Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 29 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 10, El Paso (SDP) 5
Round Rock: 11 hits, 6 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 4 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 2-3, 39-40 overall

SP Jack Leiter: 5 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 3 BB, 8 SO, 92 P / 53 S, 3.67 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.91 ERA
RF Sandro Fabian: 2-4, 2 HR, (9), BB, .294/.362/.489
DH Sam Huff: 1-4, 2B, BB, .242/.332/.420
CF Dustin Harris: 1-3, BB, SB (19), .252/.343/.362

Jack Leiter again drew a little more heavily on his change and curve relative to the slider, although per usual the slider and fastball were the bat-missers.

Cleveland designated ex-Rangers pitcher Zak Kent for assignment. He’d been on the minor league IL since April with an elbow sprain.

AA: Frisco 1, Corpus Christi (HOU) 7
Frisco: 6 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Record: 3-2, 47-27 overall

SP Dane Acker: 5 IP, 9 H (4 HR), 7 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 81 P / 56 S, 3.66 ERA
RP Seth Clark: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2.63 ERA
RP Andy Rodriguez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.31 ERA
2B Max Acosta: 1-3, HR (3), BB, .257/.324/.366

Somebody should have warned Dane Acker that beating Winston Santos’s three-homer outing meant fewer homers, not more. He did post his first walkless start. Acker’s overall control has been subpar, but the walks have been concentrated in a handful of outings. Most of the time, he’s been acceptable or better.

Hi-A: Hickory 5, @ Greenville (BOS) 4
Hickory: 14 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 3-5, 31-43 overall

SP Alejandro Rosario: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 76 P / 45 S, 2.25 ERA
2B Cam Cauley: 3-5, 2B, SB (14), .223/.274/.335
CF Anthony Gutierrez: 2-5, SB (22), .250/.297/.333
C Ian Moller: 3-3, BB, .213/.335/.275
LF Yosy Galan: 2-4, HR (6), .171/.281/.337

Alejandro’s five-start walk-free streak ended in his high-A debut. That’s okay. I’m looking forward to how he performs at this level, which is better suited to his abilities. Cam Cauley will finish with more hits and games played in a month for the first time this season.

Lo-A: Down East 3, @ Delmarva (BAL) 4
Down East: 7 hits, 2 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 3 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 3-5, 38-35 overall

SP Izack Tiger: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 61 P / 39 S, 7.36 ERA
RP Adonis Villavicencio: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 2.70 ERA
RP Alberto Mota: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 9.00 ERA
SS Echedry Vargas: 1-4, BB, SB (11), .268/.332/.432
RF Jojo Blackmon: 1-4, HR (3), .170/.227/.295
3B Esteban Mejia: 1-3, BB, .080/.258/.120

2023 7th-rounder Izack Tiger made his regular-season debut for the Woodies last night. He’d pitched three relief innings in last year’s playoffs.

Adonis Villavicencio joined Down East recently. In eight swing appearances with the rookies, he’d allowed four runs in 18.1 innings and held opponents to a .185/.217/.215 line. In a league where control is often sorely lacking, he walked only 4%. Villavicencio signed as a 21-year-old in 2022.

19-year-old Esteban Mejia played a handful of games for Down East in late April and rejoined a few days ago in place of the promoted Gleider Figuereo. He’d hit well in Arizona (.331/.416/.525, 16 extra-base hits in 35 games), but gaudy desert stats often have trouble adapting to the Carolinas.

Texas released IF Devin Hurdle. He’d signed as an undrafted free agent out of Nebraska-Omaha last year and split time among the A levels.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Cueto
AA: Teodo

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Austin Bibens-Dirkx commenced his eleventeenth stint in the organization with four runs in 4.2 innings for AAA Nashville. He’d been in Taiwan but returned to the US as his wife was expecting. He would make eight starts and stay with the Rangers into 2020, only to be part of a host of players released in June once the small hope of a minor league season vanished.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 28 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 0, El Paso (SDP) 10
Round Rock: 4 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 1-3, 38-40 overall

SP Adrian Sampson: 5.2 IP, 8 H (1 HR), 9 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 3 SO, 85 P / 54 S, 5.19 ERA
RP Josh Sborz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 12.46 ERA
1B Blaine Crim: 2-4, .217/.320/.357

Since the beginning of the Reno series almost seven weeks ago, Round Rock has averaged 3.9 runs per game. The park-adjusted league average is 5.7. That the Express are only six games under .500 in that span (17-23) is testament to some fine pitching.

I mistakenly thought Cole Winn had never pitched on consecutive days until the two outings preceding his IL placement. A helpful reader pointed out he’d pitched on both May 7th and 8th.

AA: Frisco 8, Corpus Christi (HOU) 6
Frisco: 12 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 2 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 3-1, 47-26 overall

SP Winston Santos: 2.2 IP, 7 H (3 HR), 5 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 65 P / 45 S, 16.88 ERA
RP Skylar Hales: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.10 ERA
RF Alejandro Osuna: 2-5, 2B
3B Cody Freeman: 2-4, HR (4), .272/.326/.464
LF Aaron Zavala: 2-3, BB, .208/.326/.299
1B Abi Ortiz: 2-4, 2B, .188/.254/.319
SS Franyer Chavez: 2-4, HR (9), .241/.341/.351

I saw Winston Santos’s AA-debut batter (K on a 98 MPH fastball) and a scoreless 2nd with two more strikeouts. Corpus scored five on three homers while I was distracted. Santos had allowed only three long balls all season in a homer-friendly home park. Welcome to the Texas League. Santos displayed fine control and fanned a third of his opponents. Skylar Hales, who made the trip from Hickory with Santos, tossed a scoreless inning.

