ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Rangers Triple-A team is now the Nashville Sounds after the two entities signed a four-year Player Development Contract which will run through the conclusion of the 2022 season.
The Rangers former Triple-A affiliate, the Round Rock Express, is now affiliated with American League West division rival Houston Astros.
“The Texas Rangers are very pleased to enter into this four-year Player Development Contract with the Nashville Sounds,” said Texas Rangers Co-Chairman and Managing Partner Ray Davis. “Led by Frank Ward and Adam Nuse, the Sounds are one of Minor League Baseball’s top organizations.”
“The Sounds have received incredible fan support as the franchise finished fourth in Minor League Baseball in overall attendance with over 600,000 fans attending games at beautiful First Tennessee Park in downtown Nashville in 2018. For a number of reasons, this became a very attractive location for our Triple-A club and we look forward to a productive relationship with the Sounds,” said Davis.
“This is an exciting day in Nashville Sounds baseball history,” said Sounds General Manager Adam Nuse. “Forming a partnership with one of the most well-respected organizations in Major League Baseball is thrilling for our organization and the City of Nashville. With leadership from Ray Davis, Neil Leibman and Jon Daniels, the Texas Rangers are a first-class franchise and we’re ecstatic to build this relationship.”
Texas is the eighth Major League team the Sounds have affiliated with since the franchise was founded in 1978, the Sounds said in a news release Thursday. The Rangers have created a winning culture with an 849-761 (.527) record over the last 10 years. Texas has won four American League West Division Championships during the stretch and has played in two World Series (2010 & 2011). During that same 10-year span, Rangers Triple-A affiliates have produced a 721-705 (.506) record with three division titles.
“The Nashville Sounds front office has a great reputation of taking care of its players, and we believe this is a tremendous opportunity,” said Texas Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. “I think our players and development staff will enjoy playing and working in an environment with first-class facilities and an exciting game atmosphere.”
Since opening First Tennessee Park in 2015, over two million fans have passed through the gates to watch Nashville Sounds baseball.
In 2020, the Rangers open Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The projected $1.1 billion stadium will be complete with a retractable roof and have approximately 40,000 seats.
Four Texas Rangers farmhands are in the MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospect list. OF Leody Taveras (No. 42), OF Willie Calhoun (No. 47), OF Julio Pablo Martinez (No. 58) and RHP Cole Winn (No. 94) could don a Sounds uniform in the next few years.
Former players to play with both the Nashville Sounds and Texas Rangers include Prince Fielder, Nelson Cruz, Yovani Gallardo, Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress.
The 2019 Nashville Sounds coaching staff will be announced later this fall.
SAN DIEGO — The game ended on a walkoff grand slam Sunday, but the Rangers may have lost it earlier, running into three outs on the bases in a single inning. It was one of three wasted opportunities in the 7-3 loss to the Padres; the Rangers also left the bases loaded twice, including the ninth innings.
In the sixth inning, the Rangers went 3 for 4, but Joey Gallo was caught in a rundown between second and third on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s ground ball. Kiner-Falefa was then put out at second trying to advance behind Gallo. And after Ronald Guzman doubled, Robinson Chirinos was thrown out trying to advance to second when it appeared San Diego didn’t have a play at the plate.
It raised the Rangers’ total number of outs on the bases to 79 (including caught stealing), the third highest total in the AL. Kiner-Falefa has now made 10 outs on the bases (including times caught stealing). Only Rougned Odor (18) has more among the Rangers.
“We can’t give out those outs there,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We’ve got to make better decisions. [Kiner-Falefa] has had a couple of plays on the bases lately that he will learn from. He will be better off in the long-term for it.”
ARLINGTON – Call this “Waiting for Adrian Sampson’s Second Start.’’
The delay is at more than more than 14 months, but it is about to happen.
Sampson, a right-hander, made his major league debut on June 18, 2016, with a start for Seattle at Boston. Five days later, while warming up for the first inning of a start at Detroit, Sampson felt a tingling in the right elbow and walked off the field.
Sampson, 26, is close to going back onto a major league mound for the first time since that fateful day.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Sampson, a September call-up, is likely to be used as an “opener’’ or a starter in the final weeks. The Rangers want to get a feel as to whether they have a potentially big hit on a low-risk addition.
The Rangers would have liked to have started Sampson on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park, but he pitched on Sunday with Triple-A Round Rock. With no other option, the Rangers sent out venerable right-hander Bartolo Colon, who began play at 7-11 with a 5.45 ERA.
“We want to see where he’s at,’’ Banister said of Sampson.
The tingling Sampson experienced in Detroit led to surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in the right elbow. The Rangers obtained Sampson on a waiver claim from Seattle in November 2016 and stayed with him through a year of rehabilitation.
The club began to get a return on its investment this season, when Sampson went 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA in 126 2/3 innings with Round Rock. After opening with two dreadful starts, Sampson was 8-2 with a 3.08 ERA for 119 2/3 innings.
“I’d say I’m a little better at this point,’’ Sampson said when asked if he has returned to the pre-surgery level. “In all aspects. Not just physically but mentally, too. I feel like I’m back and ready to compete at the major league level.’’
Round Rock manager Jason Wood described Sampson as a “command’’ pitcher who is aggressive with the fastball. He has two good secondary pitches in a curveball and a changeup.
Most of all, Sampson throws strikes. He allowed only 1.7 walks per nine innings this season in the Pacific Coast League.
