seems to be his natural position and could change the hitting dynamics favorably.
I doubt he plays at second this year. He did not look anywhere near ready when he tried it out a few weeks ago.
I’m not sure what him playing second would change hitting-wise.
It’s not like we have anybody in the bench who needs to be hitting.
We have our best nine hitters all in the order
Ezell just can’t make the throws at second or turn 2. The arm isn’t fully healthy yet!
You could DH Ezell!
You could, but would that really make any difference?
No way you are pulling Goodheart.
Could he play first any better than Ezelle?
He’s taller, might save a few throws, but not sure he would be better overall.
I was looking for McFarland to play first, then deal with Kenley as SS and let Casey return to third. I think that adds power… defense has to be maintained because it consistently wins and I may have a big weakness in my proposition.
It’s hard to play McFarland when he has hit the ball!
McFarland was a defensive liability when he played first. And, he’s not hit at all. He’s looked lost at the plate. His batting practice swings are great, but when there are breakers – and that’s all he’ll get – then he swings and misses wildly. You’d think he could hit lefties, but he has as much or more trouble with lefties as with the right-handed slider.
You could actually lose defense if you put Ezell at second and McFarland at first. Ezell can’t play second as well as Kenley and McFarland can’t play first as well as Ezell. No, I think this is probably what you are going to be seeing for the rest of this season.
I’m sure most noticed that Ezell started at second base against ORU. Jordan McFarland was at first. There was one throw that McFarland caught at first in a routine way – because he’s 6-4 and not 5-8. I do not know that Ezell would have made it, or at least made it look routine.
Alas, McFarland fanned badly twice and was eventually replaced, with Ezell moving to first, Kenley to second and Jacob Nesbit inserted at third. This is the lineup Dave Van Horn appears most comfortable with.
I think there is still hope that McFarland will kick it in at some point and hit in games the way he does in batting practice. But it may never happen in college. He was considered a huge prospect when he signed. He had many offers. And, as Dave Van Horn has emphasized to me, there were top prospects that Arkansas said no to who wanted to come that are playing well against the Hogs now.
That is the tough part about recruiting. You guess sometimes. They guessed wrong on Trevor Ezell about six or seven years ago. He committed to SE Missouri because Arkansas wanted to wait a little longer and ultimately took other players. Van Horn will quickly tell you they were wrong, but Ezell was about 165 then and he’s 205 now.
The iron on that is that Heston Kjerstad was about 5-10, 155 when Van Horn offered and Heston quickly committed. I believe that was when Kjerstad was a 10th grader. Van Horn looked at Heston’s dad Dave, 6-4 and about 240, and predicted that Heston would grow. He did.
There’s no way to play McFarland at First base! He is sure out unless he gets hit by a pitch! He won’t walk otherwise with the wild swings he takes. I was proud to see DVH bring Nesbit in the game and move Ezell to 1B and Kenley back to 2B and Nesbit take back over at 3B. I would like to see Goodheart at 1B in a mid week game before the season is over!
The other (well-deserved) mid-game substitution was getting Opitz back in the game. After Plunkett threw the ball away on a toss back to the pitcher, I commented that I thought he would come out of the game. DVH let him bat, then had Opitz pinch run for him.
Plunkett has made a few blunders throwing the ball back to the pitcher! He is just lazy throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Also he is poor at blocking balls in the dirt.
He has cost the hogs a few runs with his throws and his poor blocking. He does a miserable job framing pitches as well. He blocks the umpires vision of pitches. Opitiz is clearly the better player behind the plate and in the batters box.