FA, what is the update on Fields and Dennis. I heard from someone that Dan Fields decided to sign with the Tigers, but I haven't been able to get confirmation, and my understanding was that his signing process was going to be drawn out. Dennis was going on some trip to Tampa to talk to Longoria, but I've found no new information.
Summer Baseball Update – MGoMerger Edition
Hi. I'm formerlyanonymous. You may recognize me from other Michigan sports blogs as Maize 'n Brew and Varsity Blue. For those of you not familiar with my posts, my primary topic has been Michigan baseball. Obviously the season is a well over, but I'm also following our players through their summer leagues. There are plans on the table to include more non-revenue sports in the future, and info on that will come after the dust of MGoMerger settles.
Also, for those with concerns about "non-revenue sports clogging your mgoblog internet tubes," the current plan is for my posts to be presented on Sundays. Brian's previous football season schedules have generally left Sunday open for reflection on the previous days game with the column like post on Monday. I'm hoping these non-revenue posts will take up that open space and not interfere too much with your football dependency – at least during the football season.
To see the previous summer baseball update, visit Varsity Blue (July 4th Edition). Also, those of you familiar with the team or my previous posts, I'll try to remember to include some information on who these players are in this post, but I'll go ahead and apologize up front. You're basically walking into the last line before the credits of a movie. You've missed all of the introductions, action, climax, and a majority of the falling action. I promise there will be less parentheses in future posts.
Honors – Several players have received honorable mention for Pitcher and Hitter of the Nights, as well as Team Players of the Week. Hitter and Pitcher of the Night are named by SummerBall. Charts:
|7/9||Tyler Mills||Northwoods||Hitter of the Night Honorable Mention||2/4, HR, 3 RBI, R|
|7/11||Tyler Burgoon||Cape Cod||Pitcher of the Night Honorable Mention||1 IP, 3 K|
|7/16||Kevin Vangheluwe||Northwoods||Pitcher of the Night Honorable Mention||1 IP, K|
|7/17||Matt Miller||Northwoods||Pitcher of the Night Honorable Mention||2 IP, BB, 4 K|
|7/24||Mike Dufek||Leesburg||Player of the Week||On Sunday,went 3/5 with HR, and a walk of single|
The Cape Cod League (the most respected league) – Tyler Burgoon (Michigan's sophomore closer) has continued to be the best Michigan player this summer and ergo making the most news. As of the 20th, he’s racked up 17.1 innings of work with a 1-1 record and a 0.00 ERA. His 9 saves lead the league and his 27 strikeouts (14.2 per 9 innings) is ridiculous. He made the Cape Cod All Star Game at Fenway, but alas, the rain ended the game in just the 4th inning. He was slated to throw the 9th (or as necessary). Meanwhile, Ryan LaMarre (Michigan's starting left fielder and 3-hole hitter) still struggles, but less badly by comparison. He’s now got his average up to .243, good for third on the Gateman team. He’s also second on the team in RBIs with 12.
Prospect League – Garrett Stephens (back up 1st baseman who sees time when Dufek pitches) represented UM and the Richmond RiverRats at the Prospect League All Star game. He’s currently 8th in the league with 21 RBIs. John Lorenz hasn’t seen much playing time since the last update.
Lima Locos – Lots of good has been coming out of Lima lately. Kolby Wood (occasional 4th starter) has his ERA down to 0.66 in 11 relief appearances stretching 13.2 innings. His three saves are good for second on the team, which makes me contemplate his role next season for Michigan. Could we see another attempt at moving Burgoon to starter and put Kolby Wood as the closer? Looks good on paper right now.
Meanwhile, Bobby Brosnahan (redshirted last year as a freshman) is cruising right along with a 2.35 ERA over 15 innings pitched thus far. He’s making his case to be a middle inning or set up guy next season as a redshirt freshman. The last Michigan player with the Locos is short stop Anthony Toth (starter) has raised his average from .215 to .281 and has played solid defense.
Also, Toth was interviewed in a piece about baseball gloves by the LimaOhio.com. To give you a small sample of why baseball budgets are fairly large:
“We have a contract at Michigan with Louisville Slugger. The rep just came, had a bunch of models out and we got to pick out whichever one felt best. I went with that one and it worked out pretty well. … I think this is a $320 glove.”
That’s just one glove for one player. Not multiply that by the 20 or so on the roster, plus backup gloves each player probably has, you’ve got yourself quite the bill just for fielding gloves.
Alexandria Beetles – Again with the closers Michigan’s been developing, Matt Miller (one of our setup men) has 7 on the season, 4 in the last three weeks. He’s dropped his ERA a full run over that time. Kevin Vanghelwue (saw very limited time during the season and what he did wasn't good) also is pitching better and has lowered his ERA almost 2 runs. Tyler Mills (redshirted as a freshman this year) isn’t playing much. The freshman is just 6/36 hitting in limited playing time.
Valley League – At Fort Royal, Jeff DeCarlo (left handed reliever who saw little time) is pitching so far above his normal level I’m just perplexed. The guy has a 2.35 ERA now, and since the last update he’s thrown 5 appearances (9.2 IP) and only given up one earned run. He hasn’t even hit a batter in that stretch. He got a save? Who is this guy? His teammate Kevin Krantz (redshirted as a freshman this year) has tailed off and seems to be seeing less and less playing time. Krantz's defense has been spotty at best at third/shortstop. His batting average has also fallen .050 points to .239.
At Winchester, Brandon Sinnery’s (another occasional fourth starter) had a rough 3 starts, but his team has bailed him out each time. His ERA jumped from 2.00 to 4.31, but he has kept his 9 K’s-per-9-IP. Teammate Matt Gerbe (one of our setup men) continues to watch his ERA fall, this time from 9.69 to 6.29. It’s good to see he’s doing better since moving back to the bullpen.
