Results tagged ‘ roy oswalt ’

Express with Rangers

The Texas Rangers announced their active roster for tonight’s American League Wild Card Game Friday morning. The 25-man crew features six former Express members, including five that played for the Express this season. Another nine rehabbed with Round Rock at some point over the past two seasons – four this season.

Here is a look at the 15 players who have donned an Express uniform over the past two seasons (* – rehab):

*Adrian Beltre (2011)
*Nelson Cruz (2011)
*Scott Feldman (2011)
Craig Gentry (2011)
*Josh Hamilton (2011)
*Derek Holland (2012)
Michael Kirkman (2011, 2012)
Leonys Martin (2011, 2012)
Luis Martinez (2012)
*Mitch Moreland (2012)
*Mike Napoli (2011)
*Alexi Ogando (2012)
Roy Oswalt (2012)
Yoshinori Tateyama (2011, 2012)
*Koji Uehara (2012)


Top 12 Games of 2012 (No. 12)

TOP 12 GAMES OF 2012
Throughout the fall, we’ll take a look at the top 12 games of 2012. Before we get to that list, here is a brief look at nine games that were considered but didn’t make the list.

April 15 vs. Iowa:  Round Rock edged Iowa 11-10 in 13 innings – the longest home game this season and tied for the third-longest Triple-A game in The Dell Diamond’s history. Matt Kata’s sacrifice fly was the game-winner.

May 8 at Salt Lake:  Five homers gave the Express an 11-9 victory. Dusty Brown, Joey Butler, Mike Bianucci, Yangervis Solarte and Brad Nelson provided the homers, and Round Rock scored in seven different innings at hitter-friendly Spring Mobile Park.

June 1 at Memphis:  Despite getting out-hit 9-3, the Express blanked Memphis 3-0. Greg Reynolds scattered six singles and four walks with four strikeouts over seven innings. Elio Sarmiento and Dusty Brown had consecutive RBI singles in the second, and Joey Butler tacked on a ninth-inning solo homer.

June 17 vs. Oklahoma City:  What a pitching matchup – Oswalt vs. Clemens. OK, the Clemens was Paul Clemens. Roy Oswalt allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings with five strikeouts in his final game before joining the Rangers; it was his lone win with the Express. Greg Miclat homered in the second, and his two-run double in the sixth erased a broke a 2-2 ties as the Express won 4-2.

July 17 at Nashville:  Round Rock scored two runs in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, and Luis Hernandez delivered a two-out RBI single in the 11th for a 5-4 Express win. Round Rock’s bullpen (Joe Ortiz, Aaron Heilman and Neil Cotts) tossed five shutout innings.

Aug. 3 vs. Tucson:  After squandering a 6-0 lead over the final three innings, the Express plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth for an 8-7 victory. Julio Borbon’s two-run single was the game-winner.

Aug. 21 vs. Oklahoma City:  In his final win of the season, Zach Jackson limited the RedHawks to one run on seven hits and no walks over seven innings with seven strikeouts for a 4-1 Express victory. It was Jackson’s 20th win with the Express – a franchise record. Joey Butler’s sixth-inning solo homer snapped a 1-1 tie, and Leonys Martin added a two-run shot in the seventh.

Aug. 22 vs. Nashville:  One night later, the Express overcame a 6-3 deficit entering the bottom of the eighth and eventually won 7-6 in 11 innings. This was the closest of the honorable mention games to make the top 12. Ryan Spilborghs clubbed a two-run homer in the eighth to pull the Express within a run. Matt Kata tied the game in the ninth with an RBI fielder’s choice. Manager Bobby Jones was ejected after a peculiar call on a double-play ball later in the ninth, a play in which Kata collided with Nashville second baseman Adrian Williams. Spilborghs came through in the 11th with a two-out RBI single.

And now on with the Top 12 list, starting today with No. 12:

No. 12
Aug. 15:  Express 14, at Reno 1
Scoring 14 runs on 19 hits in the 4,400-foot elevation of Reno was no big surprise. However, the ability of Martin Perez to hold the eventual PCL-champion Aces to one run on six hits and five walks over eight innings was quite impressive. The lone run came on Konrad Schmidt’s eighth-inning, two-out solo homer, ending Perez’s bid for his first career complete-game shutout.

