On Wednesday Coach Holbrook met with the media to talk about how things went during the fall for the baseball team and where he thinks they'll be in the spring. The schedule for the upcoming season was recently released and the full press conference from Holbrook can be viewed here.
On the team being ready to get the new season started:
Our guys have worked hard...And we're anxious and eager to get on the field come February 19th. Obviously it's been a long time since we played our last game and we want to get started on a new season as fast as we possibly can and we're excited about the team we're gonna put out there.
On the pitching:
If you ask me what stood out this fall, the pitchers for the most part all fall had the upper hand on the hitters. And that was encouraging to see considering Widener wasn't out there and we lost Jack Wynkoop from a year ago and we have some holes to fill in our pitching staff. So some of our guys stepped up and some of our guys that have been around the block here improved. I think some of the guys that haven't pitched in the past are gonna be in some significant roles this spring.
I was encouraged by how our pitchers threw. Their numbers were good but they threw strikes, their velocity was good. Some of the guys that were returning...really have improved on the mound and that's what stood out to me.
On the weekend rotation:
If we played tomorrow...Schmidt would get the ball tomorrow. But for the other guys there's still some competition going on.
On injured pitchers Wil Crowe and Cody Morris:
They'll both probably be out for the entire year...I think that it's my job to protect Wil and Cody, to make sure that we put them back out there when they're completely healthy and completely ready to go. Could that be this year? I'm not gonna rule it out completely, but I doubt it.
On improved depth:
I feel extremely comfortable with those guys behind the plate...we're deep behind the plate this year...I think the depth of our pitching staff the way it shakes out right now and who I'm comfortable putting in the game is a little bit deeper than we were last year too.
On the infield:
I'm not there yet as to who I'm gonna play at first. But I do know this, that I could put 4 shortstops on the field...That makes me feel good about the way we'll play defense.
On the team's offense:
Well we're either really, really good on the mound or its gonna be difficult to score...I hope our pitchers are the reason why we struggled offensively...A number of our position players did play well and swung the bats well...But I like our team offensively, I really do. I think we've got some athleticism, we've got some guys that can run.
On his expectations for the upcoming season:
I think I have a good idea now what we have going to the spring. When you put those two factors together -one, what I saw on the field and two, that I'm gonna be able to add a few very good, valuable, experienced players to the puzzle come January -we're certainly excited about the spring and how our team looks when we get all healthy and get all together.
I think there's some differences between this year's group and last year's group that's apparent and easy for me to see. So for that reason I feel extremely comfortable knowing that we got some really good kids who have really worked hard and...I know they are [good baseball players]. And I expect them to perform at an extremely high level...I think it can be a team ranked among the nation's elite...I expect nothing less than that to be honest with you. If we play the way we're capable of playing we'll be a tough team to beat.
On recruiting at a high level:
We're pumped up about these guys. I feel good about this recruiting class for sure...Anytime you have a recruiting class ranked in the top five it takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people...And from the talent level that's coming and the talent level that's already here...you feel like when you put recruiting classes back to back there in the top five you have a chance to win a national championship and that's what we're trying to do.