Today's scrimmage

I’ll be at the scrimmage today. It has been difficult for me to make it to baseball this fall because of some commitments and a sick baby, so I’m looking forward to getting time to watch the team today.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the personnel and I’ll try to answer them during the scrimmage.

just see if you see any of the new people being able to really help us in the SEC.

Pitching, I know it’s a given but still curious.

It is in the third inning. The pitchers, Caleb Bolden and Patrick Wicklander, both had perfect firsts; Wicklander struck out the side and Bolden got all three outs to contact.

Wicklander pitched around a one-out walk to Casey Opitz in the second. The highlight of the scrimmage so far was on a hit by Christian Franklin. He hesitated a little coming around first while coaches were yelling at him to go to second. Elijah Trest made a great throw from the gap in right-center and Jacob Nesbit applied the tag to Franklin just as he was getting to the base. Great throw and great tag.

It’s 0-0.

Wicklander is supposed to be the real deal…

Based on what I have seen and heard, I think Matt Goodheart and Christian Franklin are going to be playing right away. I like the levelness of Goodheart’s swing. He’s a singles/doubles guy, but he also has power enough to hit home runs. Franklin is a great athlete. He’s strong and runs well.

Franklin is playing right field today. Goodheart is playing first base. Both could also play in left field.

I liked what I saw of him today. His pitch count got high and he had to leave after 3 2/3 innings, but he had eight strikeouts during that time. There isn’t a radar gun here, but it looked like his fastball was really moving today. He also looked to have a pretty good slider. He threw 70 pitches today, 43 for strikes. Almost every pitch was a strike in the first few innings, but then he started to struggle a little with command at the end.

He has a funky delivery. He adds a good option from the left side.

Offensively, the rosters in this series heavily favor the White team, which is wearing black jerseys. That team has Kjerstad, Martin, Opitz and Goodheart.

was Wicklander pitching for the white team?

No, he was pitching for the Cardinal team. Martin and Kjerstad both struck out twice against him.

wow must have pretty good stuff then.

Any other updates on the game?

I’m going to have a story afterward. Right now it is 5-1 in favor of the White midway through the sixth inning. Matt Goodheart had a two-run single to center field that kind of blew the game open, but he was thrown out trying to extend it into a double.

Great. Thanks. How many innings did Bolden get through?

Bolden threw 4 1/3 innings. He allowed one hit and walked three. He struck out three. He pitched a lot to contact and the Cardinal team didn’t get a lot of good contact against him.

His command got shaky at the end. All three of his walks came in his final inning. He left with a 3-2 count and he bases loaded, and Caden Monke threw a ball in his first pitch to walk home the run.

It’s always interesting to see the way the players are asked to take extra bases in the fall. I’ve talked to scouts about that. They really like it. They get to see the fielder’s in action. Do they have live arms and can they throw out runners?

Of course, Van Horn wants to see the same thing. They will put runners in motion just to see what the defense can do about it.

Speaking of scouts, the ones I talk to like Goodheart and Franklin, too, among the newcomers. Of those who were on the team last year who did not play much, they talk about Casey Opitz and Kevin Kopps the most. They think both of those have talent. Opitz is a switch hitter at catcher. Scouts love his arm, defense and the fact he hits from both sides. Is he a great talent? I wouldn’t say that, but he’s got the intangibles you like at catcher. Zack Plunkett is coveted by scouts, too, but mainly for his arm. He has not hit enough to excite anyone. That arm could save him at the next level. He could be a Blake Parker, someone who makes it because of his arm after playing a position spot as a collegian.