A few baseball thoughts

I am interested to see how Dave Van Horn looks at the midweek games as far as starting pitching. He has only one midweek game next week with Memphis coming to town. Do you save Wicklander until that game, or does he pitch an inning or two this weekend at Southern Cal? I remember last year when Kacey Murphy pitched in midweek early, then moved into the weekend rotation for conference play. Pitching Murphy against Arizona in the first road series was part of that mindset. I liked that a lot. The Hogs ended up winning that game 1-0.

Among other things that I contemplated last night as I thought back on the weekend, Casey Martin is probably going to make a few errors as he figures out shortstop at this level. Among his errors was a hard shot that I thought was a 50-50 decision on error or hit. I won’t argue that it was judged an error. In college baseball, it does seem like the official scoring leans to hits more than errors. He rushed one double play throw to first that resulted in a high throw that wasn’t necessary.

I also wonder if Trevor Ezell is going to stay at first base. I can’t remember too many 5-8 guys playing first base. He’s not a very big target. He does have great ability to field, as you’d think for a second baseman. He’s going to get to more fly balls and more grounders. First base is not an easy place to play and I liked the way he moved around the bag with little experience.

As his arm gets better, maybe he goes back to second and Kenley moves to third. But, I like Nesbit at third. He seems like a sure fielder there.

The hitting wasn’t bad for the first weekend, but there still was a bit of a lull on Sunday when the pitching was soft, soft and softer from EIU. There were lots of change-ups thrown. A good change-up is hard to handle and it’s under valued by most young pitchers. I do recall the last game of the CWS when the freshmen pitcher from Oregon State threw about 75 percent change-ups and the Hogs couldn’t handle him. Of course, not many are going to handle that dude’s change-up. It’s MLB level. It was like facing Greg Maddux.

Martin rushed the throw on the double play and tried to avoid the runner. I thought he should have went straight into the runner whom failed to get down in the base path.
His throwing worries more at this point than his glove. But yes he will figure it out.
The hot shot could have been scored either way. Nesbit at 3rd makes sense on a defensive and offensive standpoint. Ezell at this point is a liability at first receiving throws if he has stretch or come up the line to catch the ball and it showed 2 times this weekend.
The hogs are stronger in the outfield with Feanklin in Left. I’d like to see Goodheart at 1B. Fletcher had a bad jump on a ball over his head this weekend. The wind may have caused that just a little. Heston had one that appeared he thought he was going to catch that got over him too.
Kenley can play anywhere. I am always confident when the ball goes his way he will make the play regardless of where he is playing. Kenley just has a high baseball IQ!
Behind the plate I prefer Optiz over Pluckett. I don’t know why for sure but it appears Optiz frames pitched better and he made better contact over the weekend.
Pluckett may have more power but I’ll take the contact most times over the K’s.
After the football season the hogs had and also in the midst of a disappointing basketball season it’s a breath of fresh air to have the diamond hogs get going. Not only that but the idiots in the fan base don’t follow baseball.
I hope we get a chance to see Knopps get a mid week start. While it would be nice to see Wicklander start on the weekend on Saturdays he is valuable out of the bullpen.
We just need a couple more LHP just like every other team does.
It’s just nice for baseball season to start.

The only thing I worried about with Martin at shortstop is his throwing pretty much all his errors a last year third were throwing errors he in Tendency to nosedive the ball…

I am not sold on vermilion being set up man at all all he throws is a straight fastball no movement he got away with a few Sat night but he didn’t Sunday, if you can’t make the ball move or hide the ball like Cronin does 95 miles an hour is very hittable at this level…
This is going to be a team that has to have its star players playing well once we get into conference. That and we’re going to have to be very good at bunting in the bottom of the old order…
Campbell will have to find a way to go six or seven innings I love Nolan and wicklander for Saturday and Sunday gives us three great picthers and a pretty solid bullpen. I saw LSU play and they are a very imposing offensive team but I’m not sure about their pitching.we can hang in there if we have everybody clicking on all cylinders.

Nesbit has been a very nice surprise at the plate.
Will have to see how he does against better pitching.
I haven’t seen anyone suggest it but I wonder if he could play first when Ezell heals to play second?

I’ve got this feeling that Goodheart ends up at first. I like Franklin in left. Of course, there are going to be times they see a lefty and they can’t play all the lefty bats.

Is Goodheart a better defender at 1B than McFarland?