I should have been more patient about Alejandro Osuna. I wondered aloud about his staying put in Hickory on Thursday. Two days later, he’s in Frisco, leading off the 1st with a double to the wall.

Hi-A: Hickory 0, @ Greenville (BOS) 2
Hickory: 3 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 2-5, 30-43 overall

SP Joseph Montalvo: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 SO, 74 P / 40 S, 2.57 ERA
RP Jackson Kelley: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO, 2.77 ERA

Joseph Montalvo struck out a season-low one, and half of his opposing swings put a ball in play, but he escaped unharmed. The sides traded zeros, with Hickory fending off more worrisome situations, until the 8th when Greenville plated two against Luis Ramirez.

Kelley is another promotion candidate. Not a hard thrower like former teammate Skylar Hales, his side-arm action nevertheless misses plenty of bats (31% K rate). The 24-year-old joined Hickory last May.

Lo-A: Down East 8, @ Delmarva (BAL) 0
Down East: 11 hits, 3 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 2 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 3-4, 38-34 overall

SP Paul Bonzagni: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 6 SO, 70 P / 43 S, 3.68 ERA
RP Josh Trentadue: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 4.54 ERA
SS Echedry Vargas: 3-5, HR (7), SB (10), .269/.330/.435
C Julian Brock: 1-3, 3B, 2 BB, .217/.286/.307
CF Marcos Torres: 2-4, HR (3), .189/.291/.319

Down East no-hit the Shorebirds through the second out of the 8th. Paul Bonzagni hasn’t been a huge strikeout guy this season but tied a career-best six. Weirdly, his swinging strike rate ranks within the top half in the system. Where he’s truly excelled is a system-best 58% grounder rate.

Echedry Vargas was a favorite of mine in March, and lately he’s making me look like I know what I’m talking about. Carry on, Echedry.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Leiter
AA: Acker

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Hickory’s Jonathan Ornelas broke up a no-hitter with a 9th-inning one-out double.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 27 June

What a strange season. I’ve almost thought of the Rangers and their farm system as disconnected entities in 2024. The Major League squad is (bordering on was) contending for another title. Aside from ever-present bullpen churn and surviving the first third of the season with an attenuated rotation, that squad was fairly well set. Under current circumstances, a question is whether the farm could be of assistance. Honestly, other than at the margins, I think not. Any meaningful short-term improvement will have to be generated by the existing squad and additions from the IL (and acquisitions, I suppose, but does trading more prospects make sense right now?). Nobody on the farm is going to save this season.

Since opening last season at 40-20, the Rangers are 87-96 during the regular season, with an intermission that just so happened to be the most glorious month in franchise history.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 3, El Paso (SDP) 1
Round Rock: 11 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 1-2, 38-39 overall

SP Gerson Garabito: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 84 P / 54 S, 2.50 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 1-3, 2 BB, .214/.463/.321
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 3-5, SB (7), .252/.320/.354
CF Dustin Harris: 2-4, .255/.347/.368
1B Blaine Crim: 3-4, .213/.318/.354

Justin Foscue has a 32% BB/HBP rate. His strategy is commendable: Don’t ever swing at pitches outside the zone, don’t ever swing through pitches inside it.

Foscue has spent the majority of his games in Round Rock at second base. All well and good, but I see the Rangers have a starting first baseman with a .348 slugging percentage making $7.5 million in the second of his four arbitration seasons. Something to watch.

AA: Frisco 9, Corpus Christi (HOU) 4
Frisco: 12 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 2-1, 46-26 overall

SP Nick Krauth: 6 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 4 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 6 SO, 93 P / 61 S, 4.86 ERA
CF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, HR (4), BB, .276/.359/.382
RF Josh Hatcher: 2-4, BB, .296/.339/.440
DH Liam Hicks: 2-4, 2B, .274/.386/.377
1B Abi Ortiz: 1-2, BB, .182/.250/.311
C Cooper Johnson: 1-4, HR (6), .221/.331/.433

Josh Hatcher continues to hit pretty well; I suppose a move to AAA is possible at some point. In terms of prospect status, I think you can mostly just follow the slash stats (and additional statcast info if he reaches AAA).