“What contributed to a lot of his success this year was his command of the fastball to the inside part of the plate,’’ Wood said. “And he just pounded the strike zone. I can’t say enough about the job he did for us, especially in the second half.’’
After the slow start, Sampson pitched out of the bullpen until mid-June. He took off after getting a second chance at starting.
Sampson was 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA for his final 15 starts. Wood said Sampson was the most outstanding performer in the PCL for the second half.
There was not a hint of more physical problems of the type that undermined Sampson’s career. He never missed a turn and went at least six innings in 10 of his final 14 starts.
“As a bullpen guy, you give it everything you’ve got,’’ Sampson said. “I brought that mentality back to the rotation. I said ‘I’m not going back to the bullpen. I want to start.’
“I made the best of it.’’
That is the goal for this month, too.
Sampson is not a front-end starter. He offers the rotation depth that every club needs. A team like the Rangers, with only one certain starter for next year in left-hander Mike Minor, cannot afford to ignore that.
Dave Raymond, the Rangers’ play-by-play announcer for broadcasts on Fox Sports Southwest, answered your questions about the team during a recent live chat. Here are some highlights:
What do you make about Adrian Beltre choosing to stay with the Rangers rather than chasing a ring?
Raymond: I think it’s pretty flattering, to be honest.
He knows the Rangers are not going to make the postseason this year. He’s ultra competitive. And yet, the affection he has for the Rangers organization and Rangers fans made him want to stay here. I think it says a lot about the ownership, fan base and management of this ball club. And I’m proud to be associated with an organization that garners that kind of respect from players.
I think it says something about Beltre as a person, too. So many people jump at the next shiny opportunity to win something or turn a buck. Anyway, I could go on and on about it…but I think it’s pretty cool.
Does Nomar Mazara have the potential to be an MVP candidate next season?
Raymond: Nomar is a special hitter. Especially in today’s game. He has plenty of power, but also has the ability to use the entire field. I think he has the chance to hit for average and power. There just aren’t many guys who approach hitting that way anymore.
It’s really difficult to hit these days (you might have noticed). Pitchers are taking advantage of a lot of technological advances and some powerful information to become more effective. Hitters have to face specialists all the time. It’s just brutally difficult. And here’s a 23-year old player with THREE seasons of 20 HRs already. He hits at roughly a .260+ clip and gets on base at a rate slightly ahead of league average. All those things are great, but they are even more impressive when you consider how much growth potential still exists.
He also has a terrific outfield arm. So, how it all plays out will be interesting and how far he can take his game is mostly up to him. He’s a fun one to watch and I think it will only get better from here.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Perhaps Sunday afternoon’s 18-4 loss to the Texas Rangers would have gone differently had the Twins stuck with their original plan.
Instead, they let so-called Primary pitcher Zack Littell face two batters for a third time — Jurickson Profar’s double and Robinson Chirinos’ two-run homer – and saw that kick-start a nine-run sixth inning.
A dozen Rangers came to the plate in the sixth, which included three homers, three errors (two on one groundball to second) and Matt Belisle’s second career ejection after plunking Adrian Beltre. Plate umpire Alan Porter tossed reliever Addison Reed after the seventh.
Jake Cave homered for the third straight game as the Twins avoided a shutout, but it was only 3-0 through five innings as Littell seemed to thrive in his historic role. Rookie lefty Gabriel Moya, the Twins’ first-ever Opener, gave up a two-run homer to Elvis Andrus in a 22-pitch first.
Chris Gimenez, re-acquired for fellow catcher Bobby Wilson on Thursday, committed a two-run error at first base and later gave up a pair of homers in a five-run eighth. It was the 11th career mound appearance for Gimenez, who has now allowed five homers.
It was the second-highest total for both runs and hits (19) against the Twins this year, trailing by one apiece their 19-6 home loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on July 14. The 13 extra-base hits were a Rangers record, supplanting the previous mark at the Metrodome on Sept. 13, 1986.
When Miguel Sano was told this could be the last time he and Texas Rangers star Adrian Beltre share the same field in a series, he expressed surprise.
“Is he retiring next year?” Sano said of his fellow Dominican all-star third baseman. “If I find out this is our last series before he’s going to retire, I’m going to ask him to sign my stuff: my jersey, my bat, my glove, everything. I don’t want to miss anything.”
Beltre, 39, is unsigned beyond this season and has yet to announce his plans. He exited Sunday with 3,144 career hits, most among active players and 175 away from knocking Twins manager Paul Molitor out of his perch in the top 10 all-time.
Sano, who has gotten to know Beltre some over the years, expressed his admiration, even as he took a hit away from Beltre by stabbing a line drive on Friday.
“That guy had a beautiful career in the big leagues,” Sano said. “We talked about defense. He told me I can be better than him because I have good hands. He helped me a little bit on the defensive side. He told me a couple things, and I worked on those with (Fernando) Tatis in the Dominican.”
Left fielder Eddie Rosario (strained right quadriceps) had yet to return to any level of baseball activity. “We’re inching our way along there,” Molitor said.
The Twins are also expected to use a Primary on Tuesday at Houston (Kohl Stewart), Friday against Kansas City (Stephen Gonsalves) and Sunday against the Royals (Zack Littell). Kyle Gibson starts Monday, Jake Odorizzi on Wednesday and Jose Berrios on Saturday.