Results tagged ‘ dell diamond ’

Pre-Season Preparations: Stadium Operations

I think Annie said it best when she sang, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow.” Ok, maybe she had a different meaning behind it, but for me, tomorrow is officially the start of baseball season with pitchers and catchers reporting to Surprise, AZ  and therefore, I love tomorrow!

It’s only a day a-waaay!

To celebrate the eve of this glorious day, we’re going to start our “Pre-Season Preparations” series today. We’re starting this eight-week tour in the stadium operations department with David Powers, the Express’ Senior Director of Stadium Operations.

When did you start planning for the 2013 season?
We usually start planning for the next season half-way through the current season, but with a huge project like the new HD video board, we actually started making preparations back in March of 2012.

In preparing for the upcoming season, what is one of the first things you look at?
We start with quotes on different projects, looking at what needs repairs or updates.

What was the biggest project on your list this off-season?
The new LED scoreboard and video board was definitely the biggest size-wise and most noticeable. Having to take down the entire scoreboard to completely replace it with a main board, two side panels, the auxiliary board and the outfield ribbon boards was a big project in itself. Installing the premium seating (behind home plate and the 4 Topps down the first base line) and the safety railings down the isles are more time consuming than anything. There’s just a lot involved.

welding the railings

Every safety railing has to be welded together.

How did you go about deciding to install the premium seating this off-season?
The whole stadium is on a 2-7 year facility plan where we look at upgrading or replacing things as needed in that cycle. To make the final decisions, I meet with the department heads, management and the ownership group to find out what projects take precedence over others. We make that final decision by committee. We have to take everything into consideration, look at the implications of the project and breakdown what’s involved. It’s a process and it takes time, but it guarantees our facility is always state-of-the-art.

What do you do on a daily basis to prepare for Opening Day?
We do a lot of preventative maintenance, including a lot of cleaning and refreshing the paint in different areas. Every year, the suites get reworked. We touch up the paint in there, wax the floors and just make sure they’re up to the highest standards. We also update the United Heritage Center every offseason. It might be a new coat of paint or new shades on the windows, but it always gets something new. We basically go from room-to-room and see what needs to be done to get the stadium ready for Opening Day.

Premium Seating

The area behind home plate is cleared and ready for the new premium seats to be installed!

When do you start realizing Opening Day is just around the corner?
Typically 30-40 days out, it hits me. This year it hit me early because we’re hosting so many high school games out here. I want to make sure everything is ready to go by the time those start. I started the hiring process for all of the day-of-game staff already which means we’re getting close.

What is one pre-season project that people might consider smaller, but really is a complicated one?
Managing the game-day staff is really overlooked as a project. You have to make sure everyone is on the same page, from day-of-game staff to the front office. We instituted a program called “Express University” last year as a way to get everyone together and make sure we all are on the same page before Opening Day.

What is one thing you do in your job that would surprise the average fan?
I think just the number of things I have to deal with…everything from scraping off gum stuck on the concrete to making sure every single part of the facility is in working order on any given day. It’s a daily grind more than anything. My job is very much a behind-the-scenes job, until something goes wrong. I have to deal with a lot of things in different areas of the stadium that the average fan would never see, but it impacts the fan experience so it’s really important.

Stadium renovations

The new HD video board and the ribbon boards look great in the outfield!

What is your favorite part about your job?
For me, having a background in construction, it’s the fact that this whole stadium is my office. I’ve really gotten to know the facility through the years. I know all of the nooks and crannies throughout the entire stadium; I know when something is wrong or out of place. I also truly enjoy working with the staff here. The entire operation is a team effort and I’m glad to have not only great people in the stadium operations department, but throughout the entire front office. It’s easy to do my job when you have the support and backing of management and the ownership group in all of our projects and the ultimate vision of the facility.

I know there’s still so much work the great people in stadium operations have to do before April 4, so I appreciate David taking the time out to give us a little glimpse into what goes on in his world to prepare for the season.