Hi-A: Hickory 1, @ Greenville (BOS) 2
Hickory: 2 hits, 2 walks, 17 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Record: 2-4, 30-42 overall

SP Mitch Bratt: 7 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 2 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 84 P / 65 S, 3.81 ERA

Mitch Bratt has a full year of high-A service spread between 2023 and 2024. This year, the walk percentage is slightly improved with a marginal decrease in strikeout and a few more extra-base hits. He might see Frisco this season. Texas doesn’t have to worry about his 40 status until 2025

Lo-A: Down East 1, @ Delmarva (BAL) 5 (7)
Down East: 2 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 0 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 2-4, 37-34 overall

SP Jose Gonzalez: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 76 P / 56 S, 2.35 ERA
1B Arturo Disla: 1-2, HR (5), HBP, .266/.352/.391

22-year-old Jose Gonzalez allowed a season-high five runs but continued to accrue strikeouts without any walks. He has 75 of the former versus only nine of the latter in 54 innings.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Sampson
AA: Santos

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Frisco’s Jonathan Hernandez had one of those starts that gave you hope he’d dispense of the “future reliever” tag around his neck: 7 IP, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 SO

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 26 June

Yerry Rodriguez’s designation has been a long time coming, at least to my eyes. For about a year, whenever the Rangers had an impending 40-man decision that didn’t involve an obvious choice like Shaun Anderson or Derek Hill, I wondered whether his time was at hand. I understand why Texas resisted, as his stuff is MLB-grade, but in June 2024 he’s past the point where immediate results have primacy. Since the most recent option, he’d averaged an untenable two walks, a single, and an extra-base hit each time through the order. Given his option status, I wouldn’t be surprised at a claim.

Derek Hill had batted .406/.500/.469 since rejoining the Express, but I don’t have any reason to expect much more of him than even a slumping Ezequiel Duran. Hopefully, Duran’s time in AAA will be fruitful. He hasn’t played at that level since September 2022.

A shame about Winn. I know those who know nothing beyond his MLB output understandably aren’t going to miss him, but to reach that level he overcame as lengthy and profound a stretch of ugliness as I’ve ever come across. He’d pitched very well before his latest recall, but none of that improvement made the trip with him to Texas. Notably, the outings on the 16th and 17th were his first ever on consecutive days.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 0, El Paso (SDP) 2
Round Rock: 5 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 0-2, 37-39 overall

SP Owen White: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 SO, 93 P / 58 S, 4.90 ERA
CF Dustin Harris: 1-3, BB, .250/.343/.367

Justin Foscue was 1-4 in his first game back as a regular member of the Express. He has a strange .200/.444/.320 line in eight games featuring a minuscule 4% swinging strike rate.

AA: Frisco 3, Corpus Christi (HOU) 5
Frisco: 4 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 1-1, 45-26 overall

SP Ryan Garcia: 6 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 4 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 83 P / 53 S, 4.37 ERA

Let’s just move on, shall we?

Hi-A: Hickory 13, @ Greenville (BOS) 5
Hickory: 12 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 2-3, 30-41 overall

SP Kohl Drake: 5 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 1 R, 0 BB, 5 SO, 71 P / 47 S, 1.80 ERA
RP Ryan Lobus: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 3.94 ERA
CF Alejandro Osuna: 5-5, 2B, 3B, HR (9), .272/.339/.486
3B Gleider Figuereo: 2-5, HR (1)
LF Yosy Galan: 1-3, 2 BB, .167/.281/.321

Alejandro Osuna hit for the cycle. I mentioned yesterday that none of the system promotions was a surprise, but if you want one, Osuna’s continued presence in high-A qualifies. He’s been at Hickory since August 2022, albeit with injury absences, and is having a strong season, already matching his season-best in homers in just 45 games. On the downside, his walk rate has declined by half from 2023.

Kohl Drake handled his first high-A start well. The gap between low and high-A might be smaller than from high-A to AA, but it’s a real gap. In addition to the competition, the parks tend to be slightly more hitter-friendly, and Hickory in particularly permits more than its fair share of homers.

I had not fully appreciated how far Yosy Galan’s slash line had fallen. I root for him because he’s fun to watch, but his 39% K rate makes decent overall production darn near impossible.

Lo-A: suspended

I can’t say for sure, but I believe the last pitch thrown resulted in a three-run homer for Delmarva. The wind from the Incoming storm blew CF Marcus Smith’s cap off his head and toward left field as he ran to the wall.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Garabito
AA: Krauth

Five Years Ago Yesterday
AAA Nashville defeated Memphis 17-11 to move out of last place. One curious but nice anecdote about the system is that Texas’s AAA squad hasn’t finished more than eight games below .500 in nearly 30 years.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 25 June

Movin’ On Up:
RHP Winston Santos, from Hickory to Frisco
RHP Skylar Hales, same

RHP Alejandro Rosario, from Down East to Hickory
LHP Kohl Drake, same
3B Gleider Figuereo, same

RHP Izack Tiger, from the rookie league (on rehab, more or less) to Down East

No surprises. I knew I was seeing Rosario’s last low-A start last week. I don’t want to make him out for more than he is, but even in one of his lesser outings, he showed he was ready for stronger competition. Drake is 24, older that you might have thought, as he finished his college career at juco Walters State at the age of 22. Figuereo is having exactly the type of season hoped for after last year’s modest full-season debut. His 12 homers are second in the Carolina League. Sebastian Walcott is playing third at Hickory about once per week, but Figuereo’s arrival shouldn’t affect that.

