The magic number is one…for the Frisco Roughriders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, to reach the Texas League playoffs. However, developmental magic continues to be produced by their manager, former Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele.
“My primary focus is to make sure that they are playing the game the right way,” Buechele said when he was a recent guest on Rangers Magazine (Saturday 10-11 a.m.) on 103.3 FM ESPN. “Get them ready to play at the next level. We have a lot of young kids in this organization who are being pushed and challenged to play at a level that they maybe they shouldn’t be at age-wise. If I can pass along a kid up to Triple-A, the best thing I can pass along is a kid who plays the game the right way.”
Buechele, along with pitching coach Jeff Andrews, were able to “pass along” a couple of their pitchers earlier this season to the San Diego Padres in order to acquire reliever Mike Adams for the major league club. Adams pitched a scoreless relief inning in last night’s Rangers win against the Angels.
“The trades…part of you, when you lose a Robbie Erlin and a Joe Wieland all at one time, part of the trades you’re saying ‘gosh darnit, you just took 40 percent of my staff and these are the two guys we are leaning on,’ but the other half is that’s what we’re here for is to develop these young players and if they go in trades, they go in trades.”
In the interview, Buechele also talked about pitching prospect Robbie Ross, outfielder Mike Bianucci, third baseman Tommy Mendonca, outfielder Engel Beltre, the transition from High-A to Double-A and dealing with the dog days of baseball season in the minors and majors.
Follow Bryan Dolgin on Twitter @RangersRadioBD.