All Things Gopher Baseball

From the Parkinglot

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What a mess tonight was..Minnesota 1 run on 11 hits and gush left all over the bases...Iowa 7 runs on 3 hits...this season might be the end of John Anderson
 

SomeGopherFan

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Outscored 31-2 in series by an average Iowa team. What is going on with this team?!?
 

From the Parkinglot

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They can’t pitch. They can’t hit. I watched some on Saturday and Minnesota had nonstop base runners the first 4 innings and failed to score.
 

Goldy Gopher

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What in the F has happened to the baseball program?
Thinking about it during the 2nd game of the doubleheader yesterday the 18-0 loss I went and looked at the roster a little more searching for more answers. What I came away with was we have 13 seniors and arguably there are maybe 2 guys contributing at the level you expected/figured they would when they came into the program and a number of guys have just had horrendous seasons. I know technically they can stay but I can't imagine much of this group of seniors is back next season, maybe 3-4 guys at most. Then you look at the juniors and there are 6 in that class but 2 very important pitchers you thought you'd get a lot out of have been horrendous this year.
The pitching just isn't consistent at all. The other thing is it seems like this years team just does not respond well and can't overcome something going against them. Whether it is a missed/bad call, a error, or something like that it always just seems to snowball. I expected a lot more out of the offense to start the season but it really struggled early. It has improved but still not very good situationally. There are some nice pieces on this team and from the start of the season I have seen some personal growth on the field from guys. This season has become all about development which a lot of guys missed a lot of that time this past year. You have some freshman and sophomores getting some important time on the field and at the plate right now and you want to see the improvement there. You're bringing in a 10 men class this fall and I think it is a really talented class. 5 of them are pitchers and those guys are gonna have a big opportunity to make a big impact right away I think. Wouldn't be surprised to see another couple pitchers added as well.
 

Goldy Gopher

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They can’t pitch. They can’t hit. I watched some on Saturday and Minnesota had nonstop base runners the first 4 innings and failed to score.
Friday game?
Yep just couldn't come through with a big hit. Had plenty of opportunities and Ireland really pitched well. Basically game got opened up because of the missed strike 3 call in the 6th I think, that would've ended the inning instead it turned into a walk and brought up the only guy who had solid contact to that point in the night and Ireland left a slider up and he hit a grand slam.
 

From the Parkinglot

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Friday game?
Yep just couldn't come through with a big hit. Had plenty of opportunities and Ireland really pitched well. Basically game got opened up because of the missed strike 3 call in the 6th I think, that would've ended the inning instead it turned into a walk and brought up the only guy who had solid contact to that point in the night and Ireland left a slider up and he hit a grand slam.
Yes Friday my bad. I believe he had a no hitter going into the sixth. It’s sad cause three years ago when they beat UCLA to go to the super regional and now they are getting blown away but subpar big ten teams.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Yes Friday my bad. I believe he had a no hitter going into the sixth. It’s sad cause three years ago when they beat UCLA to go to the super regional and now they are getting blown away but subpar big ten teams.
... and they played very well in that 2018 super regional in Corvallis against a dominant, national championship winning Oregon State team. That was a really good Gopher team.
 

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What happened to this program. They are currently losing 21-3 to Michigan. I was there in 2018 when they beat UCLA. I can’t believe what is happening. It’s embarrassing.
 

beavergopher

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What happened to this program. They are currently losing 21-3 to Michigan. I was there in 2018 when they beat UCLA. I can’t believe what is happening. It’s embarrassing.
They rallied back for a respectable 21-5 loss....
 

FatNTired

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What happened to this program. They are currently losing 21-3 to Michigan. I was there in 2018 when they beat UCLA. I can’t believe what is happening. It’s embarrassing.
What happened to this program. They are currently losing 21-3 to Michigan. I was there in 2018 when they beat UCLA. I can’t believe what is happening. It’s embarrassing.

As an outsider, it seems the pitching staff has suffered recently. Anderson recruits really well but there’s little progression on the mound since McDevitt took over. High level talent but not much development once they arrive on campus.
 

Lincoln gopher

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Last night, Gopher pitchers gave up 21 runs, 18 were earned, 14 walks, 3 wild pitches, 1 balk and 3 hit batters. Wow
 

MennoSota

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So who does Minnesota lose off this team for next year?
Who are keys back?
All I know is Ryan Duffy is a senior, but I don't even know if he's pitched as a reliever. I lost track from when he was in high school. Both he and his fellow pitcher Sam Bridges from So St Paul pretty much took up space rather than bring quality pitching. Not sure why. They had good stuff and threw in the low 90s out of high school.
 

Goldy Gopher

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So who does Minnesota lose off this team for next year?
Who are keys back?

