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Nationals’ top prospect Cade Cavalli prepares for next start

Rochester pitcher slated to make next outing Wednesday for the Red Wings …

MiLB: APR 07 Rochester Red Wings at Toledo Mud Hens Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The numbers from his last start don’t seem impressive.

But Triple-A Rochester manager Matt LeCroy feels good about right-hander Cade Cavalli, the top pitching prospect for the Nationals.

In his last start on Friday, the former University of Oklahoma star went 4.2 innings and gave up seven runs, six earned, and no walks with six strikeouts against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“He used his changeup a lot more,” LeCroy said.

That came after he went 5.1 innings and didn’t allow a hit on April 30 against the Syracuse Mets.

“He is getting more confident,” LeCroy told Federal Baseball on Monday. “His fastball command is a lot better.”

Cavalli is slated to start Wednesday at Worcester, the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Among position players, Andrew Stevenson continues to bat leadoff and play every day in the outfield for Rochester.

The LSU product, who hits from the left side, is batting .269 with an OPS of .735. Since breaking in with the Nationals in 2017, Stevenson has played in 248 games in the majors.

“I think he is doing well,” LeCroy said. “He is playing hard; I think he has value” with speed and strong defense.

Luis García, who also home major league experience, is hitting .352 with an OPS of 1.046 for Rochester as a regular infielder who has seen time at second and short.

Outfielder Donovan Casey, part of the deal with the Dodgers last year, is batting .230 with an OPS of .755.

Catcher Tres Barrera, who has seen limited time with the Nationals, hit ninth in the lineup for Rochester on Sunday.

He is batting .339 with an OPS of 1.013 for the Red Wings this season.

Carter Kieboom, a third baseman, is on the Injured List with the Nationals.

LeCroy said he is mostly out of the loop with players on rehab in Florida but figures when the time is right Kieboom could see action in Rochester.

Kieboom, a first-round pick of the Nationals out of a high school in Georgia, played in 109 games with Triple-A Fresno in 2019.