I know someone who thinks that Carson Shaddy is the worst thing that ever happened to Arkansas. This person even had an argument with his mother about him. I suspect that this anti person is probably going to go off against Casey in the near future. It really blows my mind.

I have no clue what they were thinking on Sunday as the individual sat there with arms folded as the Hogs won in the ninth. I never saw any cheering for the team.

The thing about Campbell - unlike our other premier pitchers over the years - is that once something “bad” happens . . . a walk, hit batter, base hit, error . . . it seems like a switch is flipped and he then can’t seem to get anybody out. Doesn’t matter how well or smoothly he has pitched before that. Once you detect a slight wobble on one of his wheels, it’s time to jump out of the wagon, because it’s headed for a ditch - and soon!

That’s the biggest difference between this year’s team and last (well - there are several). But we had “death and taxes” pitching on Friday’s last season, and I’m concerned that we’ll ever see more than 4 innings out of Campbell. And if we do, we’ll likely wish he hadn’t pitched more than 4.

In a perfect world, he’d be a spot starter and an excellent long-relief guy. Someone who could come in the 3rd inning and get you to the 6th or 7th. Or come in the 7th and close the game out. But I don’t think we have the depth at starting pitcher to do that, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Waaay to early…Let’s see few more starts Wiz…1st game, it was freezin’ cold and a long delay in the bottom of the 4th. The kid has the stuff to be a solid #1, I don’t think you can write him off after 1 outing.

I am pretty sure I know who that person is.
If it’s who I think it is I would say they definitely need some psychoanalysis.

Agree on Ezell, Martin, and Franklin those three Along with Fletch and Kjerstad gives a real solid core. And I get your point on Opitz/Plunkett. It looks like the pitchers did better in Game 2 (Plunkett) no earned runs, and the pitchers combined for about a dozen strikeouts, so I don’t get the ‘frames pitches better’ comment if that were the case seems like strikeouts and earned runs would support it, but I do generally agree on contact - if it’s hard contact, and Ks are unacceptable, but rolling into two DPs, and a couple mishits off defenders gloves won’t get it done against better defense either. Still think this one is too close to call and I’d like to see them both have a chance to see what we really have for the long-stretch (conference-playoffs).

We’ve narrowed it down to half this board…

You just have to overlook idiots like that Marty. Carson Shaddy will always be a special Razorback in my book! Casey Martin is an elite young talent and he is just like all the others he will make some mistakes. Nobody is perfect.

Wow…Carson Shaddy is a great young man and a terrific Razorback. Sometimes you just have to shake your head… :shock:

Carson figured out second base and got his arm healthy and then hit almost .400 in SEC play last season. Pretty good career for a walk-on.

… and All-SEC (first team).

You make a fair point; there’s a chance that Isiah will make me (and others) eat our words. I truly hope he does.

I’m just commenting on what I’ve seen his whole career to date. I was thrilled to see his early game performance on Saturday, but was waiting all along to see how he’d do past the 3rd inning. Could he sustain it? If he had a little adversity - could he bring it back around?

I remember a few times last year that Knight would wobble a little in the first few innings, but then would find his stride and work through the problems for an effective outing. That, specifically, is what we have yet to see out of Campbell. No one is hoping he can find it more than I am. I’m just skeptical until I see it - at least once.

That said - and regardless of the conditions - what we saw out of him Saturday was a page straight out of his 2018 playbook. Here’s hoping it was a one-off aberration for 2019.

It’s been a mechanical issue when he has to pitch out of the stretch. I’ve noted that for two years here, but some still think it’s mental or that he tires. With runners on, he is not the same. Out of the wind-up, he’s dominating. He had the same issue in the title game against Oregon State. It’s just that OSU got runners on early. Against Florida, he was perfect for several innings, then ran into problems when he had to go to the stretch. Wes Johnson was working on that in the fall, when his bullpens were almost entirely out of the stretch. Now, we’ll see if Matt Hobbs can solve the mystery of the stretch for Isaiah.

So thrilled to have baseball back and going. Watched all 3 games from my IPad or phone during the weekend. Felt like all in all it was a solid start with some good and some not so good. Casey does have some figuring out to do at SS to get the E’s down and some of it looked like at times he was a half step ahead of the play versus most being a half step behind at this point of the season. As a result, the E’s. The base runner error is just a first weekend series figuring things out issue. Felt like Wicklander has some seriously nasty stuff and pretty excited about that young man. We for sure have way more speed so it will be a different type of baseball this year sprinkled in with some power, just not as much as the year before. Looking forward to the season!