Santos imitated Figuereo, needing to repeat last year’s level but quickly confirming a full season at the same location wouldn’t be necessary. I vaguely recall writing in March something to the effect of Hales being as likely a quick mover as anyone. A few hiccups have resulted in an unsightly 4.39 ERA, but on the whole he’s pitched to expectations.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 9, El Paso (SDP) 15
Round Rock: 11 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 15 hits, 9 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 0-1, 37-38 overall

SP Johnny Cueto: 4.2 IP, 9 H (2 HR), 7 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 94 P / 59 S, 6.19 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 1.98 ERA
DH Sam Huff: 1-3, 2B, BB, HBP, .250/.336/.432
RF Sandro Fabian: 2-3, 2 BB, .295/.356/.480

The teams weren’t in El Paso but played like they were. 24 runs, 26 hits. Only Daniel Robert avoided trouble among six Express pitchers. Josh Sborz allowed a run in one inning. Antoine Kelly needed 32 pitches to walk three and fan two; all would score against Grant Anderson.

Johnny Cueto could probably pitch for nearly any AAA team, because inning-eaters have value, but whatever small chance he had of returning to the Majors seems gone.

Texas released pitcher Nabil Crismatt, who I thought would be a decent depth signing but was definitely not.

AA: Frisco 3, Corpus Christi (HOU) 2
Frisco: 6 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 3 walks, 9 strikeouts
Record: 1-0, 45-25 overall

SP Josh Stephan: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 5 SO, 77 P / 51 S, 4.81 ERA
RP Steven Jennings: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2.08 ERA
RP Tyler Owens: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.66 ERA
3B Cody Freeman: 1-4, HR (8), .269/.325/.441
2B Keyber Rodriguez: 3-3, 2 2B, .258/.307/.398

Stephan matched his season high in innings on just 77 pitches. He avoided the homers that have troubled him; he’d allowed eight in the previous nine starts, contributing to an opposing slugging percentage of .450.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, @ Greenville (BOS) 8
Hickory: 7 hits, 2 walks, 16 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 1-3, 29-41 overall

SP DJ McCarty: 5 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 5 SO, 79 P / 52 S, 4.60 ERA
SS Sebastian Walcott: 2-4, 3B, HR (6), .237/.337/.406

Sebastian Walcott knocked his sixth homer between and beyond the faux-Monster and faux-triangle at Boston-affiliated Greenville’s facsimile of Fenway Park. He also smacked a pitch off the tall wall and slid into third a good two seconds before the ball trickled in. Walcott hasn’t walked much this month, but that’s a nitpick in the face of a .321/.377/.554 line that includes 11 extra-base hits. If you’re a daydreamer, dream of a Jung/Semien/Seager/Walcott infield. Someday, not September. Even daydreams need a hint of realism.

Lo-A: Down East 2, @ Delmarva (BAL) 0
Down East: 6 hits, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 3 hits, 0 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 2-2, 37-32 overall

SP David Davallilo: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 SO, 80 P / 54 S, 1.49 ERA
RP Luke Savage: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 4.07 ERA
SS Echedry Vargas: 2-3, HR (), BB, .269/.330/.429
RF Marcos Torres: 1-2, 2 BB, SB (9), .185/.288/.303

Even with only half a year of full-season ball to his credit, you can make a case for promoting David Davalillo, but as I mentioned a while back, every promotion requires a spot on the new team and replacement on the old one, and the Woodies just lost two starters.

His official transaction record is confusing, showing he signed with the Mets in early 2021 but also signing with the Rangers in June of the next year. I think the Mets’ contract was never consummated but would have to check. It’s the difference between being Rule 5-eligible this winter or next. There’s no danger of him being lost in the 2024 draft if eligible, but it’s just something I think about. 

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: Garcia

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Cole Winn, Ronny Henriquez, and Lucas Jacobsen combined on a four-hit shutout for low-A Hickory. Sherten Apostel hit his 11th homer.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Sunday 23 June

Midseason promotions are coming. Some are poorly-held secrets, and if you’re on social media, you might have seen some news. The Rangers and affiliates will wait for me to board my next flight before making an official announcement.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 4, @ Sacramento (SFO) 5
Round Rock: 8 hits, 7 walks, 7 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 9 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 37-37, 11.5 GB, first half over

SP Jack Leiter: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 59 P / 37 S, 3.67 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 3.62 ERA
1B Justin Foscue: 0-1, 3 BB, .190/.469/.333

Jack Leiter faced 11 batters, six of which required at least seven pitches. Even with more favorable outcomes, that number of high counts was dooming him to a short day. On the downside, the pitch chart shows a preponderance of balls low and outside, reminiscent of 2022-2023 outings with everything yanked glove-side. The slider was curiously absent in both quantity and quality. He actually threw more changes and curves than sliders, and five of six would be balls. On the upside, he didn’t allow anything in play that was both hard and airborne. The change was useful, with more strikes than balls and nothing in play. Not to make an excuse, but Leiter was pitching on four days rest for the first time this season.

Justin Foscue has eight walks in 17 plate appearances since joining Round Rock. That’s one way to keep the stress off the oblique.

AA: Frisco 1, @ Midland (OAK) 4
Frisco: 9 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 6 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 44-25, 4 G up, division champion, first half over

SP Emiliano Teodo: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 BP, 8 SO, 78 P / 49 S, 2.06 ERA

Would you like another recap of high pitch counts? No, absolutely not, you say? Today’s your unlucky day, because Emiliano Teodo threw 34 in the 2nd headlined by a 12-pitch strikeout of Caeden Trinkle that include six consecutive two-strike fouls. The defense napped peacefully as Teodo walked two and hit another but struck out the side. For the half, he has a .198/.316/.254 opposing line with a 15% BB/HBP rate and 31% K rate. He’s surrendered only six extra-base hits.

