Fall Ball Summary
All right, with fall ball finished, and
Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, we can
count the days to the 2005 season. With
that in mind, here is my summary of Fall Ball
2004. Remember, this is done mostly
in fun, but it is based on my observations, and
conversations with other persons at the ball
park. 2005 should be a fantastic season,
and quite frankly, anything less than Omaha
would be a disappointment. However, as we
have learned in previous seasons, health can
play a factor.
With that said, on to my views, by
position. I will start with the catcher
position, move through the infield, out to the
outfield, and then finish with pitching.
Please remember this is my opinion only.
Depth chart - Dini, Madden, Everett, Griener,
Once again, catching seems to be a team effort.
Dini had the starting job locked up, but due to
some circumstances, found himself not playing
the 2nd half of Fall Ball. Assuming
he makes it back in the spring (and nothing has
surfaced that he won't), Dini should be the
starter. Madden will relieve, and
will rotate with others at the DH. The
most interesting aspect of the catching position
was the emergence of Cat Everett.
Similar to Bormaster, Everett is an infielder by
trade. Everett showed a surprisingly good
pop time, and has a solid arm. Since SS
will be occupied by Manzella this year, Catcher
might provide Everett with some playing time.
Griener will have a tough time squeezing in, and
Marc Robert will most likely redshirt, and be
the bullpen catcher.
Depth chart - Hamilton, Owings, Rebowe, Morgan
Hamilton worked hard over the summer, and has
improved his defense, so he will most likely be
the starter at the beginning of the season.
Since Owings had arthroscopic surgery, and was
unable to participate in fall ball, it's hard to
know where he is going to play. I suspect
he will rotate among starting pitcher, outfield,
1st base, and DH. Trying to guess
what Coach Jones will do is difficult, but he
always goes with the hot bat, so it's safe to
say the hot bat will play. Rebowe played
most of fall ball at 1st (and can play OF), with Morgan playing
occasionally. It's hard to say how
much they will see playing time there, but Jones
has been known to make defensive changes late in
the game - such as Guidry last year at 3rd.
Depth chart - Holland, Guidry (Everett / Emaus/
Holland is the best defensive 2nd baseman we
have, but has struggled at the plate lately.
I think that he's still your starter, but since
Guidry spent time at 2nd, you might see him play
there. If something drastic were to
happen, I guess you could see some kind of shift
happen, with Emaus, Manzella, Barnett, and
Guidry moving around to cover 2nd, SS, and 3rd.
Quite honestly, I think the position is
Holland's to lose.
Depth chart: Manzella, Everett, Barnett, Emaus
Manzella returns, and quite frankly, the
position is his to lose. Everett is the
player of the future, so I suspect he will get
some playing time here and there.
Tommy was hitting the ball pretty good in the
fall, and Everett did a good job.
Everett should make the 4th straight outstanding
SS since Cannizaro, Tony G., and Manzella.
Could we have 4 SS in the pros one day??
Cannizaro and Tony G should both be at AA next
year, and Tony G. was named one of the
outstanding prospects by Baseball America.
Barnett also played a few innings at SS, and
could see some playing time here and there.
Depth chart: Emaus, Guidry, (Whitman? or
Emaus is the Freshman from Georgia, and had an
outstanding fall ball. Great glove, strong
arm, and good bat. Obviously, he still
needs to improve, but I think the position is
his to lose. Guidry will probably see some
time, just like last year. After that,
it's anyone's guess. Whitman played all
fall at 3rd, and Barnett played some SS, so
maybe one of them would be moved to 3rd if
Depth chart: Bogusevic, Barket, Owings,
Southard, McFadden, (Rice, Rebowe, Riser,
Well, we have 2 positions that are log jammed -
Outfield and DH. They will intertwine with
each other throughout the season, as will the
pitching. When Bogusevic and Owings pitch,
they will be their own DH, so that will leave an
odd man out at DH (most likely Madden). So, to
keep it simple, let's look at it this way.
Bogey and Barket are a lock for the starting outfield.
