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Doug Nikhazy shines despite RubberDucks loss

Cleveland Guardians minor league recap for Friday, April 12, 2024

Syndication: Akron Beacon Journal Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

Akron RubberDucks 1, Richmond Flying Squirrels 2

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 4-2

Akron failed to secure the win tonight, as Jordan Jones couldn’t quite close it out, despite the sensational performance from Doug Nikhazy. Nikhazy went 5 innings, only giving up 1 hit, 0 runs, and striking out 8. Maybe most important is that he only walked 2 batters. If you’ve been following Nikhazy the last couple seasons, lack of control has always been his issue. He has changed his arm slot this season and so far it has lead to incredible results. Over his first two starts this season, he has 13 strikeouts to just 4 walks in 10 innings pitched with a 0.00 ERA.

Former 2nd round pick Yordys Valdes continues his scorching start to the season, going 1 for 2 with a walk to raise his slash line to .500/.571/.583. Petey Halpin had a double and a walk, he’s sitting at a cool .450 batting average with a 1.222 OPS this season. Kahlil Watson hit an impressive opposite field double that nearly cleared the wall for a home run. Watson’s slash line isn’t anything special, but it’s early and I’ve been impressed with his ABs so far.

Overall it was a lackluster performance from the RubberDucks offense today, but the main takeaway should be about how impressive Doug Nikhazy was. With all the pitcher injuries the Guardians have had this season, it’s not impossible to think if Doug continues to pitch like this, he could make his debut late this season.