Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 13 April

The cascading effects of Austin Pruitt’s promotion are reliever Grant Wolfram up from Frisco to Round Rock and Seth Clark from Hickory to Frisco. Also, righty Tim Brennan and 40-man reliever Antoine Kelly are on the 7-day IL.

Justin Foscue’s previous two IL stints for oblique injuries were seven weeks back in 2021 and a precautionary week-plus in 2022. The 2024 version will be at least 60 days.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, Oklahoma City (LAD) 12
Round Rock: 5 hits, 1 walk, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 16 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 7-7, 3 GB

SP Adrian Sampson: 4.2 IP, 10 H (1 HR), 9 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 79 P / 49 S, 7.90 ERA
C Sam Huff: 1-4, HR (3), .310/.383/.677

Would you believe Adrian Sampson retired nine of the first ten batters? Next, an eight-run 4th that a younger pitcher might not have been allowed to complete. Sam Huff hit a big-boy homer: 444 feet halfway up the berm beyond deep left-center.

AA: Frisco 10, Corpus Christi (HOU) 3
Frisco: 11 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 6-2, tied for first

SP Emiliano Teodo: 4 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 SO, 63 P / 34 S, 6.75 ERA
RP Ricky DeVito: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 15.00 ERA
LF Aaron Zavala: 2-4, HR (1), BB
C Liam Hicks: 2-5
RF Abi Ortiz: 2-4, 2B
3B Cody Freeman: 2-4, 2B
2B Frainyer Chavez: 2-4, 2B

“Emiliano Teodo allowed six fewer runs than future HOFer Justin Verlander” isn’t a sentence I expected to type in 2024, but here we are.

Teodo cruised through three, but in the 4th he was plunked in the cheek by a throw from the plate ump. Teodo was facing him but (I think) looking at his hands. The impact was more a glancing blow, but still, a baseball to the face. After a delay, Teodo persevered through missing control, issuing five consecutive balls, walking three, and unleashing a wild pitch. He completed the inning and his night without allowing a hit. Teodo’s curve was especially effective, accounting for seven swinging strikes. He also made a rangy grab of a short pop toward the home dugout.

Frisco pinned all six on Verlander in the 3rd. Freeman single, Chavez double, Zavala ROE, Hicks single, Lowe walk, Ortiz double, Josh Hatcher single.

Nathaniel Lowe, looking patently ridiculous in his cream Riders top and blindingly white Rangers pants, was 0-2 with a walk.

Hi-A: Hickory 0, Jersey Shore (PHI) 13
Hickory: 4 hits, 0 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 2-6, 3 GB

SP Aidan Curry: 4 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 3 R, 1 BB, 7 SO, 73 P / 48 S, 3.38 ERA
1B Quincy Scott: 2-4

Is eight runs in eight games the worst-ever offensive stretch for any Texas minor league club? Probably not, but I can’t recall anything worse. (Confirming this would be an arduous task I won’t undertake unless the malaise extends deep into April. Don’t make me do this, Hickory.)

In MLB, eight-game stretches averaging under one run per game aren’t that uncommon in the dead-ball era. More recently, Houston’s 1963 club holds the dubious record of two runs during eight games in June 1963. For an uncommonly optimistic example, the 2010 Phils scored seven in eight games in late May. They won the division with a 97-65 record.

The squad has several new hitters who didn’t exactly tear up low-A, but this is beyond comprehension.  Cam Cauley (.231/.231/.269) leads the team with a .500 OPS. Last year’s offense had the same hitting coach (Drew Sannes) and was better than average. I don’t imagine he’s enjoyed the last week.

Lo-A: Down East 5, @ Carolina (MIL) 7
Down East: 8 hits, 9 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 4-4, 3 GB

SP Josh Trentadue: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 68 P / 41 S, 4.15 ERA
RP Kolton Curtis: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA
3B Gleider Figuereo: 1-3, 2 BB
1B Arturo Disla: 1-2, 3 BB
CF Jojo Blackmon: 1-3, 2B, BB
2B Chander Pollard: 2-3, BB, 2 SB (4)

Josh Trentadue is younger than Adrian Sampson and pulled after 27 pitches and four runs in the 4th. Replacement Alberto Mota would surrender three of his own that inning. 19-year-old Kolton Curtis, the one teen-aged pitched on the staff, was formidable again.

Gleider Figuereo is pacing the offense with a .227/.485/.581 line.

Today’s Starters
AA: Krauth
Hi-A: Porter

Five Years Ago Yesterday
I will remember the most absurdly obscure names to play in the Texas system (at the expense of far more important matters), but one that escapes me is Phillips Valdez, who threw 78 innings for Nashville and 16 for the Rangers in 2019. I even saw him pitch in person for Albuquerque last August and didn’t make the connection. According to me five years ago, he threw 4.2 modestly effective innings for Nashville in a 5-3 loss. I’m still skeptical.