Results tagged ‘ anthony rizzo ’
By Will Weinstock
In Part II of an Express Tracks series chronicling the highlights of each month of the Round Rock Express 2012 season. This article covers the highlights of June. The Express finished the month with a record of 13-15 (38-48 overall) and are now 11.5 games back in the Southern Division.
Player of the Month: LHP Martin Perez
Highlights of June:
- OF Joey Butler was selected as a PCL All-Star in Buffalo on July 11.
- On June 30 the Texas Rangers won 7-2 against the Oakland A’s and all three pitchers used were in Round Rock at one point this season. LHP Martin Perez got the win in his first major league start with a line of 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, & 103 Pitches. Yoshinori Tateyama and Michael Kirkman came in to throw the final 3.2 innings of hitless ball to end the game.
- Former Express RHP Jordan Lyles went 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA in 29.0 innings.
- RHP Roy Oswalt made three starts with the Express in preparation for pitching in the majors. The first start was in front of a near capacity crowd of 11,532 fans and was his first time pitching in an Express jersey since his stint with the team in 2000.
Quote of the Month: “A lot of the people that were here when they first opened the stadium are still here today,” Oswalt said. “And getting to see the old faces and the people I still kind of remember the first time was nice.”
Impact Position Player: 1B Mike Bianucci (.277, 4 HR, 12 RBI)
Bianucci continues to mash the ball everywhere the Express play this season. But what has stood out most in the 26-year-old has been his defense. Originally drafted out of Auburn University as a third basemen, he has been moved all over the field in search of a position. At the lower levels Bianucci was playing mostly left and right field, but they were not a natural fit. In Round Rock the Virginia native has settled in nicely at first base. Before the year he had never played the position and was even listed as a designated hitter in the media guide. However, Bianucci has been made a nice transition, and is making noticeable improvement each week. So far he has committed only three errors in 78 games, and been one of the nice surprises for the Express.
Impact Pitcher: LHP Martin Perez (2-1, 3.10 ERA in June)
After a May 25 start against Nashville Martin Perez’s ERA had risen to 5.80 and things were not looking good for the lefthander hurler. To make matters worse, the Rangers decided to call up RHP Justin Grimm from Double-A instead of Perez when injuries hit in Arlington. But rather than getting down on himself Perez worked hard in his bullpen sessions and workouts. In addition, the 21-year-old started throwing more in the bullpen before games. Perez started pitching better and everything culminated in a 90 pitch complete game on June 21 at The Dell Diamond. Six days later the Venezuelan was promoted to the big leagues. And on June 30 Perez made his first major league start and threw 5.1 innings giving up only two runs.
Not In My House: Last month the highlight play was INF Yangervis Solarte’s walk off single on May 21. Exactly one month later OF Joey Butler climbed the wall in right field to rob Cubs prospect 1B Anthony Rizzo of yet another home run. Before being called up to the Cubs on June 25, Rizzo was leading the PCL with 23 homers. The Express would later to go on to win the game behind Perez’s complete game.
The Closer: When the Rangers called up RHP Tanner Scheppers on June 7, a void was left in the back end of the bullpen. Before being called up Scheppers had nine of the Express’s 11 saves on the season. Manager Bobby Jones decided to turn to nine-year major league veteran Aaron Heilman. Since being inserted into the closer’s role Heilman has been dominant going 6-for-6 in save opportunities. The 32-year-old had a 1.50 ERA in June, and will make the manager’s job tougher when Scheppers comes back to Round Rock.
Fairytale Story: Bell has made a long journey this season. He began his year in Class-A Myrtle Beach as a piggyback starter. Then the 23-year-old moved up to Double-A Frisco where he made six appearances as a reliever before being moved to the starting rotation. Finally, he came to Round Rock to take RHP Neil Ramirez’s place in the rotation. Bell made his Triple-A debut on June 26 at Iowa, and was impressive in going 5.2 innings and only giving up one earned run while striking out seven. Since being moved up to Round Rock, Bell is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA.
(MLB) Texas Rangers: 50-31, 5.0 game lead
(Double-A) Frisco Roughriders: 3-8, 6.5 games back
(Advanced-A) Myrtle Beach Pelicans: 10-3, 1.0 game lead
(A) Hickory Crawdads: 10-3, 2.0 game lead
(Short Season) Spokane Indians: 7-12, 4.0 games back
Records: Express (32-40), Cubs (30-42)
- Express lead series 1-0 … Express lead season series 5-4
- Game 2 of series Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. CDT
Well, you can’t get it right every night. I took a gamble on Hernandez tonight because of the recent hot streak he had been on but he had an off night offensively. Bianucci picked me up tonight though by belting two homeruns and supplying the offense.
Defensively Hernandez was sound as ever though. Although he didn’t make the stand out play that we have grown accustomed to seeing, he didn’t make an error and fielded his position cleanly, converting every put-out opportunity that he had. The great defensive players don’t always make the best plays, because often they put themselves in positions where they don’t have to.
All in all, the bat was cold tonight but Hernandez did what was asked and expected from him and in the end it is those little things that make the difference in games.
– 4-1 is now the Express’s record in Tuesday home games following tonight’s 6-3 victory over the Iowa Cubs.
Starting Pitcher: RHP Greg Reynolds (5-5, 4.57 ERA)
- CF Julio Borbon (.331, 6 HR, 32 RBI)
- SS Luis Hernandez (.243, 4 HR, 32 RBI)
- LF Ryan Spilborghs (.349, 3 HR, 24 RBI)
- DH Brad Nelson (.297, 8 HR, 38 RBI)
- RF Joey Butler (.285, 11 HR, 39 RBI)
- 3B Yangervis Solarte (.274, 6 HR, 31 RBI)
- 1B Mike Bianucci (.271, 12 HR, 42 RBI)
- 2B Greg Miclat (.241, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
- C Dusty Brown (.231, 3 HR, 12 RBI)
- SS Alfredo Amezaga (.284, 4 HR, 18 RBI)
- RF Dave Sappelt (.232, 3 HR, 22 RBI)
- 1B Anthony Rizzo (.364, 23 HR, 59 RBI)
- 2B Blake DeWitt (.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
- 3B Josh Vitters (.282, 9 HR, 35 RBI)
- CF Brett Jackson (.261, 8 HR, 28 RBI)
- LF Ty Wright (.278, 4 HR, 24 RBI)
- DH Blake Lalli (.186, 5 HR, 19 RBI)
- C Brian Esposito (.212, 0 HR, 3 RBI)