Tuesday, April 30, 2013

HI NOTES: Former Tiger Talks Hitting, Future Tiger Demonstrates Hitting


♦ Former Missouri Tiger infielder Tore Tyson spent several years coaching in the Yankees' minor league system. This year he's with the Baltimore Orioles' farm system as the hitting coach for the Frederick Keys. Listen to this interview where he talks about the art of hitting:


A University of Missouri signee, Klages went 7 for 11 with two doubles, a triple, four RBI and three runs scored in the three games and is now hitting .403 with 10 doubles, 17 RBI, 17 runs and a .524 OBP.

The left-handed hitting Klages broke the Vianney career records for hits (107) and at-bats (286) both previously held by Dalton Hewitt...

HI NOTES: Numerology, June Madness


15-24 (.385)  Mizzou Baseball's Current 2013 Record

7-14 (.333) Current SEC Record

5th in SEC East

11th/12th Tied overall in the SEC with Auburn.
Tennessee and Georgia are 13th and 14th.  Of MU's remaining SEC Opponents, Alabama is 6th overall, Kentucky is 9th, Texas A&M is 10th.
10 games remaining on MU's regular season schedule: 3 each vs. Alabama, Texas A&M and Kentucky, plus a single game this week  vs. SEMO.

12  Number of teams that will qualify for the SEC Tournament (the top 12 in the overall SEC rankings, regardless of division)

.500 Winning percentage required to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals.

100% Winning percentage required in the remaining regular season for Mizzou to finish at or above .500

19-34 (.358) Worst record in Tim Jamieson's tenure as head coach at Mizzou (1995, his first season)

3-7 (.300)  Finish required in regular season to finish 18-31 (.367) and beat that worst winning percentage

5-5 (.500) Finish required in regular season to finish 20-29 (.408) and beat that worst number of losses

49 Number of games MU will probably have played in the regular season, out of a scheduled 56 (barring additional games lost)

48 Number of Division I games MU will have played.


ESPN to cover all bases on College World Series coverage (USA Today)
...ESPN, in a plan that will be formally announced today, is trying to make that happen with its College World Series coverage. Consider that during first-round coverage starting May 31, ESPN will carry every game from all 16 game sites – up from games at six sites last year, four in 2011 and just two in previous years.

Meaning, ESPN is going all-in on college baseball tournament tonnage. Its coverage of the first round – the Regionals – could include as many as 112 games over four days...

Monday, April 29, 2013

HI NOTES: Tigers Win Another SEC Series, plus Pitchers Past & Future

Home runs lead Auburn to a 3-1 victory over Mizzou (KBIA Sports Extra)

MU baseball sweeps DH to win series over Auburn (Columbia Tribune)
"Now we're ahead of them in the standings," MU Coach Tim Jamieson said of Missouri now holding that tie-breaker over Auburn. "We needed to come out and play. It was difficult after Friday. Think the team was down after Friday's game. We haven't been great this year but we've at least been resilient."
Missouri third baseman Segovia finally has his day (Columbia Missourian)
The Missouri baseball team's postgame reaction Sunday at Taylor Stadium was an unusual sight. The Missouri players were uncharacteristically jubilant after sweeping Auburn in a doubleheader Sunday, 3-1 in the first game and 4-1 in the second game, to take its first Southeastern Conference series win at home.

There were high fives all around, pitcher Keaton Steele and infielder Gavin Stark shared a chest bump-based dance, and infielder Mike McGraw rode on the shoulders of outfielder Brannon Champagne...
Mizzou baseball scores important doubleheader sweep of Auburn (KNIA Sports Extra)
Segovia was among the most unlikely of heroes, as he entered the day with just a .145 batting average – the worst on the Missouri lineup. The junior went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two runs batted in during Sunday’s doubleheader.

“It builds confidence, that’s for sure,” Segovia said of his breakout day. “I always saw that there was some light at the end of the tunnel, and today – what a coincidence, the sun came out.”...
Auburn drops crucial series in doubleheader sweep at Missouri (al.com)


♦ Check out this great article about Phil McCormick and a fellow squirrely relief pitcher: Squirrels well-armed with unorthodox relievers (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
Quirarte is a right-handed sidearmer, and McCormick is a left-handed sidearmer, giving the Squirrels a set of opposite, unorthodox options out of the bullpen to match up with hitters from opposite sides of the plate in late-game situations.

“That,” said Richmond manager Dave Machemer, “is a good thing.”

