Preseason Outfielders

If there is one area of Rangers Spring Training that will be providing the most competition it will be the battle for outfield positions.  The Rangers have selected five Non-Roster Invitees to join the six outfielders on the active roster and all of them are looking to make a statement.  A mix of veteran leaders and youthful future stars will give fans a glimpse of what to expect in 2015.

JARED HOYING – OF – 2014 Statistics:
RR: AB: 509,  R: 86, H: 138, 2B: 33, 3B: 7, HR: 26, RBI: 78, SB: 20, BB: 40, SO: 140, BA: .271, OBP: .325, SLG: .517, OPS: .842


Photo Credit: Round Rock Express

Hoying led the Express in almost every statistical batting category last year, so it is fair to say that his play was critical to the teams performance.  Hoying was the Express leader in at-bats, hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs and runs batted in.  While he did not lead in these categories, Hoying batted .271, had an OBP of .325, SLG of .517 and an OPS of .842.  Hoying played 113 games in center field for Round Rock and recorded 260 putouts to go along with seven assists.  He will be attending Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.

RYAN LUDWICK – OF – 2014 Statistics:
CIN: AB: 357, R: 28, H: 87, 2B: 20, 3B: 0, HR: 9, RBI: 45, SB: 0, BB: 31, SO: 94, BA: .244, OBP: .308, SLG: .375, OPS: .683


Photo Credit: Andy Lyons

The newly signed Ludwick joins the Rangers with a minor league contract after three seasons in Cincinnati.  The right-handed batter and left-handed thrower started his career with the Rangers in 2002 and has made stops in Cleveland, St. Louis, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.  In 2014, Ludwick saw action in 92 games for Cincinnati at left field and had a 1.000 fielding percentage.  Ludwick batted .244 with 45 runs batted in, nine home runs and 87 hits.  The 2008 All Star looks to make an impact at Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.

NATE SCHIERHOLTZ – OF – 2014 Statistics:
WAS: AB: 40, R: 3, H: 9, 2B: 1, 3B: 1, HR: 1, RBI: 4, SB: 0, BB: 2, SO: 8, BA: .225, OBP: .262, SLG: .375, OPS: .637
CHC: AB: 313, R: 29, H: 60, 2B: 10, 3B: 3, HR: 6, RBI: 33, SB: 4, BB: 18, SO: 76, BA: .192, OBP: .240, SLG: .300, OPS: .541

MLB: NLDS-San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals

Photo Credit: H. Darr Beiser – USA Today Sports

Schierholtz spent the majority of 2014 with the Chicago Cubs before finishing the season in Washington.  The Nationals brought Schierholtz in to help their playoff push that ultimately ended in defeat to the eventual World Series champions, San Francisco Giants.  In the 2014 NLDS vs. San Francisco, Schierholtz went 1 for 1 with a double and two walks in four games.  Schierholtz posted a four-hit game against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 11, 2014 with one double, one run batted in and scored a run.  Schierholtz enters Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.

NOMAR MAZARA – OF – 2014 Statistics:
FRI: AB: 85, R: 10, H: 26, 2B: 7, 3B: 1, HR: 3, RBI: 16, SB: 0, BB: 9, SO: 22, BA: .306, OBP: .381, SLG: .518, OPS: .899

HKY: AB: 398, R: 68, H: 105, 2B: 21, 3B: 2, HR: 19, RBI: 73, SB: 4, BB: 57, SO: 99, BA: .264, OBP: .358, SLG: .470, OPS: .828


Photo Credit: Oladipo Awowale

Mazara finished his 2014 campaign in Frisco after playing 106 games in Hickory.  Mazara’s production continued once he got to Frisco and he certainly took advantage of his first crack at double A ball.  While with the RoughRiders, Mazara put up a .306 average with 26 hits and nine walks in 24 games.  In only his fifth game with the club, Mazara had three hits with three runs batted in during an 8-1 Frisco victory.  At the young age of 19, Mazara will continue his maturation in 2015 with the hopes of a successful season both at the plate and on the field.

