Weekly Record: 4-2
Overall Record: 8-9
Standings: Tied for 3rd, 4.5 games back of Arkansas
4/18 Sent Jake Kalish to Omaha, received Zach Lovvorn from Omaha
The Naturals went 4-2 on the week, which is much better than last week. For some reason, the Naturals are really enjoying playing the Springfield Cardinals at home this year going 7-0 against the Cardinals in Arvest Ballpark. Let’s not talk about last week where the Cardinals swept the Naturals in Springfield.
The Naturals are in Corpus Christi for four games before moving on to Midland for four. They’ll come home and face the same two teams again.
Danny Duffy was the biggest highlight of the week when he threw 5.1 innings for the Naturals on Saturday. Duffy gave up 1 run, zero earned runs, on 4 hits, no walks, and struck out 7 Cardinals. Duffy got a no decision but Grant Gavin earned the win in the tenth.
This week Gavin got a save as did Gabe Speier. Speier could move into the closer role even though I don’t think the Kennedy is really setting up defined roles. Gavin has proven he can handle the late innings as has Speier. Speier was up to 95 several times in the 9th on Friday night when he earned the save. He threw the slider to the LHHs and they didn’t touch it.
As a whole, Speier put up the highest swing and miss rate on the team for the week at 21.6 percent. Next highest was Jace Vines at 18.9 percent. Vines has been in the low-90s touching up to 94. Reports say he is working around 93. Vines is still getting swings and misses at a high rate and that’s one thing the Royals like about him. One more note on Speier, he threw 3.2 innings and only threw 37 pitches. He did a great job of getting ahead of hitters and putting them away.
Ofreidy Gomez is still not giving up hardly any hits allowing just two in 7.0 innings in his lone start this week. He has given up 10 hits in 16.0 innings on the season. He has dealt with some walks though giving up eight.
Conner Greene is having a strong start to his season as well. He put together another quality start going 6.0 innings allowing just 3 hits, 5 walks, and 3 Ks while allowing no runs.
Travis Jones had the best week for the hitters. Jones appeared in 4 games going 5-12. He stole 3 bases in 4 tries and scored 4 runs. Anderson Miller and Xavier Fernandez both had strong weeks at the plate even though they didn’t go full time this week. Fernandez did make the biggest mistake I’ve seen him make in his short time in NWA this week when he called for a fastball up and Gavin delivered it up. The ball popped out of Fernandez’s glove with two outs, two strikes, and a runner on third. The runner scored and the game went to extras.
As hot as Taylor Featherston was the first two weeks, he has cooled of drastically with 13 strikeouts and no walks this week. Featherston hit .190 in 21 at bats.
Khalil Lee hit .273 this week although he didn’t have any extra base hits. He did put himself into scoring position twice with two stolen bases without being caught.
The offense was sluggish with the team hitting .199 for the week. Next week promises to be better as they will enjoy the ocean breeze in Corpus Christi.
|Northwest Arkansas Naturals Weekly Totals|
|Lovvorn||Zach||Did not pitch this week|
2 thoughts on “NWA Week in Review: April 15-21”
Has there ever been discussion to moving Vines to the bullpen? I don’t see him being a successful starter but with strong swing/miss rates, the bullpen could be good move for him. I would expect the abundance of starters that are in High/Low A might make that move a possibility.
I’m sure there has. He seems like he would be a solid arm out of the pen but they’ll give him the chance to start until he can’t.