To maximize the advantage of his delivery angle, Quirarte works off the extreme left side of the pitching rubber, as it faces the batter. McCormick starts from the extreme right side. But they share a reason for their sidearm motions. They hit hard times with conventional deliveries...


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Game Day: Saturday game cancelled; DH Sunday Noon

Rob Zastryzny still frustrated after Missouri baseball falls to Auburn (Columbia Missourian)
Steele, who both pitches and hits for Missouri, said he "loved" Zastryzny's Friday night outing. Still, he wasn't surprised to hear that Zastryzny felt otherwise, and it's part of why Steele respects him.

"He’s just a leader on and off the field," Steele said. "He does the right things off the field and he does the right things on the field."...
Missouri baseball drops opener against Auburn (Columbia Tribune)
Segovia might have cost MU a run in the fifth after drawing a leadoff walk. With Kendall Keeton batting, a pitch bounced away from Auburn catcher Blake Austin, but Segovia stayed put. After Keeton struck out, Pearson singled to right field, but Segovia cruised into second rather than try for third. He was stranded at second.

"I think he's just a guy that's playing with very little confidence right now," MU Coach Tim Jamieson said, "and that shows up in every part of his game."...

Friday, April 26, 2013

HI NOTES: Satan, Home Stretch, Tep on Top, Gibby on Rehab


Missouri aims to make late-season run (The Maneater)
“Honestly, I think if we get enough momentum going, we’ll be a lethal team in the (SEC) tournament like we were in the Big 12,” Zastryzny said, noting the similarities between this year’s team and last year’s.
“It’s another opportunity for us to win,” Auburn’s coach John Pawlowski said in a teleconference Thursday. “It’s an important series for us.”

Missouri’s coach Tim Jamieson concurred.

“Auburn, like us, is fighting for one of those last spots in the tournament,” he said. “I anticipate them coming out to play.”...


Nick Tepesch does job again as Rangers hold off Twins, 2-1 (Dallas News)
Tepesch, who flew ahead of the team the night before to get a good night’s sleep, pitched six strong innings for his second win to lead the first-place Rangers over the Twins 2-1 on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old righty cruised through Minnesota’s lineup for most of the night. He held Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau to a combined 2 for 11. Mauer was held hitless for only the fourth time this season.

“Their two, three, four hitters are about the best you’ll see in Major League Baseball,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “Going through them three times, he did a good job.”


♦ Lots of good stuff in this Interview: TwinsCentric: Q&A With Kyle Gibson (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
CF - How much of rehab is mental as well as physical?

KG - Good question, if I could say 100 percent and 100 percent I would. I would say getting over the injury is more mental than physical. You do a lot of physical work, but at the end of the rehab, you get to the point when it’s time to let it go, and it’s time to move on from the rehab, and that’s where the mental part comes in. For me, I was able to do that okay because I had an elbow surgery before. My first outing in extended, I was like, here’s a four-seamer, throw it as hard as you can, you get past that and that’s what helped me...

SEC Weekend: Auburn Tigers @ Mizzou

♦ Be sure to check out Sam Nasci's Mizzou Matchup preview of the Auburn Tigers here at SimmonsField.com

♦ Also check out our off-season South By Southeast posts about Auburn Baseball:

♦ And for you Gator fans coming into Columbia, MO, for the weekend, check out The SEC Fan's Guide to Mizzou Baseball for everything you need to know.


SEC Standings: The SEC Tournament admits only the top 12 teams, regardless of division. Heading into the Auburn series, Missouri stands tied for the 12th or 13th place with Tennessee, above Georgia. UT would hold the tie-breaker over MU if that tie persists. 11th place is held by Auburn. This weekend's series is crucial to both sets of Tigers in their quest to make the tournament.

MU's remaining schedule includes games against Texas A&M, Alabama, and Kentucky.

East Division in bold
.889 16-2 Vanderbilt.833 15-3 LSU
.611 11-7 Arkansas
.611 11-7 South Carolina .556 10-8 Florida.556 10-8 Mississippi
.556 10-8 Mississippi State
.500 9-9 Alabama
.389 7-11 Kentucky.389 7-11 Texas A&M
.333 6-12 Auburn
.278 5-13 Tennessee.278 5-13 Missouri.222 4-14 Georgia
Can Auburn Baseball Make a Case for the Postseason? (Track'em Tigers)
...It was a shot in the arm to win consecutive SEC series after winning just one game in the first three series. However, Georgia has one of the worst teams in recent years and Auburn really should have swept the Dawgs. A sweep would have gone a long way in making up lost ground from the first half of the season.

