After 29 games, we've made it a little more than halfway through our 56 game regular season schedule. That means that it is time for midterm grades. How have our players fared so far? Read below to find out. David Phillips beware!
Aaron Barrett (I wish he had that awesome goatee in this picture)
At the beginning of the season, many thought that our pitching staff was rather impressive. Pom Pom was on fire, Barrett was surprisingly good, and it seemed like Rory McKean was our only liability out of the bullpen. My oh my how things change.
Quick Recap: During opening weekend, our pitchers did fairly well. We would have even had a sweep if Rory McKean was not terrible. Our starting pitching gave up three runs on the entire weekend, and the bullpen only allowed one run outside of McKean. Everyone was shocked with how good our pitching staff looked and was overwhelmingly impressed with Aaron Barrett.
The longer that the season wore on, the more our pitching staff was exposed. Our starters, Pom and Barrett, looked really good. In just the third week of play, our Sunday starter position tanked and has been unstable to this point. Our bullpen began to show signs of weakness on March 20th when David Goforth tried to give the game to Kentucky. His season would begin to crumble at this point, and Huber would step into the closer role.
Goforth would continue to get pounded and pounded and give up homerun after homerun. That is, until he started against Mississippi State and gave up two runs on three hits in 5.2 innings. He had another positive start this past weekend.
Drew Pomeranz has been very good this season. He struggled a little bit on Friday against Tennessee as he gave up a season high 3 runs. You know a pitcher is good when "struggling" is 3 runs. He has climbed up to #1 in the pitching power rankings on Rivals.com, and it will be interesting if Rivals (Kendall Rogers) forgives him for last Friday. For the season, he is 5-0 with a 1.65 ERA. He has struck out 65 and has a .178 average against. In SEC play, he is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA. He has struck out 25 and has a .155 average against. Midterm Grade: A+
Aaron Barrett has been a very nice surprise this season. Without him, I can confidently say we would have at least 3 less wins. He was phenomenal in opening weekend and did not allow a run. His worst outing of the season came last Saturday as he allowed three runs (two earned) in 6.2 innings. Once again, if your starter is only giving up two earned runs on a bad day, then he is a pretty good pitcher. Last season, Aaron Barrett had an 8.70 ERA. This season, Barrett is 6-1 on the year with a 2.55 ERA. He has struck out 53 and has a .217 average against. In SEC play, he is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA. He has struck out 23 and has a .247 average against. Midterm Grade: A
David Goforth began the season as the closer and relinquished the role in the Kentucky series. It was shocking just how bad he got after a 2.80 ERA in his debut last season. Apparently, the other teams got the memo that he only throws a fastball. This season, he has a 6.75 ERA (37.12 SEC ERA). Midterm Grade: He flunked some tests in the middle of the nine weeks, and that brings down his grade to a D-.
Matt Tracy came into this year having only pitched a miniscule number of innings over the past two seasons. Bianco hailed him as the most consistent pitcher during fall ball, and he did not disappoint in the beginning. However, he struggled at times when thrust into the Sunday role. His most recent performance was solid as he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth in the Governor's Cup. He has a 5.34 ERA (12.74 SEC ERA) Midterm Grade: C-.
Brett Huber is trying to establish himself as the closer, but he has struggled with control in high stress situations. He has a 3.48 ERA (4.76 SEC ERA) and has performed admirably at times. However, his tendency to walk people will hurt us in the future. Just as easily as he may walk someone, he will surprise you and get the clutch strikeout. Midterm Grade: B-
Eric Callender and his molest-ache have registered a 3.86 ERA (5.14 SEC ERA) this season. Callender was unknown to the Rebel faithful prior to this season, but he has performed admirably at times. Just like the rest of the bullpen, he has struggled in SEC play. He is good enough that Bianco can be confident in his for an inning or two of relief. Midterm Grade: B
Trent Rothlin was in the weekend rotation, but he fell victim to the Sunday curse. His first two outings were rather positive as he allowed one earned run in his first two starts. Along with the rest of the team, he forgot how to play every Sunday after that. Since falling out of the rotation, Bianco has used him out of the pen. He has a 4.61 ERA (6.35 SEC ERA) and opponents are hitting him at a .220 clip. He has shown flashes of promise, but his numbers remain the same as when he was at JUCO. Midterm grade: C-
Matt Crouse: 2.70 ERA (0.00 SEC ERA) C- for control issues
Rory McKean: 6.48 ERA F for sucking as an experienced senior