ROUND ROCK, Texas - The American Southern Division Champion Round Rock Express announced the team's 25-man roster and pitching rotation for the 2019 American Conference Championship Series, which is set to begin tonight, Wednesday, September 4 against the Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate) at 7:05 p.m. at Dell Diamond. The
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The American Southern Division Champion Round Rock Express announced the team's 25-man roster and pitching rotation for the 2019 American Conference Championship Series, which is set to begin tonight, Wednesday, September 4 against the Iowa Cubs (Chicago Cubs affiliate) at 7:05 p.m. at Dell Diamond.
The squad features seven players currently listed in the Houston Astros top 30 prospect list, according to MLB.com, including #2 RHP Forrest Whitley , #3 RHP Bryan Abreu , #10 RHP Cristian Javier , #11 RHP Brandon Bielak , #17 OF Ronnie Dawson , #21 RHP Rogelio Armenteros and #28 OF Taylor Jones . Whitley returns to the Express ranked as the #16 prospect in all of baseball.
E-Train LHP Kent Emanuel (8-2, 3.90) has been named the team's starter for tonight's game one while the I-Cubs plan to counter with RHP Colin Rea (14-4, 3.95). Game two is scheduled to feature Bielak (8-4, 4.41) up against RHP Tyson Miller (3-5, 7.58). As the series shifts to Iowa on Friday, Armenteros (6-7, 4.80) gets the call for game three while the Cubs plan to send rehabbing Chicago RHP Kendall Graveman (0-0, 3.00) to the mound. If necessary, game four is scheduled to see Javier (0-0, 1.64) take on RHP Trevor Clifton (4-8, 5.18). Finally, Sunday's game five is set to pit I-Cubs RHP Michael Rucker (0-0, 2.25) against an E-Train pitcher yet to be announced.
Round Rock's bullpen consists of Abreu, RHP Ronel Blanco , RHP Dean Deetz , RHP Riley Ferrell , RHP Ralph Garza , LHP Ryan Hartman , RHP Carson LaRue , RHP Brendan McCurry , LHP Kit Scheetz and Whitley.
The team is carrying two catchers into the playoffs, including Lorenzo Quintana and everyday backstop Jamie Ritchie . All five members of the infield were on the Opening Day roster and have shouldered the load of Round Rock's offensive output this season: Alex De Goti , Jones, Jack Mayfield , Myles Straw and Nick Tanielu . Finally, the outfield features the speedy combination of Dawson, Drew Ferguson , Chas McCormick and Stephen Wrenn .
Round Rock's full roster for the American Conference Championship Series is below:
The 25-man squad features a wealth of Triple-A experience, with five position players logging over 100 games played with Round Rock this season: De Goti (125), Jones (125), Tanielu (125), Ferguson (115) and Mayfield (100). Additionally, Ritchie (79), Straw (66) and McCormick (57) have spent the bulk of their seasons at the Triple-A level.
The pitching staff is equally as experienced with Hartman (115.2), Emanuel (101.2), Bielak (85.2), Armenteros (84.1), Garza (78.0) and McCurry (55.1) all logging over 50.0 innings pitched in the Pacific Coast League in 2019.
Of the 25-man crew, only Abreu hasn't suited up for the Express this season. He opened the year with Double-A Corpus Christi, pitching to a 6-2 record with a 5.05 ERA (43 ER/76.2 IP) in 20 games, including 13 starts, with the Hooks. He also made his major league debut with the Astros on July 31, tossing a scoreless inning of relief. In addition to Abreu, Armenteros, Mayfield and Straw have all logged time with Houston this season.
The Express and Cubs begin their best-of-five American Conference Championship Series tonight at Dell Diamond. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RRExpress.com/Playoffs.
For more information on the Express, visit RRExpress.com or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and join the conversation during our historic 20th season using #20STROng.