While the pitching staff led by Michael O’Neal (7-2) has done a good job with a team ERA of 3.33 (the lowest mark at this point in the season since 2002) – the offense has struggled at times. It was the lack of offense that prevented the Tigers from getting the sweep against Georgia.

Auburn had a combined 25 hits in its two victories against the Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday but could only muster three in the last game of Saturday’s double header.

In the first half of the season, John Pawlowski became the Tigers’ all-time third Winn ingest baseball coach (by number of wins.) Yet Auburn finds itself in the familiar position of possibly not making the NCAA. Because of it, some believe Pawlowski will be on the hot seat if …

… the Tigers fail to make it to the NCAA tournament. The mid-season record of 22-14 and 5-10 in the SEC is not a bad record per se but it doesn’t get any easier from here on out...
Daniel Koger replaces struggling Kendall as No. 3 starter for Tigers (OANow.com)
Stuck in the bullpen after falling from the top spot of Auburn’s pitching rotation, sophomore Daniel Koger didn’t sulk.

The left-hander continued to work, even when his job was stripped from him. Tigers coach John Pawlowski said Thursday that persistence paid off, with Koger likely being inserted back into the weekend rotation as Auburn’s third starter.

“We’re going to change it up on Sunday — mostly likely it’s going to be Daniel Koger,” Pawlowski said. “Koger, I was impressed with the way he threw at Mississippi State. I thought his stuff was very good in relief. We’ve been banged up a little bit with a couple of our arms, but I think Koger is ready to go. If he’s ready to go, then we’re going to start him on Sunday.” ...

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Head Coach: John Pawlowski (158-119 in 5th season as Auburn Head Coach)

Taylor Stadium – Columbia, MO
Friday @ 6 PM CT
Saturday @ 2 PM CT
Sunday @ 1 PM CT

Missouri (13-23, 5-13 SEC) vs. Auburn (24-16, 6-12 SEC)

Mizzou will try to stay out of last place in the Eastern Division of the SEC, as they try to protect their one game lead over Georgia against non-division opponent Auburn. The Auburn Tigers spend last weekend at Mississippi State, dropping two of three to the 16 ranked Bulldogs. Auburn comes into Columbia this weekend with a 24-16 record, 6-12 in the SEC, and 5-7 while on the road.

Position Players
The right handed heavy Auburn lineup is one of the more consistent ones I have analyzed so far this year. They have shown flashes of power all through the lineup, as it seems most of them have the potential to put one over the wall at any time.

All of their speed comes from the top of the order from centerfielder Ryan Tella. Tella has swiped 12 bags this season, while only being caught once. The speed in center is paired with a reliable glove, only having committed a single error this year. He is also a reliable bat at the top, heading a quartet of Auburn hitters that are near or above hitting .300 on the season.

Their batting leader comes from the three spot in the lineup with left fielder Cullen Wacker. His 29 RBIs is one off the team lead, and he is also second on the team with a .474 slugging percentage. The man who leads in those two categories comes after him in the lineup.

First baseman Garrett Cooper has been the team’s most productive hitter throughout most of the season. Playing in all of Auburn’s 40 games this season, he leads the team with a .507 SLG, 4 HR, 30 RBI, and is one of the five players on the roster that are in the double digits in doubles.

The lineup below there shows spontaneous bursts of power, as the 6-8 hitters have combined for a modest six homers this season, three from third baseman Damek Tomscha. Batting averages from there also drop to the mid to low .200s, with guys that strike out at an alarming rate.

Projected Lineup
CF Ryan Tella (L) .308
2B Jordan Ebert (R) .293
LF Cullen Wacker (L) .336
1B Garrett Cooper (R) .328
DH Patrick Savage (R) .261
C Blake Austin (R) .276
3B Damek Tomscha (R) .250
RF Hunter Kelley (R) .265
SS Mitchell Self (R) .182

The Auburn rotation consists of three lefties, two of which have seen great success this year. Conner Kendrick and Michael O’Neal both have very low ERAs, Kendrick being recently promoted to Friday starter. He has only had four starts this year, but since he has assumed that role, his ERA has stayed low. Averaging about a strikeout an inning, he leads the team in that category (48). Saturday the Tigers will see Michael O’Neal, who has been a starter since the beginning of the season. More of a guy that pitches to contact, he has only struck out 27 hitters in 2013, but holds a very effective .226 BAA. With only walking 16 batters in 63.1 innings, the Tigers will have to come out swinging.