Frisco allowed only 19 runs in six games at Midland but lost five.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, Bowling Green (TAM) 12
Hickory: 6 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 15 hits, 6 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 1-2, 29-40 overall

SP Aidan Curry: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 85 P / 50 S, 8.43 ERA
RP Skylar Hales: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 4.39 ERA

Aidan Curry opened the second half with an intermediate start, breaking a stretch of six with at least one homer. Three doubles in a stretch of four batters caused the runs.

Lo-A: Down East 10, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 4
Down East: 16 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 8 walks, 7 strikeouts
Record: 1-2, 36-32 overall

SP Willian Bormie: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 3 R, 5 BB, 6 SO, 80 P / 42 S, 4.07 ERA
RP Kolton Curtis: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 SO, 2.68 ERA
SS Echedry Vargas: 4-6, HR (5), .262/.321/.407
3B Gleider Figuereo: 1-5, HR (12), .243/.346/.474
LF Jojo Blackmon: 1-4, 2 BB, .178/.238/.288
DH Arturo Disla: 3-5, .264/.350/.379
CF Marcos Torres: 1-5, HR (2), .182/.279/.301

The offense atoned for its quietness during my visit. All had at least one hit except catcher Julian Brock. 1B Erick Alvarez, RF Tommy Specht, and 2B Devin Hurdle had two apiece. Out of action all week but not on the injured list, Echedry Vargas covered for lost time with four hits including his fifth homer. Gleider Figuereo lost a 13-game hit streak (.370/.417/.593) on Thursday and was hitless until his Sunday homer. Arturo Disla had a second-straight three-hit day.

Fifteen Years Ago Yesterday
I ran a special piece entitled “Winning In The Minors,” which became the basis for my annual preseason primer on how to follow minor league baseball. First emailed response: “I really respect you, but you are losing your mind.”

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Saturday 22 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 6, @ Sacramento (SFO) 3
Round Rock: 11 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 14 strikeouts
Record: 37-36, eliminated

SP Adrian Sampson: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 10 SO, 98 P / 68 S, 4.73 ERA
RP Josh Sborz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 19.29 ERA
DH Justin Foscue: 1-4, HR (1), .200/.429/.350
C Sam Huff: 2-4, 2B, .250/.335/.431

Josh Jung ceased his rehab at Round Rock and joined the Rangers but only as an observer. Apparently he’s a little sore and hopes to feel better in a few days. He’s just like you and me!

Although his velocities remained lower than 2023, Josh Sborz produced his best rehab outing, fanning the side around a walk.

Justin Foscue lined a homer to left.

AA: Frisco 3, @ Midland (OAK) 4
Frisco: 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Record: 44-24, division champion

SP Dane Acker: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 90 P / 57 S, 3.00 ERA
2B Max Acosta: 1-3, HR (2), .265/.328/.365

Dane Acker has made 12 AA starts in each of the last two seasons. The rate stats are remarkably similar, with the primary difference being slightly longer outings this season. He’s marginally improved to both his walk and strikeout rates. Avoiding hits (and extra-base hits) is his specialty, avoiding walks not so much. I’m hopeful he could see some AAA action which might provide clarity on whether he’ll be a 40-man addition. I haven’t thought about how many spots might be available, but in terms of potential additions, I’m not expecting a long list.

Midland (39-29) has the fourth-best record in AA, but their division rival is best.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, Bowling Green (TAM) 9
Hickory: 10 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 12 hits, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts
Record: 1-1, 29-39 overall

SP Winston Santos: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 SO, 81 P / 55 S, 2.80 ERA
2B Cam Cauley: 3-5, 2B, 3B, .228/.285/.345
SS Sebastian Walcott: 1-3, 3B, BB, .236/.340/.389

Winston Santos called back to 2023 last night, recording his fewest strikeouts and swinging strikes of the season. Had he struck out eight (admittedly on the high side of expectations), he would have matched last year’s total of 88 Ks in just half a season. Santos’s walk rate is slightly higher than last year, but he’s actually improved his strike rate and is missing far more bats. The tradeoff is strongly in his favor.

Lo-A: Down East 2, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 6
Down East: 5 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 0-2, 35-32 overall

SP Alejandro Rosario: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 84 P / 59 S, 2.11 ERA
RP Bryan Magdaleno: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 2.75 ERA
1B Arturo Disla: 3-4, .257/.345/.374
LF Jojo Blackmon: 2-4, HR (2), SB (4), .174/.216/.290

I happened to be in the DC area for a few days and decided to visit Fredericksburg to watch Alejandro Rosario and his Down East pals. Last year’s fifth-rounder from Miami posted pretty bad numbers for the Canes outside of a high strikeout rate, but Texas liked the stuff. So far, he’s been one of the best stories of the season, dominating low-A and improving his control as dramatically as you’ll likely to ever see. His 16% BB/HBP rate as a college junior has declined to 4% in low-A.