All nine Express starters hit safely as the Express won their fifth straight game – the season’s longest streak at that date (they won a sixth straight the following night). Brad Snyder’s two-run double keyed a four-run second inning, and Round Rock never looked back, adding three in the third and two in the fourth. Brad Nelson’s two-run homer pushed the Express lead to 11-0 in the seventh, and Koyie Hill tacked on an RBI single later in the inning. Hill capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth.

Perez posted his first road win with the Express since April 27 at Oklahoma City. It was the deepest into a game he carried a shutout in what was his 28th career Triple-A start. Perez escaped trouble in the fourth, inducing an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

It was Round Rock’s fifth straight game with at least 10 hits as the Express won for the 15th time in 21 games. Eight of nine batters had multiple-hit efforts; ironically, the lone exception was Luis Hernandez, who snapped a streak of nine consecutive multiple-hit outings. Leonys Martin ended a streak of four consecutive games with a homer but enjoyed a 4-for-6 effort nonetheless.


A couple weeks ago, we talked about the Baltimore Orioles’ success this year and how several members of the 2011 Express squad have played a part. We also asked when the Orioles will fire manager Buck Showalter. Here is the reason for the question:

Showalter managed three teams previously – the Yankees (1992-1995), Diamondbacks (1998-2000) and Rangers (2003-2006). In each case, his tenure ended with a firing. And, in each case, the succeeding manager led the team to a world series.

In 1994, Showalter guided the Yankees to a 70-43 record and was named American League Manager of the Year. New York owned baseball’s second-best record behind only Montreal (74-40). But the season was cut short due to the strike.

The following season, the Showalter-led Yankees were 79-65 and claimed the American League wild card – New York’s first playoff appearance since 1981. However, the Yankees lost to the Mariners 3-2 in the division series. Game 5 was one of the best playoff games in the wild-card era as Seattle edged New York 5-4. Randy Velarde’s one-out RBI single snapped a 4-4 tie in the top of the 11th, but Edgar Martinez won the game with a two-run double in the bottom of the inning that scored Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. Coming off the bench for the Mariners in that game was rookie Alex Rodriguez; he replaced Tino Martinez, who would join the Yankees the following season.

Showalter was shown the door following the loss. Joe Torre took over, and the Yankees won four of the next five World Series.

A year later, Showalter was named inaugural manager of the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks – two years prior to the club’s first season. The D-backs were 65-97 in the first season (1998) but thundered to 100 wins and a division crown the following season thanks to off-season acquisitions of Randy Johnson, Armando Reynoso, Todd Stottlemyer and Steve Finley. Arizona lost to the New York Mets in the division series, and Showalter was fired after a lack-luster 85-77, third-place finish in 2000.

His replacement, Bob Brenly, followed Torre’s suit and guided the Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001, defeating none other than the Yankees in one of the best Game 7s in World Series history.

Showalter was unable to lead the Rangers to a playoff appearance in his four seasons at Arlington. However, he was named American League Manager in the Year in 2004, skippering the Rangers to an 89-73 record in his second season after a 71-91 mark in 2003. Texas finished third in the division, three games back of Anaheim and two games behind Oakland. It was the Rangers’ lone winning season with Showalter at the helm. He was fired following an 80-82 mark in 2006.

Showing Showalter the door in Arlington was then-29-year-old general manager John Daniels, who then hired Ron Washington. Four years later, the Rangers reached the World Series for the first time ever and returned the following season. Washington currently has Texas atop the division in pursuit of the Rangers first division three-peat.

So, surely the Orioles will fire Showalter after the Birds dip to a sub-.500 record next season. We’ll prognosticate former or soon-to-be-former players as potential replacements:  Chipper Jones (retires after this season), Scott Rolen (has played for heralded managers Tony La Russa, Dusty Baker, Terry Francona and Larry Bowa), Derek Lee (clubhouse guy has played for Jack McKeon, Lou Pinella, Bobby Cox and Showalter) or Todd Helton (quietly one of this generation’s best hitters). However, the best bet among former players surely is Hall of Famer and former Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. – assuming he wants the job… and (of course) assuming it all comes to this.

