I visited with Dave Van Horn about 10 minutes after the first team meeting of the season. We talked for almost two hours. Dave said he visited with the team about having a mature approach to a drive to playing deep in post-season. It’s easily the toughest schedule the team has ever played. I don’t think there has ever been anything close. He thinks the talent and the maturity of this team can handle it.
The team is relatively healthy. Cole Turney is on the road to being full speed for the first game. He’s swinging full tilt after labrum surgery in August. He’s a masher, a big left-hand bat. Van Horn said he can hit them over the scoreboard in right. So that’s a plus for this team that they were not sure they would have.
Pitchers Keaton McKinney and Cody Scroggins are on target to be pitching on the first weekend. The team is relatively healthy, better than past seasons. Both of those guys are much bigger than last year, working hard over the summer to redefine their bodies. McKinney is huge and much stronger.
The only question mark as far as health might be Zack Plunkett, the transfer catcher from TCU, now eligible. He’s got an arm issue that puts him in doubt for the season. More will be known in the next few days as more tests are being run. Of course, Kevin Kopps had Tommy John surgery in the fall and he’s out for the season. Eric Cole was out most of the fall with a back issue, but he’s healthy now.
Van Horn said there are a host of freshman pitchers who appear ready to step up. They should have a deep staff capable of throwing big arms in midweek games.