathan Hernandez was effective, if not quite as dominant as his line suggests. Hernandez missed wide and/or low on seven of 12 sliders, but swings at five others generated four misses. A couple of balls were hit sharply but directly to RF Sandro Fabian. Still, a positive outing on the whole.

Elier Hernandez (1-5, HR) set a franchise record with a hit in his 23rd straight game. JP Martinez hit a bases-loaded triple.

Texas released 1B Yoshi Tsutsugo (.249/.380/.432), who was decent enough in AAA but not what you’d consider depth for the MLB club. Even if Dustin Harris spends most of his time in the OF, Tsutsugo seemed lacking for room in the lineup.

The re-signed Ian Kennedy is in Round Rock, and reliever Grant Wolfram has returned to Frisco. Wolfram’s a better pitcher than his awful AAA line (10.80 ERA, .310/.412/.500), but one seven-run wipeout and even worse control than usual have forced a reset.

AA: Frisco 2, Springfield (STL) 3
Frisco: 7 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 28-37, eliminated

SP Ryan Garcia: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 82 P / 45 S, 7.11 ERA
RP Alex Speas: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.68 ERA
RP Justin Slaten: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1.00 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.60 ERA
2B Thomas Saggese: 2-3, 2B, BB, .302/.361/.481

Alex Speas entered a one-out, bases-loaded pickle in the 4th and was able to limit damage to one run. He and three others shut down the Cards on four hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in 5.2 IP. 

Hi-A: rain, cancelled
First Half Over
Record: 27-34, 6.5 GB, 5th of six teams
Pythagorean Record: 29-32

Offense: 4.5 runs per game (9% worse than park-adjusted league average), .245/.329/.359 (88 OPS+)
Pitching/Defense: 4.7 runs per game (5% better than average), opposing line .249/.331/.404 (101 OPS+)
Best Hitter: OF Alejandro Osuna (.269/.385/.403, 11 2B, 4 HR, 37 BB/HBP, 13 SB, 116 OPS+)
Best Pitcher: RHP Josh Stephan (57.1 IP, 2.35 ERA, .188/.251/.352 oppo line, 29% SO)
Texas released RHP Bradford Webb, 2021’s seventh-round pick. The Virignia Commonwealth alum was a money-saver signing who pitched pretty well in 2021-2022, but this year was very different: an 8.27 ERA with peripherals to match in 20.2 innings.

Lo-A: rain, cancelled
First Half Over
Record: 37-24, +5 G, division championPythagorean Record: 38-23

Offense: 4.9 runs per game (12% better than park-adjusted league average), ..237/.329/.379 (111 OPS+)
Pitching/Defense: 3.8 runs per game (15% better than average), opposing line .206/.306/.311 (84 OPS+)
Best Hitter: 1B/OF Abimelec Ortiz (.307/.392/.604,7 2B, 7 HR, 196 OPS+), now in Hickory
Best Pitcher: RHP Jose Corniell (43.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, .175/.259/.295 oppo line, 34% SO), but you can pick Brock Porter if you like
Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: Leiter
Hi-A: Santos
Lo-A: TBD (Porter’s night but possibly affected by rainouts)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
We learned that Alex Speas would miss the rest of the season and more because of elbow surgery. Speas had been nearly untouchable over the previous month in low-A Hickory, allowing four runners while striking out 15 in 10.1 innings.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 24 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 2, Sacramento (SFO) 5
Round Rock: 9 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts
Record: 43-30, eliminated

SP Glenn Otto: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 54 P / 38 S, 2.70 ERA
RP Taylor Hearn: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 4.40 ERA
CF Bubba Thompson: 1-3, 2B
LF Dustin Harris: 1-3, 2B, BB, SB (1)
C Matt Whatley: 2-4, 2B, SB (4), .196/.305/.245

Glenn Otto pitched well again, missing 11 bats on 54 pitches. The slider was particularly vexing: nine swings, five misses, four fouls, nothing in play. As I mentioned when I saw him in person in his previous start, he looked as ready as ever. Texas just needs to figure out what to do with him. For the meantime, that might be what he’s doing now.

Bubba Thompson returned from a brief IL stint but played only part of yesterday.

