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Midweek Musings: TCU Baseball is a postseason Bubble Team

The Frogs likely won’t be hosting games this postseason, and at this point, aren’t even a lock to make it in the field.

TCU Baseball vs Long Beach State 2.25.18
TCU Baseball vs Long Beach State 2.25.18
Melissa Triebwasser

TCU Baseball has been all but a guarantee to play deep into the summer each year, with Omaha seeming more like an expectation than a treat. That’s what happens when you make four straight trips to baseball’s promised land.

Not even the prospect of replacing two great starting pitchers, all but two of your starting position players, and most of your clubhouse leaders seemed to not dissuade fans in the slightest that the Frogs would be Omaha-bound once again. Even the members of the college baseball media believed in TCU and the Power of Schloss, with most naming the Frogs a preseason Top 10 team and several predicting them to be in the eight team field in Nebraska come June.

Well, just over two months into the season, Frog fans have gone from Omaha to No-maha, and are just hoping TCU finds a way to stay in the field of 64. Hosting a regional is likely out of the question. Making one isn’t a guarantee, either.

In their most recent playoff predictions, D1 Baseball had TCU as “one of their last five in”. That position is a tenuous one for a TCU team that has been inconsistent at best in 2018, their youth showing time and time again in big spots. Fans will be watching the baseball bubble as close (or maybe more closely) than the basketball one this past winter, hoping that TCU can string together enough wins for the stretch run to secure their spot before the Big 12 Tournament. But remaining on the schedule for the Frogs are two tournament teams (Texas Tech, currently ranked #3, and Texas, who sits at #21) as well as rival Baylor and a West Virginia team that had their number a season ago in Morgantown. Currently sitting at fifth in the conference, the Frogs are just three games out of first place, and should they be able to win three of their four series, could be right back in the mix and flip the narrative. The combined record of their final four Big 12 opponents is just 24-24 in conference play, with Texas leading the charge at 11-4, Tech sitting at 8-4, Baylor struggling at 3-9, and WVU a shocking 2-7. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are tied at 9-3 apiece, and took five of six games from the Frogs.

D1 has TCU traveling to Durham, NC currently, where they would be hosted by #9 Duke (30-7, 12-5), and playing in a regional field that also includes Highpoint and Illinois. D1 Baseball also has Chapel Hill and Raleigh as host sites though, and I find it hard to believe all three locations will get the nod in the final field. But the prospect of Schloss’ squad playing their first round playoff series out of state, something they haven’t done since 2008 (Stillwater), and done only twice overall - both in Oklahoma - is looking more and more likely (this has to be a HUGE relief for Aggie fans).

The Frogs enter the series with Baylor in Waco having won four of their last five games games, but dropped one of those that you have to win Tuesday and could potentially be without their best offensive player for the stretch run - after Luken Baker left Tuesday night’s game with a yet to be determined leg injury. The Frogs have also been without Jared Janczak at times, and he is just now working his way back into the rotation. Much like football and basketball, Jim Schlossnagle will turn to the next man up philosophy. TCU has the talent to make a run to, and through, the postseason - but they have a lot of work left to do to get the opportunity to prove themselves on the biggest stage once again.