Mike Kaffee

Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
[email protected]

What was scheduled for a 3 PM start time was moved up early due to inclement weather forecasted. That being said I have very little to report missing the first three innings having arrived at 240 PM anticipating an afternoon of the final two days of the “unofficial” preseason. The two pitchers I missed seeing were Ben Chestnutt and Herick Hernandez. From the reports I received very little has changed in my previous analysis of Chestnutt in that he is definitely not starter material. Hopefully, he will be able to give us one, maybe two innings out of the BP. Gino several times last year tried starting him in a starting role and As I reported in the past: Chestnutt had his “Chestnuts Toasted”. I saw no change in the fall to change my opinion of his ability to go beyond my assessment. As for Herick, he did not pitch any of the preseason in the fall and today was his first outing. From the reports received, he put on an excellent showing and will be anxious to see him firsthand on his next trip to the mound. From the feedback received, Herick could very well be in the running to be tabbed as one of our starters. That is definitely good to hear because we are going to need all the help in the pitching department

I am guessimating but I believe I arrived at the start of the 4th inning with Nick Robert on the mound pitching to Eric Fernandez. I think Nick might have suffered an injury to his throwing arm on his last outing, Scout Day, because he looked like a totally different pitcher from what I observed during his earlier outings.  I had him and Rafe as my two frontrunners. Gage Ziehl and Chris Scinta had a bad preseason and their showing yesterday was nothing to write home about. With Hernandez possibly throwing his hat into the ring, and if Gage and Chris can come around maybe, just maybe we might be a contender to getting beyond the Regionals. Naturally, we first have to get there and we have to stay healthy. Last year our BP was decimated injury-wise resulting in “Pitching by Committee” in our final weeks of the regular season and won’t even rehash the postseason which was a disaster. Nick showed a bit of rust, especially with his attempted P/O to second which sailed into the outfield which would eventually result in an unearned run. Gave up a hit in his opening inning and two runs in his second which included hitting a batter, walking one, and giving up a single being his 5th and final batter. Not an impressive finish but hoping it is just rust and not fully back to where he was up until the final inning during Scout Day. It didn’t help from some sloppy defensive play.

Pitching opposite to him for one inning was Ashton Crowther. Unknown if this was his first or second inning he was pitching. Only faced three batters who he retired in order. Hard to give you an evaluation from the little time he had on the mound. Getting Renzo, Jacoby, and Gaby out says something positive for him and one JD is looking at for relief in the middle innings. Should have a better feel once the preseason kicks off next Friday. The same can be said for Brandon Olivera. His last outing was Scout Day which is one day he wants to put behind him because it was a terrible horror story. He appeared to do so today going 3up/3down.

The last to pitch today was Myles Caba whose day was like the weather: miserable. Started by giving up a HR to Daniel Cuvet off the CF screen, walking the next two, and concluding with a single by Renzo Gonzalez who ended up on third scoring two more runs with the ball getting by I believe Gaby playing left which slid by under his glove. Enough was seen and the scrimmage concluded without an out recorded.

Can’t say what happened the first 3 innings hitting-wise but other than the HR by Cuvet, only three singles from the time I got there by Dorian Gonzalez, Carlos Perez, and Renzo Gonzalez.

The defense was a bit sloppy today along with the weather, recording 3 errors resulting in runs. When the preseason starts officially next Friday, JD and his staff will have plenty to work on pitching as well as fielding. Hitting is right on track but against our pitching which is not setting glowing reviews. Last year it was the HR that made us get as far as we went. Postseason it fell off as did the team. Hopefully this year, we can work on more small ball and more activity in running the bases. It all starts next Friday. Will advise as to the time when published.


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