Monday Morning Manager: February 18th, 2013

TCU went straight into University, Mississippi and promptly got spanked. - Ole Miss Athletics

The weekend began with high hopes, but all those have been dashed now... Some questions were answered, while others remain, and new ones have developed. The good, the bad, and the ugly from a weekend of baseball follows in this weeks MMM.

NOTES

- Not much to report from the Major League side of things as of yet. Scott Atchison is in Mets camp, trying to grab a spot in the pen. Matt Carpenter's move to second base appears to be going smoothly, and Merck is getting married... Congratulations!

- Just a quick look ahead, CS-Fullerton swept its weekend slate of games... The offense, which has been much talked about, really shined. Frogs pitching will have to be even better to stay competitive.

SERIES REVIEW

- Just as a heads up, there will be a weekly, "Big 12 Baseball Review" on every Wednesday, written by myself or Jamie Plunkett, covering all things Big 12... So, you won't find much of that talk here.

- I thought TCU was competitive all weekend long... I spoke with Jim Schlossnagle briefly Saturday night and while he was frustrated, he was still feeling good about his team. I have no reason to believe he doesn't feel the same way right now.

- Let's start with the pitching, which is obviously the bright spot with this team...

Finnegan: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R (unearned), 4/1 (SO/BB), .238 OBA

Morrison: 7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 9/2 (SO/BB), .087 OBA

These two really shined for the Frogs, and it was a blessing to see them do so. Finnegan has been talked about a lot, but to see the results play out like they did was awesome. His slightly lower arm slot allows him to have much better control of his already great stuff, and it is clear he is much more comfortable and under control with his delivery. Power lefties like Finnegan hardly ever make it to college ball, so let's bask in the warm glow of not one, but two lefties who we have had had the pleasure of watching the last couple of years (Purke being the other, obviously).

Morrison was also amazing, but for a different reason: If anybody could hit Morrison, it would be Ole Miss. They have seen him, they know him, but on Saturday they could do absolutely nothing with him. It was 100 pitches of pure awesomeness for Morrison who, I think, just silenced a lot of doubters. If he can replicate that performance next weekend against the strong bats of Cal-State Fullerton, I think we might just be onto something.

Sunday was a different story, with Stefan Crichton only lasting an inning and the Frogs immediately putting themselves in a hole. I had thought Crichton might have been hurt or sore, but it was confirmed today that he simply did not have any life on his ball and the coaching staff felt they had better arms in the 'pen they could go to. My initial reaction to that was, "Why would you have started him Sunday in the first place?"

The good news that came out of Sunday was that guys like Seidenberger, Ferrell, Frey, and Evans all got meaningful innings for the Frogs and all did quite well. Seidenberger was quite impressive, if he can keep his fastball off the middle of the plate and his curveball down, he is extremely impressive. Ferrell was equally as impressive, and looks like a young Roger Clemens on the mound with an impressive frame. Frey and Evans were both effective, especially Evans who I really liked, he looks much more confident this year and is going to gain confidence with each positive appearance.

- The lineup was, well, not great. There were A TON of hard hit balls throughout the series, with about 60% of them being caught. The Frogs will not be that unlucky all year, but they were this weekend. Cron and Witte held up their end of the bargain, but hardly anybody else did.

You have to start at the top with Cody Jones, who was pretty awful. Aside from a couple walks and a couple hits, he did relatively nothing for the Frogs, and that cannot continue. If the Frogs are to go anywhere in 2013, they must have an effective table setter at the top of their lineup, I don't know if Jones will be that guy, but he has the first shot at it and must produce.

I liked the lineup change on Sunday, putting Witte in the two hole. Odell might be a bit light for the four hole, but he also needs some protection behind him, something Brett Johnson has yet to provide.

Quick Note: Special props to Jerrick Suiter, who absolutely killed at least three balls that were caught by some outfielder on the run. Keep grinding, they will fall eventually.

I could go on about the lineup, but I think we honestly have a bit of a sample size problem. Next week, with about 25 at bats underneath everyone, things will be easier to digest. Maybe.

One note on Paul Hendrix, who we had thought might play more: You see now why he didn't get the nod. The kid is dripping with tools and projection, but he also has a tendency to drop easy pop-ups, like he did yesterday. At shortstop, you have to consider defense first, and in a close series where each game will be a pitchers duel, I wouldn't want shaky defense in the outfield either. When Suiter is healthy and playing the outfield (not far away), I could see Hendrix in a DH role. But, for now, he is blocked in a couple places, and Sunday's performance won't earn him a ton more chances.

- No weekeday game this week, so enjoy a few days off, we will pick things up again on Wednesday/Thursday in preparation for CSF.

TCU BASEBALL RECRUITING CLASSES

Here are the commits I have for TCU Baseball, classes of 2013 and 2014.

2014 Class
Noah McGowan, OF
Justin Twine, IF/RHP
Austen Wade, OF

Drew Gooch, LHP
Tyler Kolek, RHP

2013 Class
Connor Beck, OF
Garrett Crain, IF
Will Foreman, OF/C
Will Fox, OF
Eric Garza, MIF
Billy McKinney, OF/1B
Walker Pennington, IF/OF
TJ Scott, OF
Ty Slanina, OF

Tyler Alexander, LHP
Ryan Burnett, LHP
Brandon Gilson, LHP
Brian Howard, RHP
Jordan Kipper, RHP
Alex Mata, RHP
Robby Medel, RHP


PROFESSIONAL FROGS

(Name, Team, Separated by Final 2012 Level)

Major Leagues
Andrew Cashner (Padres)
Matt Carpenter (Cardinals)
Scott Atchison (Mets)
Bryan Holaday (Tigers)

Triple AAA
Jake Arrieta (Orioles)
Sam Demel (Astros)
Chad Huffman (Indians)
Matt Curry (Pirates)

Double AA
(none)

High A
Greg Holle (Brewers)
Jerome Pena (Orioles)
Kyle Winkler (Diamondbacks)

Low A
Taylor Featherston (Rockies)
Tyler Lockwood (Red Sox)

Low A Short Season
Kyle Von Tungeln (Rockies)

Rookie League
Josh Elander (Braves)
Kevin Allen (Royals)
Erik Miller (Reds)
Kaleb Merck (Twins)
Matt Purke (Nationals)

Independent League
Joseph Weik
Brad Furnish

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