Welcome back to the Monday Morning Manager! Wait, welcome back? Have we been here before? Well, kinda. If you are a follower from KillerFrogs.com you will remember this semi-weekly feature from the "Around The Diamond" blog. Notes on current and former Frog baseball players, videos, and general fun.
A quick programming note, I will soon begin the process of moving the old blog onto Frogs O' War, you will be able to go back through the story archives and read the old work. This week, I will specifically make sure and update everyone on the Frogs 2012 class, which is pretty freakin' awesome. So keep an eye out for that, but first let's get to some notes.
- One of those 2012 signees is Rockwall-Heath's Jake Thompson, who is having a strong senior season. Last week, he had an especially strong showing: pitching a complete game- one hitter with 10 strikeouts. He also added three hits and is a good candidate to go both ways at TCU, similar to current stud freshman Jerrick Suiter.
- As far as TCU alumni are concerned, the four current major leaguers should be the main focus of Frog baseball fans... And a quick heads up, I always include links to every current professional players stats and their current playing level in each Monday Morning Manager, just check it out below.
- Jake Arrieta had himself a great start for the Orioles, an opening day shut down performance (of the Twins) that has Orioles fans excited. The Orioles swept the Twins this weekend and are clearly headed to the World Series..............................................
- Matt Carpenter also got into some action as a pinch hitter, coming up with a two run double. He also got his first start of the year, at first base. Expect him to play there, third base, second base and some left field if necessary. It is great to see Carpenter get an extended look through the first part of this year, the Cardinals clearly like what he brings to the table in terms of versatility.
- Scott Atchison and Andrew Cashner are holding down bullpen spots in the Red Sox and Padres bullpens, respectively. Atchison is still the same old, gritty veteran he has always been and Cashner has been literally blowing people away this year, sitting 99-101 with his fastball. Think Theo is mad he traded him away? Yes, yes he is.
- Steven Maxwell, who was drafted by the Cubs last summer but was not signed due to some outstanding injury concerns, was signed by the Cubs on February 2nd and was subsequently released a day later. Typically this is due to injury concerns and is a procedural move where teams sign guys as a "respect" play, but I will hold off on commenting until we know something more.
- Lance Broadway, formerly of the White Sox, Blue Jays and the Mike Tyson school of conflict resolution is currently a free agent. No word if the lawsuit filed against him in 2010 is still ongoing.
- Matt Purke will start 2012 in extended spring training while on the disabled list for High A Potomac. He will join the team once his arm strength has been worked up.
- Obviously, the really big news from the weekend was that of Preston Morrison's performance, which was nothing short of studly. Before we get into how good he was, let me just say that while I support the move and I don't think you can NOT start him again, I am fearful of how the innings he is now leaving open in the middle of the game will be handled going forward. While Scharf and Allen have been very good in situations, ultimately one of Teakell, Frey or Finnegan will have to step up and get some consistent outs.
- For Morrison, 8 2/3 innings of 7 hit, 2 run ball was good enough for a 5-2 win, an exclamation mark on what should be a turning point for the Frogs. If we are going to be honest with ourselves about this years team, then ultimately the goal should not be Omaha or bust, but rather "find yourselves" or bust. Ultimately, the final 19 games of this season will decide how 2012 is remembered by TCU Baseball fans, it is a stretch TCU could really turn things on in and get moving forward before the league tournament gets started.
-Preston Morrison's Freshman Year Thus Far
11 Appearances, most on the team
46.2 Innings, most on the team
1.35 ERA, second lowest on the team
4 Wins, second most on the team
3 Walks, tied for fewest on the team (minimum 5 appearances)
That, my friends, is getting it done. And, he hasn't thrown anything past 88 mph this season, it has been all about LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.
- Friday was a tough loss, but you have to love how this team rebounded Saturday (4-0 shutout) and Sunday. Speaking with several staff members and players, the message about this team is simple: We were injured, and are getting healthy. We were playing poorly, we are getting better. We have good leadership and grind hard, but sometimes we just can't get loose and play baseball. There is a great story from a couple of years ago where Jake Arrieta, known work-a-holic, was constantly in the gym lifting weights and Jim Schlossnagle had to ban him from using the gym so he could rest and get ready to pitch. This year, Jim's biggest task has been to get this team to just play baseball right now, and nothing can help that more than winning. A win on Wednesday against UTSA makes it three in a row, and that my friends is a winning streak.
TCU Baseball- Brance Rivera Catch (via TCUSuperFrog)
Low A Short Season
Jerome Pena (Orioles)- Aberdeen Ironbirds