Monday Morning Manager: March 10th, 2014

Monday Morning Manager - TCU Baseball - TCU Athletics

After taking a week off, the Monday Morning Manager returns with grim news for TCU fans regarding this years Diamond Frogs. Can they boys of summer turn things around?

WEEK IN REVIEW

- Sorry for disappearing, life/work got in the way. One of the negatives of a growing career is that the smaller things on the side occasionally get obscured. My apologies.

- So, everyone in Frog nation is talking about this team. After my last report, TCU went on a skid, losing to UTA, losing two of three in Houston, winning in extras against DBU before losing two of three this weekend. Overall, that is 3-5 over a stretch of games they really needed to go 5-3 during.

I'm not going to talk stats here... I am not going to highlight the negatives in the lineup, or Morrison's struggles, or Kippers. I'm not going to talk injuries. There was plenty bad over the last few weeks.

And yes, I agree on the fact that the bats have gone quiet and yes that is concerning, but let us look at this in a different light...

- The Frogs started 2014 strong, 6-1 against soft opposition, or exactly what you would want.

Then they got cocky, and lost at home to a UTA team that is NOT great but is experienced.

Then they lost two of three games against three post-season quality teams.

Then they came home and grinded out a win against an OK team.

Then they lost two of three against M-ST, but in all reality only played 1 bad game.

Before looking ahead, let's talk first about this skid... Instead of it being the end of the world, maybe it is just a team forgetting to play ball, then playing some really good teams really closely, while also working through some issues? Maybe, it's not an institutional problem, but just a bump in the road.

- Whatever it was, it's in the past and the upcoming week is going to be critically important for the Frogs. Tuesday they play Rice in Houston, a game they really need to win, and then they have Dartmouth in here next weekend, which should be three wins and three confidence boosters heading into Big 12 play the next week.

If, the Frogs can pull out the win in Houston and sweep Dartmouth, they will have a five game winning streak heading into Big 12 play, the Frogs will be rolling once again and all will right in the world. Sure, the losses against UTA and M-ST will burn, but from my seat these guys still have every opportunity to figure things out.

Or, that could not happen. The Frogs could fold.

But I have hope that this team is not 2013's team. I have hope this team knows that they do have talent and they shouldn't waste it. I have hope this team knows how to grind, that Mo knows what to do to get the lineup back in the black, and that the ship can be righted.

And just a reminder: This non-conference schedule, should the Frogs rattle off four straight Ws, went exactly according to plan. The Frogs new game plan is to grow up during non-conference play, figure some stuff out, and use the Big 12 schedule to build their postseason resume. As of the time I wrote this, the Big 12 had the best RPI in the nation, so a 13-6 TCU team is actually pretty well positioned to make a run.

So, here we go Frog fans, it's the final stretch before the real season starts, let's hope the Frogs take advantage of this opportunity to build their resume and be the team we know they can be.

Go Frogs.

NEWS & NOTES

- You can read all about TCU's troubles over the last two weekends over at GoFrogs, but forgive me for not linking that news here... I don't really want to relive it.

- One note: Preston Morrison was named Scholar Athlete of the Month by TCU for February.

FORMER FROGS

- Jake Arrieta is throwing off a mound after being slowed to start 2014 with shoulder pain. When he is healthy, he should join the Cubs rotation.

- Scott Atchison has pitched well so far in Indians camp, he is battling for a bullpen spot.

- Matt Carpenter inked a 6 year $53 million deal last week, giving him security and financial stability that only a few guys can dream of. Carp, who is slated to be the Cardinals opening day third baseman, is considered one of the best young players in the game and is now being paid accordingly.

- Andrew Cashner, hot of winning his arbitration case against the Padres (he will make $2.5 million in 2014), is healthy in San Diego's spring camp and should be a breakout candidate in MLB this year.

- Sam Demel is still battling to make the Dodgers opening day bullpen. Bryan Holaday, having recently made news by posing next to Kate Upton, is also doing well in spring training as the Tigers likely #2 catcher on opening day.

- Over the next few weeks as guys find out their MiLB homes, I will update the list below.

(Name, Team, Separated by highest/final professional level in 2013)

Major Leagues
Jake Arrieta (Cubs)
Scott Atchison (Indians)
Matt Carpenter (Cardinals)
Andrew Cashner (Padres)
Bryan Holaday (Tigers)

Triple AAA
Sam Demel (Dodgers)

Double AA
Matt Curry (Pirates)
Greg Holle (Brewers)

High A
Josh Elander (Braves)
Taylor Featherston (Rockies)
Jerome Pena (Orioles)
Matt Purke (Nationals)

Low A
Kevin Allen (Royals)
Jason Coats (White Sox)
Kyle Von Tungeln (Rockies)
Kyle Winkler (Diamondbacks)

Low A Short Season
Paul Hendrix (Indians)

Rookie League
Stefan Crichton (Orioles)
Nick Frey (Cardinals)
Andrew Mitchell (White Sox)
Trevor Seidenberger (Brewers)
Jantzen Witte (Red Sox)

Independent League
Joseph Weik (Amarillo Sox, American Association League)

German Baseball-Bundesliga
Tyler Lockwood (Heidenheim Heidekoepfe)

Japanese Pacific League
Chad Huffman (Chibba Lotte Marines)

RECRUITING UPDATE

A reminder, you can always keep up with TCU Baseball recruiting here... I keep all the recruiting classes as up to date as possible, it is always a good place to check.

2016 TCU Baseball Commitments

Trey Morris
HS Positions: RHP

2015 TCU Baseball Commitments

Luken Baker
HS Positions: RHP, CIF, OF

Austin Boyles
HS Positions: RHP

Braden Comeaux
HS Positions: SS, IF

Durbin Feltman
HS Positions: RHP, C

Ethan Franklin
HS Positions: RHP, 3B, OF

Ryan Johnson
HS Positions: OF, IF

Dillon Meadows
HS Positions: RHP, IF

Devon Roedahl
HS Positions: RHP

Joshua Watson
HS Positions: OF, C

2014 TCU Baseball Commitments

Bradley Barnett (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: MIF, CIF, DH

Francisco DeJesus (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: 1B, OF, LHP

Drew Gooch (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: LHP, 1B

Preston Guillory (JUCO) (SIGNED LOI)
JUCO Positions: RHP

Jared Janczak (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: OF, RHP, IF

Tyler Kolek (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: RHP, IF

Matt Myers (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: RHP, OF, C

Connor Reich
HS Positions: RHP, OF, IF

Evan Skoug (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: C, IF, OF

Justin Twine (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: MIF, OF, RHP

Kenneth Cullen Vaught
HS Positions: IF, RHP, C

Austen Wade (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: OF, LHP

Connor Wanhanen (SIGNED LOI)
HS Positions: OF, IF

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