Sacramento scored three in the 9th off Jake Latz, who’s still on his high-K high-contact polarity. Latz has a 38% strikeout rate, but opponents are hitting .564 on contact.

AA: Frisco 11, Springfield (STL) 7
Frisco: 12 hits, 7 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 30-37, eliminated

SP Juan Mejia: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 38 P / 23 S, 6.60 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 2-4, BB, .287/.407/.416
2B Thomas Saggese: 3-4, 2B, HR (10), BB, .309/.370/.498
RF Trevor Hauver: 2-4, HR (6), BB, .231/.356/.385
1B Josh Hatcher: 2-4, HR (1)

Thomas Saggese has seven homers in 21 June games. Saggese joined Frisco very late in 2022, so he’s barely spent over half a season at the level. He’s also just 21, and Texas doesn’t have a 40-man decision until after next year. He’s played less than ever at short, just four games, splitting most days between second and third.

Hi-A: Hickory 13, at Asheville (HOU) 8 (12)
Hickory: 19 hits, 9 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 10 walks, 15 strikeouts
Record: 2-0

SP Emiliano Teodo: 1.2 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 4 R, 3 BB, 2 SO, 41 P / 19 S, 5.28 ERA
RP Jackson Kelley: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 9.30 ERA
RF Alejandro Osuna: 2-6, 2 BB, .264/.381/.391
3B Keyber Rodriguez: 2-7, BB, .270/.283/.391
SS Max Acosta: 3-7, 2B, HR (5), .280/.328/.391
1B Abi Ortiz: 3-7, 2B, .341/.392/.659
DH Cody Freeman: 2-5, 2 BB, .196/.266/.374
LF Geisel Cepeda: 2-7, HR (4), .292/.378/.392
C Cooper Johnson: 4-5, 2B, 2 BB, SB (1), .222/.375/.289

Hickory’s rather light-hitting offense has rebounded lately and taken full advantage of one of the Sally League’s friendliest parks. Down 7-2 in the 7th, the Crawdads were able to send the game to extras, and after catching their breath, they pinned five on the board in the 12th. Hickory had 33 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Emiliano Teodo is still looking to find his groove. The good news of being 69 innings behind last year’s total is that Texas doesn’t have to worry about his workload during the second half.

Lo-A: Down East 6, at Salem (BOS) 2 (10)
Down East: 7 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 5 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 2-0

SP Luis Ramirez: 3 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 57 P / 34 S, 4.24 ERA
RP Nick Lockhart: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.75 ERA
RP Leandro Lopez: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 SO, 3.35 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.20 ERA
DH Anthony Gutierrez: 1-4, BB, SB (11), .254/.313/.308
RF Tommy Specht: 1-4, HR (1), BB, .295/.421/.397

Down East tied the game in the 3rd on Tommy Specht’s first professional homer, and there the score stayed until the 10th. Anthony Gutierrez’s single and steal preceded Specht. Leandro Lopez has one of his patented “wild but unhittable so nyah nyah nyah” outings. On four occasions, Lopez has walked/hit at least three batters without allowing a run. He’s surrendered two hits and struck out 27 in those games.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Ragans
AA: Krauth
Hi-A: Bratt

Five Years Ago Yesterday
“C.D. Pelham pitched on consecutive days, retiring one batter after a spotless 11-pitch inning in his AA debut. As I’ve mentioned, throwing back-to-back is often an indication that the Rangers are prepping a reliever for Arlington. I’d be beyond shocked if this applies to Pelham, who isn’t on the 40 and just reached Frisco.”

It was an indication. Pelham made his MLB just over two months later. Pelham joined San Diego this year but was hurt pitching for AA San Antonio and is on the 60-day IL.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 23 June

Reliever Jose Leclerc has been IL’ed with a sprained ankle, replaced by Yerry Rodriguez.