Projected Pitching Matchups
RHP Rob Zastryzny (2-7, 4.22 ERA) vs. LHP Conner Kendrick (2-2, 2.09 ERA)
RHP Brett Graves (0-5, 4.86 ERA) vs. LHP Michael O’Neal (8-2, 2.13 ERA)
RHP Alec Rash (2-1, 4.01 ERA) vs. LHP Will Kendall (0-5, 8.35 ERA)

Matchup Wrap-up
Missouri hitters will have to take different approaches to the plate between Friday and Saturday. On Friday, attacking Kendrick early in the count will do them well, as he has a high strikeout ratio. Exactly the opposite for Saturday; if Mizzou can work counts and look for a pitch to hit, they can try and get to O’Neal. He will stay around the strike zone all day, and Missouri will have to take advantage of mistakes O’Neal makes, which could be very few.

Other SEC games this weekend (all 4/26-28):
Texas A&M @ Alabama
(14) Arkansas @ Georgia
Tennessee @ Florida
Kentucky @ (18) Ole Miss
(15) South Carolina @ (2) LSU
(16) Mississippi State @ (3) Vanderbilt

HI NOTES: Jayce Speaks Out, MU Out-Hit, Lars Shout-Out & Mav Fake-Out

♦ An interview with my all-time favorite former Tiger:

♦ One of Mizzou's 2013 opponents, Nebraska-Omaha, demonstrates a unique rundown move in this video:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

HI NOTES: The Garcia Games, Max Effective, Grim News


Life after MU baseball: Q&A with Eric Garcia (Vox Magazine)
Garcia was able to chat a little via Skype about his MiLB standing after leaving the Tigers. He called in from a hotel in Orlando, Fla., where he’s participating in what sounds like a grueling extended spring training for the Gulf Coast League (GCL).

Between being there indefinitely and being judged constantly makes it sound like some kind of mix between The Hunger Games and purgatory, but I’m neither Katniss Everdeen nor Catholic, so what do I know?
It’s everybody for themselves. You might get a little team camaraderie as you go, but you’re pretty much trying to move up and doing what you need to do it. It’s of course something that I miss...


♦ Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer see velocities decrease (Bless You Boys)

Then we have Scherzer. He's struck out 14.21 per nine innings and walked just 1.89. Just how overpowering is Scherzer? Forty percent of his plate appearances have ended in strikeouts -- just 5.3 percent in walks. Like Verlander, Scherzer's ERA has shown no signs of struggle either at 2.84. That's about 5 better than Scherzer's 7.77 ERA last April and nearly a run better than in 2011...


Gerrion Grim, redshirt freshman, leaves Missouri baseball (Columbia Missourian)
..."I felt I needed to take a step back and just get to develop more on the juco level and just basically develop my assets as a player more before trying to play on a DI level," Grim said.

Another factor in Grim's decision was his desire to be a two-way player, as both a pitcher and a hitter. Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said he couldn't offer Grim that opportunity at Missouri...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: Missouri State Bears

Head Coach: Keith Guttin (1,056-663 in 31st season as Missouri State Head Coach)

Taylor Stadium – Columbia, MO
Wednesday – 6 PM CT

Missouri (13-22, 5-13 SEC) vs. Missouri State (24-11, 9-3 MVC)

The Tigers will try and get their makeup game in Wednesday against Missouri State that was postponed last weekend. Since last week’s postponement, the Bears swept conference foe Bradley, outscoring them 23-6. Since not a lot has changed since then, here is the link to the last Mizzou Matchup against the Bears.

Other SEC games this week:
Alabama @ Southern Mississippi 4/24
Oklahoma @ (14) Arkansas (Cancelled)
South Florida @ Florida 4/23
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech 4/23
Kentucky @ Western Kentucky 4/23
Tulane @ (2) LSU 4/24
(18) Ole Miss @ Arkansas State 4/23
(16) Mississippi State vs. Memphis 4/23
(15) South Carolina vs. Gardner-Webb
Tennessee @ Middle Tennessee State 4/23
Texas A&M @ Texas State 4/23
(3) Vanderbilt @ (12) Louisville 4/23
Idle: Auburn

Monday, April 22, 2013

Say it ain't so, Clark

Mizzou Baseball Cancels Game with Murray State

Mizzou Baseball Cancels Game with Murray State (mutigers.com)
With rain expected all night and all day on Tuesday (April 23), the Mizzou baseball team has cancelled its midweek game with Murray State, originally scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. No make-up date has been scheduled for the game at this time. This is the fifth game that Mizzou has lost to weather this season. Wednesday's game with in-state rival Missouri State is still scheduled to be played at 6 p.m.

