NWA Week in Review: July 23-29
Weekly Record: 5-3
Overall Record: 47-59, 12-24 in the second half
Standings: 4th (10.0 GB)
Weekly +/-: +20 (49 runs scored, 29 runs allowed)
7/23 – Eric Skoglund assigned to NWA on rehab
7/23 – Luis Lugo assigned to NWA
7/23 – Dallas Beeler released
7/24 – Blaine Boyer assigned to NWA on rehab
7/24 – Jesse Hahn assigned to NWA on rehab
7/28 – Andres Machado recalled by Kansas City Royals
7/29 – Andres Machado optioned to NWA
Overview. The Naturals have really turned around their play over the last 12 games winning 8 of those. Perhaps their fortunes have turned around as their promotions got comfortable at the new level. Perhaps their three rehabbing big leaguers have had a winning effect on the clubhouse. Whatever it is, I really hope the Naturals play like this the rest of the year.
The Naturals started a series at home against Arkansas on Monday. It was a four game in three day series making up a rain out. The Naturals won the series three games to one. They then had a four game series at Springfield which they split two to two. Both those loses came in the Cardinals last at bat as their bullpen failed them twice.
The Royals played a doubleheader in New York on Saturday. Late Friday night they traded Mike Moustakas leaving a void in their roster as they waited for Brett Phillips to get there. Because of that and the ability to call up a 26th man for the doubleheader, the Royals called up Andres Machado. It isn’t often a player comes straight from AA and goes to the MLB team but Machado is already on the 40-man roster and made a couple of appearances in KC last year. Machado was technically a regular member of the 25-man roster for the two games while Phillips was the 26th man. Machado warmed up in the first game but never made an appearance before being sent back to NWA the next day.
A couple stats that jumped out at me this week are the 11 home runs the Naturals hit, the 13 bases they stole in 14 attempts, and the 15 RBI that Kelvin Gutierrez put up by himself. Three different Naturals are working on hitting streaks of five games or longer with the max being eight games for Jecksson Flores.
Nick Dini is one of those guys with a 5-game hitting streak going on. Dini hit .294 over the week with 2 doubles, a home run, 4 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K, and a SB.
Xavier Fernandez caught 4 games last week hitting .462 with a 2B, 3B, and 2 HR, 2R, 7 RBI, 1 BB, and 2 K.
Samir Duenez hit .304 with 4 2B, 4 R, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 1 HBP, and 4 K.
Jecksson Flores hit .370 with 2 2B, 6 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, and 2 SB. Flores played 4 games at short and 3 games at second.
Kelvin Gutierrez hit safely in 7 of the 8 games played this week with a .364 average. Gutierrez was 12 -33 this week playing all 8 games at third base. Gutierrez had 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 R, 15 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, and 3 SB. Gutierrez had quite a week.
Alex Liddi hit .222 with 2 HR, 6 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, and 4 K.
Erick Mejia played 5 games at short, 2 games in center, and 1 game at second. Mejia also has a 5-game hitting streak going on hitting .310, 3 2B, 6 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, and 2 SB.
Corey Toups played the other 4 games at second this week. Toups went 3-18 with a HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K, and 2 SB.
Nick Heath played in all three outfield spots this week and hit .409 with a 2B, 3B, 7 R, 1 RBI, 3 BB, and 7 K.
Khalil Lee hit .294, a HR, 4 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, and 4 K.
Anderson Miller had a slower week hitting .240 with a 2B, HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K, and 1 SB.
Kort Peterson hit .261 with 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, and 2 SB.
Eric Skoglund made two starts for the Naturals this week. Skoglund got a no decision in both those starts going 4.0 innings in the first and 5.0 innings in the second. Combined Skoglund went 9.0 innings allowing 4 ER on 12 H, 2 BB, and 4 K. I’m not sure if he stays at NWA and makes another start or if he moves up to Omaha. If he stays, he should be pitching on Thursday which would be normal big league rest. If they keep him after Ogando, it would be Saturday at home. I don’t know because Friday is always an option as well.
Scott Blewett piggy-backed with Skoglund on Monday throwing only 3.0 innings but getting credit for the win. Blewett gave up 1 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 1 K. Blewett started again Sunday going 5.0 innings allowing 3 ER on 7 H, 1 BB, and 6 K getting a no decision. Combined he went 8.0 innings allowing 4 ER, on 10 H, 2 BB, and 7 K.
Blaine Boyer started the first game of the doubleheader Tuesday going only 0.2 innings before yielding the game to Foster Griffin. Griffin went 6.1 innings allowing no runs on just 2 H, 1 BB, and 3 K. Griffin got credit for the win and will start Monday.
Jesse Hahn started the second game of the Tuesday doubleheader going 1.0 inning allowing just one hit. Luis Lugo supposed to piggy-back with him but went just 0.2 innings allowing 3 ER on 3 H, 2 BB, and 1 K. Lugo is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Naturals.
Pedro Fernandez continued to work as a starter pushing his pitch total to 84 in 4.2 innings allowing 1 ER on 7 H, 1 BB, and 3 K. Fernandez is scheduled to start Wednesday and will probably push his pitch count over 90 as he continues to transition into a starter.
Hahn made a second start for the Naturals on Thursday going 0-2 innings and allowing 1 H and 1 BB. Jace Vines took over the start and had his best appearance at NWA. Vines went 7.1 innings allowing 1 ER on 4 H, 1 BB, and 7 K. Vines was credited with the win.
Emilio Ogando made the Friday start for the Naturals getting a win on the stat sheet. Ogando went 5.0 innings allowing no runs on 3 H, 3 BB, and 3 K.
Boyer pitched in 3 games for the Naturals 2.2 innings, allowing no runs on 2 H, 1 BB, and 3 K.
Hahn also pitched in 3 games for the Naturals going 3.1 innings allowing no runs on 2 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, and no K.
Franco Terrero pitched in 3 games getting a save. Terrero threw 2.1 innings allowing 3 runs, only 1 earned, on 3 H, 1 BB, and 4 K.
Cristian Castillo pitched in 3 games racking up a hold, a win, and a loss. Castillo went 5.1 innings allowing 4 ER allowing 4 H, 1 BB, and 7 K. Castillo gave up two solo home runs with a 1 run lead and taking the loss.
Yunior Marte pitched in 2 games for the Naturals going 3.1 innings allowing 3 ER on 4 H, 3 BB, and 2 K.
Gabe Speier pitched in 2 games also going 3.1 innings allowing 1 ER on 7 H, no BB, and 3 K.
Walker Sheller pitched in 2 games going 2.2 perfect innings facing 8 and retiring 8, 2 by K.
Bryan Brickhouse pitched in 2 games taking a loss pitching 1.2 innings allowing 3 ER allowing 5 H, 4 BB, and 1 K.
Andres Machado pitched in 1 game allowing just 1 H.
Upcoming. The Naturals will go to Little Rock to face the Arkansas Travelers for three games before coming home and hosting the Springfield Cardinals for four. On Friday, the Naturals will wear pink jerseys supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Those jerseys will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. On Saturday, the Naturals will be giving away Salvy Splash Bobbleheads. On Sunday, they will be giving away a Strike Coloring Magnet and kids eat free. The Naturals need to continue to win series as they chip away at the 10 game lead the Drillers have on them.