We’ll be back next Monday with week 2 of “Pre-Season Preparations” when we’ll check in with some of the party areas at Dell Diamond!

Until then, happy baseball thoughts!

Jill

P.S. – If you have any questions about some of our pre-season preparations or just want to know more about what it takes to get ready for Opening Day, send them my way! We might even do a mailbag just before we open the gates on April 4! Email: jcacic@rrexpress.com

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Tracking the Offseason

The off-season is in full-swing here in Round Rock with only 112 days left to savor the silence. In reality, there’s just under four months until baseball is back at The Dell Diamond and all is right in the world. Silence is overrated anyways.

As is normal in the off-season, there have been a few moves and changes in the Rangers farm system. Let’s take a look at what’s going on with some of your favorite Express players from 2012…

The Rule V draft took place last Thursday in Nashville towards the conclusion of the Winter Meetings. The Rangers selected Marques Smith from the Reds (Double-A Pensacola) and saw Tommy Mendonca selected by the Athletics (Triple-A Sacramento).

Smith split 2012 with the Piratas de Campeche (Triple-A Mexican League) and the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston, Double-A). In 12 games with the Piratas, he hit .261 (12-for-46) with four doubles, one home run and six RBI. He spent the majority of the season in Portland at third base. He batted a solid .293 (82-for-280) with 22 doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 37 RBI in 71 games. He struck out 52 times and drew 23 walks. Smith elected free agency in November and was quickly signed by the Reds before being selected by the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft.
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Mendonca split the 2012 season between Round Rock and Double-A Frisco. He struggled at times with the Express, hitting just .208 (48-for-231) with 14 extra-base hits and 31 RBI. He struck out 84 times while only walking nine. In his 63 games with Round Rock, only 12 were multi-hit games. He improved in Frisco with a .277 average (28-for-101) in 28 games and improved his OBP and SLG by over 100 points each (.342/.455 vs. .249/.329). He also showed a little more patience at the plate, drawing 10 walks in his 114 plate appearances.

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In other Rule 5 draft news, both RHP Justin Miller and LHP Joe Ortiz had their contracts selected by the Rangers and were placed on the 40-man roster. Miller was injured in 2012 and didn’t pitch, but had to be put on the 40-man to be protected before the Rule 5 draft. (For more information on the Rule 5 draft, check out this great article in Baseball America.) Twenty-two-year-old Ortiz had a 1-1 record with a 1.97 ERA (7er/32ip) in 24 appearances with Round Rock last year. He started the season in Double-A Frisco, posting a 1-2 record with a 2.35 ERA (8er/30.2ip) in 27 games. He converted six of 10 save opportunities between the two clubs. Ortiz’s contract was purchased on Nov. 20, the last day to protect a player before the Rule 5 draft.

Now we get into the fun that is minor league free agency. Here’s a list of the following players in the Rangers farm system who have either elected or declared free agency along with the team they have since signed with (where applicable).

Dusty Brown, C – Unsigned
Fabio Castillo, RHP – Giants
Robinzon Diaz, C – Unsigned
Willie Eyre, RHP – Unsigned
Alberto Gonzalez, SS – Cubs
Derek Hankins, RHP – Unsigned
Aaron Heilman, RHP – Unsigned
Luis Hernandez, 2B – Indians
Zach Jackson, LHP – Unsigned
Matt Kata, 3B – Unsigned
Val Majewski (Double-A), OF – Unsigned
Brad Nelson, 1B – Unsigned
Greg Reynolds, RHP – Unsigned
Ben Snyder, LHP – Unsigned
Yangervis Solarte, 2B – Rangers
Ryan Spilborghs, OF – Seibu Lions (Japan)
Johan Yan, RHP – Rangers

For a complete, up-to-date listing of all minor league free agents, click here.

What has been your favorite move of the off-season?