HI NOTES: One Great Game, Tepesch OK


♦ Mizzou's RPI ranking (according to BoydsWorld.com, rose from  149th to 117th over the past week.  The Tigers' Strength of Schedule rose from 12th toughest to 8th in the nation.  Missouri is one of two SEC teams in the top 10 of Strength of Schedule.  The other is Florida.
Strength of Schedule Top 10
  1. Washington
  2. Florida
  3. Southern California
  4. Hawaii
  5. Loyola Marymount
  6. Oregon
  7. UCLA
  8. Missouri
  9. Miami
  10. California
'Iron Man' Jake Walsh propels Missouri baseball to Sunday victory (Columbia Missourian)
The Tigers hit the ball hard all day Sunday, recording two more hits in nine innings than they had the day before in 15.

But even with the offense clicking, the focus was on Walsh after the game. Missouri junior catcher Dylan Kelly even had a nickname for the weekend warrior.

"The Iron Man, I guess you guys can call him or whatever, because he pitched Friday, Saturday and Sunday," Kelly said. "I thought today was his best day. He came out firm with the fastball, mixed pretty well, we got out when we needed to and he forced contact. He’s a great pitcher we have.” ...
MU baseball wins finale vs. Florida (Columbia Tribune)
Missouri is tied with Tennessee (5-13) for 12th in the SEC standings — though the Volunteers own the tiebreaker — and are one game ahead of Georgia (4-14). Auburn (6-12), which visits Simmons Field for a three-game set beginning Friday, is one game ahead of Missouri. Kentucky and Texas A&M — who both remain on Missouri’s schedule — are two games ahead at 7-11. The bottom two teams do not make the SEC Tournament.

“I think everybody’s starting to calm down a little bit, starting to settle into some roles,” said Pearson, who was 6 for 13 with four RBI in the series. “We understand what it’s like to be in the SEC now and face all this top-notch competition. I think we’re starting to settle down and play a lot better ball than we have been playing.” ...
The Tribune article has several great photos from the game, including a shot of Keaton Steele's great 5th inning catch

Missouri snaps Florida’s eight-game winning streak (The Independent Florida Alligator)

Florida fell behind for the third straight game against Missouri. Unlike the previous two contests, Sunday’s series finale ended in UF’s first loss in two weeks.

The Tigers (12-23, 5-13 Southeastern Conference) plated two runs off right-hander Tucker Simpson in the first inning on Sunday afternoon at Taylor Stadium in Columbia, Mo., to snap the Gators’ (22-19, 10-8 SEC) eight-game winning streak...

Nick Tepesch expects to make next start Thursday at Minnesota (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Nick Tepesch felt a little soreness in his right wrist the morning after taking a liner off it, but he expects to make his next scheduled start Thursday at Minnesota.

The 24-year-old right-hander planned to play catch before Sunday’s game, but the big test will come Monday when he throws a bullpen session in Anaheim. If that goes well, the Rangers won’t have to skip his turn in the rotation.

“It feels all right now,” said Tepesch, who was diagnosed with a contusion on his right wrist...
Tepesch’s injury scary in more ways than one (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Montero’s liner through the box appeared to skip off Tepesch’s arm and barely lost any momentum as it bounced into the outfield. Washington and medical chief Jamie Reed all but sprinted to the mound to check on their pitcher.

“He really wasn’t saying anything,” Washington said later. “He wasn’t showing any emotion at all. He’s a tough kid. ‘He said, ‘Let me finish the inning,’ but there was no way I was going to let him do that.”

In the clubhouse later, under prodding, rookie Tepesch showed the damage the ball had done.

“I’m all right,” he announced. “It’s a little sore, but not too bad. I think it scraped me a little more than made solid contact, I guess.”