Sebastian Walcott is making his stateside debut right now. First plate appearance: home run. The Astros signed Jon Singleton to a minor league deal. Really.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 8, Sacramento (SFO) 3
Round Rock: 12 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 43-29, eliminated

SP Owen White: 5 IP, 1 H (1 HR), 2 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 84 P / 48 S, 3.60 ERA
DH Blaine Crim: 2-4, HR (8), .275/.387/.477
2B Jonathan Ornelas: 2-4, .248/.360/.345
LF Sandro Fabian: 2-4, HR (8), .279/.326/.500

In his AAA debut, Owen White carried a no-hitter through two outs in the 5th, and in my opinion he was… okay. He was okay. Due to a previous engagement, I missed the first two innings, during which White retired six straight on 22 pitches. As I took a seat in the 3rd, White next 22 pitches generated only eight strikes. He walked two and hit one, and one scored on a grounder. White regained most of his errant control afterwards, the only miscue a no-doubt homer. He wasn’t missing badly with his fastball, usually a little inside or out, and his 11 combined curves and changes resulted in nine balls. White was effective on the whole but lacked his typical crispness when I was there.

I finally saw Marc Church in person for the first time since last May at Hickory. Church was intermittently amazing with his high-90s heater and high-80s slider, but his once impressive control has been below average in 2023. Strikes were a challenge last night, and three of four balls in play were scorched. Church is very promising — he’s a 22-year-old with barely 100 pro innings and has reached AAA — but last night wasn’t a “call me up” performance. I shot some video.

Now that Dustin Harris is in AAA, hopefully I’ll outgrow the double-take I perform every time I see him. He’s always a little bigger than I remember, always a little faster, always with a quicker bat. You’d think I’d have learned by now. Harris punched a nice two-strike, two-out, oppo RBI single last night. He played first, so I can’t comment on his OF play.

Blaine Crim launched a rocket to center for a grand slam (my video). Based on the underlying batted-ball data, I’d have expected more production this season, so perhaps he’s “due” for an upswing. His HR rate is down about 25% versus 2022. Crim is more than a homer-or-bust hitter, but he’s also a first baseman, so you want those homers.

AA: Frisco 8, Springfield (STL) 5
Frisco: 8 hits, 7 walks, 4 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 29-37, eliminated

SP Noah Bremer: 2.1 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 4 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 42 P / 25 S, 15.43 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1.59 ERA
RP Michael Brewer: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 4.50 ERA
RF Trevor Hauver: 1-2, 2 BB, .225/.351/.366

Noah Bremer, not Jack Leiter. Leiter was placed on the Development List (sort of a non-IL holding pen for inactive players) yesterday afternoon to manage his workload, per local media. That wouldn’t be especially newsworthy except that Leiter was the listed starting pitcher up until a few hours before the move, at least on paper. Odd timing.

Bremer, Texas’s 2017 6th-rounder, hadn’t pitched outside rookie league since 2021 and was returning from surgery. Grant Wolfram’s return to AA returned an immediate dividend.

Thomas Saggese, Aaron Zavala, Liam Hicks, and Jax Biggers all had one hit and one walk.

Hi-A: Hickory 8, at Asheville (HOU) 2
Hickory: 11 hits, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 1-0 (second half)

SP Larson Kindreich: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 77 P / 44 S, 5.05 ERA
RP Winston Santos: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 5.37 ERA
3B Keyber Rodriguez: 3-5, .269/.336/.368
1B Abi Ortiz: 3-4, 2B, HR (7), .333/.389/.667
C Cody Freeman: 2-3, HR (7), BB, .190/.254/.373
LF Geisel Cepeda: 1-4, HR (3), .293/.381/.378

Hickory hit three homers to left or center in a park notorious for its short RF fence. Abi Ortiz is hitting better in Hickory than Down East: the same seven homers in 31 fewer plate appearances.

Lo-A: Down East 7, at Salem (BOS) 4
Down East: 8 hits, 3 walks, 18 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 1-0 (second  half)

SP Brock Porter: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 55 P / 30 S, 1.70 ERA
RP Aidan Curry: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 3.02 ERA
RP Joseph Montalvo: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1.89 ERA
CF Anthony Gutierrez: 2-4, HBP, .254/.309/.310
SS Cam Cauley: 1-3, 2 BB, SB (19), .247/.329/.407
C Ian Moller: 2-4, 2B

Is it a bullpen night when three nominal starters take the hill? Aidan Curry and Joseph Montalvo appeared in addition to normal Friday starter Brock Porter, and all were effective.