Express Dominate Zephyrs

ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 10, NEW ORLEANS ZEPHYRS 6

29 August 2012  |  The Dell Diamond  |  Round Rock, Texas

Records:  Express (67-72), Zephyrs (73-66)

- Round Rock leads series 3-0
– Round Rock leads season series 10-5
– Series finale Thursday at 7:05 p.m. CDT
– Thursday’s scheduled starters:  RR – LHP Martin Perez (7-6, 4.24 ERA); NEW – RHP Elih Villanueva (9-8, 3.92 ERA)

ROUND ROCK clinched series … won six of last nine series (split other three) … won eight of last 10 games, 14 of last 19 … improved to league-best 24-11 since July 26 … improved to 15-0 since All-Star break when scoring seven-plus runs … won 10 of last 15 vs. New Orleans at The Dell Diamond … at least one homer in nine of last 11 games, 15 of last 19 … 15 homers over last nine games.

CHAD BELL won second straight start … allowed three runs over last three starts (16.0 innings, 1.69 ERA) … improved to 2-0 in two starts vs. New Orleans.

JULIO BORBON (2-for-5, walk) five-game hitting streak (6-for-22) … three hits shy of Mark Saccomanno’s 2008 franchise record (157) … hit safely in 14 of last 15 games (.381, 24-for-63) … reached safely in 15 straight games … multiple hits in seven of last 14 games.

YANGERVIS SOLARTE (2-for-5, walk) five-game hitting streak (.421, 8-for-19) … multiple hits in eight of last 18 games.

LEONYS MARTIN (1-for-6) five-game hitting streak (.348, 8-for-23) … hit safely in 27 of last 29 games with Express … at least one run scored in six straight games, 14 of last 15.

JOEY BUTLER (0-for-1, two walks, two sac flies) snapped 15-game hitting streak (21-for-61).

RYAN SPILBORGHS (0-for-3, sac fly) snapped six-game hitting streak (11-for-22)

MATT KATA (2-for-3, walk) produced 115th career multiple-hit game with Express, breaking Mark Saccomanno’s franchise record … seven hits shy of Saccomanno’s franchise career record (424).

ALBERTO GONZALEZ (3-for-5) hit safely in seven of 10 games with Express … fourth multiple-hit effort.

KOYIE HILL (0-for-2, three walks) dropped to 3-for-24 (.125) over last seven games … at least one strikeout in 10 of 12 games with Express.

Last Two Series Rotations

NEW ORLEANS SERIES INFORMATION (relocated to The Dell Diamond)

GAME 137  |  TUESDAY, AUGUST 28  |  5:35 p.m. CDT  |  DH GM 1
Express:  RHP Greg Reynolds (10-8, 4.94 ERA)
Zephyrs:  RHP Omar Poveda (4-2, 4.45 ERA)

GAME 138  |  TUESDAY, AUGUST 28  |  8:05 p.m. CDT  |  DH GM 2
Express:  RHP Derek Hankins (6-7, 5.13 ERA)
Zephyrs:  TBA

GAME 139  |  WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29  |  7:05 p.m. CDT
Express:  LHP Chad Bell (4-4, 4.41 ERA)
Zephyrs:  LHP Brad Hand (11-6, 3.65 ERA)

GAME 140  |  THURSDAY, AUGUST 30  |  7:05 p.m. CDT
Express:  RHP Justin Grimm (2-3, 4.59 ERA)
Zephyrs:  RHP Elih Villanueva (9-8, 3.92 ERA)

————————–

OKLAHOMA CITY SERIES INFORMATION

GAME 141  |  FRIDAY, AUGUST 31  |  7:05 p.m. CDT
Express:  LHP Martin Perez
RedHawks:  LHP Rudy Owens

GAME 142  |  SATURDAY, SEPT. 1  |  7:05 p.m. CDT
Express:  LHP Zach Jackson
RedHawks:  RHP Jarred Cosart

GAME 143  |  SUNDAY, SEPT. 2  |  6:05 p.m. CDT
Express:  RHP Greg Reynolds
RedHawks:  RHP Jose Cisnero

GAME 144  |  MONDAY, SEPT. 3  |  11:05 a.m. CDT
Express:  LHP Chad Bell
RedHawks:  RHP Edgar Gonzalez