Scraped would be one description, but a more accurate one might be that the back of Tepesch’s wrist looked as if something had bitten a small, bloody chunk from it...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

HI NOTES: Tepesch Injured, Tigers Don't Gator Done


Grimm, Tepesch look to step up in Harrison’s place (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Texas Rangers pitcher Justin Grimm wasn’t pleased to hear the news that Matt Harrison will have back surgery and will be sidelined longer than expected.

“It’s a shame,” Grimm said. “He was a key piece to the pitching staff and an unbelievable guy too.”

But Grimm is also aware that Harrison’s setback gives him more of an opportunity to prove himself. Same goes for Nick Tepesch, as the two rookies are expected to stay in the rotation for the foreseeable future...
Tepesch leaves game after taking liner off arm (mlb.com)
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch had to leave Saturday's game in the second inning after getting hit on the right arm with a line drive off the bat of Mariners catcher Jesus Montero.

Tepesch had retired the first two hitters of the inning and five of the first six batters he faced before Montero smacked a line drive up the middle. The ball hit off Tepesch's pitching arm just above the wrist and ricocheted into center field for a hit.

The ball left a bloody gash on Tepesch's arm. Trainer Jamie Reed, manager Ron Washington and trainer Jamie Reed were headed toward the mound even before Montero was finished rounding first base.

Tepesch tried to stay in the game and threw several pitches as a test. But the Rangers decided instead to bring in reliever Derek Lowe. Tepesch ended up throwing 21 pitches...


Missouri baseball lags in SEC (The Maneater)
Missouri is averaging 4.18 runs per game.

The Tigers currently have the lowest on-base percentage and are also the cellar dwellers in number of hits, runs and RBIs in the conference. To get to the next lowest team in each of these categories, Missouri would have to swat 68 hits, plate 45 runs and drive in 30 RBIs...

GAME 2: 4-3 Loss

Florida beats Missouri in 15 innings (Columbia Tribune)
Steele's unexpected relief outing — he threw 109 pitches — forces Jamieson to start freshman Alec Rash today. He said he had planned to start Steele.

"Hopefully, he can come out and get us to the middle of the game," Jamieson said of Rash, who has a 4.57 ERA.

If not, Missouri could suffer yet another SEC sweep...

Missouri third baseman Shane Segovia continues to struggle in loss (Columbia Missourian)
It was Missouri third baseman Shane Segovia’s shot at redemption. A base hit in the bottom of the 15th inning Saturday would make it all OK.

The ball he bobbled half-an-inning earlier that lead to Florida’s go-ahead run wouldn’t matter.
The night before, Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson pinch-hit for Segovia in the bottom of the ninth, a decision that haunted him after his replacement, Jake Ivory, struck out looking.

“I second guessed it,” Jamieson said. “Even though Shane’s struggling, he probably was still the best option at that point.”...

GAME 1: 8-6 Loss

Missouri pitcher Zastryzny blames himself in loss to Florida (Columbia Missourian)
Friday’s shellacking was the second in as many weeks for Zastryzny, a sore subject after the loss to Florida.

“That’s two weekends in a row they’ve scored more than five runs for me and I couldn’t get the ‘W,’ ” Zastryzny said. “That’s gonna change. I’m not gonna let that happen ever again.”

Tigers fall as UF knocks out 18 hits, 10 with two outs (Columbia Tribune)
"What we talked about: 'A lot of balls weren't hit very hard, but you guys have gotta make pitches in those situations,' " Missouri Coach Tim Jamieson said. "A lot of times, we were just one pitch from getting out of the inning. We score six runs, 12 hits offensively on a Friday night, you'll take that — in any conference. We had to stop the bleeding. We didn't do it on the mound."..


Will Kyle Gibson Make it to the Majors in 2013? (Rant Sports)
So far this season at Triple-A, Gibson has a 0-2 record over three starts with a 4.11 ERA with 16 hits, seven runs and three walks compared to 15 strikeouts over 15.1 innings. The strikeout rate and strikeout to walk ratio still seems to be solid, but Gibson’s ERA is cause for concern. There had been a belief that Gibson was still struggling with his command, which was resulting in his high ERA, but his ability to average a strikeout per inning still provides optimism that Gibson has regained his pre-injury form and may be ready for a promotion to the majors in the near future.

I am concerned with Gibson’s high ERA and I believe that he will need to lower the ERA to around 3.00 if he wants to be promoted to the majors. If Gibson is having a tough time getting hitters out consistently at the Triple-A level, despite his high strikeout rate, than a promotion to the majors will not cure this problem and only make it worse. Gibson must find a way to get hitters out in other ways besides striking them out and when he does, he will be a dominant pitcher at the big league level...

