Results tagged ‘ joe ortiz ’

Profar Joins Netherland’s WBC Roster

One of the big questions going into the World Baseball Classic was a classic itself: “would he or wouldn’t he?” The he in question is baseball’s top prospect Jurickson Profar.

The Rangers infield prospect and Curacao native was invited to play on the roster of his national team, the Kingdom of the Netherlands. With Rangers current shortstop Elvis Andrus committed to playing for Venezuela, it opened up a window of opportunity in the Rangers spring training camp for Profar to get some exposure in the middle infield and make a strong case for making the big league club’s Opening Day roster. If he left for the WBC, that window closed a little and so, it seemed, would his chances of making the Rangers 25-man roster with limited playing time. Profar decided against playing in the Classic and stayed in Rangers camp instead.

The Netherlands team caught fire and advanced to the semi-finals in San Francisco. Andrus’ Venezuela squad didn’t fare as well and was eliminated in the first round, sending the Rangers everyday SS back to camp and back in the lineup. Profar was offered an opportunity to join the Netherland’s squad Wednesday, replacing the injured Yurendell de Caster, an opportunity he jumped at. He’ll mainly see time at 2B since that roster already has the Braves’ Andrelton Simmons at SS. The timing on this couldn’t have been better for Profar. Not only does he get to play on a world-wide stage with “his friends,” but he’ll get expanded playing time in the Classic, time that he would most likely miss in Rangers camp with Andrus’ return.

The Rangers are still undecided on where Profar will end up to start the 2013 season, but I’m pulling to see him in an Express uniform on Opening Day. I have no doubt though that he’ll get another second chance this year, this time with the big league club.

Profar joins the WBC roster. | Photo via

Profar joins the WBC roster. | Photo via

Ortiz Keeps Rolling

One of the good surprises this spring has been Joe Ortiz. Ortiz, who ended the season with us here in Round Rock, has allowed just three hits in 7.0 innings. He’s held batters to a measly .143 average and only allowed one walk to six strikeouts. I got to see him pitch in a “B” game against the Royals during our recent trip out to Arizona and the kid has some good stuff. In that game, he threw a perfect inning, throwing six of his eight pitches for strikes. Today, he threw another scoreless inning against the Giants. In 2012, Ortiz was 1-1 with a 1.97 ERA (7er/32.0ip) in 24 games with the Express. The way he’s throwing, it’ll be hard to place him in Round Rock in April…


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.

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.


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 vs. Nashville (Aug. 23)

Pivotal Inning:  Nashville loaded the bases with one out in the seventh but managed only one run on Logan Schafer’s sacrifice fly. Joe Ortiz spelled Derek Hankins and inherited runners on the corners with two outs. Ortiz stranded both inherited runners and has stranded 12 of 15 inherited runners with the Express. That was the only batter Ortiz would face as Willie Eyre takes over on the mound as we start the eighth. Express lead 5-1.

Here’s To You, Mr. Robinzon:  Robinzon Diaz delivered a two-out RBI single later in the sixth. Express lead 5-0 going to the seventh.

Catch 22:  Brad Nelson led off the bottom of the sixth with his 22nd homer of the season, tying for the ninth-best tally in Express history (Triple-A era). After hitting 24 homers last season, Nelson joins Mark Saccomanno and Brooks Conrad as the only Express players to hit at least 22 homers in multiple seasons. Nelson’s 46 career homers with Round Rock places him fifth in franchise history behind Conrad (67), Saccomanno (64), Luke Scott (51) and Cody Ransom (49). Behind Nelson are Joey Butler and Matt Kata with 29 each.

Bellwether Outing:  Express starter Chad Bell worked five shutout innings, scattering five hits (two doubles, one triple) and working around two walks. He struck out five, including two in the third inning. However, he had only one 1-2-3 inning (fourth) and was stretched to five full counts (Nashville batters were 3-for-5 with two doubles and a triple in those at bats). That added up to 85 pitches through five innings (51 strikes). Bell worked ahead on 11 of 20 batters faced, and the Sounds were 1-for-6 with four strikeouts when falling behind 0-2. As we suggested in tonight’s “Players to Watch,” Bell got through the third inning unscathed and left in line for the win. Derek Hankins spelled Bell to start the sixth with the Express still leading 3-0.

