Questions, Tech Week

I’m going to be finishing up the podcast today and tomorrow. Arkansas radio analyst Bubba Carpenter and Louisiana Tech coach Lane Burroughs will be on the podcast this week. I’ll also take a look at the last time Arkansas and Tech played in that epic nine-run comeback two years ago and explore Dave Van Horn’s coaching tree (Burroughs is a former assistant).

If you’d like to contribute to the podcast, please leave your questions here. Thanks!

Starting Rotation is not really set in stone right now and nobody other than Kostyshock(sp)has been consistent.Campbell was awesome last week, who do you think we will try to go with on Sat and Sun. seeing the SEC opener is next weekend?

The offense has been pretty good considering the big 3 really haven’t really hit their stride yet,do you see us juggling the batting order?

might have his staples removed and have no throwing restriction.

consider a successful series (at a minimum):

  1. Competitive in all 3 games
  2. Winning 1 game
  3. Winning the series
  4. A sweep
  5. (other)?

My understanding is that the staples will not be removed. He seems to be throwing just fine, but I’m not sure of his range.

Maybe a better question would be best guess when he’ll have full range.

I do not know that Trevor Ezell’s throwing motion will ever be the same. That kind of labrum surgery is really tough to come back from as far as throwing. I’m told that a quarterback would never have that kind of surgery because he couldn’t throw again. Labrum surgery where it’s torn completely like that is a very tough recovery. Now, can he throw better than he’s throwing now? Yes. But that might be later in the spring.

I have no idea of the condition of his throwing arm but I do know Trevor Ezell is flat-out raking it.

What are reasonable expectations for this year’s UA baseball team? Floor? Ceiling? With the class they have signed and the juniors they will have will they be one of the NC favorites next year?

My take on that question (not that you asked me) is that DVH’s program has reached the point where we always have a reasonable expectation of reaching a super regional - whether we host or don’t. And if you get that far, you’re in the mix for a National Championship.

Obviously, we don’t always achieve that objective, but it is a realistic expectation that we can get there just about every year. Like Eddie and Nolan’s teams; and Franks (football) before them, we’re at a point where we should (and do) expect to compete at the highest level every season.

The nature of college baseball and the turnover it experiences (kids leaving the program for juco and/or playing time elsewhere; kids leaving after their 3rd - sometimes 2nd - year depending on where they are drafted; a steady influx of newcomers [freshman, red-shirts and jucos] that get significant playing time) make it very difficult to know just what a team will look like before the season. Sure - this year we knew we had Martin-Heston-Fletcher and the Campbell and Kronin. But other than that, who knew that Ezell would be this good, this soon? What about Franklin? And who saw Kenley lighting it up as he has? And the early returns on several young pitchers appears promising. But you never know until you see them on the field.

The one exception, perhaps, was last year - the way just about everything fell perfectly, with Knight spurning a MLB offer and coming back for another year; and then, surprisingly, getting “bonus” years from senior leaders Shaddy and Bonfield, along with the rest of a talented and deep team. So, you almost knew that team had a great chance to get to Omaha.

The other “X” factor that makes it so hard to be specific in predicting who will do what in the SEC is what will be left of our highly ranked baseball class once the MLB has picked them over next June? And the same holds true for the recruiting classes of those we will compete against. There’s no way to know, yet.

So, I say - yes - we will be one of the National favorites next season. As we generally are every season, these days. Not sure what that really means, however. Just ask pre-season #1 LSU after this past weekend playing Texas.

If its not too late, I’d like to hear you ask Coach Burroughs about any potential recruiting battles he faces with DVH/Arkansas, or if there are any interesting stories there, since they probably contact a lot of the same prospects.

I’m sure whatever Bubba talks about on the podcast will be great, but if there’s time I’d like to know if there is someone he is seeing in BP that maybe hasn’t been overwhelming in games yet that he thinks might be in for a breakout or breakthrough at some point this season. He’s doing a really outstanding job on the radio with what he sees in games as well as “homework” he does outside of the booth to discuss on the air, would you mind to let him know that he’s got some fans here?

During the game yesterday, Bubba talked about McFarland being a “5 o’clock star” (basically a BP star). He noted that #8 hits bombs in BP that are quite impressive. He had hoped that McFarland would make a leap this year, similar to the one made by Spanberger in his final year.

You were too late on Lane, but beat the clock on Bubba. He and I were just sitting down as you posted this.

I’ve been impressed with Bubba on the radio. I did not think he was that good when I listened to him early last year, but he has really improved. I think he’s a good listen now; really entertaining.

He knows baseball. There is no doubt about that. He coaches travel teams and told me his favorite part is the instruction, teaching 7 and 17 year olds something they didn’t know previously.

He actually called him a 5 o’clock cowboy. I think comparing McFarland to Spanberger might be unfair because Spanberger became a rare talent. But it’s almost impossible not to compare them because of their similarities - the way they began their career and both being from the same area.

Remember that Spanberger didn’t really hit that well early in his junior year. He began to come on around the start of SEC play and had a great SEC-opening series against Mississippi State. Of course he had a lot more at-bats at that point in 2017 than McFarland will have had. I’m not sure where McFarland fits in the lineup. I don’t think he is going to take first base away from Trevor Ezell and hasn’t hit well enough to be the DH.

Matt, this was the best one yet. Easily the best thing I listened to all week. This format with limited interruptions makes for really compelling interviews, particularly with a good interviewer, and a good story teller in Bubba. I heard you continue on the thread about shorter starts this season also with more experienced arms in the back end. I wonder how many innings Hobbs/DVH would feel comfortable counting on from the bullpen in one weekend.

I also enjoyed the recap of the last La Tech series. I remember watching that second game just in awe of what was happening. Looking back, it was foreshadowing what was to come the rest of that season and the next.

I appreciate that.