Friday, April 19, 2013

HI NOTES: Recruit Ranked, Zagone Released, Gator Done

MU hitters looking for solutions (Columbia Tribune)
Under the guidance of Coach Tim Jamieson, Missouri had a reputation for frustrating Big 12 opponents by taking a lot of pitches and getting runners on base by any means necessary.

The Tigers have found that in the Southeastern Conference, the pitchers hit the strike zone early and often. And they don't make many mistakes.

"It's tough going up there trying to make them work the count when these guys are taught to pound the zone," outfielder Case Munson said. "And these guys are throwing harder than normal, upper 90s. All they gotta do is throw it in there. It's like, 'OK, I'm gonna wait till this guy throws a bad pitch,' and they're not really throwing bad pitches."


Orioles release pitcher Rick Zagone and other minor league moves (MASN)
There were a few moves in the Orioles minors today. Double-A Bowie reinstated lefty pitcher Rick Zagone off the disabled list and released the club's sixth-round pick from 2008 out of Missouri.

The release of the 26-year-old Zagone is a bit surprising and perhaps an indication of the pitching depth at the higher level of the minors. He went 9-5 with an ERA of 3.41 in 28 games and 22 starts last season between Single-A Frederick, Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk...
Aaron Crow called on for save (CBS Sports)
Royals relief pitcher Aaron Crow was asked the get the final outs of Monday's home-opening win over the Twins. With Greg Holland, who remains the team's closer, having pitched in two straight games, manager Ned Yost turned to Crow.

Unlike Holland in recent games, Crow didn't have too much trouble getting the job done for his second career save. The only base runner he allowed came via the walk and he added a strikeout to secure the win. Crow needed 16 pitches and 10 went for strikes.

The 26-year-old Crow has already appeared in four games for the Royals and has allowed just two hits and a walk with three strikeouts over four scoreless innings. He'll go back to his job as a middle reliever going forward...

SEC Weekend: Florida Gators @ Mizzou

♦ Be sure to check out Sam Nasci's Mizzou Matchup preview of the Florida Gators here at SimmonsField.com

♦ Also check out our off-season South By Southeast posts about South Carolina Baseball:

♦ And for you Gator fans coming into Columbia, MO, for the weekend, check out The SEC Fan's Guide to Mizzou Baseball for everything you need to know.

Movin' On Up: Recent Surge has Gators Back in Hunt (GatorZone)
With the victory over South Carolina, the Gators moved into a second-place tie in the East with the Gamecocks, both 8-7 in league play, a half-game ahead of fourth-place Kentucky (7-7).

The bloopers that were caught early in the season are dropping. The pitching rotation is starting to take shape and the gloves have tightened up. Those wide-eyed freshmen are starting to feel like they belong and playing more like they did when Gators coach Kevin O'Sullivan recruited them.
Finally getting their head above .500 is a feather in those special caps they wore Saturday, but the Gators remain an unfinished product and there's more work to do if they want to get back to the NCAA postseason.

"I think we're starting to grow up,'' O'Sullivan said. "It certainly showed this week."...
Red-hot Gators baseball team back in the postseason picture (Orlando Sentinel)
The once-reeling Florida Gators baseball team suddenly is red hot heading into the second half of the SEC season.

The Gators have won five straight games against ranked opponents, capped by a 15-4 rout of South Carolina, the College World Series winners two of the past three years.

Florida (19-8, 8-7 SEC) is now tied for second place in the SEC East with the Gamecocks and has a winning percentage above .500 for the first time since February.

While a fourth straight trip to the CWS is unlikely, the Gators are positioned to slip into the NCAAregionals. Other than a series in early May at West Division leader LSU, Florida has faced the upper-echelon teams of the SEC.

The Gators' bats finally have come to life in the past two weeks, highlighted by a 10-run sixth inning Saturday. Florida scored three runs or fewer in five of seven SEC losses and 13 games overall this season...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

MIZZOU MATCHUP: Florida Gators

Head Coach: Kevin O’Sullivan 
(243-120 in 6th season as Florida Head Coach)

Taylor Stadium
Friday @ 6 PM CT
Saturday @ 2 PM CT
Sunday @ 12 PM CT

Missouri (12-20, 4-11 SEC) vs. Florida (20-18, 8-7 SEC)

This weekend the Tigers take on the Florida Gators, who have gotten on a roll lately. Last weekend they swept nationally ranked South Carolina, and with the win on Tuesday at Florida Gulf Coast, they have now won six games in a row. The Gators are 14-13 at home, and are tied in second in the SEC East standings.