This concludes the Express Tracks 2015 preseason preview.  We touched on the potential starting pitchers, relief pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders and how they will impact the Express organization this season.  Opening Day is rapidly approaching and hopefully this preview has inspired you to get out your glove and prepare for the great season ahead.  Be sure to stay up to date with Spring Training and also follow the Express on Facebook and Twitter!

**Please remember these previews are not official documentation of the Express roster and do not determine any roster moves.**

Preseason Infielders

The fourth installment of our preseason preview will cover the possible infielders that could be seeing time at Dell Diamond in 2015.  Whether they are turning two, making a stab at third, or stretching to make the out at first, the following players could make an impact for the Express this season.

JOEY GALLO – 3B – 2014 Statistics:
FRI: AB: 250, R: 44, H: 58, 2B: 10, 3B: 0, HR: 21, RBI: 246, SB: 2, BB: 36, SO: 115, BA: .232, OBP: .334, SLG: .524, OPS: .858
MYR: AB: 189, R: 53, H: 61, 2B: 9, 3B: 3, HR: 21, RBI: 50, SB: 5, BB: 51, SO: 64, BA: .323, OBP: .463, SLG: .735, OPS: 1.199

Joey Gallo Action Shot

Photo Credit: Jerry Lai – USA Today Sports

The Rangers No.1 prospect put together a solid 2014 while playing for Myrtle Beach and Frisco.  The Bishop Gorman HS product played 53 games at third base for the RoughRiders and put up at fielding percentage of .943 with 96 assists and eight errors.  The Rangers organization sees a bright future for Gallo and will get an even closer look at him as he attends Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee. While he might not be on the Express roster come Opening Day, don’t be surprised if you see him in Round Rock before the end of 2015.

HANSER ALBERTO – SS – 2014 Statistics:
FRI: AB: 178, R: 23, H: 49, 2B: 6, 3B: 1, HR: 2, RBI: 15, SB: 6, BB: 6, SO: 17, BA: .275, OBP: .314, SLG: .354, OPS: .668
MYR: AB: 262, R: 37, H: 71, 2B: 15, 3B: 3, HR: 5, RBI: 43, SB: 10, BB: 10, SO: 25, BA: .271, OBP: .301, SLG: .408, OPS: .709

Hanser 2

Photo Credit: Frisco RoughRiders

Alberto was selected by the Rangers organization as Defender of the Month for July in 2014 after an impress start since his promotion to Frisco.  In 50 games with Frisco, Alberto posted a fielding percentage of .988 with only three errors.  Alberto finished the 2014 campaign with six stolen bases for Frisco, which left him tied for fourth on the team.  Look for Alberto to continue his development and turn some heads in 2015. Another one who might not make it on the E-Train after Spring Training, he could done the Express uniform at some point this season.

ROUGNED ODOR – 2B – 2014 Statistics:
TEX: AB: 386, R: 39, H: 100, 2B: 14, 3B: 7, HR: 9, RBI: 48, SB: 4, BB: 17, SO: 71, BA: .259, OBP: .297, SLG: .402, OPS: .698
FRI: AB: 129, R: 21, H: 36, 2B: 2, 3B: 1, HR: 6, RBI: 17, SB: 6, BB: 7, SO: 22, BA: .279, OBP: .314, SLG: .450, OPS: .763 

Rougned Odor

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill – AP

Odor blasted his way through the ranks and was called up for his major league debut on May 8, 2014.  After 32 games in Frisco, Odor spent the 2014 season with the Rangers and is looking to do it again.  He was third on the team in triples, fifth in home runs, third in runs batted in and fifth in batting average.  Odor’s production was critical to the Rangers in 2014 and he hopes to be a bright spot in the Rangers future. On the off chance Odor doesn’t make the Rangers roster out of camp, expect to see him working some glove magic at Dell Diamond.