Mike Dufek for the Lightning
Leesburg Lightning – Alan Oaks (right fielder and pitcher) went 1-1 over three starts in the last 3 weeks. His ERA has dropped to only 3.89, but his strikeout to walk ratio over the last 3 starts is 9:7 which isn’t good. Those walks have to go down. Eric Katzman (left handed pitcher) has just one relief inning in three weeks. He’s become buried in the pitching depth it looks like.
Mike Dufek (first base and sometime closer) has held down the closer role for the most part, recording 2 saves in 3 outings in the last three weeks. Not much playing time, but he’s made the most of it to a 0.93 ERA. At the plate, Dufek is only hitting .268, but he has cut down his K’s per At-Bat to just about 1-in-5. During the season he was closer to 1-in-4 at bats. It became crippling at times. I think our strategy for next season should mimic the MLB All Star Game. Let’s just throw 5 closers to shut down every game.
Travis Smith – Looks like Smith (3rd or 4th starter) has lost his spot in the rotation. After a few tough luck losses of the 1-0 variety, he lost two ugly starts over the last 3 weeks and was then used out of the bullpen. He’s currently 0-5 with a 4.58 ERA. Not good my friends.
Coley Crank – Crank’s (backup catcher or designated hitter) struggling. He’s still the everyday catcher, but his average is down to .198, third lowest on the team and lowest regular starter.
Matt Broder – Despite Broder's (redshirted as a freshman this season) team’s horrible website, I ran by an article in The Observer. Broder went the full 7 innings complete game, facing only 24 batters in the effort. Great job Matt.
One service listed Dennis as signed, but rescinded it a week later. As of this point, neither have officially signed, but they have as long as they need on this. Derek Jeter came to Michigan for a semester before he decided to sign his contract. These guys could do the same.
I'll get to more questions people might have at a later time.
Times they are a changing
football season, please.
sometimes I feel the same way about sports that don't totally enthuse me but then I remember that the time and effort that went into that post is about 100000000000 times the time and effort it takes me to scroll down to something I would prefer to read.
So then I refrain from a snide comment and politely read the poor guy's post and usually learn something new about a sport that I am not too familiar with. Go figure. This usually makes me look much less stupid when I get into the inevitable argument with some avid fan of the sport regardless of my lack of knowledge (sometimes I argue just for the pure challenge of it).
anyways, yeah. I forget what my point was. Goin to bed now.
welcome to MgoBlog!
and good job.
probably a VERY stupid question but...can QBs (with good arms) be good pitchers?
that would be cool if Tate Forcier would be a pitcher too...just trying to make a link btwn football and baseball
They CAN be. They have about as good of a chance as everyone else though, which is one in a million. The throwing motions are a LOT different.
One of Ohio State's backup qbs, somewhere around 4th string walk on, is one of their decent relievers.
Or for someone more dear to most of your hearts, try Rick Leach. The starting QB for Bo from '75-'78 was a stud outfielder for Michigan, taking us to a College World Series in 1978.
welcome the addition of non-revenue weekend posting.
While I probably won't be that interested in the women's field hockey updates, around sunday night i tend to go into mgo-withdrawl, waiting for Brian to post something, anything, and this will help get me my fix.
Or maybe I just read that whole damn thing because this damn offseason has made me forget what football season even feels like. 40 days and counting.
first off, congrats on your first post on mgoblog, FA. second, does anyone know where i can buy an authentic/replica michigan baseball jersey? the one in FA's avatar is the one i'm looking for. thanks in advance yo.
sunday content! wooh (which is actually monday morning for me). Way to feed my addiction.
Dan Marino and John Elway were drafted ahead of Don Mattingly. Rick Leach was a good professional baseball player-not a pitcher but obviously had a good arm.
I was away this weekend, so I missed a lot of crazy Michigan news, especially as it pertains directly to this website. So, for my part, I would like to thank the Varsity Blue guys for coming to MGoBlog. I imagine that, on some level, it is difficult to close operations on your own creation, especially one which grew to a level of popularity that anyone would find enviable. However, I'm sure we are all grateful for your continued contributions to the enormity that is Michigan athletics. Thanks and welcome!
This is outstanding. A wider variety of great content like this will make this site even better. I for one welcome our new baseball overlords.
The more Michigan coverage, the better. As mentioned above, if you only want football news it's easy enough to scroll down.
As a lacrosse fan, I'm hoping Tim from VB continues his coverage here.
Varsity Blue was the one other Michigan blog that I visited regularly, so I must be wise. But looking at this post, I think we have some exciting things ahead of us. I am not a big baseball fan, but the quality is outstanding. Maybe I will become one.
This is excellent. When the merger was first anounced Friday, I was aprehensive, but seeing this content, I think it will work well. I look forward to this becoming much more the one stop for Michigan athletics. And any article that does not suit my tastes will just get skimmed with the scroll wheel anyways...good show!
1) This may be obvious to some, but Clayton Richard got the win against the Tigers last night. He was a U-M quarterback.
2) Being a quarterback / pitcher is not uncommon at the high school level. Being able to generate arm speed is necessary to a generic baseball throwing motion. For example, Drew Henson is still in the Top 5 in Michigan baseball history for strikeouts as a pitcher, even though professionally he was a third baseman.
3) Good Lord does Dufek have a long stride in that pic. What is he doing the splits? Does he always do this? How does he generate any power with his hips?
Let's hope that a wider reader base of baseball coverage translates into greater fan support(butts in the seats)come baseball season. FA has always done a great job at Varsity Blue... looking forward to reading more from him and others here. Go Blue!