As a Matt-er of Fact:  Matt Kata clubbed a solo homer with one out in the fourth – his ninth of the season. Coupled with a second-inning single, this is Kata’s 113th career multiple-hit game with the Express – one shy of Mark Saccomanno’s franchise record (Triple-A era). Express lead 3-0 through four.

That Looked Very Familiar:  Ryan Spilborghs doubled just inside the third-base line with one out in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs. It looked almost exactly like his game winning hit from last night. As we mentioned in tonight’s “Players to Watch,” Spilborghs owns Nashville. He’s now 21-for-42 with three homers, 14 RBI and six doubles in 12 games this season against the Sounds. Express lead 2-0 going to the third.

Deja Blue All Over Again… Again:  Round Rock is wearing blue jerseys tonight for the fourth straight game. The Express won each of the last three. If it ain’t broke…

First Pitch:  Underway at 7:07 p.m. tonight. Temperature at first pitch was 91 degrees – that’s 33 degrees in Ponta Figa, São Tomé and Príncipe.

Express Outlast Aces in Extras

ROUND ROCK EXPRESS 9, at RENO ACES 8 (10 innings)

16 August 2012  |  Aces Ballpark  |  Reno, Nev.

Records:  Express (59-67), Aces (71-55)
– Julio Borbon leadoff triple in 10th inning … scored on errant pickoff throw from Reno catcher Ryan Budde
– Round Rock leads series 3-0
– Clinched second straight series … improved to 4-0-2 in last six series
– Express riding six-game winning streak
– Series finale Friday at 9:05 p.m. CDT
– Friday’s scheduled starters:  RR – RHP Greg Reynolds (10-7, 4.90 ERA); RENO – RHP Trevor Bauer (4-1, 2.85 ERA)

ROUND ROCK won 16 of last 22 (league-best record during that time) … improved to 18-8 since five-run, ninth-inning rally July 22 vs. Omaha … won 12 of last 15 road games … season-best, six-game road winning streak … improved to 20-15 since All-Star break … extended franchise record with fifth straight nine-plus run game … eight of nine starters hit safely … 56 runs, 85 hits over last five games … 10-plus hits in six straight games … nine-plus hits in nine straight games (.352, 125-for-355) … improved to 13-0 since All-Star break when scoring at least seven runs … improved to 15-15 in one-run games, 8-3 since All-Star break … fourth straight victory in one-run games … improved to 6-4 in extra-inning games (3-1 on the road).

ZACH JACKSON (no-decision) left game leading 5-3 … held opponent to three or fewer earned runs in nine of last 10 starts (4-4) … allowed three or fewer earned runs in sixth straight start … second no-decision in last 16 outings (15 starts) … Express won his fifth straight start.

JOE ORTIZ earned first career Triple-A win.

JOHAN YAN earned first career Triple-A save.

JULIO BORBON (4-for-6) three-game hitting streak (.467, 7-for-15) … second straight multiple-hit game … first four-hit game since July 25 vs. Albuquerque (fourth of season) … seventh triple, tying for second-best season total in Express history.

LUIS HERNANDEZ (4-for-5, walk) extended hitting streak to 12 games (.482, 27-for-56) … 10th multiple-hit outing during streak … second four-hit game of season (June 29 vs. Nashville) … scored in fifth straight game.

JOEY BUTLER (3-for-6) five-game hitting streak (.346, 9-for-26) … first game with three-plus hits since five-hit effort July 18 at Nashville … hit safely in 11 of last 13 games (18-for-56) … at least one strikeout in 10 straight games (14 strikeouts) … sixth straight multiple-strikeout game, seventh in last eight games.

BRAD NELSON (0-for-6) hitless with at least five at bats for only second time this season (July 2 vs. New Orleans) … first 0-for-6 game since July 2, 2011 vs. Nashville.

RYAN SPILBORGHS (1-for-4, walk) six-game hitting streak (.320, 8-for-25) … first home run since July 30 at Memphis (12 games, 46 at bats) … third homer in last 67 games, 254 at bats … first game with four-plus RBI since Aug. 22, 2011 vs. Salt Lake (with Colorado Springs).

