Baseball 2014: Omaha Bound

Folks, I’ve been swamped- research, and on top of that Organic Chemistry lecturer (new position!). But, much like the hibernating bear must awaken from his slumber, I too must force myself to make time to preview the Pack9! I will begin with last years disclaimer: It’s f*&#ing baseball folks, we’re going to lose games, 10 to 20. So don’t freak out- especially over mid-week losses that don’t mean diddly-squat. OK, that’s out of the way. Expectation this year: Omaha. That is the quality of the team we put on the field this year. I can only recall a few teams that put a #1 draft pick on the mound and a top 5 position player (ladies and gents, meet Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner) on the diamond. I also expect Brett Austin to have a breakout year, and give us three first round draft selections. This isn’t even the best part, but first we must break things down.

Who We Will Miss: Terran Senay, Brett Williams and Grant Clyde are departing starters who contributed greatly to last year’s run to Omaha. On the mound, we are forced to replace Ethan Ogburn who was a huge innings eater, and Chris Overman- closer extraordinaire. I know I have missed some names, and I truly apologize- every man on the roster is important, but time is my enemy.
Who’s Back: You know the names. The studs. The players who put butts in the seats. Rodon. Turner. Austin. Jernigan. And a host of other players who are ready to place there names on the prime-time list (looking at you, Ratledge!). We have top quality pitching, strong catching, good defense up the middle and folks, those are the ingredients for a winning team. Rodon and Turner could be teammates who make the final 3 for the Golden Spikes award- they are that talented. We have a bullpen that starts with Andrew Woeck and D.J. Thomas- a righty and lefty who know how to get outs and throw strikes. There are quite simply too many players to list and rather than try to name the roster, I will just say watch them all- we have talent.

The Newcomers: Temple baseball is entering it’s final season, and with that development they have had some transfers, most relevant to us the additions of Patrick and Eric Peterson to the roster. A righty and lefty, respectively, they add to our substantial pitching depth and could server roles in a starting or relieving capacity. We add Bubba (love the name) Riley as a JUCO bat and Preston Palmeiro is expected to immediately take Senay’s role at first base and as a premier bat. Garrett Suggs and Matt Vernon (OF, 3B) are two more freshmen I really like. Also, don’t overlook Ryan Williamson- tall leftys are a commodity folks.

The outlook: Omaha. First in the Atlantic. ACC Crown. Dare I say it, National Champions. These are not pipedreams, we have a fantastic shot at all of these goals. There is no team we cannot beat with Rodon on the hill and if Jernigan continues his progress from the summer and fall we may well have two aces. Brad Stone figures to be the third starter, although a Peterson may slip in. Simply, we have a lot of depth- especially at pitching- and that wins titles.

Go Pack9! This is the year we’ve been waiting for and I look forward to the ride with my fellow fans. As always, tip of the hat to Wufpack who I know will pick up my slack on a daily basis. Lets use the comments for more preview discussion- hope to see all my old friends back for another run (even those I occasionally b**#! at!).

About Dr. BadgerPack

NCSU Class of 99 and PhD University of Wisconsin, 2006... Which should adequately explain the screen name I chose at 2am one Saturday...


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    Dr. BadgerPack

    Folks, I’ve been swamped- research, and on top of that Organic Chemistry lecturer (new position!). But, much like the hibernating bear must awaken fro
    [See the full post at: Baseball 2014: Omaha Bound]


    Great write up! I am really excited for this team. They do have the pieces to go far. I just hope high expectations don’t bite them in the ass like other Pack teams. You know what I am talking about. Personally I don’t think that will happen. Baseball is a different game. Similar to golf in that it can humble you in heart beat especially at the plate. Got tickets to the UNC game and hope to go to many more through out the season. Go Pack9!

    john of sparta

    please post our schedule
    underneath the other two.


    I knew that we were going to be good but, thanks for the preview Dr. BP-we are much deeper than I expected…Go Pack!


    DBP from behind the beakers and down the rightfield line.

    Speaking of right …who dat down there? I have no idea if Avent plans on moving The Jakester to center or not but, lordy I love him in right.

    Absolutely correct on the Austin take, if they can give him a little leg room.

    Dr. BadgerPack

    CD- You knew I’d be back! And I cannot believe I neglected to mention your boy Jake- Fincher should step up into the elite category as well (he’s almost there).


    There is no team we cannot beat with Rodon on the hill?

    Canisius included?


    Don’t forget that we lost two important cogs from last year. Bryan Adametz in LF and Grant Sasser as a relief pitcher. Saw Adametz at the game today.

    One minor thing. It is Bubby Riley, not Bubba.

    This team is very good, no matter that they lost today. Remember that Rodon gave up 3 homers in an opening day loss to App State last year and everything turned out OK.

    It is going to be very interesting to see how a few things fall into place this year:

    1. The Bullpen
    2. The corners. New people at both 1B and 3B.
    3. Hitting depth. We lost 4 starters in the field from last year. Today Avent started 4 guys that were not on the roster last year in their place, and we moved Fincher from RF to CF. Makes me wonder about where Nance, Taylor, Armstrong, etc. are.
    4. Catcher. Austin is a great talent but Avent needs to get some more confidence in Mangum, Cavannaugh, etc and use them more throughout the season, even if you then put Austin at DH. Austin wore down last year in May/June. His batting average dropped 30 or so points in the last month.

    All that being said, this team has the capabilities of being in Omaha. Some things will obviously need to go right, but they know what it takes.

    Dr. BadgerPack

    Because of the idiocy of 13OT- I am done with the season. Good luck boys.


    Don’t let it get you down DBP and I truly hope you are exaggerating about being done. I expected more of a banana-grabber-murmur than this actually (last year after the first loss to App there was quite a little uprising….folks must still be beaten down from the ‘Cuse loss I suppose).

    Liked what I saw today overall. Once Jobu wakes up the bats, things will be fun.


    Need more production out of the middle of the lineup, 3-5. I’d like to believe austin’s offensive production was effected by innings caught, but I’m not sure I agree. Anybody know he performed this summer?

    Thoughts on the new sticks in the lineup?


    Having Fincher in the RBI slot should help ‘Shoes.

    DBP, if I had a dime for every time I’ve had those thoughts, I’d be living on the beach in Puerta Vallarta.

    Need ya in the bullpen, Dude.


    Pack9 bounces back today to down Canisius 11-4.
    @Elon tomorrow afternoon.


    I’ll write the first loss up to a good sign. Starting out just like last year. Rodon on the mound for the first game and ending with a loss to a team we should beat. The rest is history.


    Pack 9 bounces Elon 12-7…

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