The Farm Report -- 8/5/2013

Major League Baseball has issued a 50-game suspension to Texas OF Nelson Cruz.  Cruz concurrently released a statement saying he will not appeal.  Texas has played exactly 112 games, meaning the suspension ends after the last day of the regular season.  He can play in the postseason if Texas advances.

Rangers Farm Report: Games of 8/4

Matt Harrison completed 3.2 innings on a modest 44 pitches.  Harrison allowed a run on three hits and a walk while striking out three.  He'll pitch in Round Rock on Friday, a day after Colby Lewis.  Neftali Feliz is expected to throw with the rookies in Arizona tonight. 

As for my thoughts on who might replace Cruz, whose suspension was announced at 2:00 PM CDT, here's what I wrote last week.  I didn't include OF Joe Benson of Frisco in that group because I was focusing on Round Rock, but he's a possibility, albeit slim.  Benson is hitting well in AA (.266/.338/.594) but didn't perform at AAA Rochester (.192/.256/.285) preceding his waiver placement.  I believe Texas would have to wait about a week to recall Engel Beltre.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today described Texas officials as "stunned" and "blindsided" that Cruz will accept a suspension.  I find that very hard to believe.

Stars of the Day
AAA: Font
AA: Jackson
Hi-A: none
Lo-A: Sadzeck, Burns / Garia, Wrenn
Short-A: Vasquez, Pollorena / Castro

AAA: Round Rock 1, at Sacramento (OAK) 3

Record: 62-54, -4.0

Round Rock lost its sixth straight.  Coupled with OKC's ten-game winning streak, the Express find themselves four games out with 28 to play.  Only the division winner makes the postseason.

Wilmer Font stranded a couple of runners in the 6th and fanned three of five batters faced.  He's walked seven in 11 innings, but good luck making contact (.086 average, 35% SO rate).  Starter Scott Richmond (5.32 ERA) allowed 11 runners and three runs in 5.2 innings.  The Express offense had five baserunners.

AA: at Frisco 0, San Antonio (SDG) 1

Record: 18-26, -8.0, 57-57, overall

In his AA debut, Luke Jackson struck out four and allowed only a single in two scoreless innings.  Yet another Pelicans hurler should be pitching for Frisco shortly, but in Biogenesis fashion, I will let the tension build.  2B Rougned Odor doubled, and SS Luis Sardinas was 0-3 with a sac bunt. 

High-A: at Myrtle Beach 1, Frederick (BAL) 5
Record: 23-19, tied for 1st, 63-48 overall, first-half champion

Alec Asher struck out ten, not quite a career high, but allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.  Kellin Deglan walked and doubled

Low-A: at Hickory 2, Asheville (COL) 0
Record: 24-19, -4.5, 63-50 overall

With one out in the 6th, Connor Sadzeck (2.41 ERA) walked consecutive hitters after a double to load the bases.  Left to save his own neck, Sadzeck struck the next two batters to maintain Hickory's 2-0 lead.  He walked one other batter, allowed two hits and struck out five.  Joe Burns (2 IP) and Jose LeClerc (1 IP, 2 SO) handled the rest.

CF Chris Garia had four singles, and newcomer Taylor Wrenn singled and doubled.  Texas purchased the 24-year-old Wrenn from the indy Traverse City Beach Bums.  Cincinnati drafted Wrenn from the University of Tampa in the 27th round of 2011 but released him this past March despite a competent line of .285/.362/.350 between low-A and the short-season Pioneer League.

OF Nick Williams was DL'ed with an illness.  He shouldn't be out too long.

Short-A: at Spokane 2, Salem-Keizer (SFO) 1
Record: 5-8, -3.0, 25-26 overall

Kelvin Vasquez (2.72 ERA) allowed a solo homer, walked three and struck out four in six innings.  The homer was his first, and only his second extra-base hit in 40.1 innings.  Other the other hand, he's walking one of every six batters.  New-to-Spokane Luis Pollorena whiffed three in two scoreless innings.  Janluis Castro's fourth homer put Spokane ahead in the 8th.  Castro (.243/.299/.361) also singled.

Rookie: off
Record: 6-2, +1.0, 23-13 overall, first-half champion

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Homers by Craig Gentry and Julio Borbon assisted an 8-6 win for Frisco.  Thomas Diamond allowed 11 runners and three runs in four innings, after which he underwent surgery for bone spurs.  In his comeback from Tommy John surgery, Diamond posted a 5.98 ERA and opposing line of .267/.388/.381 in 55.2 innings.

Today's Starters
AAA: Jake Brigham
AA: off
Hi-A: Nick Martinez
Lo-A: Frank Lopez
Short-A: off
Rookie: Neftali Feliz

Scott Lucas
Newberg Report  (
twitter: @scottrlucas


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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