NWA Naturals Week in Review: July 9-15
7/15 – Jace Vines assigned to NWA
7/15 – Arnaldo Hernandez placed on DL
Overview. What a couple of dismal weeks for NWA. The Naturals have won 4 of their last 21 which equates to a 19% win percentage. This second half has been abysmal. I was really excited coming off the playoff push to end the first half of the Texas League but have been so disappointed by the second half.
Last week the Naturals pitchers got shelled giving up 58 runs in 6 games. Three of those games they gave up double-digits. I really thought pitching would be a strength with this team but it has not been. The Naturals started their week by allowing the Hooks to finish the sweep before the long bus trip back to Springdale. The Naturals came out winning their first game against Tulsa before losing the next three at home to lose the series. They started a series at Springfield yesterday with a lose.
Jace Vines came up yesterday to replace Arnaldo Hernandez who went on to the DL. I’ve been waiting for Vines to come up and he is finally getting a chance and I won’t be home to watch his start today at Springfield. Good luck Jace.
Let’s look for some bright spots from the last week.
Nick Dini hit two home runs this week in four starts behind the plate. He hit .250 on the week.
Xavier Fernandez caught the other two games going 2-7.
Elier Hernandez had a really good week going 10-19 with 2 doubles. Even though Hernandez didn’t hit for a lot of power it is good to see him have a great week and only strike out twice.
Alex Liddi hit 3 home runs last week going 7-20.
Jecksson Flores was 5-22 last week starting games at second, short, and left field.
Kelvin Gutierrez went 7-20 over the week with 3 extra base hits and no strikeouts. As a piece of the piece of the Herrera trade, there are a lot of eyes watching and Gutierrez is starting to play really well.
Khalil Lee is still adjusting to the Texas League and hit .190 over 21 at bats. Lee did walk four times compared to five strikeouts.
New addition Dallas Beeler made two starts on the mound for the Naturals this week. Neither went according to plan. Yesterday Beeler didn’t get out of the first inning.
Scott Blewett went 5.0 innings in his start allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 6 K.
Foster Griffin took a loss in his start going 6.0 innings allowing 6 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 7 K. Even though Griffin is struggling with allowing hits and runs he is still striking batters out which gives you hope for his future.
Arnaldo Hernandez got the lone win for the Naturals during the week going 5.0 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits, 1 walk, and 7 K. Hernandez is someone the Royals are watching closely as he will be Rule 5 eligible for the first time and throws mid-90s. It’s unfortunate he will miss his next start.
Emilio Ogando is the other Naturals starter and he went 3.0 innings allowing 9 runs on 7 hits, 5 walks, and 4 K. Ogando again was bitten by the home run ball giving up three of them.
Gabe Speier had his best outing as a Natural yesterday throwing 3.0 innings in scoreless relief.
Grant Gavin has been solid since being promoted. He had a little bit of a rough patch giving up a run this week.
Most of the bullpen got touched up a little because they threw so many innings this week. It’s inevitable that a bullpen gives up runs when they are overworked.
This week is a chance to right the ship for the Naturals as they play three more with Springfield who is 6-17 starting this second half. This is a chance to get going. The Naturals will then host Tulsa for four.