Joltin Jackets Conclude Fall Practice

The Jacket baseball team concluded their White and Gold World Series today signifying the end of fall practice. Going into the fall Coach Danny Hall had some questions marks regarding his team. Some were answered and some other decisions still need to be made before the opening of the season next spring. We talked with Coach Hall after the game today to get his thoughts on the fall.

"Where you able to answer any of the questions you may have had going into the fall?

"The biggest thing I was concerned about was who was going to catch behind Cole Leonida. I've been very impressed with Matt Skole and I've been very impressed with Thomas Nichols. Skole has caught before so he's probably a little bit ahead. I feel very comfortable with the catching part and the blocking part. Thomas has been working very hard but he still has a ways to go. I thought he made a lot of great strides this fall. Some of our post-fall work will include those two guys catching. That was the biggest thing for me possibly finding out who could help us catching."

Nichols looked good out in the field. He could play third if Matt is catching?

"He looked like Brooks Robinson today. He missed about a week. His knee flared up on him. This is kinda the first time getting back at it. He had a good fall. I think the biggest thing for him is he had a chance to go out last summer and play a lot and get a lot of at bats. I just think he's a much better player."

Is the decision on the Sunday starter still up in the air?

"We wanted to see Jed Bradley today but I think he has the swine flu. Jacob Esch took his place today. I think that's still to be determined. I think Mark Pope is a great candidate for that. I think Jed Bradley would be. I wouldn't even rule out Luke Bard or somebody like that. The positive for us is that we have a lot of pitching depth. I think we have a lot of guys capable of being either the Sunday starter or the midweek starter. I'm confident whoever that is we'll have a good guy in that spot."

How do things look at second base?

"I think it's a three horse race there. Connor Winn played good. He had a great day here on Monday. Jason Garafalo is just steady Eddie. He shows up gets a couple of hits and plays solid defense. Jacob Esch has a great fall for us in the infield. We only played him a little at second but I think all three guys are capable of playing there. I wouldn't make a decision on that right now but I think all three are capable and able to play second."

Have you had any thoughts on the DH?

"I haven't thought that far down the road. I think Jake Davies is swinging the bat well and Nichols if he's not playing in the field could be a definite candidate to DH. The one guy we missed all fall because of the surgery on his hamate bone is Patrick Long. He had a very good summer as well. However is hitting well will be our DH."

Was Deck McGuire sharp this fall?

"No, there were times when he threw well but I think he'll be one of those guys post fall that we'll do a few things with. I know we were looking at some video from last year and even from his freshman year to try and compare it. I think the biggest thing is his command wasn't as good as we would like it and probably as good as he would like it to be. He's still throwing hard and he has all the pitches but he wasn't as sharp as I've seen Deck."

Are your plans pretty much the same for Andrew Robinson?

"He's the one guy I left out on that Sunday starter. He has thrown the ball extremely well this fall. We've talked to him about possibly going into our rotation. He is such a valuable bullpen guy for us. I think if you talked to Coach (Tom) Kinkelar he'd like to keep Andrew right where he's at in the bullpen so we'd have a reliable veteran guy. We'll have to talk about it and decide what's best for the team."

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