EDWIN GARCIA – SS – 2014 Statistics:
FRI: AB: 102, R: 14, H: 21, 2B: 4, 3B: 0, HR: 0, RBI: 6, SB: 1, BB: 8, SO: 21, BA: .206, OBP: .259, SLG: .245, OPS: .504
MYR: AB: 198,  R: 21, H: 52, 2B: 9, 3B: 0, HR: 0, RBI: 11, SB: 3, BB: 14, SO: 31, BA: .263, OBP: .311, SLG: .308, OPS: .619

garcia action

Photo Credit: Frisco RoughRiders

Garcia played 25 games at shortstop for Frisco and recorded a .932 fielding percentage for the RoughRiders.  He turned 11 double plays, had 51 assists and committed six errors to go along with 21 hits and 14 runs in 102 at-bats.  As a possible member of the Express, Garcia hopes to remain on a steady path of progression and make 2015 a successful season.

Due Up:
The last piece of the preseason preview will focus on the outfielders that will be representing the Rangers organization.  The competition for outfield spots will be the most fierce of all positions at Rangers Spring Training with a plethora of talent to go around.

Preseason Catchers

The 2015 rendition of Rangers Spring Training looks to foster intense competition at the catcher position.  Major league experience, tenacity and professionalism make up the three catchers below and they all will be vying for spots in the Rangers system.  Here is a look at who could be behind that plate at Dell Diamond this season.


Photo Credit: Round Rock Express

CHRIS GIMENEZ- C – 2014 Statistics:
TEX: AB: 107, R: 13, H: 28, 2B: 10, 3B: 0, HR: 0, RBI: 11, SB: 0, CS: 1, BB: 11, SO: 26, AVG: .262, OBP: .331, SLG: .355, OPS: .686
CLE: AB: 9, R: 0, H: 0, 2B: 0, 3B: 0, HR: 0, RBI: 0, SB: 0, CS: 0, BB: 1, AVG: .000, OBP: .100, SLG: .000, OPS: .100
RR: AB: 134, R: 18, H: 38, 2B: 4, 3B: 2, HR: 6, RBI: 22, SB: 0, CS: 1, BB: 19, SO: 30, AVG: .284, OBP: .365, SLG: .478, OPS: .843
After finishing last season with the Cleveland Indians, the Rangers welcome back Gimenez to the team he started with in 2014.  Gimenez caught 26 games for the Rangers, two for the Cleveland Indians and 39 for the Express.  As a Ranger, Gimenez recorded a fielding percentage of .991 while behind the plate and .986 in his time with the Express.  He batted .284, hit six home runs and added 19 walks with Round Rock,  Gimenez will attend Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.

Jorge Alfaro Action Shot

Photo Credit: Josh Jackson –

JORGE ALFARO- C – 2014 Statistics:
MYR: AB: 398, R: 63, H: 104, 2B: 22, 3B: 5, HR: 13, RBI: 73, SB: 6, CS: 5, BB: 23, SO: 100, AVG: .261, OBP: .318, SLG: .440, OPS: .758
FRI: AB: 88, R: 12, H: 23, 2B: 4, 3B: 0, HR: 4, RBI: 14, SB: 0, CS: 0, BB: 6, SO: 23, AVG: .261, OBP: .343, SLG: .443, OPS: .787
Alfaro enters Rangers Spring Training as an Active Roster member after an impressive 2014.  In 75 games with Myrtle Beach behind the plate, Alfaro caught 19 players stealing and had 65 assists to go along with a .979 fielding percentage.  Alfaro continued to produce in Frisco by posting a 1.000 fielding percentage while catching 38% of base runners attempting to steal.  The competition will be fierce in the catching department at Rangers Spring Training and Alfaro looks to turn some heads.

Carlos Corporan action shot

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada – USA Today Sports

CARLOS CORPORAN- C –  2014 Statistics:
HOU: AB: 170, R: 22, H: 40, 2B: 6, 3B: 0, HR: 6, RBI: 19, SB: 0, CS: 0, BB: 14, SO: 37, AVG: .235, OBP: .302, SLG: .376, OPS: .678
Corporan started 48 games for the Houston Astros and has earned his way to an Active Roster spot heading into Spring Training with the Rangers.  In 2014 Corporan recorded his highest fielding percentage (.992) of his Major League career (minimum 20 games) to go with four double plays turned.  Considering he only played 55 with Houston, Corporan’s 22 runs placed him 11th on the Astro’s runs scored list.  Corporan was a staple of the Astros organization for the past four seasons and his experience and work ethic will be a great addition to the Rangers organization.