News and Notes (Sept. 7)

Several 2012 Round Rock Express members still are in action this season. The current Texas Rangers roster features eight 2012 Express members:  pitchers Michael Kirkman, Roy Oswalt, Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers and Yoshinori Tateyama, catcher Luis Martinez, infielder Brandon Snyder and outfielder Leonys Martin. Additionally, the Rangers roster includes outfielder Craig Gentry, who was an Express member last season. Other current Rangers who rehabbed with the Express this season are pitchers Alexi Ogando and Koji Uehara and infielder Mitch Moreland.

Meanwhile, Double-A Frisco is alive and well in the Texas League playoffs (more on that below). Former Express members Val Majewski, Tommy Mendonca, Guilder Rodriguez and Justin Grimm have seen action through the RoughRiders’ first two games of the playoff games. Right-hander Neil Ramirez also is on Frisco’s active roster.


Rangers Double-A affiliate Frisco is one win away from reaching the Texas League Championship Series. The RoughRiders lead their division series against Houston Astros affiliate Corpus Christi 2-0, winning both home games in dramatic fashion.

Wednesday, the RoughRiders got a one-out RBI double from Chris McGuiness that scored Leury Garcia with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Frisco edged Corpus Christi 6-5. The RoughRiders got hits from all nine starters, including former Express members Tommy Mendonca (1-for-4, run), Val Majewski (2-for-3, RBI, run, walk) and Guilder Rodriguez (1-for-3, RBI, walk). One of Majewski’s hits was a second-inning leadoff homer that tied the game 2-2. The RoughRiders plated three runs in the third to take a 5-2 lead before the Hooks posted solo spots in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to tie the game.

Frisco got another walk-off win Thursday night as Garcia blasted a two-out solo homer in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 victory. Rodriguez walked to open the ninth and moved to second on an Engel Beltre sacrifice bunt. Rodriguez then was caught trying to steal third with Garcia at the plate. Garcia, however, had the last laugh as he deposited a Ryan Rodebaugh 2-1 offering over the fence down the right-field line. Mendonca (1-for-2) and Rodriguez (0-for-2) both walked twice; Majewski scored the game-tying run as a pinch-runner in a two-run eighth. Justin Grimm worked two scoreless innings in relief for the RoughRiders, scattering a pair of hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Corpus Christi designated hitter Drew Locke, who played for the Express in 2010, was 0-for-4.

The best-of-five series now shifts to Corpus Christi’s Whataburger Field. Game three features former University of Missouri right-hander Nick Tepesch on the mound for the RoughRiders against Hooks right-hander Ross Seaton. Tepesch was 6-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 14 starts and two relief outings for Frisco during the regular season. He began the 2012 season with Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach, where he was 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 12 starts. Seaton was 8-8 with a 4.07 ERA in 25 starts for the Hooks during the regular season.

Frisco has not announced starters for the final two games of the series should they be necessary. However, projections have Neil Ramirez going in game four and right-hander Cody Buckel in the series finale. Ramirez began the season with the Express and struggled through 15 starts (6-8, 7.66 ERA) after a promising Round Rock showing in 2011. He was reassigned to Frisco in late June and went 2-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with the RoughRiders. Like Tepesch, Buckel started the season with Myrtle Beach; he was dominant with the Pelicans, going 5-3 with a 1.31 ERA and 91 strikeouts over 75.2 innings in 13 starts. Buckel was promoted to Frisco in mid-June and was 5-5 with a 3.78 ERA and 68 strikeouts over 69.0 innings in 10 starts and three relief outings with the RoughRiders.


Pitchers Mark Hamburger and John Gaub, both of whom were Express members in 2012, completed their seasons with other Triple-A squads.

