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Monday Morning Manager: April 16th, 2012

Jim Schlossnagle knows this team will ultimately be judged on its final 19 games, not the up and down start to 2012. <a href="http://keithr.zenfolio.com/p994341536/h283d05bb#h283d05bb" target="new">(PHOTO BY KEITH ROBINSON)</a>
Jim Schlossnagle knows this team will ultimately be judged on its final 19 games, not the up and down start to 2012. (PHOTO BY KEITH ROBINSON)

Welcome back to the Monday Morning Manager, where the last week has seen an unprecedented rise in pride for former Frog ballplayers. All four former Frogs currently in the major leagues continue to perform well, but none more than UIF Matt Carpenter. More on this, and all things TCU Baseball, in this weeks Monday Morning Manager.

NOTES

- Seems like I am talking about TCU commit Jake Thompson every week now... His most recent accomplishment: A14 strike out performance and an important divisional win.

- We will talk about the #Final19 in just a little bit, but lets not underestimate this current six game win streak. More importantly, lets not overestimate its importance either. Taking care of teams you should beat is one thing, something TCU wasn't doing before but is now. It is another thing to take on a team with your talent level and not get clobbered. That, will ultimately be TCU's task going forward this season.

- Chad Huffman is off to a hot start for the AAA Clippers, I would love to see Chad make it back to the major leagues this year and prove he can stick there. 2011 was, for all intents and purposes, a lost year of development for him.

- Matt Carpenter is doing everything he can to prove he could be an everyday major league player. With Lance Berkman out for the weekend with a calf injury, Carp was turned to and he hasn't disappointed: .300+ AVG, 10 RBI and a HR to boot. Of course, decisions will have to be made once the veterans are healthy again, but if anything Matt has showed he can be valuable in a number of different roles, making him both a nice tool and a wonderful trade chip.

- While you certainly are proud of the work that all the TCU alums are doing in the pros, the one slight disappointment thus far has to be Andrew Cashner's control. Cash was very solid in the spring and I didn't expect him to struggle like this at all. But, I am sure he will get things under control and continue to improve. The Padres aren't going anywhere in 2012 so the ultimate goal has to be health and continued development for the young right hander.

- TCU's RPI after the weekend sweep is up to 43 with its strength of schedule holding steady at 44. According to Boyds World, which is solid, the Frogs will have to go undefeated this year to finish within the top 17-32 of year end RPI rankings. Hosting a regional is likely out of the picture, but this team is certainly still eyeing a #2-3 seed down the line.

- The final 19 games start Tuesday with Louisianna- Monroe. The final nine series pit the Frogs against seven different teams, ranked by current RPI ranking:
1. Texas A&M (6)
2. Oklahoma (56)
3. Louisiana-Monroe (94)
4. New Mexico (107)
5. San Diego State (158)
6. Manhattan (224)
7. Air Force (260)

It is easy to place an emphasis on the big games, one at College Station and two vs. Oklahoma, but it might actually be more important to protect against a bad loss to Air Force or Manhattan during a weekend series. Regardless, with TCU figuring things out at just the right time, this streak should be telling. Either the team will step forward and build on its progress thus far, or it will regress and fold in the face of pressure. I, for one, am betting on success.

WEEKEND SERIES REVIEW

- Nothing like three games against Air Force and there is nothing like a sweep. Sure, Air Force may be (literally) the worst team TCU will play in 2012, but hey they put a team on the field like everyone else right? I think the positives you take out of this series are great:
A) We didn't play down to their level, we stayed steady
B) We were better defensively, better offensively and steady on the mound
C) Preston Morrison faced adversity and dealt with it

- Jantzen Witte is taking big steps towards getting back to full form. He still doesn't look to be quite there yet, but better with every game. Flexibility, getting on the field in back-to-back games and not looking stiff are all signs of improvement.

- Where would this team be without Jerrick Suiter? Preston Morrison?

- I like this new weekend rotation too, Stefan on Sunday, Mitchell on Friday and Morrison on Saturday. I honestly am not worried about the upcoming weekend series, this rotation can handle it. The weekday games are bigger in terms of RPI numbers, maybe some combination of Suiter, Finnegan and Teakell? Not fantastic, but it might get it done for one of those big three games. Tuesday, May 1st, 6:30pm is a big day for this team, Oklahoma comes to Fort Worth. How about we exercise some demons!?

VIDEO CORNER

TCU AFA Game 1 Highlights 2012.avi (via HornedFrogBaseball)

TCU AFA Game 2 Highlights 2012.avi (via HornedFrogBaseball)

TCU AFA Game 3 Highlights 2012.avi (via HornedFrogBaseball)


PROFESSIONAL FROGS

Major Leagues
Andrew Cashner (Padres)
Jake Arrieta (Orioles)
Matt Carpenter (Cardinals)
Scott Atchison (Red Sox)

Triple AAA
Sam Demel (Diamondbacks)- Reno Aces
Chad Huffman (Indians)- Columbus Clippers
Bryan Holaday (Tigers)- Toledo Mud Hens

Double AA
Brent Allar (Marlins)- Jacksonville Suns
Matt Curry (Pirates)- Altoona Curve

High A
Greg Holle (Brewers)- Brevard County Manatees
Kyle Winkler (Diamondbacks)- Visalia Rawhide
Matt Purke (Nationals)- Potomac Nationals

Low A
Erik Miller (Reds)- Dayton Dragons
Taylor Featherston (Rockies)- Asheville Tourists
Tyler Lockwood (Red Sox)- Greenville Drive

Low A Short Season
Jerome Pena (Orioles)- Aberdeen Ironbirds

Independent League
Steven Maxwell- Joliet Slammers

Yet To Be Assigned
Jimmie Pharr (Brewers)- Rookie Arizona League
Joseph Weik (Diamondbacks)- Rookie Arizona League
Bryan Kervin (Blue Jays)- Vancouver Canadians