E-Train Clips Nashville

at ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 6, NASHVILLE SOUNDS 5

25 August 2012  |  The Dell Diamond  |  Round Rock, Texas

Records:  Express (64-71), Sounds (62-73)

- Round Rock leads series 3-1
– Round Rock leads season series 8-7
– Series finale Sunday at 6:05 p.m. CDT
– Sunday’s scheduled starters:  RR – LHP Zach Jackson (7-12, 4.53 ERA); NAS – RHP Wily Peralta (7-10, 4.58 ERA)

ROUND ROCK won five of six, 11 of 15 … improved to 21-10 since July 26 (PCL’s best record in that time) … won 12 of 15 vs. Nashville at The Dell Diamond since beginning of last season, 18 of 23 since beginning of 2010 season … improved to 24-19 since All-Star break … nine homers in last five games … at least one homer in five of last seven games, 11 of last 15 … 10-plus hits in 10 of last 15 games … clinched fifth series win in last eight series (split other three) … improved to 18-16 in one-run games, 11-4 since All-Star break … 28th comeback win (trailed 3-0, 5-3) … 12th final-at-bat win.

MARTIN PEREZ surrendered three first-inning runs … most runs allowed in first inning since May 25 at Nashville (four runs) … first time allowing more than two runs in any inning since June 10 at Omaha, ending a streak of 49.2 innings over six starts, one relief appearance … two-run homer surrendered to Sean Halton was first multiple-run homer allowed since June 10 at Omaha (Tony Abreu, two runs) … allowed one home run in every other outing with Express since June 10.

JULIO BORBON (1-for-5) delivered game-winning RBI with eighth-inning fielder’s choice … hit safely in 11 of last 12 games (.392, 20-for-51) … reached safely in 12 straight games … fourth player in franchise history to reach 150 hits in a season (Mark Saccomanno, 157; Tommy Manzella, 153; Esteban German, 153).

YANGERVIS SOLARTE (1-for-5) hitting .329 (20-for-61) over last 14 games.

LEONYS MARTIN (3-for-4) snapped 0-for-7 skid with first-inning single … hit safely in 23 of last 26 games with Express (.394, 43-for-109) … at least one extra-base hit in eight of last 11 games … at least one RBI in eight of last 11 games (15 RBI) … at least one run scored in 10 of last 11 games (17 runs).

BRAD NELSON (0-for-3, walk) hitless in last six at bats.

MATT KATA (3-for-3) … tied franchise records for career games (405) and multiple-hit games (114) … 11 multiple-hit outings over last 23 games …  hitting .377 (20-for-53) over last 14 games.

JOEY BUTLER (2-for-4) extended hitting streak to 13 games (.345, 19-for-55) … 17th multiple-RBI effort … clubbed 18th home run of season, 30th of Express career – seventh player in franchise history with at least 30 career homers.

RYAN SPILBORGHS (1-for-4) scored game-winning run … hit safely in 12 of last 14 games (.321, 17-for-53) … hitting .462 (24-for-52) in 14 games vs. Nashville this season with three homers, 14 RBI, six doubles … hitting .418 (38-for-91) in 25 career games vs. Nashville.

BRANDON SNYDER (1-for-3) snapped 0-for-15 skid with sixth-inning single … 3-for-30 (.100) since third-inning single Aug. 15 at Reno … eight strikeouts in last 15 at bats.

KOYIE HILL (2-for-4) snapped 0-for-13 skid with fourth-inning single … first game without a strikeout with Express (nine games) … first multiple-hit effort since Aug. 20 vs. Oklahoma City.