Anthony Gutierrez played his first game for Down East in a month. He’s been working in Arizona and playing a few rookie games.

OF Yeison Morrobel’s official status reads “Injured – Full Season.” Morrobel wasn’t on the IL but hadn’t played in over two weeks. He batted .273/.383/.313 in 37 games

Today’s Starters
AAA: Otto
Hi-A: Teodo

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Lefty reliever CD Pelham threw a clean 8th in his AA debut. Starter Jonathan Hernandez was roughed up again, similar to his inaugurations to both A levels, so I wasn’t worried.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 21 June

Box Scores

AAA: rain

No doubleheader Thursday or any other day. The game won’t be rescheduled because both teams are eliminated from first-half contention. This is a new and surprising policy. In ye olden days (the 2010s), the PCL schedule was sacrosanct, and games would be played, come what may. In both 2013 and 2015, when teams played 144 games in a ridiculous 152 days, the entire 16-team league had only one cancelled game. The old schedule format also included only one day off after the All-Star break. In 2015, the Express had two makeup doubleheaders, so they concluded the season with 55 games in 54 days. With three fewer players on the roster than are allowed now!

AA: Frisco 2, Springfield (STL) 6
Frisco: 6 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 9 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 28-36, tied for first

SP Seth Nordlin: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 70 P / 48 S, 6.44 ERA
RP Eudrys Manon: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 SO, 3.52 ERA
CF Evan Carter: 3-4, 3B, HR (5), .287/.411/.425

In his first game back with the Riders, Evan Carter tripled, homered, and singled. Needing a double for the cycle, Carter grounded to first and reached on an error. Unfortunately, his teammates reached safely only four times all night, and Carter himself was nabbed trying to steal a base, so he would not get another chance. In any case, what matters is he’s back and seemingly in fine form. The official record of Carter’s previous three weeks consists only of four games with the rookies.

Something I neglected to mention from Tuesday: Luisangel Acuna made his pro debut in CF. Usually in such cases, I follow that sentence with “[Player X] handled [Y] balls without incident,” but in the 9th inning, Acuna nabbed a single in the RCF gap and threw wildly and out of play in an attempt to keep the batter from advancing to second. The batter had in fact already slowed down in anticipation of returning to first, but the errant throw would give him not one but two extra bases. Frisco was down a run with two outs, so the error could have been meaningful, but a homer by the next batter mooted that runner’s advance.

Hi-A: Hickory 7, at Asheville (HOU) 4
Hickory: 12 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 6 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 27-34, tied for first

SP Josh Stephan: 5 IP, 6 H (2 HR), 3 R, 4 BB, 4 SO, 75 P / 45 S, 2.35 ERA
RP Seth Clark: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 3.94 ERA
3B Keyber Rodriguez: 2-5, 2 2B, .261/.330/.362
DH Geisel Cepeda: 3-4, 2B, HR (2), .294/.384/.363
1B Abi Ortiz: 3-4, BB, .311/.365/.608
C Tucker Mitchell: 2-5, HR (2), .254/.392/.397

Josh Stephan gave up two homers, two doubles, two singles, and four walks, but somehow only three scored. Actually, “somehow” included Hickory’s first-ever triple play, an around-the-horn groundout involving 3B Keyber Rodriguez, 2B Frainyer Chavez and 1B Abimelec Ortiz. Asheville doesn’t have a video feed, but I found highlights. Stephan has been one of Texas’s least walk-prone pitchers in 2023 and had never issued four passes in a game.

Lo-A: cancelled

Same as AAA. At most, Down East will play 62 of the 66 scheduled first-half games.

IF Sebastian Walcott hasn’t debuted stateside yet. The rookies were off yesterday. Catcher Sandy Leon elected free agency. Texas released RHP Evan Elliott, picked in 2021’s 15th round. “Mid-90s fastball, mid-80s slider, 80ish curve, hard to hit but extremely walk-prone in this summer’s Northwoods League,” I wrote in July 2021, and in 15.1 pro innings he would proceed to allow only nine hits but walk 16.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Dugger
AA: Garcia
Hi-A: Kindreich

