I watched Kevin Kopps do some long toss the other day. It’s fascinating to watch players pretty much have to teach themselves how to throw again after Tommy John, let alone pitch.
I’m told Kevin’s rehab is going real well and he’ll be ready in time for the 2019 season. People forget how integral he was to the team’s plans this year. That cutter was the best pitch on the team last year, just ahead of Trevor Stephan’s fastball. Teams didn’t know how to hit it the first time they saw it. It was almost guaranteed he was going to get at least two or three innings of work each weekend.
It really is amazing to think how close Arkansas is to the College World Series without ever having two big pitchers from the bullpen, Kopps and Keaton McKinney.
I think Kostyshock is better than last year, but his stuff just isn’t SEC level right now. He’s the type you bring in to eat up innings in the midweek or when things aren’t going well on the weekend, or maybe to get one batter if the matchup is right. That sounds bad, but every team needs those types of pitchers. And later in the year when the games become more important, they don’t get the work they did when there five games each week.
His command was not very good in SEC games this year. He threw three times and had five walks, a wild pitch and hit a batter in 4 2/3 innings. When he did throw it over the plate he was hit hard. His SEC ERA was 13.49.
Knopps and McKinney could have made a huge difference to this team for sure. Next year if they are able to pitch it will be a blessing to have them.
Knopps is unhitable when he is healthy and it’s fun to watch. The polar opposite is what you get from McKinney.
With Campbell and Cronnin back next year that’s a pretty salty start on a pitching staff.
Not gonna lie, my heart skipped a beat when I saw his name as a topic. Thought it would be followed by “has retired from the game” or “has transferred from the program”. It’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back next season. If he hadn’t required surgery, do you think he may have been considered for a starting role this season (or maybe next)?