I suspect that the 3rd outfield spot would be
Owings, Southard, or McFadden. The 3rd
outfielder will come down to who's hot at the
plate, or who matches up better with the
As for the rest of the depth chart, Rice had a
good fall, and even though I didn't see Rebowe
play outfield, I suspect either Rice, Rebowe or
Riser would be next in line. Riser brings
in some impressive power stats from Pearl River
CC in Mississippi, so I would suspect he would
get some innings early in the year. Again, the
hot bat plays. Powell is a freshman from Newman,
and will have to battle for any playing time.
As we were talking at the practices, this is a
team of DH's. I would suspect that we will
see at least 7 or 8 different people at DH
throughout the early part of the year.
Owings, Bogusevic, Hamilton, Madden, Morgan,
Everett, Dini, and Riser could all see time at
DH, somewhere along the line. Others might
come into the picture later on.
Ok, this is the toughest part of the whole
discussion. Pitching will be determined by
2 things - health and throwing strikes.
Let's start with the health part, as several of
our pitchers are still in rehab, and won't be
through until January, February, or March.
Healthy Starters: Mohl, Bogusevic.
Probable starters, a little banged up:
Gomes, Crowel, Owings.
So, right there we have 5 starters, and most
weeks we have 4 games. I suspect
that Jones will find 4 healthy guys that can
throw strikes, and then stick with them.
That would leave us with a bunch of guys
fighting for innings.
Fairchild, Worster, Goebel, Latham, Morgan,
Kimmons, Garrett, Connick, Porlier, Barnett,
Young. That's 11 guys fighting for
innings. Here's how my crystal ball
looks (and it gets foggy sometimes :) ).
Mid Relief / possible starters:
If one of the starters is unable to start, or
does not fully recover, I would suspect that the
veterans would get a shot at some innings.
Goebel returns, and has some good stuff, his
weakness in the past has been consistency.
Latham is another guy in that category, and gave
the Wave some great innings last year.
Again, consistency is the key.
That would leave us with Worster, Kimmons,
Garrett, Connick, Porlier, Barnett and Young.
Worster is coming back from off-season surgery,
and is still doing rehab. He might
be ready to return by February.
Porlier is a freshman, and is recovering from
Tommy John. He is supposedly on the
same schedule as Gomes, although Gomes did throw
from the mound very late in Fall Ball, and
Porlier did not.
Kimmons was used in relief last year, and still
has that great breaking ball. He's
got to get better / more consistent with his
other pitches. He needs to keep the
runners from advancing, as well. Our
change in pitching coaches might benefit
That leaves the young guns. Garrett,
Connick, Barnett, and Young. All 4
of the guys saw plenty of playing time in the
fall. Barnett is a Transfer from
UMASS, and had a decent fall. He also saw
a little time in the field, so he is a versatile
player. Garrett and Connick both started
during Fall Ball. Garrett is your
typical right hand pitcher. Connick
is your typical "crafty lefty" that will drive
you crazy with off-speed pitches. Both of
the guys had their moments this fall, I just
think that it is going to be very difficult to
get playing time. Jones usually
limits spring outings to around 5 innings, so
maybe they can get some innings early in the
year, and establish themselves as the go to guy.
Fairchild and Morgan will be the primary
closers, with Latham getting some innings.
Morgan lit it up in Fall Ball, and absolutely
dominated at times. It's been a long time since
we have had the dominate righty that can hit
90's on the fastball, and hit 80's on a lively
I've always liked Fairchild, and if he can
throw strikes, and stay healthy, I hope that he
will push Morgan for appearance time. At
this point, however, I would give the edge to
Morgan. Latham will also relieve, but I'm
not sure he will be the closer. That would
give us 3 right hand closers, and I suspect that
Jones will look for a lefty closer somewhere
along the line, possibly the freshman Young.
Please take all of these comments as they were
intended - simply some insight into how I see,
or saw, the team developing during Fall Ball.
There's always the exceptions - the guy that
played great during fall ball suddenly
disappears, and the guy that was absent during
fall ball suddenly appears in the spring.
I am not a professional scout, nor do I intend
my comments to be construed as such.
I appreciate every single one of the guys on the
team - they have far more talent than I ever
Let's get behind this team, and watch them bring
us to the promised land.
Feel free to disagree, and if you want your
comments (or disagreements posted), I will do
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