Five Years Ago Yesterday
In his belated 2018 debut, a few days after missing his scheduled Opening Day start due to a cut finger during warmups, Hans Crouse was probably amped and definitely wild. He missed 16 of his first 22 pitches but settled down to throw two innings with one run allowed. Crouse is currently on Philadelphia’s minor league 60-day IL. I don’t know why in this case, but he missed a large portion of 2022 with biceps tendinitis and had bone spur trouble as a Ranger. His fastball velocity was around 91-94, and control was poor.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 20 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 15, Sacramento (SFO) 6
Round Rock: 15 hits, 9 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 41-29, eliminated

SP Cole Ragans: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 63 P / 46 S, 1.59 ERA
RP Cole Winn: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 8.19 ERA
RF JP Martinez: 4-4, 2 2B, HR (4), 2 BB, 2 SB (21), .350/.481/.553
1B Blaine Crim: 1-4, HR (6), BB, .266/.381/.444
LF Dustin Harris: 2-2, 2B, HR (1), 2 BB
C Matt Whatley: 2-3, 2 BB, .181/.283/.234

Yesterday, I jokingly complained about Owen White making his first AAA start on the road, only to turn on yesterday’s game and discover the Express were in fact at home again this week. Somehow last week I’d thought I’d heard about a player possibly meeting the team in Sacto, or maybe I dreamed it.

I would not have been able to attend Tuesday’s game regardless, and I missed a dandy. Dustin Harris walked twice, doubled, and homered in his AAA debut. Not to diminish his effort, but the homer was the third-softest involving the Express or their opponents in 2023 (91.9 MPH off the bat), very unlikely to leave the park on a cool, still night in April. On the other hand, Harris went to the opposite field for both extra-base hits.

Cole Winn had pitched in relief once previously in AAA, but even then a starter-length performance was expected. Yesterday, limited to three innings, Winn offered his first walk-free outing since… goodness, April 26, 2022, the notorious evening in which he was struck on the heel by a comebacker, after which his troubles began and continue to this day. Winn missed only two bats and threw in his typical velo range, but he didn’t miss the zone as often, and Elier Hernandez stole a homer. In late April, Winn had a five-inning, one-walk, zero-run start in late April that preceded his worst stretch yet, so I wouldn’t dare call yesterday anything more than a nice three innings, but at least I can say that.

AA: Frisco 7, Springfield (STL) 10
Frisco: 10 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 14 hits, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 28-35, eliminated

SP Nick Krauth: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 79 P / 52 S, 6.69 ERA
CF Luisangel Acuna: 3-5, 2 2B, HR (5), .307/.374/.458
SS Thomas Saggese: 4-4, BB, SB (6), .299/.357/.470

Luisangl Acuna is hitting .319/.373/.522 in June. Thomas Saggese: .296/.354/.563.

Nick Starr, awful early in the season but back to his old self for about a month, is once again going through some things. Starr allowed two two-run homers in the 9th.

Hi-A: Hickory 6, at Asheville (HOU) 3
Hickory: 8 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 26-34, eliminated

SP Dane Acker: 4.2 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 75 P / 50 S, 2.04 ERA
RP Jose Corniell: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 1 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2.25 ERA
1B Abi Ortiz: 2-3, 2B, HR (6), .286/.338/.600
CF Daniel Mateo: 1-4, HR (5), .269/.286/.409

With nearly identical lines, Dane Acker and Jose Corniell fell an out short of a tandem complete game. Starting pitching looked to be a team strength entering the season, and that was minus Acker and Corniell, who weren’t on the initial roster. On the whole, starting pitching has indeed been solid so far, with relief and hitting more responsible for the team’s under-.500 record along with some bad luck (5-11) in one-run games.

Lo-A: Down East 8, at Salem (BOS) 3
Down East: 9 hits, 8 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 37-24, division champion

SP Damien Mendoza: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 59 P / 41 S, 3.60 ERA
RP Jacob Maton: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.40 ERA
RP Wyatt Sparks: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 2.13 ERA
RF Tommy Specht: 1-2, 2 BB, HBP, SB (3), .297/.422/.365
C Ian Moller: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, .176/.309/.289
1B Griffin Cheney: 2-4, 2B, BB, .236/.354/.473
CF Jojo Blackmon: 1-5, HR (4), .151/.254/.308

Down East happily took advantage of Salem wildness, plating four runners who reached on walks. Tommy Specht has 15 in 90 trips to the plate, uncommon for an 18-year-old.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Ozuna
AA: Nordlin
Hi-A: Stephan

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Most of the system was off. Frisco improved to 2-0 in the second half following a franchise-worst 24-46 first half. Converted OF Anthony Gose was in the midst of batting sparingly between relief appearances. He didn’t distinguish himself in either role as a Ranger but managed to appear in 28 games in relief for Cleveland in 2021-2022. He’s out this season after elbow surgery.