Technically they all could come back. They have 13 seniors RHP-Josh Culliver, Nolan Burchill, and Patrick Fredrickson. LHP-Ryan Duffy, Bubba Horton, Tom Skoro, and Danny Kapala. OF-Easton Bertrand, Gabe Knowles, and Drew Hmielewski. IF-Ronnie Sweeny and Jack Wassel and utility guy Jack Kelly. None have really had a good year. Sweeny and Wassel have started most of the games. Sweeny is struggling average wise just .169 but has hit a lot of stuff hard and is tied for the lead in homeruns at 4. Wassel is at .274 and has dealt with some back issues this season. Bertrand started the year in center missed some time with injury and now is back in the lineup the last couple weeks but mostly against lefties. He has a ton of tools but really has never been able to put it all together. Knowles and Hmielewski have made a few appearances and primarily have been off the bench, these are probably the two that I'd be surprised by most if they used the extra year. Kelly has had a horrendous season hitting just .128 and has been replaced in the lineup the last couple weeks.
Pitching wise Culliver has the best numbers with a 5.73 ERA and he is still working back from tommy john last year. He is a guy I could see using his extra season next year. Its been a miserable year for Duffy, Skoro, Kapala, Fredrickson, and Burchill but all are still getting innings as there are limited options out of the bullpen. Couple of those guys have had really good seasons at this level previously too. Horton hasn't pitched since like the second week of the season after leaving with an injury.
Reusse had a good article out today. Touches on Anderson mentioning his contract is up this summer but he plans to be back next season. Roster size differences between teams. This year there isn't a limit but Gophers were supposed to be at 35(assuming Coyle limit?) they are at 37 with a few injuries. Next year you can have 40 but Anderson said he's been told to be at 35. That really is disappointing with the administration limiting the staff especially with the seniors being able to come back and the one time transfer rule. Other teams are gonna take advantage of it but we won't be able to. It is one thing if you don't want to add scholarship $$$ but just say you can't increase scholarships. The staff would be able to land some guys on minimum $$$ scholarships or even no money to still round out the roster.
Couple key things from the article that stood out to me.
The pandemic fallout allowed teams to go past the 35-player Division I limit to an unlimited number of players in 2021 (Michigan has 42) and to as many as 40 in 2022.

Anderson was told to stay at 35, what with Gophers programs being cut and an alleged gender-equity numbers issue. Baseball wound up at 37 this season, due to some injured athletes. The ceiling will be 35 in 2022, while the Bakiches are finding talented transfers to get to 40.

It's under the radar that baseball — as with football and basketball — had been a men's sport without free transfers until last week. Now that the transfer portal is set as the sweet nectar of second chances, Anderson must give it a try, but with fewer openings.

"We have nine freshman recruits coming in, and everybody on our current roster would be able come back," Anderson said. "Zach Raabe is going to get drafted and will probably sign … maybe a couple others.


"In 40 years, I've never asked a player that we recruited to leave the program just because it didn't work out for him here. But we're going to have to do something to be at 35."
 
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ClassOf98Gopher

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I gotta say I agree with Coyle on this one. You extend some extra roster spots in the situation where you know you have a good team that can make a real run and you want some insurance with a couple extra players on the roster. Michigan’s position made sense; they have a team to work with, to insure. But, with middling (at-best) capabilities that this 2021 team clearly had, it just wasn’t worth sinking the extra financial cost. For what?

And you really should be able to easily field a baseball team with 35 players - a pitching staff with 16-18 pitchers. Anything more and there just are not enough baseballs to go around. Players get frustrated by their lack of opportunities.

I have tracked softball more than baseball recently and I could tell you that the 2021 softball team was a team that an AD may want to risk the cost of adding a roster spot or two for the purposes of having extra “insurance.” However, there just wasn’t much to insure with this baseball team. The proof of that is right there for us all to see.

Let’s hope 14 had a much better team on the field in a year or two.
 

Goldy Gopher

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I gotta say I agree with Coyle on this one. You extend some extra roster spots in the situation where you know you have a good team that can make a real run and you want some insurance with a couple extra players on the roster. Michigan’s position made sense; they have a team to work with, to insure. But, with middling (at-best) capabilities that this 2021 team clearly had, it just wasn’t worth sinking the extra financial cost. For what?

And you really should be able to easily field a baseball team with 35 players - a pitching staff with 16-18 pitchers. Anything more and there just are not enough baseballs to go around. Players get frustrated by their lack of opportunities.

I have tracked softball more than baseball recently and I could tell you that the 2021 softball team was a team that an AD may want to risk the cost of adding a roster spot or two for the purposes of having extra “insurance.” However, there just wasn’t much to insure with this baseball team. The proof of that is right there for us all to see.