Express Pregame 8/8/12

Express Starters

RHP Justin Grimm (1-0, 2.57 ERA)

  1. CF Leonys Martin (.344, 6 HR, 26 RBI)
  2. SS Luis Hernandez (.238, 8 HR, 54 RBI)
  3. LF Julio Borbon (.300, 8 HR, 45 RBI)
  4. 1B Brad Nelson (.290, 20 HR, 67 RBI)
  5. RF Joey Butler (.284, 15 HR, 56 RBI)
  6. DH Ryan Spilborghs (.289, 6 HR, 41 RBI)
  7. 3B Brandon Snyder (.200, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
  8. 2B Yangervis Solarte (.276, 9 HR, 43 RBI)
  9. C Luis Martinez (.271, 2 HR, 22 RBI)

Express Player-to-Watch:

Tonight we are going to change up how the competition works. Normally everyone gets to pick one player, and whoever’s player has the best game wins. However for our last game all three of us had the choice of three players from the lineup. To keep things far we used a snake draft with Wade having the first pick, Andrew second, and Will third. We will keep you updated throughout our ingame and postgame coverage on how things go.

Andrew: SS Luis Hernandez, OF Julio Borbon, & 3B Brandon Snyder

Wade: 1B Brad Nelson, DH Ryan Spilborghs, & 2B Yangervis Solarte

Will: OF Leonys Martin, OF Joey Butler, & C Luis Martinez

51s Starters

RHP Scott Richmond (8-6, 6.13 ERA)

  1. SS Mike McCoy (.264, 3HR, 29 RBI)
  2. 2B Jonathan Diaz (.261, 2 HR, 21 RBI)
  3. DH Jack Cust (.222, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
  4. 1B Mike McDade (.290, 1 HR, 7 RBI)
  5. LF Ricardo Nanita (.303, 3 HR, 39 RBI)
  6. 3B Luke Hughes (.248, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
  7. CF Danny Pereales (.315, 6 HR, 32 RBI)
  8. C Tuffy Gosewisch (.385, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
  9. RF Kenen Balli (.200, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

Ogando, Feliz, Uehara to Rehab With Express

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Three Texas Rangers pitchers will begin rehab assignments with Round Rock when the Express return to play following tonight’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo, N.Y. Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz and Koji Uehara all will pitch for the Express in the upcoming home series.

Round Rock hosts the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) for a four-game series at The Dell Diamond. The series runs Thursday through Sunday with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch Thursday, Friday and Sunday nights; Saturday’s game starts at 6:05 p.m. Tickets are available through the Express ticket office at (512) 255-2255 or online at www.RoundRockExpress.com.

Ogando will pitch one inning Thursday and two innings Saturday. He is 1-0 with one save and a 2.08 ERA (8 ER/34.2 IP) in 27 relief outings and one start with the Rangers. Feliz is scheduled to throw two innings Sunday and three innings July 18 when the Express play atNashville. He is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA (15 ER/42.2 IP) in seven starts and one relief outing this season. Uehara, who is scheduled to work one inning Saturday, has no record and a 2.11 ERA (5 ER/21.1 IP) in two relief appearances with the Rangers.

Holland to Rehab With Express

ROUND ROCK, Texas – Right-hander Derek Holland is scheduled to make a 50-pitch rehab start Wednesday night at The Dell Diamond, the Texas Rangers announced Monday. First pitch between the Round Rock Express and Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee Brewers) is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch. Tickets are available through the Express ticket office at (512) 255-2255 or online at www.RoundRockExpress.com.

Holland is 5-4 with a 5.10 ERA (38 ER/67.0 IP) and 59 strikeouts in 12 starts and one relief appearance for the Rangers this season. He was placed on the disabled list following his June 5 start at Oakland. Holland is 32-27 in 91 career outings for Texas, including a 16-5 mark last season.

Coincidentally, Holland’s last minor-league start was Aug. 23, 2010, at The Dell Diamond as a member of then-Rangers Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City. He allowed one run on three hits over six innings with three walks and five strikeouts in a no-decision against the then-Astros-affiliated Express. Holland earned a win at The Dell Diamond earlier that season when he tossed five innings allowing one hit – a solo homer.

Wednesday’s game begins a seven-game home stand for the Express that features the Budweiser Red, White and Blue Salute, benefiting Folds of Honor Foundation. The home stand concludes July 3 with the season’s biggest postgame fireworks display.

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