Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 3 April

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 10, @ El Paso (SDP) 2
Round Rock: 15 hits, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 4-2, 1 GB

SP Michael Lorenzen: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 4 SO, 70 P / 41 S, 5.40 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 20.25 ERA
3B Davis Wendzel: 2-4, HR (2)
C Sam Huff: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB
1B Blaine Crim: 1-4, HR (1)
RF Sandro Fabian: 2-5, HR (1)
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 4-5, 2B, 3B, SB (1)
LF Trevor Hauver: 2-4, BB

Michael Lorenzen produced another credible start before his return to MLB, which might come early next week. He’s walked or hit more than usual despite strong strike and missed-bat rates. Regardless, he seems fine.

The Chihuahuas swung and missed at six of Antoine Kelly’s seven fastballs as well as their one swing at his slider. Most of his heaters were 98 and high in the zone. He’s not first in line as a Texas bullpen replacement, and in general I don’t think the Rangers are in a hurry to promote him, but he can certainly put himself in a position to make his MLB debut with outings like this.

The Express have scored at least eight runs in five consecutive games and lead the league with a .555 slugging percentage. A bunch of familiar faces are back from last year’s offense, which posted a 106 OPS+ and 4% more runs than the park-adjusted league average.

Other News
Dane Acker, Emiliano Teodo, and Nick Krauth will head Frisco’s rotation this weekend at Wichita.
Aidan Curry and Brock Porter will follow Opening Day starter Winston Santos in high-A Hickory’s series at Rome.

IF Rougned Odor signed a minor deal with the Yankees.
Seattle signed RHP CJ Widger, Texas’s 2021 10th-rounder released late last month.

The Oakland A’s announced a three-year residency in Sacramento while their park in Las Vegas is built (if it’s built). Most coverage has focused on the A’s, but I’ve wondered more about the impact on the AAA Sacramento RiverCats.

In 2021, Minor League baseball instituted a simple six-days-a-week schedule that doesn’t jibe at all with the MLB schedule, which includes homestands that could commence any day of the week except Saturday and Sunday and last from three to over ten days. To date there hasn’t been any coordination between MLB and minor league schedules because it hasn’t been needed. Now, the scheduling powers that be will have to mesh these formats without causing major disruptions to these teams and others in MLB and the Pacific Coast League. Best of luck.

The RiverCats are affiliated with the Giants, not the A’s. If I’m the owner of the Giants, I’m happy to have the Bay area to myself, but if I’m in their baseball ops, I’m concerned about the impact of sharing the AAA facility. Might the RiverCats be forced to play at irregular times including day games following night games? Would the schedule be broken into more and shorter series, requiring more travel? Would practice facilities sometimes be off-limits because the A’s were using them, or because they were undergoing renovation to align them more with MLB standards? Anything decreasing the AAA location’s desirability for developing future big-leaguers would irritate me greatly, especially when the culprit is the clownishly obtuse ownership of the A’s.

If I own or work for the RiverCats, I’m similarly concerned about these disruptions. Are my travel costs going to increase? Is a jagged schedule with more day games going to depress attendance along with parking, concessions, and merchandise revenues? Are new administrative headaches going to burden staff already working long hours, multi-tasking and putting out brush fires? (I should note that RiverCats owner Vivek Ranadive, who also owns the NBA Kings, oversaw the move and is pals with A’s owner John Fisher, so I guess he’s cool with everything. Conversely, the RiverCats’ president offered a combination of befuddlement and defiance.)

Fisher called Sacramento’s Sutter Health Park “intimate,” and that’s true, but it’s a double-edged sword. Look, I love minor league parks as much as anyone, but they’re not equipped to handle Major League operations. Everything is smaller. Clubhouses, weight facilities, batting cages, etc. The clubhouses aren’t attached to the dugouts. The bullpens have no restrooms. The press box has booths for two broadcast crews, but an MLB game typically requires at least five (tv and radio for both teams, plus a home Spanish crew). Virtually everyone will have to office off-site.

I’m sure there’s numerous other issues that haven’t yet occurred to me. Usually, folks find a way to muddle through such situations. But it could really be a mess.

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: Acker
Hi-A: Santos
Lo-A: B. Mendoza

Five Years Ago Yesterday
The four starters (Taylor Hearn, Brock Burke, Tyler Phillips, Hans Crouse) combined for 17.2 innings, 14 hits, 6 runs, 0 walks, and 19 strikeouts. Phillips provided the best line, fanning four in five scoreless innings.