Rangers Farm Report

Up to AAA Round Rock: RHP Owen White, 1B/OF Dustin Harris. Texas could have assigned White to AAA last week so I could watch him on Sunday, (switch to John Belushi voice) but noooooo, they let him pitch in Arkansas, and now he’s in Sacramento, and I only get to see him on a computer! (Normal voice) That aside, as I’ve mentioned, White hasn’t quite taken the baseball world by storm in 2023 due to a lighter schedule and slightly lower fastball velocity, but he’s ready for the jump. Despite 145 games in AA, Harris’s promotion isn’t what I’d call overdue. Harris’s walk rate is up 44% over his already solid 2022, but he’s striking out more often (a still-acceptable 23%), his hit rate is down (a career-low .245 average), and most of last year’s homers have turned into doubles.

Up to AA Frisco: OF Evan Carter (back from a few days with the rookies, but not in today’s lineup) and 1B/OF Josh Hatcher. Hatcher was last year’s 10th-round pick and batted .247/.295/.425 in Hickory, slowing down after a hot start.

Up to High-A Hickory: RHP Jose Corniell, OF Yosy Galan. Both were having stronger repeat showings in low-A, Corniell in particular.

Up to Low-A Down East: OF Anthony Gutierrez. Gutierrez returns to full-season ball after a a few weeks in Arizona including a handful of rookie- league games.

Up to rookie league: IF Sebastian Walcott. I’d hoped Texas’s top 2023 international signing would see the US in 2023, but I wasn’t expecting so soon. The 17-year-old batted .161/.381/.323 in nine Dominican Summer League games, drawing ten walks and striking out eight games in 42 trips to the plate.

To Injured List: IF Justin Foscue, backdated to last Friday. Foscue did not play in the home series against El Paso. Also Frisco RHP Kyle Funkhouser, an offseason signing who is recovering from an injured shoulder.

Transferred: Brad Miller’s rehab, to Frisco. Miller batted .211/.250/.368 in five games with the Express. The pitch and statcast data were not encouraging.

Signed: RHP Ian Kennedy. I overlooked his return last week. He’s assigned to rookie league for the moment and has yet to appear.

The Rangers lost three of five, most notably a 17-6 loss to the White Sox that included 13 walks, three hit batters, five wild pitches, a balk and two errors committed by Texas’s pitchers. Fort the players below, the ERA and slash stats are for the whole season, while the counting stats are for last week alone.

LHP Thomas Ireland (20 years old): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA
LHP C.J. Widger (24): 2.1 IP, 1 H, BB, 5 SO, 1.80 ERA
RHP Wilian Bormie (20): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 3.38 ERA
RHP Eury Rosado (22): 3.0 IP, , 3 BB, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA
LHP Luis Valdez (19): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA

COF Edgar Basabe (19): 6-12, 3B, HR (1), .308/.333/.577
COF Marcos Torres (18): 4-14, 2 2B, 3B, BB, HBP, .294/.442/.500
C Jesus Lopez (18): 5-18, 2 2B, 3B, .261/.346/.522
CF Jose De Jesus (18): 3-13, 2B, 4 BB, 1 SB (5), .256/.375/.436
MIF Echedry Vargas (18): 4-19, 2B, 2 BB, 1 SB (2), .244/.306/.378

Yenci Pena has been the team’s best hitter in the early going, but he’s been around for years. Among the youngest, Marco Torres has fared best, followed closely by Anthony Gutierrez, who’s now back in low-A. Ireland and Widger are later-round 2021 picks who’ve pitched little-to-none entering 2023 because of injuries. Assuming space is available, they could easily end up on a full-season squad. Cuban Bryan Chi (3.18) continues to pace the rookies in workload, and he’s walked two versus 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Ragans
AA: Krauth
Hi-A: Acker