Rosario threw a four and two-seamer in the 95-98 range, an 82-86 slider, and 89-92 changeup that I’m told classifies as a splitter per Statcast. Purely in terms of excitement, the four-seamer stands out, but he also offers a sinker that he can move around the zone. As for the other pitches, let me first explain that I saw two Rosarios last night. In innings 1-3, he missed only two bats out of 46 pitches thrown, both on fastballs for strikeouts. Otherwise, he thrived on inducing weak contact in the form of eight grounders and four popups. Rosario nearly didn’t finish the 3rd because of some hole-finding grounders and frankly dire defense behind him, although both runs scoring that inning would be judged as earned. The slider had some slurvy, loopy action that tallied a fair number of calls and fouls but didn’t look like a bat-misser. The change was virtually absent.

The Rosario of innings 4-5 decided less contact was in order. He would miss 13 bats out of 21 swings and 34 pitches thrown. The slider began to dip more away from righties and into the feet of righties. He would end up with seven swinging strikes with the slider compared to five on the fastball and two on the change, which became more common in the later innings and was also effective. He struck out the side after a leadoff double in the 4th, and in the 5th, he added a K of Elijah Greene, 2022’s fifth-overall pick (but struggling badly). Unfortunately, the less-frequent contact would be harder. Three consecutive two-out, two-strike hits, two of them lined doubles, would end his night. 

The final line included a season-high seven hits and five runs, but I was duly impressed. He reached three balls only once. The splitter looked like a straightforward, firm change to me, but regardless, it has the makings of a genuine third pitch, not just a tag-along. Rosario has excellent control, a good sense of command (especially for the level), and some old-fashioned power. The Carolina League is a generous environment for pitchers, and we’ll need to see him at a higher level before getting too excited, but the attention is definitely warranted.

23-year-old Bryan Magdaleno doesn’t have a short delivery or deception or a ton of movement (at least to my eyes) or anything fancy. He just rears back and throws upper-90s fastballs mixed with some mid-80s sliders and says “you might be able to hit this but I really doubt it.” Magdaleno has a 35% strikeout and 15% BB/HBP rate, quintessential A-level relief figures nowadays.

Offensively, well, Down East was quiet most of the game. In the 9th, Arturo Disla poked a single to right-center, and Jojo Blackmon followed with a homer the same direction. June isn’t treating the undrafted 23-year-old Disla well, but on the whole he’s showing some patience and plate-coverage skills, if not as much power as you’d prefer from a 1B. Disla is as locked into first as anyone in the organization. It’s probably my imagination, but he might have added some pounds to an already sizable frame since I saw him in March. As for Blackmon, now 21 and picked in 2021’s 11th round, 2024 has been a trial. Repeating low-A, his already-high K rate has increased to 40%, and his once-considerable patience has vanished.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Leiter
AA: Teodo
Hi-A: Curry

Five Years Ago Yesterday
A teaser as the headline. “Hickory’s starting pitcher is listed as TBD.But here’s a question: who would you like to pitch for Hickory today? Maybe someone well-regarded, with a quirky delivery, who’s been absent for a month? That would be nice, wouldn’t it?”

Said person is back in the bigs for the first time in three years, and certainly in better position to stay for a while, His MLB debut timing was strange. Take a guess and click for the answer.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 21 June

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 2, @ Sacramento (SFO) 7
Round Rock: 3 hits, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 36-36, eliminated

SP Gerson Garabito: 4 IP, 3 H (1 HR), 4 R, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 3 SO, 71 P / 42 S, 2.62 ERA
2B Justin Foscue: 0-1, 3 BB, .188/.458/.188
3B Jonathan Ornelas: 1-3, HR (3), .250/.320/.361

Justin Foscue is 0-3 with five walks and a hit-by-pitch since joining the Express. He’s swung at 11 of 43 pitches since joining the Express. Jonathan Ornelas’s average and slugging percentage are nearly identical to last year. The different is fewer walks, 20 compared to 37 last year over a comparable number of games. He’s always been a reluctant swinger on first pitches, but in 2024 he’s seeing more 0-1 counts. The reasons for the walk drop run deeper, I’m sure, but I need to rebuild my messy 2023 spreadsheet to do a legitimate study.

AA: Frisco 1, @ Midland (OAK) 2
Frisco: 6 hits, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 44-23, division champion

SP Nick Krauth: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 89 P / 55 S, 4.75 ERA
RP Ricky DeVito: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 3.42 ERA
C Liam Hicks: 3-3, 2B, BB, .281/.392/.386
RF Josh Hatcher: 1-3, BB, .300/.343/.455

Last week’s division-clinching obliteration of Amarillo staved off what could have been an anxious week at Midland, as the second-place RockHounds have a shutout and two 2-1 victories so far. Liam Hicks singled but was stranded in scoring position his first three trips to the plate.

Hi-A: Hickory 10, Bowling Green (TAM) 3
Hickory: 10 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 4 walks, 15 strikeouts
Record: 1-0, 29-38 overall

SP Joseph Montalvo: 4.2 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 3 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 93 P / 57 S, 2.79 ERA
RP Adrian Rodriguez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 4.01 ERA
LF Alejandro Osuna: 3-5, 2 SB (10), .261/.326/.453
SS Cam Cauley: 1-4, BB, SB (13), .217/.276/.319
RF Yeison Morrobel: 2-4, 2B, BB, .245/.317/.356

In the first half, the Crawdads scored eight runs in the their first nine games. In the second-half opener, they surpassed that total in the span of three innings. Down 3-0 in the 6th, Hickory pinned a couple of twos and a six on the board.