Keep an eye on:
BRETT NICHOLAS – C – 2014 Statistics:
RR: AB: 452, R: 40, H: 124, 2B: 20, 3B: 1, HR: 10, RBI: 58, SB: 4, BB: 27, SO: 112, BA: .274, OBP: .322, SLG: .389, OPS: .712

Due Up:
Now that we have completed our look at potential Pitchers and Catchers, we shift out attention to the Infielders who might be playing on the dirt of Dell Diamond this coming season.

Potential Relief Pitchers

A consistent bullpen is a luxury in the game of baseball and the Express are looking for just that in 2015.  Below are the possible relief pitchers that could be trotting from the bullpen to the mound at Dell Diamond this summer.  A mix of fresh faces and veteran grinders has the makings of an eclectic group of relief pitchers.

ANTHONY BASS – RHP – 2014 Statistics:
HOU: W-L:  1-1,  ERA: 6.33, IP: 27, H: 32, R: 20, ER: 19, HR: 6, BB: 7, SO: 7
OKC: W-L: 0-2, ERA:  3.31, IP: 16.1, H: 15, R: 9, ER:6, HR: 3, BB: 6, SO: 14
QC: W-L: 0-0, ERA: 0, IP: 4, H: 2, R: 2, ER: 0, HR: 0, BB: 0, SO:

Bass brings a Major League level arsenal with him into the 2015 season.  Stops with the San Diego Padres from 2011-2013 and the Houston Astros in 2014 have given Bass the professionalism needed to make an impact anywhere he goes.  Bass finished 2014 with the Oklahoma City Dodgers primarily coming out of the bullpen.  Bass will be attending Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.
Anthony Bass 2

JUAN CARLOS OVIEDO – RHP – 2014 Statistics:
TB: W-L: 3-3, ERA: 3.69, IP: 31.2, H: 27, R: 14, ER: 13, HR: 3, BB: 16, SO: 26
DUR: W-L: 0-0, ERA: 3.86, IP: 7, H: 5, R: 3, ER: 3, HR: 1, BB: 1, SO: 10

Oviedo started 2014 with the Durham Bulls before getting the tap from the Tampa Bay Rays.  While in Durham, Oviedo pitched strong middle relief in seven total innings with the Bulls only giving up five hits and three runs.  Oviedo notched his first win of 2014 with Tampa Bay on May 23 with a 1-0 victory against Boston.  Oviedo looks to impress at Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.
Juan Carlos Oviedo Action Shot

ROSS WOLF – RHP – 2014 Statistics:
SK: W-L: 2-2, ERA: 4.85, SV: 4, IP: 85.1, H: 88, R: 48, ER: 46, HR: 10, BB: 27, SO:41
Wolf spent the 2014 season with the SK Wyverns of the Korean Baseball Organization after installments with Frisco and Round Rock in 2012 and 2013.  The Illinois native was originally used as a starting pitcher with the Express, but was called from the bullpen during his time with the Rangers.  Like Bass, Wolf has the experience and professionalism to work his way into a productive role.  Wolf plans to bounce back with a strong showing at Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.
Ross Wolf

KEONE KELA – RHP – 2014 Statistics:
FRI: W-L: 2-1, ERA: 1.86, SV: 5, IP: 38.2, H: 22, R: 14,  ER: 8, HR: 1,  BB: 27, SO: 55
MYR: W-L: 0-1,  ERA: 2.61, SV: 5, IP: 10.1, H: 9, R: 3, ER: 3, HR:  0, BB: 4, SO:
Kela proved to be a strong bullpen asset for Frisco in 2014 coming in as a closing pitcher with occasional set up roles.  From June 12-July 12, Kela went seven consecutive appearances for the RoughRiders without giving up a hit.  Kela recorded back-to-back saves for Frisco on August 1 and 2, both times pitching an inning of work.  Kela will be continuing his progression as a Non-Roster Invitee at Rangers Spring Training.
Keone Kela Action Shot   

