NWA Week in Review: June 18 – 24
Weekly Record: 2-3
Overall Record: 36-38, 1-3 in the second half
Standings: 3rd (2.5 GB)
Weekly +/-: +2 (35 runs scored, 33 runs allowed)
6/18 – Kelvin Gutierrez assigned to NWA
6/21 – Kelvin Gutierrez activated by NWA
6/21 – Donnie Dewees reassigned to Omaha
6/21 – Bryan Brickhouse assigned to NWA
6/21 – Kort Peterson assigned to NWA
6/21 – Jake Newberry reassigned to Omaha
Overview. The Naturals clinched a tie for first place in the Texas League North Division for the first half forcing a one game playoff with the Arkansas Travelers on Tuesday. I was able to attend the Monday game and wrote about it here. Unfortunately, the Naturals lost that playoff game 7-1 and finished the first half 35-35 and in second place. That Tuesday game also counted in the second half standings.
After the playoff push was over, the Naturals made some changes to their roster. You can be sure there will be some more changes after the Texas League All Star Game as well which is Tuesday in Midland, Texas. I will have a write up on that game for you Wednesday as well.
Kelvin Gutierrez was assigned to the Naturals last week. Gutierrez was part of the Kelvin Herrera trade. Gutierrez is known for his defense and potential power which he hasn’t quite found in game action yet. One of the Royals brass said that they acquired him because of his defense, athleticism, and their belief that he will develop into a serviceable MLB third baseman. The Royals believe he will hit. I will definitely watch him closely over the next several weeks while I spend some time in Springdale and give you more analysis of him as a player. The Naturals also received Bryan Brickhouse to replace Jake Newberry who moved up to Omaha. Newberry had been the Naturals best relief pitcher this season. Brickhouse has had a tremendous year coming back to baseball after being out of the game for a short time. I’ve been looking forward to this move for several weeks. Kort Peterson also moved up to replace Donnie Dewees in the outfield. Dewees also got the call to Omaha. Peterson is an interesting player who has always been a very good player. He is the overall package with a little bit of power, speed, and defense. Like I said, I expect some more roster moves after the All Star Game tomorrow.
The Naturals had two rain outs this week and both have been rescheduled as double headers. The rain Sunday is basically giving the Naturals all an extra day of rest going into the All Star break. I’m sure their families are thankful for that.
Dewees went 2 for 7 in has last two games with the Naturals including a home run before his promotion.
Nicky Lopez hit for the cycle on Thursday at Tulsa. He collected 5 hits in that game and had a chance for 6 but was unable to get a hit in his last at bat. For the week he went .381 with 8 hits, a double, triple, and home run. Lopez added 5 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, and 1 K. Lopez started at second base in two games last week.
Elier Hernandez has been struggling since I wrote the article on him and went 1-20 last week with 1 BB and 6 K. I’m sorry Elier!
Anderson Miller finished the week at .368 with 7 hits. Miller doubled, homered, had 7 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, and 2 K.
Kelvin Gutierrez had 2 hits for the Naturals including a home run. Gutierrez scored a run, had 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, and a stolen base.
Jecksson Flores started in 4 different positions last week including 3B, LF, CF, and DH. He will continue to work around the field as a utility player as long as he keeps hitting. And this week Flores hit .238 with 2 doubles, a home run, 3 R, 5 RBI, and 2 K.
Kort Peterson started his tenure with the Naturals by going 3 for 10 with a home run, 4 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, and 2 stolen bases.
Nick Dini continued to produce at the catching spot going .333 on the week with 2 home runs, 3 R, 5 RBI, and 1 K.
Erick Mejia had a big week hitting .455 as the only Natural with double digit hits for the week. Mejia was 10-22 with 2 doubles, a triple, 4 R, 5 RBI, 0 BBs, 5 Ks, and went 2-3 stealing bases. Mejia also started two games at short this week.
Nathan Esposito went 2-7 as the backup catcher and Xavier Fernandez only got 2 at bats as the third catcher and went 0-2.
Alex Liddi had double digit K’s on the week with 10 but did hit a home run. He went 3-18 on the week. John Brontsema went 1-6 on the week as Liddi’s backup first baseman.
Scott Blewett started the game Monday for the Naturals. I thought he was a great choice and he worked 92-95 and was squeezed incredibly hard by the umpire behind the plate. For that start, Blewett got a no decision and threw 4.0 innings allowing 5 runs on 6 hits, 4 BB, and 3 K.
Emilio Ogando started the playoff game for the Naturals and got beat up. Ogando gave the Naturals only 2.1 innings allowing 6 runs on 7 hits, 1 BB, and 1 K.
Jake Kalish had a very good start this week getting the win in 7.0 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, no walks, and 7 K.
Foster Griffin had another rough start getting a loss in 4.1 innings allowing 7 runs on 10 hits, 1 BB, and 2 K. Griffin also allowed 3 home runs.
Zach Lovvorn got a no decision in 6.0 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 1 BB, and 2 K.
Pedro Fernandez had a solid week out of the pen getting a win in 2 games throwing 4.0 innings allowing no runs on 1 hit, no walks, and 1 K.
Bryan Brickhouse had a rough welcoming to the team getting the loss in his first and only game with the Naturals going 0.1 innings striking out one and allowing a home run.
Grant Gavin threw in 2 games going 4.2 innings allowing no runs on 2 hits, 2 BB, and 4 K.
Andres Machado has moved to the pen for the Naturals where his 98 mph fastball will play up. Machado got the save in the game on Monday and threw 2.0 innings total on the week allowing 2 runs on 1 hit, 1 BB, and 2 K.
Yunior Marte threw in 2 games going 2.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 1 BB, and 1 K.
Walker Sheller threw in 2 games also going 2.1 innings and allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, 0 BB, and 0 K.
Gabe Speier went 2.0 innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, 2 BBs, and 3 K.
Franco Terrero threw 2.0 innings allowing no runs on 1 hit, 1 BB, and 1 K.
This week. The Naturals will not play again until Thursday due to the All Star Break. The Naturals host San Antonio for 3 games before Corpus Christi comes to town. This is your last chance this season to see both of those teams as they do not come back to Arvest Ballpark.