I guess I’ll recycle yesterday’s Ben Anderson summary: Joseph Montalvo didn’t have a bad night but faced a bunch of hitters determined to hang around, so he surpassed 90 pitches without finishing the 5th.

Hickory had one hit through five but instigated a comeback with consecutive doubles from Yeison Morrobel and Sebastian Walcott (0-4). Morrrobel also singled in two in the 7th. The next inning, the Crawdads plated six on just three singles and a host of Hot Rod miscues. Morrobel could use a few more nights like this, as he’s not actively participated in Hickory’s recent prowess at the plate. He’d collected only two hits in the last seven games.

Lo-A: Down East 0, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 4
Down East: 4 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
Record: 0-1, 35-31 overall

SP Paul Bonzagni: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 55 P / 36 S, 4.26 ERA
RP Jose Gonzalez: 4 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 2.03 ERA
RF Tommy Specht: 2-3, .199/.291/.244

A duel between Paul Bonzagni and Jarlin Susana, the final but still valued name in the first Juan Soto trade. Susana is still seeking his way out of low-A nearly two years after joining the Nats and might escape with some recent strong performances including tonight. Bonzagni matched Susana for four innings, his longest scoreless outing since mid-April. Alas, Jose Gonzalez was feast or famine, striking out seven but allowing eight hits against the other 14 batters.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Sampson
AA: Teodo
Hi-A: Santos
Lo-A: TBA (Rosario)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
In his fourth game back after a two-month absence, high-A OF Bubba Thompson suffered an ankle injury and would miss another three weeks. 2019 was pretty close to a lost year for him, with only 57 games played including a profound offensive decline during the last 25 or so. In 2024, Thompson made Cincinnati’s opening roster but was optioned to AA Chattanooga (no idea why) and then designated for assignment for the fifth time in nine months. Unlike the previous four, he wasn’t claimed, and he still resides in AA.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 20 June

Box Scores

Greetings from an undisclosed location in the US.

AAA: Round Rock 5, @ Sacramento (SFO) 3
Round Rock: 7 hits, 6 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 36-35, eliminated

SP Owen White: 4 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 3 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 92 P / 59 S, 5.13 ERA
RP Grant Wolfram: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 3.86 ERA
RP Daniel Robert: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.16 ERA
1B Justin Foscue: 0-2, 2 BB, HBP
DH Josh Jung: 1-5
C Andrew Knapp: 2-5, 2B, HR (6), .301/.383/.459
SS Jonathan Ornelas: 1-3, 3B, BB, .249/.320/.346
2B Jax Biggers: 2-3, BB, .276/.412/.404

Justin Foscue’s rehab was transferred to Round Rock. He may stay on option once his rehab assignment runs out (in just a few days, I believe), so no need to think of his present time here as part of some special category. An option would also remove him from the 60-day IL and require a full-fledged 40 spot.

AA: Frisco 0, @ Midland (OAK) 5
Frisco: 2 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 9 hits, 8 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 44-22, division champion

SP Ben Anderson: 4 IP, 4 H (1 HR), 2 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 86 P / 54 S, 4.30 ERA

Ben Anderson’s line wasn’t excessively walk-heavy or anything-heavy, but he somehow averaged 4.8 pitches per batter, adding up to a short night. The offense was whisper-quiet. Manager Carlos Cardoza was ejected in the 7th after a long, vociferous argument after a balk call on Bryan Chi. A downside of the post-2020 schedule is with six-game schedules, teams and umpiring crews have

Hi-A: Hickory 4, Bowling Green (TAM) 0
Hickory: 7 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 7 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
Record: 28-38, 9 GB, first half over

SP Mitch Bratt: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 90 P / 65 S, 3.98 ERA
RP Skylar Hales: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.56 ERA
1B Quincy Scott: 3-3, SB (4), .207/.280/.271

Mitch Bratt concluded a strong first half with a second straight scoreless outing. In 52 innings, he’s fanned 54 versus just 12 walks and held the opposition to a line of .246/.294/.421. (The downside, if you must, is a fair number of extra-base hits.) 21 in a few days, Texas’s 2021 5th-rounder also spent the entirety of last year at Hickory, albeit on a limited schedule because of injury.

The offense was all singles led by Quincy Scott.

Atlanta-affiliated Rome had clinched the division the day before, warding off Hickory’s current opponent Bowling Green.

Lo-A: Down East 2, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 4
Down East: 6 hits, 6 walks, 11 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 35-30, 6 GB, first half over

SP Kohl Drake: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 SO, 88 P / 62 S, 1.67 ERA
2B Erick Alvarez: 3-4, 2B, .252/.278/.340
SS Chandler Pollard: 1-2, 2 BB, SB (24), .243/.315/.277

Kohl Drake also completed the half with a second straight scoreless night, and a second with ten strikeouts. Drake has the same 15 walks as Bratt in a lesser 44 innings but has struck out 74, second in the organization to Winston Santos’s 80. Drake was drafted just two summers ago in the 11th round out of juco Walters State but turns 24 in under a month.