MICHAEL KIRKMAN – LHP – 2014 Statistics:
TEX: W-L: 0-1, ERA: 1.59, IP: 5.2, H: 5, R: 1, ER: 1, HR: 0, BB: 1, SO: 3
RR: W-L: 5-5, ERA: 4.47, IP: 54.1, H: 50, R: 34, ER: 27, HR: 6, BB: 29, SO: 62
The only lefty on this list, Kirkman has been a staple of the Rangers system since 2005.  The veteran spent 2014 in Round Rock until August before getting the call from the Rangers in September.  After a slow start with the Express, Kirkman went six straight appearances without giving up a run.  As a Ranger, Kirkman appeared in 12 games and was used primarily as a set up man.  Kirkman will  look to make an impact at Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.
Michael Kirkman Action Shot

Due Up:
Our next post will look at the potential catchers that could be wearing an Express jersey in 2015.  Make sure to follow the Express on Facebook and Twitter!

Photo Credit:
Jesse Johnson – USA Today Sports
Marco LaNave  – Quad City Bandits
Patrick Semansky-  AP
Frisco RoughRiders
Jake Roth –  US Presswire

Preseason Starting Pitchers

Spring Training is approaching and that calls for a preview of the potential starting pitchers, relief pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders that could be wearing an Express jersey this season.  The boys of summer will be ascending upon Spring Training sites in Arizona and Florida very soon.  Are your senses tingling?

Potential Starting Pitchers:

RR: W-L: 1-3, ERA: 10.35,  IP: 40, H: 56, R: 49, ER: 46, HR: 9, BB: 28, SO: 43
FRI: W-L: 8-2, ERA: 3.02, IP: 83.1, H: 58, R: 28, ER: 28, HR: 5, BB: 24, SO: 83
Luke Jackson Action Shot 2
Jackson had impressive stints with Frisco and Round Rock in 2014.  As a RoughRider, Jackson went 8-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 14 starts.  On June 14 against the Corpus Christi Hooks, Jackson gave up only one hit in five innings of work resulting in a 10-2 RoughRider victory.  Jackson started 10 games for the Express, including a 10-4 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox on July 10, striking out eight batters. Jackson will continue his maturation in 2015 by attending Rangers Spring Training.

FRI: W-L: 10-9, ERA: 4.08, IP: 154.1, H: 129, R: 76, ER: 46, HR: 17, BB: 52, SO: 144
Jerad Eickhoff Action Shot

Eickhoff started 2014 strong with a notable outing against the Arkansas Travelers on April 14.  Against the Travelers, Eickhoff went five innings surrendering one hit, one run, one walk and threw eight strikeouts.  Eickhoff displayed great stamina in 2014 by going six or more innings in 19 games, including an eight inning performance against San Antonio on April 30.  By attending Rangers Spring Training, Eickhoff looks to continue his progression and prepare for 2015.

SYR: W-L: 1-0, ERA: 0, IP: 8, H: 2, R: 0, ER: 0, HR: 0, BB: 1, SO: 6

POT: W-L: 0-1, ERA: 11.81, IP: 5.1, H:13, R: 7, ER: 7, HR: 1, BB: 1, SO: 4
NAT: W-L: 0-0, ERA: 5.4, IP: 1.2, H: 2, R: 1, ER: 1, HR: 0, BB: 1, SO: 3
Ross Ohlendorf Action Shot

From 2007-2013 Ohlendorf saw action with the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals.  In 2013 with Washington, Ohlendorf went 4-1 with an ERA of 3.28 in seven starts.  Ohlendorf’s 2014 was a season of recovery as he was placed on the 60-day disabled list by the Nationals with a back injury.  Ohlendorf looks to bounce back in 2015 with a strong showing at Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.

