Cavalier Pitching Will Determine the Season

Kyle Laferriere-US PRESSWIRE

For the first time since I graduated in 2009 I have no idea who is going to be in this rotation. Do you have a better grasp? Oak might be calling you soon if you do.

Let me get this out of the way; I have no idea who is going to be in what roles with this pitching staff. Coming off of last year you would think Kyle Crockett and Scott Silverstein would be shoe ins for a weekend rotation position and Whit Mayberry would likely rejoin them when he gets back from rehab. It would be nice for prediction's stand point if that was the case, but what I am hearing out of the Dav is that that isn't the case. Great!

I've consulted all my sources, and not a single one of them knows who is going to show up on the mound this weekend and in what context.

What I can tell you is that this team is going to roll or stumble with how much success the staff has. A bit cliche, but this year it is the truth. The boys will likely have plenty of offense and if the pitching can keep up, then the team could do better than I expect.

Scott Silverstein is coming off an "eh" year last year and in his last year of eligibility he needs to prove that he can throw strikes and get people out. Last year he had trouble at times with his control and I contribute that to him getting tired. He was coming off his second shoulder surgery and just couldn't last the entire season. This year should be different and I hope (and Oak and everyone else does as well) Scott comes out throwing bullets like he did in High School.

Whit Mayberry could be an X factor. He pitched excellent at the beginning of last year before succumbing to injury. His rehab is apparently going great and I expect he'll be as close to 100% as he's going to be this year around the end of April.

Third year Kyle Crockett is probably the best pitching prospect out of the draft eligible players this year. He pitched great his first year and showed it was no fluke last year. As I said before, I expected him to be inserted into either the Saturday or Sunday role, but I am getting reports that that might not be the case. If that is the case, I have nothing for you. He could be a bit hurt and the coaches want to bring him back gradually maybe starting off as a long reliever.

Second year Nick Howard will certainly pitch but I expect him to be coming out of the bullpen. He proved himself last year as a solid pitcher in the program and Oak will want to see if he can improve on last year. Possibly a closer candidate.

If you're hoping to see Barrett O'Neill or Artie Lewicki because you enjoyed watching them pitch before, you can stop hoping. Both are done for the year. Lewicki's rehab is going really well, but even if he finishes before the season is over I wouldn't expect much out of him.

Now as for the freshman, I think we should all pay special attention to Cameron Tekker, Nathan Kirby, and Brandon Waddell. There are rumors that Tekker could be the heir to Justin Thompson, Casey Lambert, and Kevin Arico in the closer's position. I'm sure that Oak would love to lock down a closer in their 1st year. He's got a great high school pedigree and could be just what the pen needs. Kirby was actually named the Top Newcomer by Baseball America in their ACC preview. If he lives up to expectations I wouldn't be surprised if Kirby is in the weekend rotation by the end of the year but I suspect he might be a weekday starter to start off. Waddell is the wild card. There isn't much on the kid but rumor has it he has pitched well in scrimmages and could actually be in the weekend rotation to at least start off the season.

Again, your guess is as good as mine. What I do know is that whatever you see this weekend in Greenville, probably won't be the same rotation or roles that I expect to see in the ACC tournament in May. 4 days til Opening Day. NOW WE GO

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