Kellen Strahm and Crew on Riders '24 Season

Episode 188 April 09, 2024 00:12:47
Kellen Strahm and Crew on Riders '24 Season
Hustle and Pro - Frisco's Sports Podcast
Kellen Strahm and Crew on Riders '24 Season

Apr 09 2024 | 00:12:47

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Hosted By

Kelly Walker

Show Notes

It’s time for the 2024 Frisco RoughRiders season baby! I’m ready, and I got to steal a few minutes with Outfielder Kellen Strahm to see what we can look forward to this season. Plus, we get some bonus footage hearing about Riders Field renos from Zach Bigley, a little about the squad from Manager Carlos Cardoza, and a word from RHP Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa. LET’S RIDE 

Resources:

Frisco RoughRiders: Website | IG: @friscoroughriders/

Kellen Strahm: Bio | IG: @kellenstrahm

Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa (Bubbah): Bio | IG: @bubbahtuionetoa/

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Hey, and welcome to hustle and pro. I headed out to writers field for Rough Riders media day, and I got a couple minutes with outfielder Kellen Strom. You're also going to hear from Zach Bigley on a couple of different things going on that's new at the ballpark, some upgrades. We're going to hear a couple clips from manager Carlos Cardoza and a new hawaiian pitcher that I cannot pronounce his name, so he goes by bubba. So that's what we're going to go with. Enjoy the show. [00:00:30] Speaker B: All right, so I guess, let's start with tell me. It's not bad being associated with this. With this organization, right? So going into the high of, you know, watching the Rangers win last year, what was your off season like and motivating you to come back and have another good season? [00:00:45] Speaker C: Yeah, it was cool. I was rooting for them, obviously, and playing with a couple of the guys that were there and, you know, having guys come back and rehab with us and. And Evan was a huge part of the Rough Riders for us. And just being around those guys during spring training last year, I know that was the ultimate goal, and it was just cool that they got it done. It's just a good group of guys. I know a lot of the guys up there and a lot of the guys that contributed and can't really say anything bad about them, so I'm happy for them. [00:01:14] Speaker B: Not as if you needed more motivation to see these guys down the road, but does it, does it kind of kick it up a notch? [00:01:22] Speaker C: Yeah, it's tough being in an organization that wins it because they don't really need a bunch of help doing it. [00:01:28] Speaker B: High expectations for everybody. [00:01:30] Speaker C: Yeah, but it also is cool and it motivates me, and I want to be a part of that and hopefully down the road I can help them out. [00:01:37] Speaker B: This stuff changes so quick, too, right? [00:01:39] Speaker C: Like Josh getting hurt. [00:01:40] Speaker B: Yeah, like Josh getting hurt. I mean, it changes your roster. It changes so fast and guys coming back and forth. So, you know, part of being ready here, I feel like. Do you feel like playing here is a little different than playing in some other markets because you are in the same market as you're? [00:01:56] Speaker C: Yeah, I think so. I think just having that mindset of, you know, you're one call away, one injury away, and, you know, it sucks about Josh, but, you know, Fosky's going up and he's a good buddy of mine and, you know, he's gonna fill that role. Nice. And it's just cool that, you know, we're really one step away? [00:02:12] Speaker B: Yeah. Is Justin's name gonna go up on that wall? [00:02:14] Speaker C: I hope so. [00:02:15] Speaker B: Okay. I'm like, I haven't looked yet, but. [00:02:17] Speaker C: Yeah, I think Langford's name's not up there yet either. [00:02:19] Speaker B: I'm sure they're printing it. Gonna get that out before opening daylight next week. What is like, what's your goal for the season? What is it? Is it at the plate? Is it like, what are you focusing on to do your thing? [00:02:34] Speaker C: Yeah. This offseason, I focused a lot on just learning how my body moves. I got a hitting coach outside of the Rangers that really tuned in on how my body works and how it's supposed to move and stuff like that. So I've done a little changes this year, and hopefully it pays off and some power numbers go up and the average goes up. Obviously, last year was kind of a struggle, but you can't be perfect all year and just excited for this year and ready to get back out there. [00:03:07] Speaker B: Those small changes you make, have you had a chance to see those in, like, live action or in game scenarios. [00:03:13] Speaker C: Yet, or are you going to really start? The changes that I've done have definitely shown up, and this is probably the best spring I've had out of my five. Five years I've been with the Rangers, so hopefully I continue to do that. I haven't started a season well yet. This career with the Rangers had some lags. Yeah. A little bit of hiccups at the beginning. Kind of just trying to feel it out, you know? I'm really hoping to start the season well this year, but the thing that's keeping me going is it's not really how you start, it's how you finish. That's kind of a little motto we kind of go by here. I've been able to finish pretty strong and hoping I can start strong and finish strong. [00:03:55] Speaker B: I hear you talk about the grind, right? Like, that's part of your kind of your mantra, too. It's just, it's a long. It's a long go at it. Yeah, but you want to start off, you know, strong, so maybe these tweaks and changes will change it up for you. [00:04:07] Speaker C: It is a long season, but it's better than sitting at a desk for however many hours. So I'm definitely excited and, you know, grateful for the opportunity, and a lot of people would be grateful to have a jersey that don't. So it's cool that I get to put on a jersey every day. [00:04:23] Speaker B: Absolutely. What's your walk up song gonna look like? [00:04:25] Speaker C: This season? I don't know yet. [00:04:29] Speaker B: I did one week. [00:04:30] Speaker C: I did pimp juice last year by Nelly, but the crowd liked it. I might keep it the same. Moonwalking on Calabasas. Okay, I might do that one. So we'll see. [00:04:44] Speaker B: Do you get to change during the season? [00:04:46] Speaker C: Yeah, yeah. If I. If I'm going through it, I'll change it. If I'm not, keep it. [00:04:50] Speaker B: Okay, well, I'll be listening to see what that is. Is it true? Did you go to high school with Justin Herbert? [00:04:56] Speaker C: Yeah. Yeah. Me and, me and Justin are good buddies. We. We won a couple state championships together. We talk almost every. Every day. Every other day. [00:05:06] Speaker B: Oh, really? [00:05:08] Speaker C: And he's doing his thing, I'm doing my thing. And it's just cool to have a guy like that, you know, a part of your life and, you know, he's curious about the baseball world. He'll call me and text me and just catch up, and it's cool. [00:05:19] Speaker B: Are you a football guy, too? [00:05:20] Speaker C: Yeah, I am a football guy. I love football. Had a couple small offers out of high school, decided to go the baseball route, but it ended up paying off for me. But, you know, I still have that football mindset when I come out the plate and stuff. [00:05:35] Speaker B: Yeah. Okay. So I'm seeing they're doing some stuff to the ballpark. What are you most excited about? Like, off the field this season? All the crazy stuff. [00:05:44] Speaker C: The lights. They also did a little stuff to the weight room. They moved the weight room upstairs, bigger area. They're supposed to do something with the cages, fix the cages a little bit, but the lights, for sure. It was kind of tough to see last year when it got dark. So I'm excited to finally see the ball at night. [00:06:05] Speaker B: That should help you out. [00:06:06] Speaker C: Yeah, hopefully. Hopefully the pitchers aren't liking it because, you know, the batters will be able. [00:06:10] Speaker B: To see the ball a little better. [00:06:13] Speaker C: Yeah, but it'll help us score runs. [00:06:15] Speaker B: Yeah, that's great. [00:06:16] Speaker C: For sure. [00:06:16] Speaker B: Awesome. Cool. Thank you. [00:06:17] Speaker C: Yeah. Thank you. [00:06:18] Speaker B: Have a good season. I heard recently you guys were finishing up some updates, upgrades, and changes to Riders Field. So tell me what we can look forward to. [00:06:27] Speaker D: Yeah, we're really excited. Obviously, 21st season. Last year was such a successful 20th season. So we have a bunch of new things that are coming here for the ballpark, for fans to enjoy. The lazy river is obviously a huge thing about what we do here at the ballpark. So for this is now the fifth season that we've had it here with the OR, I guess. Let's see 2016. So the 8th season with the Rough Riders. Yeah. [00:06:47] Speaker B: Okay. It feels like longer. [00:06:49] Speaker D: Yeah, it has. Definitely, but a little bit longer. So we have new tile, new interior as well. Axis pools helped us out with that. They did a great job that just got put in. As you can probably see behind me, we have new light fixtures that are coming out, led lights, which will be great not only for the players, it'll be a little bit brighter here. But in addition to the fans, obviously, we'll love it. [00:07:11] Speaker B: We can have the player just told us that's what he's looking forward to, being outbuilder who needs to see a little better. [00:07:17] Speaker D: Yep, exactly. [00:07:18] Speaker B: So that's great. [00:07:18] Speaker D: Yeah, so we'll have those have the ability to sync up to songs as well, to flash and stuff. So more entertainment. So that should be really fun. [00:07:25] Speaker B: Okay. That's fun. [00:07:26] Speaker D: Yeah, we have. If you go up on the outer concourse as well in the ballpark, you can see there's brand new landscaping as well on the outer part. And that's going to be continued to go as we go forward here in the season. And then we have a lot of renovations that fans might not see as well. Home, clubhouse, visiting clubhouse are being renovated or have already been renovated. The gym as well. So we got a new gym that's actually, that has the ability for fans to look in and watch. And then we'll be upgrading our batting cages throughout the season as well. [00:07:57] Speaker B: How will the gym work with, like, is it. Do you have to be somewhere special to see that? Or is it just like, everybody can walk by and see the gym? [00:08:06] Speaker D: No. So it's gonna be right next to the batting cages. So it's already built in the. It's just windows that you can see or at the ground. [00:08:12] Speaker B: The batting cages are, like, on that left, like, first base comp course. So anybody, just, like anybody in there, we can all see them. So that'll help you how the gym is. [00:08:19] Speaker C: Yep. [00:08:20] Speaker B: Cool. Neat. [00:08:21] Speaker D: Yeah. [00:08:22] Speaker B: And then you said batting cages. [00:08:23] Speaker D: Yep. Batting cages. [00:08:24] Speaker B: New equipment or new. [00:08:26] Speaker D: So they're gonna be enclosed. That's gonna be a project that's going on throughout the season, but that will be finished mid season as well. So we're really looking forward to that. And then in addition to that, we have a bunch of new food options as well throughout the ballpark, and really excited to introduce a lot of fans to that. [00:08:42] Speaker B: Yeah, very good. Looking forward to it. [00:08:46] Speaker E: Yeah, I'd say it's a good mix. We have guys that are going to be young for the level, and we have guys in their first year here and we have guys that are, that are repeating and I think that's a credit to the depth that we have in our system. Guys repeating and also a credit to the development that we have in the system as well. Credit to the young guys that are here at a young age for the first time. [00:09:16] Speaker F: How do you balance, obviously developing the talent, but also you want to win ball games, but we see the Rangers win the whole thing last year, the big level, but you lose three studs to get there. So how do you manage that between on the field and long term? [00:09:36] Speaker E: I think it's a great question. I'm glad you asked it because the minor leagues, we talked about this 100% development and 100% winning development. As far as the purpose, the object is to get these guys ready and in position to help our big league club in whatever way that presents itself. But the winning side of it is in the mentality and the preparation and that takes no days off regardless of the composition of the club or the window that the big league club is in. So talk about winning in the minor leagues. I think it's less about roster construction or lineup creation or matchups. And it's more about grit, attitude and effort every night. And that's something that, like I said, doesn't take any days off from a like coaching to play one on one daily interaction way. We have three pillars of as an organization, being good teammates, competing with passion and dominating the fundamentals. And I think it's our job as coaches to help players define what that is at this level and we can get into the depths of that. But baseball is hard and it's teaching guys like or helping support guys and like bringing their best. You know, no matter what the game is presenting, helping them understand what the game is presenting and then ultimately, like, being good teammates and playing for like a greater cause. [00:11:02] Speaker B: What about your pitching staff? What are we looking forward to next week for opening week? And then as far as strengths and excitement and then what are some gaps, you know you're going to be filling in? [00:11:13] Speaker E: Yeah, a deep staff, a healthy staff. There's guys that are repeating this year, guys that are healthy this year, guys that were on this club when they won a championship, guys that were on this club at the end of the year, and then guys that repeated are repeating this year, and also guys that we've acquired through minor league free agency and trades. So some old faces, some new faces. Right now, everybody that was coming is healthy. So we expect the pitching to be a real strength of this club, both starting in and reliever wise. [00:11:52] Speaker D: What was the 2023 like for you? [00:11:54] Speaker G: It started off pretty rough. I mean, I was hurt all year. I didn't come back to July. So the end of July was the first time I left for an affiliate. But, I mean, after, you know, going through all of that was kind of tough because I was struggling a little bit. Like, mentally it was kind of hard. But after coming back, you know, like, not competing in baseball games, it kind of gets tough when you're not doing anything at all. I mean, this is the first time I'm playing under them. I had them for instructional league and those little things in spring training and stuff. I mean, he's a great coach. I like him and I respect him in that matter because, you know, he does what he's supposed to, and he cares about every single person individually. And I think that I'm excited, you know, to see that. We haven't started yet, but I'm really excited. [00:12:37] Speaker A: That's it for this episode of Hustle and pro. Thanks for joining us. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more content. We'll see you next time.

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