FRI: W-L: 7-4, ERA: 2.7, IP: 73.1, H: 67, R: 30, ER: 22, HR: 3, BB: 25, SO: 64
Alex Gonzalez Action Shot

Gonzalez joined the Roughriders this past June and has blazed a path ever since he arrived in Frisco.  In his first start with the RoughRiders on June 10 against Midland, Gonzalez gave up only one hit through five innings of work.  Gonzalez posted another one hit performance against Midland on July 30, this time through six innings.  The gem of Gonzalez’s 2014 came on August 10 when he did not allow a single hit in five innings of labor against Tulsa.  The righthander will be attending Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee to continue his development.

FRI: W-L: 11-11, ERA: 3.8, IP: 154, H: 139, R: 74, ER: 65, HR: 18, BB: 32, SO: 122
Alec Asher Action Shot
Asher was quite the workhorse for Frisco in 2014.  Starting 28 games and throwing a total of 154 innings portrayed Asher’s value to the RoughRiders.  The pinnacle of Asher’s 2014 campaign came on June 6 when he only surrendered two hits through seven innings of play.  The game resulted in an 8-0 win for the RoughRiders and gave Asher his sixth win of the season.  Asher will gain even more experience as he participates in the Rangers Spring Training as a Non-Roster Invitee.

Due Up:
This coming Monday we will address what the 2015 bullpen might look like for the Express.  Be sure to follow the Express on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Photo Credit:
Henry Huey –  Austin American Statesman
Grant Nelson – Frisco RoughRiders
Cameron Varnau – Frisco RoughRiders
Brad Mills – USA Today Sports

Holiday Gift Ideas

The holiday season is in full-swing! Do you need some last-minute gift ideas for the baseball fans in your life? We’ve got you covered! Here are a few things that will make every baseball fans of all ages happy. All gifts are available online or in the Railyard Team Store. (Please note, our store will be closed December 24th – January 5th so don’t wait!)

1. Junior Stripes T-shirt (S, L, XL – $20)

Junior Stripes

2. Ladies Heart Baseball T-shirt (S – 2XL, $20)Ladies Heart Baseball

3. Letterpress Youth T-shirt (S-XL, $16)Letterpress

4. Express New Era Home Cap, fitted ($25)New Era Home

5. Rangers Retro T-shirt (S-2XL, $30)Rangers Flanker_retro

6. Sweatshirt bag (one size, $22)Sweatshirt Bags

7. Youth Sharpcut Cap (adjustable, $18)Youth Sharpcut

8. Playground Ball (one size, $8)Baseball Playground Ball

9. Girls Jersey T-shirt (S-L, $18)Girls Jersey Tee

10. Gordie Camo Cap (adjustable, $22)Gordie Cap

11. Infant Future Big Leaguer T-shirt (6 – 18 mo., $12)Infant Big Leaguer_2

12. Express Mesh Road Jersey (S-3XL, $60)


Rangers Make Changes to 40 Man Roster

The Rangers made a few changes to their 40-man roster overnight.

Of note:

-RHP Luke Jackson was added to the 40-man while former Express OF Jim Adduci was designated for assignment.

-Former Express RHP Miles Mikolas and LHP Aaron Poreda were both placed on unconditional release waivers. Both players are expected to play in Asia in 2015.

-Former Express OF Daniel Robertson was traded to the LA Angels for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Here’s the full release from the Rangers will all of the other moves:




Club removes Adduci, Mikolas, Poreda, and Robertson from major league roster to make room

Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers tonight announced the following roster moves:

–Purchased the contract of right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson from Triple-A Round Rock.

–Purchased the contracts of infielder Hanser Alberto, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and right-handed pitcher

Jerad Eickhoff from Double-A Frisco.

–Designated outfielder/first baseman Jim Adduci for assignment.

–Placed right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas and left-handed pitcher Aaron Poreda on unconditional release waivers for the purpose of both playing abroad in Asia in 2015. Each player should finalize the signing with the respective club in the next few days.

–Traded outfielder Daniel Robertson to the Los Angeles Angels for a player to be named later or cash.