Hamburger, who was Round Rock’s pitcher of the year in 2011, was acquired by the San Diego Padres upon his mid-June release from the Rangers. However, he was not with the Padres long, going 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA in one start and four relief outings with Triple-A Tucson. Hamburger was released in mid-July and nabbed by the Houston Astros, who assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City. There, Hamburger was 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA in 17 relief appearances. His lone victory was Aug. 19 at Round Rock when he worked one and one-thirds scoreless innings with one strikeout and one walk in the RedHawks’ 5-2 win.

If you blinked in late May and early June, you likely missed Gaub’s stint with the Express. The veteran lefty started the season with Triple-A Durham (Tampa Bay Rays) of the International League and was released May 20. The Rangers signed him three days later and assigned him to Round Rock, where did not record a decision or allow a run in five relief outings – the first four of which were on the road. Gaub threw 12 pitches in an Express uniform at The Dell Diamond, those coming in one perfect inning June 5 against Albuquerque. He was released shortly thereafter and acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals, who assigned him to Triple-A Memphis. Gaub spent the remainder of the season with the Redbirds, going 0-3 with one save and a 6.68 ERA in 33 relief appearances. He pitched in three games against the Express, including a scoreless inning July 13 at The Dell Diamond.


Several other former Express members currently are in the majors with organizations other than Texas. Here is a look at a couple; we’ll check in with others throughout the remainder of the season.

Luis Cruz (Express 2011) began the season with Triple-A Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers) and hit .381 with eight homers, 46 RBI, 31 doubles and three triples in 74 games with the Isotopes. He was promoted to the Dodgers in early July and did not look back. His call-up was due to an injury to starting shortstop Gordon Dee. Cruz moved to third shortly after the Dodgers’ trade for Hanley Ramirez, who returned to shortstop after playing third with the Miami Marlins. (Remember all the ballyhoo surrounding his move to third when the Marlins acquired Jose Reyes in the off-season?) Cruz is hitting .306 with four homers, 30 RBI and 15 doubles in 54 games with the Dodgers. After leading Dodgers regulars with a .333 average in August, Cruz is off to an 8-for-20 start in five games this month (he had four hits Monday against San Diego). In fact, his August average tied for the National League’s seventh-best mark that month. Cruz has done most of his damage in key situations, hitting .352 with runners in scoring position.

Cody Ransom (Express 2006-2007) made it to the majors for the sixth consecutive season and the second straight with Arizona. This is his 10th big-league season with five organizations (Giants, Astros, Yankees, Phillies, Diamondbacks). Ransom started the 2012 campaign with the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate Reno Aces, hitting .294 with two homers and nine RBI in 10 games before joining the Diamondbacks, for whom he played 17 games (.269, four homers, 12 RBI). He was claimed on waivers by Milwaukee in mid-May but struggled with the Brew Crew (.196, six homers, 26 RBI in 64 games). Arizona reclaimed Ransom off waivers last weekend, and he was 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored in his first game back Monday night.

Round Rock Express Top Ten: Roy Oswalt

By Will Weinstock

2000: 19 G, 11 W, 4 L, 1.94 ERA, 129.2 IP, 22 BB, 141 SO, 0.987 WHIP
2012: 3 G, 1 W, 1 L, 5.25 ERA, 12.0 IP, 3 BB, 10 SO, 1.500 WHIP

Coming in at number seven is the most recognizable player to pitch for the Express, Roy Oswalt. When ranking the right-hander, we as a staff had to be careful and not let his success in the major leagues sway how we ranked him. Before we started our top ten journey we made a rule that they the rankings would not be decided on major league stats, but numbers during the player’s career in an Express jersey. Despite putting up great major league stats, Oswalt was no slouch in Round Rock either.

The Houston Astros drafted Oswalt in the 23rd round in the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft out of Holmes Community College. Even though he was not highly touted coming out college Oswalt made the impression early that he was going to have a good chance of making it to the big leagues. The 34-year-old made four stops over three impressive seasons before reaching Round Rock.

What most people do not know is that in 2000 Oswalt began the season at Advanced-A ball. He made eight starts there before being called up to Round Rock, which was the Astros Double-A Affiliate at the time.

