It’s a safe bet that young pitching would be part of any trade the Rangers make leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. On the recent edition of Rangers Magazine heard on 103.3 FM ESPN, I spoke to Jeff Andrews, who is the pitching coach for the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. He certainly has noticed that his pitching staff is drawing the attention of scouts from other organizations.
“They’ve been around a lot. Whether we are on the road or whether we are at home, it’s funny. You can look up [behind home plate] for four or five games and when we travel you see the same guys in the stands watching. It’s interesting,” Andrews said. “It’s not like they're watching just one guy or two guys. I’m sure their notebooks are full. They stay from first pitch to last.”
One of the pitchers who is likely drawing the attention of scouts is 20-year-old lefty Robbie Erlin. Andrews marveled about the makeup of this starting pitcher who made the jump from High-A Myrtle Beach to Frisco during this season.
“He’s pitched beyond his years, beyond his experience, with his mentality and with his composure and his strike ability with three pitches," Andrews said. "Having him every five days is a lot of fun. His side work is a lot of fun. He’s a sponge. He watches games intently. His stuff is not going to blow you away. He’s very polished for his age.”
Andrews is in his third season as a pitching coach in the Rangers system and his 26th as a minor league instructor. I’m told he is a guru when it comes to understanding and adjusting a pitcher’s mechanics.
During our Saturday morning conversation, Andrews also talked about 21-year-old right-handed starter Joe Wieland (who also made the jump from High-A to Frisco this season), 24-year-old right-handed reliever Justin Miller and 24-year-old right-handed reliever Tanner Scheppers. Check out the podcast of the interview.
Rangers Magazine is heard Saturday morning from 10-11 a.m. on 103.3 FM ESPN. Follow show host Bryan Dolgin on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.