Alberto, 22, won a 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove as the top defensive shortstop in the minors, splitting the campaign between Myrtle Beach (High-A) and Frisco (AA). He rated statistically as the best defensive shortstop among Texas League shortstops with at least 50 games played, and was also chosen as the Rangers Minor League Defender of the Month for July. The Dominican Republic native combined to bat .273 (120-440) with 21 doubles, 4 triples, 7 home runs, and 58 RBI in 120 games with the Pelicans and ‘Riders. Alberto was signed as a non-drafted free agent on November 23, 2009 by Rodolfo Rosario, Willy Espinal, and Mike Daly.

Alfaro, 21, combined to bat .261 (127-486) with 17 home runs and 87 RBI in 121 games between Myrtle Beach and Frisco. He was a Carolina League midseason and postseason All-Star selection, ranking among the league leaders in both RBI (3rd) and home runs (T6th, 13). The backstop also threw out 19 of 72 (26.4%) attempted basestealers, good for the 3rd-highest percentage in the circuit. The Columbia native was the starting catcher for the World Squad at the All-Star Futures Game in July. Alfaro was signed as a non-drafted free agent on January 19, 2010 by Don Welke, Rodolfo Rosario, and Hamilton Sarabia.

Eickhoff, 24, led all Double-A pitchers and Texas farmhands with 144 strikeouts in 2014, going 10-9 with a 4.08 ERA (70 ER/154.1 IP) over 27 games/26 starts for Frisco. In addition to leading the circuit in strikeouts, Eickhoff ranked among Texas League leaders in innings (3rd, 154.1), WHIP (4th, 1.17), and wins (T8th, 10). He was selected in the 15th round of the 2011 draft out of Olney Central (IL) Community College.

Jackson, 23, combined to go 9-5 with a 5.40 ERA (74 ER/123.1 IP) and 126 strikeouts over 26 games/24 starts with Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock. He was selected for the Texas League All-Star Game and started the contest for the South team. He was tabbed the 7th-best prospect in the Texas League by Baseball America and led the circuit in both wins and strikeouts at the time of his promotion to Round Rock.  Jackson finished with the 3rd-most strikeouts among all Texas minor leaguers. The Florida native was selected in the supplemental first round (45th overall) of the 2010 June draft.

Adduci batted .168 with one home run and 8 RBI in 44 games for Texas last season, making the Opening Day roster before missing the bulk of the season due to injuries.  The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release, or outright Adduci to the minor leagues.

Mikolas went 2-5 with a 6.44 ERA (41 ER/57.1 IP) in 10 games/starts for Texas last season, his first major league action as a starter.  He did not pitch after a start on August 25 due to right shoulder fatigue.  Poreda went 2-1 with a 5.91 ERA (14 ER/21.1 IP) over 26 relief appearances for Texas in 2014, his first major league action since 2009.

Robertson batted .271 over 70 games with Texas in his major league debut last season, spending all but 11 days on the major league roster after he was acquired in an April 23 trade with San Diego.

With tonight’s moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster.


Just four months, 26 days and 8 hours until first pitch…

Pumpkin Carving, Express Edition

Halloween is just one week away and that means there’s only one weekend left to hit the pumpkin patch and pick out the perfect pumpkin. We’ve helped you out a little bit and come up with the perfect thing to carve to express your love of baseball: the iconic E-Train!

Click here to download the stencil: Small, Medium, Large

Follow these step-by-step instructions to get a great looking design on your pumpkin just in time for the ghoulish holiday!

1. Purchase a pumpkin. We have three different sizes of the stencil available depending on if you get a big, medium or small pumpkin. We went with a medium one.

Here's our medium-sized pumpkin.

Here’s our medium-sized pumpkin.

2. Gather your tools. Here’s what you’ll need, besides the pumpkin: the E-Train stencil printed out, a scraper to get out the “guts” of the pumpkin, a simple pumpkin carving tool and a pointed object. We used nails for the pointed object, but you can also use a push pin, toothpick, safety pin, etc. You just need something that will make small holes on the pumpkin. Please use caution when working with the pointed object. Kids, leave this up to an adult.

Here are our supplies (L-R): Scraper for the guts, carving tools, E-Train stencil. Not pictured is the nail we used.

Here are our supplies (L-R): Scraper for the guts, carving tools, E-Train stencil. Not pictured is the nail we used.