Let’s hope 14 had a much better team on the field in a year or two.
I completely disagree. What is the cost of a roster spot? I'm not saying they need extra scholarships but at least let them extend the roster as they see fit like other programs are able to.
So we know now that this team has had a terrible season but that wasn't the expectation coming into the year. They returned a veteran offense and were expected to compete for a playoff spot as a top 4-5 B1G team. Michigan not only let their coach use the extra roster space I believe they sunk in more scholarship $$$. Minnesota and Michigan are not that far apart talent wise or success wise either. Michigan had the CWS run right after Minnesota was on the door step of reaching the CWS being eliminated by the eventual champion Oregon State losing a late lead in game 2 and dealing with some controversial umping as well.
You add a couple reliable veteran pitchers to this years Gopher team and that record would look a lot different. You'd be looking at a team that is something like 15-9 and with a lot to play for coming down the stretch.
 

TNGophfan

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Sorry, agree with class of 98. What, we're they going to bring in Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson? They are bad this year. Don't hit well in the clutch and pitching overall has been poor or worse. A couple more players (probably no 4 or 5 star) would have made little difference, maybe 1 or 2 wins.

You're dillussional if you think they would be 15-9. BTW, love 14 and all he had done but he doesn't need to have excuses made for a very poor season.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Sorry, agree with class of 98. What, we're they going to bring in Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson? They are bad this year. Don't hit well in the clutch and pitching overall has been poor or worse. A couple more players (probably no 4 or 5 star) would have made little difference, maybe 1 or 2 wins.

You're dillussional if you think they would be 15-9. BTW, love 14 and all he had done but he doesn't need to have excuses made for a very poor season.
No I know how bad they are this year and know what has changed games. I've seen every inning of every game and know how they have turned. Are you kidding with 1 or 2 wins? I can absolutely without a doubt in my mind say they would've swept the Michigan State series for 2 more wins, took at least 1 more game against Northwestern and Illinois as each of those series had a loss by bullpen collapse, and would have picked up a win against Nebraska as well. That is 5 more wins right there and those are only the ones that I have no doubt in my mind would have changed. There are another 4-5 you can say would at worst have been 50/50 outcomes. A couple more reliable pitchers change how you manage an entire game as a coaching staff.
My larger point though is not so much whether a couple additions would have made a difference or not it is why is the staff not allowed to fill the roster like these other programs these next two years? They aren't asking for more scholarship dollars for these roster spots so what would it hurt?
 

Good KNight

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Agree Goldie.
And I have been closely watching the new guys coming this Fall.Some serious stud pitchers will make a huge difference.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I guess my question to you is if Coyle had approved 3-5 more roster spots and the associated costs that went with those sports (travel, insurance, etc) how do you know that they would have been occupied by at least two “reliable pitchers?”

Of the current 19... I repeat 19... players on the roster who are listed as potential pitchers, how many of those would you consider “reliable?”

I just doubt there is any guarantee those additional roster spots would be occupied by pitchers any better or more “reliable” than the pitchers we currently have on the roster.
 

Goldy Gopher

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I guess my question to you is if Coyle had approved 3-5 more roster spots and the associated costs that went with those sports (travel, insurance, etc) how do you know that they would have been occupied by at least two “reliable pitchers?”

Of the current 19... I repeat 19... players on the roster who are listed as potential pitchers, how many of those would you consider “reliable?”

I just doubt there is any guarantee those additional roster spots would be occupied by pitchers any better or more “reliable” than the pitchers we currently have on the roster.
Pitching as a whole has been completely unreliable for the Gophers this season. I'd say the only real consistency we have had there is Ireland and Liffrig. There were a couple grad transfers they were after last spring/summer and both have had pretty strong years this season.
Again to me it is less about who/how they fill that roster out and it changing outcomes and more just about why they weren't allowed to fill the roster as they saw needed this year and next year that I completely disagree with.
 

Goldy Gopher

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Agree Goldie.
And I have been closely watching the new guys coming this Fall.Some serious stud pitchers will make a huge difference.
Keep getting solid starts from Ireland and Liffrig, get a Massey and Schoeberl to return to what they showed last season, maybe add a grad transfer and get Culliver back for an extra year, get a couple guys back from injury like Anderson and Klassen add in Clausen, Willis, Malec, Novotny, and Rooney and you can have a pretty solid group. I think Raabe probably ends up leaving but I'd be surprised if you lost much else from the lineup, maybe Wassel as he is a 5th year senior already but you should have a pretty experienced lineup back as well.
 

TNGophfan

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Hope you're right about next year as this year is lost. Think you have to look a little at the recruiting and coaching if pitching struggles this badly, even considering injuries.

You follow this closer than I do so a serious, legit question. You point to Michigan adding roster spots (42) I think yiu said. What are all the other BIG teams doing? Like MN or like MI?
 
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