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October 28, 2013
Chad Holbrook doesn't know who his number three starter is going to be this season or who will close, but he feels like he's nearer to decisions on those two spots than he was two months ago.
Meeting with the media to wrap up fall practice, Holbrook had nothing but praise for his newcomers and a team that's loaded with young potential to go along with proven mettle.
"We had a good fall," Holbrook said. "We saw some really good play from some position players, our young pitchers were very impressive for the most part and some of our older guys have improved.
"Tanner walked thirteen times, which is new for Tanner. He's learning to be more patient. Good to get (Max) Schrock back in there. He had twenty-five at-bats after he got hurt and had thirteen hits. All in all it was a good fall."
As to the third starter and closer, Holbrook said some names are beginning to emerge.
"Me and Coach (Jerry) Meyers talk about those (positions) daily," Holbrook said. "If you base it off this weekend, (junior college transfer) Cody Mincey was extremely impressive at the end of the game. He came in with the bases loaded and nobody out and didn't let a run across.
"He had a swing-and-miss slider, he competed, his velocity was up to about ninety-two miles per hour, which was for the first time all fall and he's an older guy, so you like to have an older guy at he end of the game. That makes us feel a little bit better. He showed a sense of maturity that we hadn't seen earlier in the fall.
"I was worried about Cody a little bit earlier in the fall from a velocity standpoint, stuff standpoint, but his last three or four outings have been extremely impressive.
"If I had to go on this weekend's performance, I would say Cody has a good shot at getting some meaningful outs at the end of the game."
While Holbrook feels he's a bit closer to a closer, so to speak, the No. 3 weekend starting position is one that still is wide open, with a few true freshman making strong cases for long looks.
"There's a lot of competition going on there," Holbrook said. "That's going to continue to go on.
"(True freshman) Josh Reagan can make the case that he's been our most consistent pitcher all fall, and that's old guys, young guys, the whole team. He threw twenty innings and had a one-point-three-five ERA and walked one. He has an idea how to pitch.
"(True freshman) Will Crowe was certainly impressive for us as well. John Parke was impressive, Taylor Widener threw the ball very well in his first extended outing.
"Competition is still going on there, and we probably won't know who that is until Thursday, February thirteenth."
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