3. Tape your stencil to the pumpkin to hold it steady.

Here's our stencil taped to the center of the pumpkin.

Here’s our stencil taped to the center of the pumpkin.

4. Using the pointed object, poke small holes around the outline of your stencil. This will create an outline for you to carve when you take off the printed stencil. (Note: just mark where the four bolts are located because you won’t actually carve those out.)

Poke small holes around the outline of your design.

Poke small holes around the outline of your design.

5. This is where it starts to get messy. Cut a hole around the stem at the top and clean out all of the guts. A scraper tool comes in really handy here because the cleaner you get the inside now, the less you have to clean out at the end. (Don’t forget you can save the pumpkin seeds for a fun snack! Here’s a simple recipe to roast them.)

Time to clean this pumpkin out!

Time to clean this pumpkin out!

6. Once you’ve removed the guts, remove the stencil off the front of the pumpkin. You might want to have a pencil handy to “connect the dots.” Also, keep your stencil handy as a reference to make sure you connect the right dots.

7. Time to carve! Using a carving tool, follow the outline of the dots and carve your pumpkin. We suggest starting with the four bolts which are actually just etched in the surface and not fully carved. Then carve out the six pillars at the bottom. Then move on to the outline of the E-Train. Remember to not carve all the way through the white spaces or else your entire design will fall through. You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste, do you? When you’re done, it should look something like this:

Here's our finished design!

Here’s our finished design!

The lines don’t have to be perfect and ours certainly weren’t. Once you’re done with the whole design and have removed the cutout pumpkin pieces the whole thing really comes together. Good luck and happy carving!

Bonus step: Get a tea light candle and drop it in the middle. Have an adult light the candle and enjoy your handiwork!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Familiar Faces in the ALCS/NLCS

While we’ve been breaking down former Express players in the Division Series, it’s time to move on to the Championship Series in both the American and National Leagues. The battles are between the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles in the American League and the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League. With the Royals (Omaha), Giants (Fresno and now Sacramento going into 2015) and Cardinals (Memphis) affiliates in the Pacific Coast League, we’ve seen a lot of familiar faces come through Dell Diamond in the opposing dugout. Here’s a list of some of those names you might recognize:

Those who played for the Express, counting rehabbers:

Nelson Cruz
Tommy Hunter
Bud Norris
Darren O’Day
Hunter Pence

Those who played against the Express:

Kelly Johnson
Adam Jones
David Lough
Jimmy Paredes
Nick Hundley

Kansas City:
Jason Vargas
Yordan Ventura
Kelvin Herrera
Danny Duffy
Salvatore Perez
Eric Hosmer
Christian Colon
Alcides Escobar
Mike Moustakas
Alex Gordon
Lorenzo Cain
Jarrod Dyson
Josh Willingham
Billy Butler

San Francisco:
Jeremy Affeldt
Jean Machi
Yusmerio Petit
Ryan Vogelsong
Andrew Susac
Joaquin Arias
Brandon Belt
Brendon Crawford
Joe Panik
Travis Ishikawa
Michael Morse

John Lackey
Lance Lynn
Shelby Miller
Randy Choate
Marco Gonzalez
Pat Neshak
Michael Wacha
Tony Cruz
Matt Adams
Matt Carpenter
Daniel Descalso
Kolten Wong
Pete Kozma
Matt Holliday
John Jay
Randall Grichuk
Oscar Taveras

Thanks to Express broadcaster Mike Capps for the research lead on this.

Off-season Roster Updates

With the amount of roster moves (203) we officially had this season, it’s kind of hard to think that there might be any left to make this offseason. But where there’s a will, there’s a way and the following six players were outrighted to Round Rock:

-3B Kevin Kouzmanoff

-C/1B J.P. Arencibia

-P Pedro Figueroa

-P Wilmer Font

-OF Engel Beltre

-INF/OF Guilder Rodriguez

Additionally, the Cubs clamied P Joseph Ortiz on waivers.

Since being outrighted, both Kouzmanoff and Arencibia have elected free agency and are going to test the market.

207, 208, 209…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.