There’s nothing like minor league baseball. The Rangers Triple-A affiliate Nashville Sounds put on a fun game.
They have a huge guitar-shaped scoreboard. They have putt-putt beyond the right field seating area. Next to that, they have ping pong and cornhole and shuffleboard. They have pubs overlooking center.
Oh, and if one is so inclined, there’s a baseball field in the middle.
Last night, the Rangers’ top farm team, the Nashville Sounds, took on the New Orleans Baby Cakes (yes, that is an actual name for an actual baseball team). And, mirroring the whipping the parent team took at the hands of the first place Astros, the Sounds lost 9-3. The loss dropped them to 40-53 on the season.
The outfield had Zack Granite in left, Scott Heneman in right, and the familiar Carlos Tocci in center.
Granite is hovering right around .300. Heineman, who was at .388 coming into the game but went 0-for-4, manned right. He made a couple of really nice running catches, one a slide into the wall, and displayed a strong arm. Expect to see him in a Rangers Ballpark near you soon.
The infield had Jurickson Profar’s little brother Juremi at first, Cuban-born Andy Ibanez at second, Christian Lopes at short, and Matt Davidson at third.
Ibanez, like he has done everywhere at every level, can hit. Lopes is batting .444, with an OPS of 1.211. But he’s a lifetime .278 minor league hitter, and he’s twenty-seven years old, so this is a case of a guy having a really nice run. Still, .444 is .444. Davidson does what Matt Davidson does everywhere. Hits a lot of home runs. Strikes out a ton.
Same with Patrick Wisdom, who DHed. He hit two home runs. But he is mostly contact-averse.
Jose Trevino, another name familiar to Rangers fans, is the catcher.
Familiar names were on the mound as well. Joe Palumbo started. Went just four innings, giving up just one run, striking out six. Other recent Rangers refugees Locke St. John and Kyle Dowdy made sloppy appearances, struggling with command.
But the pitcher to look for soon is Jacob Lemoine. He has Rangers written all over him. In 1.2 innings, he gave up ten hits and seven earned runs. Hello, Arlington.
Nashville is a good microcosm of the Rangers system. Lots of bats, very few arms. And ping pong.
NO GAME TODAY.