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Justin Topa started for Frisco. A 2013 Pittsburgh pick, Topa missed most of 2015-2016 because of elbow surgery and spent all of 2107 and a chunk of 2018 in the indy Frontier League. His ten games in the Texas system were nondescript, to be generous. I have no memory of him. So why bother? Because now, at the age of 32, darned if Topa isn’t pitching pretty well in relief for the Mariners. Topa has a 3.18 ERA, 25 strikeouts, and 13 holds in 30 appearances.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 18 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 6, El Paso (SDP) 3
Round Rock: 13 hits, 5 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 5 hits, 3 walks, 15 strikeouts
Record: 40-29, eliminated

SP Glenn Otto: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 44 P / 30 S, 3.00 ERA
RP Chase Lee: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 3.22 ERA
RP Jake Latz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 7.30 ERA
CF JP Martinez: 2-4, BB, .328/.460/.496
3B Davis Wendzel: 3-4, 2 2B, HBP, .258/.379/.550
1B Brad Crim: 1-3, 2 BB, .267/.381/.433
RF Sandro Fabian: 2-4, HR (6), .258/.309/.453

Glenn Otto breezed through three innings. I don’t know if he fits into Texas’s immediate plans, but he looks as ready as ever. His impending return doesn’t cause much logistical trouble. He has ample time remaining on his rehab assignment, he can be optioned, and at present the Rangers have an open spot on the 40 to accommodate him.

Spencer Howard (2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 SO) was better than his line, if not outright good. He missed the same five bats as Otto in a similar number of pitches, and only one ball was hard-hit, but his control wavered.

AA: Frisco 5, at NW Arkansas (KAN) 4
Frisco: 9 hits, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 28-34, eliminated

SP Owen White: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 3 SO, 61 P / 40 S, 3.51 ERA
RP Alex Speas: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.72 ERA
RF Aaron Zavala: 2-4, 2B, HR (3), .212/.360/.333
SS Chris Seise: 2-4, SB (8), .204/.286/.312

Returning to AA after his MLB debut, Owen White was comfortable if slightly erratic (two hit batters, wild pitch) in an abbreviated start.

Send Alex Speas to AAA, Texas. He and I deserve it. Speas has an opposing line of .129/.236/.194 in May and June with a 13% BB/HBP rate and 43% SO rate. 13% isn’t good but within striking range of league-average nowadays, and it’s outstanding relative to his past performance.

Aaron Zavala broke a four-game hitless streak alleviated by five walks.

Hi-A: Hickory 5, Bowling Green (TAM) 4
Hickory: 7 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Record: 25-34, e G up

SP Mitch Bratt: 5.1 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 78 P / 53 S, 3.09 ERA
RP Robby Ahlstrom: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 5.04 ERA
SS Max Acosta: 1-3, 2B, BB, .283/.336/.385
C Tucker Mitchell: 1-3, HR (1), BB, .259/.414/.370

For the ninth time in 11 starts, Mitch Bratt issued fewer than two walks. Commendable any time, extraordinary under present conditions. Robby Ahlstrom unexpectedly moved into a primarily late/high-leverage role in early May, and after a first-appearance wipeout, he’s been solid: 1.17 ERA, .143/.232/.204 opposing line and 16 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. Ahlstrom was part of the Jose Trevino trade. He turns 24 today.

Lo-A: Down East 3, Kannapolis (CHW) 7
Down East: 4 hits, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 9 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 36-24, division champion

SP Dylan MacLean: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 SO, 48 P / 28 S, 3.41 ERA
RP Nick Lockhart: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.90 ERA
RP Kai Wynyard: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1.93 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 2.95 ERA
RF Tommy Specht: 1-3, BB, SB (2), .292/.400/.361

The day after clinching the division title, Down East’s offense slumbered until the 8th. Both Dylan MacLean and DJ McCarty (3 IP ,6 H, 5 R, 4 BB 2 SO) were walk-prone.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Yerry Rodriguez struck out his first six opponents and allowed a run in 5.1 innings with the rookies.