Position Players
Although the Gators have been a solid club as of late, their bats are a definite weakness on their team. As I compile this lineup, I don’t remember an SEC foe that has hitters that have averages this low. They only have two guys hitting above .300, but they do have five players that have hit three homers.

Casey Turgeon and Richie Martin both see time as the leadoff man, but lately it has been more of Turgeon’s job. Turgeon’s OBP is at .356, which isn’t the highest it could be for a leadoff man, but adds some power with his three homers. The sophomore was named to Baseball America’s All-Freshman team in 2012 as a second-teamer.

Martin seems like the person who should not be in that leadoff role. His .318 OBP is not idea for somebody at the top of an order, but he does contribute speed. He has yet to be thrown out in three stolen base attempts. The thing that he does not have is Turgeon’s power. The freshman has only two extra base hits so far this year (both doubles), which keeps his slugging percentage under .300.

Catcher Taylor Gushue is improving on his 2012 freshman campaign, showing much more productivity at the plate. Last year, he was barely above the Mendoza Line, but now he is contributing with a modest .277 batting average. The thing that stands out about Gushue is his patience at the plate. He has drawn a team leading 19 walks which put his OBP at .380, and also leads the team in RBI with 22.

The team’s leading hitter so far is right fielder Justin Shafer. Hitting cleanup, Shafer is batting a team leading .322 which is made even more impressive by the fact that he leads the Gators in extra base hits with 17, five more than the next highest total on the team. He is one of four Florida players yet to miss a start this year, and is the only one of those to have only committed one error this year.

Senior first baseman Vickash Ramjit is the other Gator hitting over .300 this year, as his role in the lineup could be the most important, as the hitting really drops off after the five spot in the order. Ramjit is one of the guys with three homers this season, and he is right behind Gushue on the RBI total with 21. His speed has been a slight issue so far as he has been caught stealing on all three attempts that he has had.

Projected Lineup
2B Casey Turgeon (L) .268
CF Richie Martin (R) .272
C Taylor Gushue (S) .277
RF Justin Shafer (R) .322
1B Vickash Ramjit (R) .316
3B Josh Tobias (S) .233
RF Connor Mitchell (L) .189
LF Harrison Bader (R) .284
SS Cody Dent (L) .205

The Gator rotation is not as powerful as what the Tigers have seen in the SEC so far in 2013. They do not have a single pitcher who has more K than IP, which could bode well for the Tigers if they can put the ball into play. Jonathon Crawford has been the Friday starter this season for Florida, and he is trying to build off of his last outing, which was a win against South Carolina. In that game, he threw 6.2 IP, scattered 7 H, while striking out 5.

After Crawford, the rotation gets slightly shaky. It seems that lately it has been Danny Young getting the ball on Saturdays, and in his four starts this season, he has put up a solid 3.51 ERA, which striking out 17 in 25.2 IP. His batting average against is high though, and the Tigers will have to take advantage of this and be swinging the bats to not let the southpaw get into a groove.

Sunday has been slightly inconsistent with their starters as well, but Jay Carmichael was on the bump last week and while he only went 1.2 innings, he gave up 1 ER. He has to get out of trouble though as he did give up two hits and two walks.

Projected Pitching Matchups
Friday: RHP Rob Zastryzny (2-6, 3.67 ERA) vs. RHP Jonathon Crawford (2-5, 4.17 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Brett Graves (0-5, 5.24 ERA) vs. LHP Danny Young (1-3, 3.51 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Alec Rash (2-1, 4.57 ERA) vs. RHP Jay Carmichael (3-1, 2.60 ERA)

Matchup Wrap-up
If there were a weekend for the Missouri bats to have a breakthrough, this would be it. The Gators have been shaky at times with their pitching and the Tigers will have to take advantage of that. Mizzou’s starting three have really settled down over the past couple weeks and they definitely have to capability of shutting down this Florida lineup.

Other SEC games this weekend (all 4/19-21):
(3) LSU @ Alabama
Texas A&M @ (12) Arkansas
Auburn @ (16) Mississippi State
(2) Vanderbilt @ Georgia
(17) Kentucky @ (18) South Carolina
(21) Ole Miss @ Tennessee