Carolina (MIL) won the division.

Today’s Starters
AAA: Garabito
AA: Krauth
Hi-A: Montalvo
Lo-A: TBA (Gonzalez)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
The rookies defeated the Angels 17-0, aided by rehab homers from Joey Gallo, Scott Heineman, and Tyreque Reed.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Wednesday 19 June

RHP Jose Corniell will undergo elbow surgery and miss the rest of this year and a good chunk or perhaps nearly all of next, depending on the type of surgery. Corniell was added to the 40-man roster last fall at the age of 20 and with no experience above high-A, not uncommon among gifted pitchers signed under international rules. A prospect recap piece that I need to finish (and now need to rewrite) mentioned that pitchers like him have countdown clocks ticking from the get-go, as their youth and relative inexperience usually require more development time, and spending that time on the shelf can create trouble down the road. Only halfway into his first option year, I’m wondering if he’ll need a fourth, assuming it’s available. I suppose another possibility is placing him on the 60-day IL in 2025 and letting him accrue MLB service time instead.

Box Scores

AAA: Round Rock 5, @ Sacramento (SFO) 4 (10)
Round Rock: 10 hits, 6 walks, 14 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 11 strikeouts
Record: 35-35, eliminated

SP Johnny Cueto: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 5 SO, 78 P / 48 S, 4.94 ERA
RP Josh Sborz: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SO, 33.75 ERA
RP Aidan Anderson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.52 ERA
RP Antoine Kelly: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO, 8.22 ERA
2B Jax Biggers: 2-5, 2B, HR (3), .268/.405/.392

Josh Jung was 1-5 with three at 95 MPH or better off the bat.

For the second time, Josh Sborz couldn’t complete an inning and was about 2 MPH lower in velocity than 2023.

Round Rock scored the go-ahead in the 10th on a groundout and wild pitch, after which Antoine Kelly stranded the gift-runner for the win. Kelly’s velo was close to normal, and out of six swings against his slider, five drew air. 

AA: Frisco 6, @ Midland (OAK) 2
Frisco: 9 hits, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts
Opponent: 4 hits, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts
Record: 44-21, division champion

SP Ryan Garcia: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 89 P / 64 S, 4.36 ERA
RP Steven Jennings: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2.25 ERA
RP Tyler Owens: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 2.49 ERA
CF Kellen Strahm: 2-4, 2 2B, BB, SB (13), .288/.373/.393
SS Max Acosta: 1-1, BB, HBP, SB (12), .264/.330/.350
LF Geisel Cepeda: 2-3, 2 2B, BB, .224/.313/.319

Both teams hit three singles, but Frisco out-doubled Midland six to one. Acosta is quietly hitting .317/.383/.415 in June.

Frisco has allowed 36 fewer runs than any league rival. The peripherals don’t quite support that feat; the Riders are a touch walk-prone and slightly better than average in most other respects. They aren’t even especially noteworthy at shutting down teams with runners in scoring position. Where they truly excel is preventing those opportunities in the first place. Opponents have a .291 OBP when leading off an inning, about 40 points below the league median. They also don’t allow many doubles or triples. Ryan Garcia has contributed greatly, lowering his extra-base rate by nearly 50% vs. a year ago at the same level.

Hi-A: Hickory 2, Bowling Green (TAM) 5
Hickory: 6 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Opponent: 6 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts
Record: 27-38, eliminated

SP Ryan Lobus: 3 IP, 3 H (2 HR), 5 R, 1 BB, 5 SO, 61 P / 43 S, 4.20 ERA
RP Damian Mendoza: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 4.26 ERA
SS Cam Cauley: 1-3, 2B, BB, .222/.279/.329

Homers in Hickory yet again. Ryan Lobus allowed a high-but-not-terrible five runners in three innings (one on an error), but all would score. He’s surrendered four homers in four home starts for the Crawdads.

Lo-A: Down East 1, @ Fredericksburg (WAS) 4
Down East: 4 hits, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts
Opponent: 8 hits, 0 walks, 13 strikeouts
Record: 35-29, eliminated

SP Brayan Mendoza: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, 7 P / 55 S, 2.41 ERA
RP Josh Trentadue: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 SO, 4.89 ERA
2B Gleider Figuereo: 2-4, 3B, .250/.356/.476

Bryan Mendoza and Josh Trentadue combined for 13 strikeouts without a walk, but some Down East errors combined with strung-together hits resulted in runs in three innings.

Gleider Figuereo’s last two games have come at second base. He’d played there only twice previously. Missing the last two games is Echedry Vargas. The 20-year-old Mendoza has matched last year’s 52.1 innings by the season’s midpoint. I don’t know where he’ll end up but I’ll take the under on 104.2. Compared to last year, he’s tallied two more strikes and nine fewer walks.

Today’s Starters
AAA: White
AA: B. Anderson
Hi-A: Bratt
Lo-A: TBA (Drake / Bonzagni)

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Texas promoted OF Leody Taveras to AA Frisco. The Rangers also called up lefty Locke St. John after designating Drew Smyly for assignment. Swiped from Detroit in the minor league phase of the 2017 Rule 5 draft, LSJ pitched a handful of innings for Texas and then the Cubs in 2022.