Big League presence helps future Rangers

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2015


By Lance Ragland and Hunter Kirk

The Frisco RoughRiders have seen an array of big leaguers step foot in the Dr Pepper Ballpark clubhouse this season. Pitchers Martin Perez, Matt Harrison, Ross Detwiler, Tanner Scheppers, and outfielder Josh Hamilton have all spent time with the club in 2015.
Recently, both Perez and Harrison have been around the park quite a bit. Perez, 24, began rehabbing with Frisco on June 10. He allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Perez made his second rehab appearance with Frisco on June 22. He went three innings with a walk and allowed one run on two hits with four strikeouts.
Harrison, 29, began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on June 3. He made four starts with the Express and posted a 6.35 ERA with a 1-3 record. On June 24, he will make his first appearance with the RoughRiders. Harrison has spent several days in Frisco leading up to his rehab start with the club.
Having proven veterans around a young clubhouse allows for significant learning. The younger guys can ask questions, talk baseball and pick the brains of players who have reached the highest level. Left-handed pitcher Andrew Faulkner on the presence of the two in the clubhouse said, “It’s cool to see them go about their business and how they work. I can learn from them and talk to them. They are just real easy guys to talk to. I’ll try to see what they see, talk to them and ask questions. It’s been awesome.” Faulkner is one of many players to sponge up the wealth of knowledge from guys who have been in the same shoes.
Chad Bell, another left-handed pitcher for the club had high praise for Harrison saying, “I always ask Matt how he’s feeling and he’s always been a super nice guy to me. I respect him a lot for everything he does when he comes down here. He’ll always answer any questions guys have about pitching, pitch sequence, you know, whatever he needs to answer, he will.”
Like Harrison and Perez, both Bell and Faulkner throw left-handed. Baseball is a game of inches, so any trick or nuance can help. Not to mention, fellow hurlers always enjoy talking pitching.
RoughRiders’ pitching coach Jeff Andrews knows the importance of having professionals around to talk with the younger guys. “I’ll go to the big league guys and tell him, ‘hey we’ve got a guy right here and I’d like you to go talk to him about confidence’, or about making one pitch at a time and getting rid of bad starts.” Players can grow tired of hearing the same voice throughout the course of 140 games.
All players, young and old, are constantly learning. For guys at the Double-A level, the development is an ongoing process. Having players who have been through the rigors of reaching the major leagues to offer advice or an open ear is always beneficial.


Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>