Image: David Monseur/Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks

The Akron Rubberducks opened up Canal Park’s 25th anniversary season this week trying to defend their championship, taking four games out of a six-game series against the Reading Fightin’ Phils. They traded victories through Friday, before sweeping a Saturday doubleheader. Their success was largely fueled by pitching, giving up more than 4 runs in a game on just one occasion. The bats took some time to warm up, but in time they are expected to warm up, given the shortened spring training.


4/12: Akron 5, Reading 4; W: Gaddis; L: Perkins; S: Kelly
4/13: Reading 3, Akron 1; W: Skirrow; L: Ramirez: S: Macaroni
4/14: Akron 5, Reading 3; W: Allen; L: McArthur: S: Enright
4/15: Reading 12, Akron 3; W: Leverett; L: Curry:
4/16: Akron 11, Reading 0 (7); W: Misazek; L: Henrickson: 
4/16: Akron 2, Reading 1 (8); W: Enright; L: Moore: 

Player(s) of the Week:

The Pitching Staff: Aside from Xzavion Curry’s nightmare fourth inning on Friday, the starters were immaculate. Hunter Gaddis opened the week pitching 5.1 innings of shutout baseball. Joey Cantillo and Logan Allen also had stellar starts, but they were all outdone on Sunday, when Daniel Espino showed why he is the organization’s top pitching prospect. The flamethrowing Panamanian went 4.2 innings on Saturday, striking out seven, and not allowing a single hit. Tanner Burns followed him up honorably later in the day, shutting out the Phils over 5.1 innings, allowing a single hit. Overall, the pitching staff went 15 innings on Saturday, and didn’t give up a single earned run.

Who’s Hot

Jose Tena: 7-20, 6R, 2 RBI, SB

It’s no coincidence that the RubberDucks scored two runs in the first inning three times last week, given the marvelous performance of their leadoff hitter. Tena scored a team high six runs to accompany a .350 average. He did exactly what is expected of a leadoff man, stacking seven singles, a walk, and a stolen base for his team.

Will Brennan: 9-19, 4 2B, 7 RBI, 

Though not the most anticipated bat in the Rubberduck lineup, Will Brennan showed out as he already had in Erie. He finished the week batting an outstanding .474 from the left side of the plate, and getting on base in half of his plate appearances. His slugging didn’t disappoint either, getting four doubles, and leading the team with 13 total bases. If the work from the batters box wasn’t enough, he made a pair of spectacular catches in left field during the later innings of Saturday night’s contest.

Who’s Not

Julian Escobedo: 3-17, .176/.348/.353, HR, 2 RBI

The outfielder finished the homestand batting a meager .176, just 3-17. However, he was second only to George Valera in walks, and when he did get on base, made it count, scoring 3 times, including a home run on Saturday. However, he remains in favor of manager Rouglas Odor, being one of just two Rubberducks to appear in all six games of the homestand. 

Victor Nova: 0-12, 5K/1BB

Any redeeming statements for Escobedo can unfortunately not be said for the shortstop. He went hitless in 12 at bats over the homestand, and striking out five times. The young switch hitter saw his struggles continue from the series in Erie, where he went just 1-12. Batting an .074 clip on the season, he will look to return to last season’s form that saw him post a .344 OBP, and steal 26 bases.


04/12/22 RHP Nathan Ocker assigned to ACL Indians from Akron RubberDucks. 

04/12/22 RHP Kevin Coulter assigned to Akron RubberDucks from Columbus Clippers.

Coming Up

4/19: @Bowie, 6:35 pm             

4/20: @Bowie, 6:35 pm          

4/21: @Bowie, 6:35 pm              

4/22: @Bowie, 7:05 pm            

4/23: @Bowie, 6:35 pm             

4/24: @Bowie, 1:05 pm 

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