Godfathers go all in with trade for Nate Arndt
Great Lakes stunning early season acquisition shows Haase is ready to compete.
NILES- We’re just three weeks into the 2018 ORWBL season and we’ve already been witness to what could be one of the bigger trades in league history.
Late Monday night the Maple City Magic agreed to send 2016 AL Cy Young winner Nate Arndt to the Great Lakes Godfathers for cash considerations, a 6 pack of Old Style's, 2 basketball jerseys, a new basketball, a pack of hot dogs and buns, and a Northwestern Wildcats flag in one of the most colorful trades in ORWBL history.
This trade comes less than a year after it was announced that Arndt would be stepping down as manager of the Jet City Junkballers to join the reigning ORWBL World Series Champions on a 4 year contract. Despite a rough start to his Maple City campaign, the youngest Arndt has proven himself to be one of the best pitchers and power hitters in the league over the past few years.
Although he has battled injury, Nate has hit over 80 HRs the last two seasons and was the winner of the 2016 AL Cy Young award with a season stat line of a 12-6 record, to go along with his stellar 6.75 ERA and 22 strikeouts. Arndt has also been a key part in numerous Jet City, Maple City, and even a New Carlisle tournament run.
In his short stint with Maple City, Arndt went 9-33 at the plate, hitting for a .273 AVG to go along with 5 Home Runs and 9 RBI's. He also went 1-1 on the mound, while recording 1 Save while posting an ERA of 8.14.
For Maple City, this move is a bit puzzling. The Magic have had a fine start to the season as they sit at 6-3 and just 1 GB of 1st in the AL and Arndt has played a big role in that, appearing in 7 games. Nate hasn’t had the hottest start to the season statistically, but his track record shows he will almost certainly heat up soon.
However, because Maple City does have perhaps the deepest roster in the league, freeing up a roster spot may alleviate some pressure on manager Al Friedman to find playing time for everyone and allow his players more games to settle in and find the groove as they attempt to defend their ORWBL crown.
With Zach Liberatore unavailable for most of the season, Friedman has been searching for someone to do their best to fill the void that Liberatore left as he is currently in Law School at Baylor University. This move should allow Friedman the flexibility to find the lineup that he likes as the season moves on.
On the Great Lakes side of things, this seems like a great low-risk, high-reward acquisition. The Godfathers have been one of the surprise teams thus far, as they are tied with the Magic and the South Bend Muffs for second in the AL at 6-3. Sitting just 1 GB of the Hudson Lake Heat, Manager Mark Haase seems to want to shoot even higher with acquiring Arndt.
The Godfathers have been the best offensive team in the league through three weeks and adding a power bat like Nate Arndt will only help that. Arndt and off-season signee Brian Shembarger (leads ORWBL with 21 HRs, 26 RBI's) will look to form one of the more potent Home Run duos in the league.
The biggest concern with this trade is where Arndt will slot in in the field for the Godfathers. Nate has spent the majority of his career as a pitcher but in Great Lakes, fan-favorite and ace Matador Smith has been an exceptional #1 starter for the Fathers, as he has 4-2 record to start the year with a red hot 6.00 ERA. Arndt was not able to find the role he wanted on the mound in Maple City with reigning AL Cy Young Wes Ellis pitching at an elite level.
However, having more than one go-to pitcher has always been a positive in slow pitch wiffleball, and both Arndt and Matador have shown the ability to play solidly behind the plate as well. Being able to rotate two ace pitchers is something Manager Mark Haase hasn’t had the luxury of having in his Managerial career. It will be interesting to see not only how he approaches this pitching dilemma, but to see if Nate can take the Godfathers to the next level this season and beyond.