April 20 Game Information
Following last night's rainout, the Down East Wood Ducks (10-5) and Wilmington Blue Rocks (11-4) will face off in a double-header, with first pitch set for 5:05 p.m. Right-hander Reid Anderson (0-0, 1.00) will start the first game, opposed by Blue Rocks lefty Daniel Tillo (2-0, 1.38). Game two will feature Woodies righty Noah Bremer (1-0, 3.72) and Wilmington left-hander Daniel Lynch (0-1, 7.15). The second game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one, and each game will be a seven-inning contest. The broadcast will hit the air at 4:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull and online at 960thebull.com, as well as on the MiLB First Pitch, and TuneIn Radio Apps.
LAST TIME OUT: Prior to Friday's rainout, the Wood Ducks saw their five-game winning streak come to a close, falling to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 4-3, Thursday. Seuly Matias lined a bases clearing triple in the fourth for Wilmington, which proved to be the game-winning hit. A.J. Alexy suffered his third loss of the year, despite a season-high eight strikeouts. He gave up four runs on five hits over 4.2 innings of work. Ryan Dorow drove in two runs with a sac fly, on which Anderson Tejeda scored all the way from second base, as well as an RBI groundout.
SHOWTIME: Former Wood Duck Brett Martin made his MLB debut for the Rangers Friday night, firing a scoreless ninth inning in a 7-2 loss to the Astros. Martin needed just nine pitches to get through the inning, recording three ground ball outs. The left-handed reliever becomes the fourth Wood Duck in franchise history to make their Major League de-but, joining Ricardo Rodriguez, Jeffrey Springs, and C.D. Pelham. Martin pitched for the Woodies in their inaugural season in 2017, helping Down East to a share of the Carolina League Championship.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Last night's loss to Wilmington was the first time this season that the Wood Ducks dropped a game in which they led. The Woodies struck first to get ahead 1-0, and also led Wilmington 2-1 in the middle of the fourth. Additionally, it was the first loss for the Woodies at Frawley stadium in franchise history, as they were previously 7-0 when facing Wilmington on the road.
LACKING IN SUPPORT: A.J. Alexy has taken the loss in all three outings this season, but his run support has been by far the worst out of any Woodies starter, with the team scoring an average of 0.75 runs behind him. The only other pitcher averaging less than five runs of support is Tyler Thomas (0-2), who has taken the only other two losses this season.
UVILA'S DEBUT: Cole Uvila made his Carolina League debut Thursday night, inheriting two base runners in the fifth inning, with two outs. He came in to strike out Jagger Rusconi to end then threat and then stayed on for the sixth inning, striking out the side, in order. Last season with Spokane Uvila struck out 48 over 31.2 innings, and he'd fanned 10 bat-ters in seven innings at the time of his promotion from Hickory.
LAY IT DOWN: The Wood Ducks have produced ten bunt hits through the first 14 games of the season. Leody Taveras leads the way with five bunt hits, including an RBI bunt single in the finale against Lynchburg, on April 14. Eric Jenkins now has three bunt hits, while Yonny Hernandez has recorded two.
CLASE CRUISING: Emmanuel Clase has been impressive out of the Woodies bullpen so far this season, recording his first save of the season last night. He has struck out six in four innings, and his WHIP sits at 0.50. Clase has frequently hit triple digits on the radar gun this season.
RAGS AT THE HELM: Corey Ragsdale takes over as skipper for the Wood Ducks in 2019. Ragsdale will remain the Rangers Minor League Field Coordinator, while assuming a managerial seat for the first time since 2015, when he led the Hickory Crawdads to a South Atlantic League Championship, the second of his career.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO: The 2019 Wood Ducks are a heavily decorated bunch. Tyler Phillips was recognized as the Rangers Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year after posting an 11-5 record and a 2.67 ERA in Single-A Hickory. He struck out 124 while walking just 14 in 128.0 innings. Demarcus Evans was named the organization's Reliever of the Year. In 35 appearances out of the Crawdads bullpen, Evans pitched to a 1.77 ERA and struck out 103 batters while walking just 27. He also converted all nine save opportunities. Infielder Ryan Dorow earned the Rangers defensive player of the year honors. He started games at all four infield positions, in addition to a game in the outfield, committing just 9 errors in 418 chances for a fielding percentage of .978.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: Five players on the Wood Ducks opening day roster are just 20 years of age. The handful includes RHP A.J. Alexy, INF Yonny Hernandez, INF Anderson Tejeda, OF Leody Taveras, and OF Bubba Thompson.
NEED FOR SPEED: The 2019 Wood Ducks will possess a lot of speed, especially in the outfield. Last season Leody Taveras, Eric Jenkins, and Bubba Thompson combined to steal 86 bases and hit 21 triples. Infielder Yonny Hernandez also ranked second the South Atlantic League with 44 stolen bases, and his 46 overall led the Rangers organization.
TOP-30 in Kinston: With the promotion of Julio Pablo Martinez to Down East on April 17, the Woodies now have eight Top-30 prospects as ranked by MLB Pipeline: 2. J.P. Martinez, 4. Anderson Tejeda, 5. Bubba Thompson, 6. Leody Taveras, 14. Tyler Phillips, 19. Diosbel Arias, 20. A.J. Alexy, and 24. Demarcus Evans.
Wood Ducks in The Community: The Wood Ducks this season have partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Kinston. Throughout the season broken bats and other game used equipment will be sold during Saturday home games, with all proceeds benefiting the Boys and Girls Club. Additionally, Wood Ducks players are making appear-ances, reading to students, at Lenoir County elementary schools.
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Carolina League Stories from April 20, 2019
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