The only way to describe the Mississippi native’s first stop with the E-Train is dominant. Oswalt was part of the inaugural Express squad in 2000 that won the Texas League Championship. He was 11-4 with a 1.94 ERA in 18 starts that season. His effectiveness came from his attacking mindset on the mound that led to a WHIP under 1.00. Additionally, Oswalt averaged 9.8 strikeouts and 1.5 walks per nine innings. After his lone season with the Express Baseball America ranked Oswalt the 13th best prospect in all of baseball, and he would not disappoint.

In case you forgot, after putting up stellar numbers in Round Rock and the minor leagues Oswalt established himself as a great big league pitcher. He would go on to win 159 games over 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros while sporting a 3.21 ERA. Oswalt was selected for three all-star games, and to this point he is the most decorated Express player in the major leagues. His best season was 2005 when he won 20 games and led the Astros to the World Series. After last season Oswalt became a free agent but he decided not to sign with any team during the offseason. But on May 29 the Texas Rangers and the 34-year-old reached an agreement and four days later he was on the mound in Round Rock. 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.

“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.”

Oswalt gets much of his publicity from Express fans because of what he has accomplished in his thirteen-year major league career. But fans should also appreciate the spectacular numbers he compiled in Round Rock. Oswalt unquestionably warrants a place among the best players to a slip on an Express jersey.

Top 10 Schedule:

Number 10: Matt Kata
Number 9: Chris Davis
Number 8: Bud Norris
Number 7: Roy Oswalt
Number 6: July 10
Number 5: July 11
Number 4: July 16
Number 3: July 17
Number 2: July 18
Number 1: July 19

A look back at the Express in June

LHP Martin Perez

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.

Overall Records:

(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

Padres Claim Hamburger Off Waivers

Photo Credit: Scott Lucas

By Wade Hilligoss

Round Rock, Texas – Right-hander Mark Hamburger has been claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres, the team announced today.

Hamburger, 25, has made 21 appearances (three starts) for Round Rock this season, going 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA (33 ER/45.1 IP). Over parts of six minor league seasons in the Minnesota Twins (2007-08) and Rangers (2008-2012) organizations, he has gone 17-20 with 44 saves and a 3.86 ERA (135 ER/315.0 IP) in 193 games (seven starts).

Hamburger saw his only Major League action last year, going 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA (4 ER/8.0 IP) in five relief appearances for the Rangers.

The 25-year-old was designated for assignment by the Texas Friday when a 40-man roster spot was needed for RHP Roy Oswalt to make his Rangers debut.

Hamburger began last season with Double-A Frisco before an early season promotion to Round Rock. He made his Major League debut Aug. 31, 2011.

New Express Rotation ***FRIDAY UPDATE***

By Wade Hilligoss

Round Rock, Texas – With RHP Roy Oswalt’s promotion to the Rangers today, the Express will change up their rotation a little bit heading into the All-Star break. RHP Derek Hankins, who is 1-1 in three spot starts this season, will slot in for the time being. He will start Friday, pushing Zach Jackson to Saturday on five days rest. After that, things we have to be reevaluated.

The new rotation:

Thursday vs. Iowa: LHP Martin Perez

Friday vs. Iowa: RHP Derek Hankins

Saturday at Iowa: LHP Zach Jackson

Sunday at Iowa: RHP Greg Reynolds

Monday at Iowa: LHP Ben Snyder

Tuesday at Iowa: Perez

Wednesday vs Nashville: LHP Chad Bell

Thursday vs Nashville:  Hankins*

Friday vs Nashville: Jackson*

Saturday 6/30 vs New Orleans: Reynolds*

Sunday 7/1 vs New Orleans : TBA


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.

Express Coverage

Nolan Ryan thoughts on Oswalt, “If this was spring, he’d have two more starts,” writes Evan Grant.

Oswalt thinks his next stop is Arlington, writes Christian Corona.

Perez changes his pregame preparations, writes Andrew Pentis.

Borbon makes adjustments, writes Chris Jackson.

Tweets from June 11-17: