Although the Texas Rangers fell just short in their quest to capture a spot in the American League Wild Card Game this season, there are a dozen former Round Rock Express players and coaches fighting for a World Series title in this year's MLB Postseason. With the Divisional Round kicking off this afternoon, here's a look at each of the former members of the E-Train with a chance at becoming a World Champion this fall.
American League Divisional Series
Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians: RHP Craig Breslow (2016)
Breslow appeared in three games with Round Rock a year ago, posting no record with a 13.50 ERA out of the bullpen. The righty was signed by Texas in late July and was released in early August, where he signed with the Minnesota Twins. After opening this year with the Twins, Breslow joined the Indians, where he first appeared with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers before being promoted in late August. He has yet to record a decision while posting a 3.38 ERA in seven relief appearances with Cleveland.
New York Yankees: No players
Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox
Houston Astros: No players
Boston Red Sox: RHP Fernando Abad (2010), INF Mitch Moreland (2012, 2015)
Abad made a brief stint with the Express in 2010, when the club was still affiliated with the Astros. He posted no record with a 1.42 ERA in five relief appearances with the team before being recalled by Houston in late August, where he finished the season. Abad spent the next two years in the Astros organization before making appearances with the Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, and Twins. He was traded to Boston in 2016, where he has pitched each of the last two seasons. He is 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 48 relief appearances this season.
Moreland made a pair of rehab appearances with the Express, first in 2012 then again in 2015. The infielder combined to hit just 1-17 in six games with Round Rock. After spending the first 10 years of his professional career within the Texas organization, Moreland elected free agency following the 2016 season. He was signed by the Red Sox last December and has since hit .246 with 22 home runs and 79 RBI with Boston.
National League Divisional Series
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers: RHP Yu Darvish (2016), RHP Wilmer Font (2013)
Font was dominant during a 16-game stay with the Express in 2013. The righty went 1-0 with a miniscule 0.45 ERA in 20.0 total innings. After making his major league debut with Texas that season, Font spent the majority of the 2014 season with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. The righty spent time in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2016 prior to signing with the Dodgers in 2016. His contract was selected by the team on September 2.
Darvish made two rehab starts with the Express in 2016, bringing over 21,000 fans to Dell Diamond in the process. The Rangers ace went 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his two games in Round Rock. The righty headlined a trade deadline deal between Texas and Los Angeles that, in part, brought OF Willie Calhoun to Round Rock. Darvish is 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers since the trade.
Arizona Diamondbacks: INF Adam Rosales (2014), C Humberto Quintero (2005-2008)
Rosales spent the majority of the 2014 season in Round Rock, appearing in 72 games at various spots throughout the E-Train infield. He batted .276 with seven home runs and 43 RBI before being recalled by the Rangers in late June 2014. Rosales spent time in the San Diego Padres and Athletics organizations before being traded to Arizona in a deadline deal this past July. He hit .202 with three home runs and nine RBI in 34 games with the D-Backs to finish the year.
Quintero currently serves as the Diamondbacks' bullpen catcher. The veteran backstop spent parts of four seasons in Round Rock, amassing a .338 batting average (229-678) with 20 homers and 108 RBI from 2005-2008. After his time in the Astros organization, Quintero caught for the Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners, Red Sox, Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers systems.
Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs
Washington Nationals: RHP Matt Albers (2006-2007), Pitching Coach Mike Maddux (2000-2003)
Albers spent parts of two seasons with the Express while working his way up the Astros organization in 2006 and 2007. He started four games for the E-Train in 2006, going 2-1 with a 3.96 ERA. The righty returned a year later, making nine starts with a 2-3 record and 3.74 ERA. Albers was promoted to Houston in June 2007 where he finished the year. Prior to signing with Washington as a free agent before the start of this season, he pitched within the Baltimore Orioles, Red Sox, Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox organizations.
Maddux served as Round Rock's pitching coach from 2000 to 2002, helping guide the team to its only Texas League championship during the club's inaugural season in 2000. Following his time in Round Rock, he served as pitching coach for the Brewers and Rangers before joining the Nationals staff in 2016.
Chicago Cubs: RHP Justin Grimm (2012-2013), OF Leonys Martin (2011-2012, 2015), RHP Pedro Strop (2011), RHP Koji Uehara (2012)
Grimm appeared in 10 games, including nine starts, with the E-Train in 2012 and 2013. He combined to go 3-3 with a 4.45 ERA in his two seasons in Round Rock. The righty also toed the rubber for Texas in 2013 but was traded to Chicago in a late July deal that brought RHP Matt Garza to the Lone Star State. Grimm has pitched for the Cubs at the major league level each of the last five seasons and collected a World Series ring last year.
Martin made three stints in Round Rock, combining to play in 104 games in 2011, 2012 and 2015. He owns a career .316 batting average (140-443) with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in an Express uniform. The outfielder was traded to the Mariners along with RHP Anthon Bass in a blockbuster deal that brought RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, CF James Jones and INF Patrick Kivlehan to Texas in 2015. Martin was traded from Seattle to Chicago in August 2017.
Strop took the mound 39 times for the Express in 2011, compiling a 4-4 record with a 3.59 ERA out of the team's bullpen. He led the team with 11 saves that year, converting a team-high 84.6% of his save opportunities. He was claimed off waivers by the Orioles in late 2011 and was traded to Chicago in 2013, where he has spent the last four seasons. Along with Grimm, Strop earned a World Series ring with the Cubs last year.
Finally, Uehara made a brief rehab assignment in Round Rock in 2012. The righty allowed only three hits in three scoreless innings during his short time in an E-Train jersey. After returning to the Rangers later that season, Uehara elected free agency and was signed by the Red Sox in 2013. He was signed by the Cubs in December 2016 and has since appeared in 49 games for the team.
Minnesota Twins: C Chris Gimenez (2014-2015), RHP Dillon Gee (2017), C Jason Castro (2010)
Gimenez split the 2014 and 2015 seasons between Round Rock and Arlington, appearing in 108 total games with the Express. He combined to hit .257 (98-381) with a dozen longballs and 55 RBI with the E-Train. Gimenez was traded to Cleveland for cash in 2016. He was then signed by Minnesota as a free agent prior to the start of the 2017 season. He hit .220 with seven homers and 16 RBI in 74 games for the Twins this season.
Gee is the only member of the 2017 Express to appear on another team's postseason roster. The righty was on Round Rock's Opening Day roster, posting a 3-4 record with a 3.88 ERA before being recalled by Texas on May 27. Following four appearances with the Rangers, Gee was designated for assignment and signed by the Twins. He went 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 14 total games in the Twin Cities.
Castro served as Round Rock's catcher in 57 games in 2010, compiling a .265 batting average (56-211) with four bombs and 26 RBI. He made his major league debut with the Astros later that season, remaining in Houston until electing free agency following the 2016 campaign. He was signed by Minnesota during the offseason and appeared in 110 games for the Twins, hitting .242 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in the regular season.
Colorado Rockies: No players
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.