BRANDON SNYDER (1-for-5) extended hitting streak to eight games (.353, 12-for-34) … first homer with Express … scored in fifth straight game … hit safely in 11 of 12 games with Express.

YANGERVIS SOLARTE (1-for-4, walk) hit safely in six of last seven games (12-for-31).

ALBERTO HERNANDEZ (3-for-5) first game with Express … first three-hit game since May 30 with Rangers (vs. Seattle).

KOYIE HILL (1-for-5) hit safely in each of first two games with Express.

Hamburger Designated for Assignment

From the Rangers and Express today:
ARLINGTON, Texas – Round Rock Express right-handed pitcher Mark Hamburger was designated for assignment, the Texas Rangers announced Friday afternoon. The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Hamburger to the minor leagues. The move corresponded with the Rangers purchase of Roy Oswalt’s contract; he replaces Hamburger on the 40-man roster and will start for the Rangers tonight against Colorado.
Hamburger was 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA (33 ER/45.1 IP) in three starts and 18 relief appearances for the Express this season. He was Round Rock’s opening-day starter but struggled to a 14.81 ERA (17 ER/11.1 IP) in his first three starts. Hamburger moved to the bullpen April 19 and posted a 1.74 ERA (2 ER/10.1 IP) in his last five relief appearances, holding the opponent scoreless in four of the five outings.
Signed by the Minnesota Twins at an open tryout in 2007, Hamburger was named Round Rock Express Pitcher of the Year in 2011 when he was 7-4 with a 3.88 ERA (27 ER/62.2 IP) in 27 relief outings and four starts. He moved to the rotation in the season’s final month and was 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA (2 ER/16.1 IP). Hamburger made his major league debut Aug. 31, 2011.
The Rangers also transferred right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez and Ross Wolf to Double-A Frisco from Round Rock. Meanwhile, left-handers Chad Bell and Joe Ortiz were transferred from Frisco to the Express; both are active for Friday night’s game as Round Rock concludes an eight-game home stand with a 7:05 p.m. CDT first pitch against the Iowa Cubs at The Dell Diamond.

Ramirez, Wolf Sent Down; Bell, Ortiz Promoted

By Wade Hilligoss and Larry Little

Round Rock, Texas – Right-handed pithcers Neil Ramirez and Ross Wolf were assigned to Double-A Frisco, the Rangers announced Friday. Meanwhile, left-handers Chad Bell and Joe Ortiz were assigned to Round Rock.

Bell began the season with Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach, going 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA (2 ER/11.1 IP) and 12 strikeouts against four walks in four relief outings. He made his first appearance with Frisco April 25 and moved into the RoughRiders rotation May 19.Bell was 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA (16 ER/50.2 IP) and 40 strikeouts against 13 walks in seven starts and six relief appearances with Frisco. He was the Rangers 14th-round pick out ofWaltersState [Tenn.] Community College in 2009.

Ortiz made 27 relief appearances with Frisco, going 1-2 with a 2.35 ERA (8 ER/30.2 IP), four saves and 29 strikeouts against six walks. He left Frisco with a 6.2-inning scoreless streak over his last six outings. Ortiz signed with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent Aug. 28, 2006, out of Venezuela.

Ramirez had one of his best starts Wednesday, allowing three runs (two after he was removed) in 6.2 innings with eight strikeouts against Iowa. It was his longest outing since May 3 when he pitched 7.o innings against New Orleans. his eight strikeouts were a season high. However, his ERA stands at 7.66 as he had allowed six more earned runs seven times this year.

Wolf appeared in just two games for the E-Train, allowing a run on one hit in 2.0 innings. He struck out one and walked two.

Derek Hankins takes the mound tonight for the Express in the series finale with Iowa at The Dell Diamond. Yesterday we posted the revised rotation. Still no word on who will take Ramirez’s spot on Monday.

All four players will be active for their teams tonight. The Express roster now has 24 players, one short of a full group, with right-hander Roy Oswalt’s contract being purchased by Texas today.