Monday, February 23, 2009

What We Learned; Week 1

So let's get down to business. We learned a good bit about Auburn baseball this weekend and will continue to learn more and more before our March Mid-Term.

Pitching

We kind of knew this would be a weakness didn't we? Also, I have to give a bit of mea culpa before we begin. I completely forgot about Corey Luckie's surgery and the fact that he'd be missing this year. I got to give a baseball "my bad" on that one.

So what did we learn after this weekend? We learned the problem is with the bullpen, and probably not with the starting rotation. The starting line for AU's initial weekend rotation:

Line: IP H R ER BB SO
Grant Dayton 7.0 5 1 1 0 7
Jon Luke Jacobs 3.1 6 1 1 2 6
Paul Burnside 4.1 6 3 3 4 5

Outside of Burnside's 3 ER (really 4, but more on that later). The Starter's were solid. The Tigers just have to make them last longer. Jacobs and Burnside were used up early. Resulting in early trips to the pen. It's fairly simple. You want Quality Starts out of your pitchers. I'm not sure if the MLB Standard of a QS applies here. But you definately want at least 5 innings out of your starter.

An interesting quote from CJP about his bullpen:

"We gave a bunch of guys opportunities this weekend and we'll keep running them out there until somebody really steps up and takes hold of that bullpen."


We definitely saw that. We saw 10 different pitchers this weekend for Auburn. Minus the three starters, that's 7 different guys who saw action. We have 18 guys on the roster currently listed as a pitcher. Excluding Dexter Price (Tuesday's scheduled starter), the three starters, and Corey Luckie (see above); that leaves us with 13 guys who could have possibly seen action this past weekend. We saw 7. The six we didn't see? Adam Purdy, Sean Ray, Miles Morton, Ty Kelley, Kris West, Zach Blatt. Of those, only Sean Ray (3 ap/5.1 innings in 2008) has ever seen any action as a Tiger.

Of a final note, we've still yet to see Hunter Morris's Franken-Closer debut. Although, if John Pawlowski's early season press clippings are any indication, we will:

"Hunter throws from a low three-quarters. His fastball sinks, and he's got a pretty good feel of the breaking ball, and his changeup. He throws three pitches, all of which have the ability to induce ground balls."


While he's no Cory Harilchek, Morris might have the stuff to come in later in the season and see some significant action.

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