ASUMoundVisitFeatured

ASU Baseball Opening Weekend Preview

With opening day just around the corner, I had the chance to sit down with Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay and discuss what the Sun Devils have planned for this weekend’s season opener against Western Michigan.

Quick Look

Starting Rotation
Friday—Brady Rodgers, Junior RHP
Saturday—Adam McCreery, Freshman LHP
Sunday—Trevor Williams, Sophomore RHP

Likely Appearances from the Bullpen
Jake Barrett—Junior RHP, Alex Blackford—Junior RHP, Darin Gillies—Freshman RHP, Brandon Bonilla—Freshman LHP, Billy Young—Junior RHP, Zak Miller—Sophomore RHP, Robert Ravago—Junior RHP, Joseph Lopez—Senior RHP, Matt Dunbar—Junior LHP, Josh McAlister—Sophomore RHP

Top of the order
CF Andrew Aplin
SS Deven Marrero
2B Joey DeMichele
1B Abe Ruiz

Pitching

“We’re going to start Brady Rodgers. And then we’re going to go with freshman Adam McCreery—he’s a lefthander. And then we’re going to go with Trevor Williams, a sophomore right-hander. “

“Alex Blackford will pitch this weekend. Bonilla will pitch this weekend. And Young, and Miller, and Ravago, Lopez…you know we really kind of want to use, if we can, everybody”

Infield

“We’ve got really good options this year in the infield. You’re going to see Joey DeMichele not just as a DH this year…he’s going to play in the field. You’ve got Michael Benjamin who’s pushing to play third base. You’ve got James McDonald who can play second and third. Tucker Esmay is working at second base. I’m going to hopefully get those guys plugged in like at the alumni game. Drew Stankiewicz who’s a freshman and I believe is our shortstop of the future…so I really wanna get all those guys in and play them around.”

“Deven is the leader of that group and Aplin is the leader of the outfielders. I feel good that those guys are going to hopefully let these other guys settle in their first varsity start basically.”

Outfield

“Playing centerfield is not an easy thing to do here at ASU. I’ve been here long enough to believe that he (Aplin) is one of the best centerfielders that I’ve seen come through here. He’s the guy…and then I’ve got Coffman and Allen and Peevyhouse who are kind of vying for matchups and playing time. All four of those guys will play this weekend. Andrew will definitely be our guy that is playing center field for us.”

Behind the Plate

“I feel really good about our catching situation. I’ve got Max Rossiter; I’ve got Beau Maggi who’s been in the program now and really pushed forward. I’ve got Causey, who’s a freshman, who’s the catcher of the future who’s doing real well…so I feel really good about all of our catchers.”

“…Pitchers are kind of funny; sometimes they can only pitch to one guy…and we think that we’ve settled in pretty good with the way we’ve done this thing, that no matter who’s catching, the pitcher is going to feel good with who’s back there…and I think that that’s a good situation.“

Batting Order

“I think we have a good opportunity this year to have a really strong mix of guys. We’ve got contact guys that are going to be kind of ‘set the table’ guys and we’ve got guys that can leave the yard. The last couple years we’ve been really aggressive offensively, so we’re going to be the same way. I like it with Aplin and Marrero and DeMichele and Ruiz kind of the top of that order. And we’ve got some other guys that are going to be kind of role guys, and are going to kind of have to set some things up”

Freshmen to Watch

“From a pitching standpoint you’ve got McCreery and Gillies…Bonilla. I think fans are going to be happy to see that future.”

“I like Peevyhouse as our young freshman outfielder…he swings the bat. So I’m excited for him to kind of see what he does.”

“Drew Stankiewicz has an opportunity to have a really good career here.”

“You know what’s funny is that these guys don’t realize that at some point Andrew Aplin didn’t start his first game here and neither did Deven Marrero…so they’re seeing that stuff and those guys are telling them “Hey, hang tight , relax and things are going to be good”…so I think we’ve got a good mix”