The Savannah Sand Gnats continued their mediocre April with a 2-4 week, putting them at 7-9 overall, 2.5 games out in their division. They haven’t quite gotten off to the start expected of them, as some of the better position player prospects on the team have had slow starts, and the more inexperienced pitchers on the staff have been slow to adapt to professional ball.
After tearing up the Sally early on, first baseman Sam Honeck has gone hitless in his last 4 games, although he did manage to drive in 2 runs in his last game. With Honeck’s struggles, Cory Vaughn has become the team’s most consistent hitter, hitting at .296. However, he has just 1 homerun on the year, and reports out of Savannah say that he has yet to get in a groove, which should be a great thing to see when it does happen. Vaughn has also played centerfield for the past week and a half with Darrell Ceciliani on the disabled list, although the Gnats hope to get him back soon. Aderlin Rodriguez had a good week, hitting over .300 and bringing his season average to over .200, even hitting his first homerun of the season; he has also collected 6 RBI’s in his last 4 games. Javier Rodriguez continues his downward spin, hitting just .200 on the season, committing 3 errors in the field on the season as well, which is far from what you expect to see from a 2nd round pick in his 4th professional season. Shortstop Robbie Shields has shown small signs of improvement, putting together a 5-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .300. At the much intriguing catcher position, Albert Cordero is handling the bat well with a .286 average, but Blake Forsythe is sputtering at .162. Neither is getting at bats everyday because of the platoon, and both are averaging more than a strikeout per game.
On the mound, the highly touted pitchers in their first professional season have gotten off to slow starts. After a great debut on opening day, Greg Peavey has been mediocre in his last 3, although he is still averaging a strikeout per innings. The same is true for Erik Goeddel who is averaging just 4 innings in his 3 starts. On the other hand, Yohan Almonte and Ryan Fraser have both carried over their success from last season in Brooklyn. Neither has been overpowering, but they’ve been effective at getting hitters out, and not beating themselves. Chase Huchingson was off to a great start but got roughed up big time in his last outing. Fellow lefty Josh Edgin has 4 saves in 5 appearances, but is putting runners on the bases and walking a tight rope at the end of games. If the Gnats can get better pitching, it should lead to more wins, even with a struggling offense.