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2021 Vanderbilt Baseball Mail Bag #2: Answers to Your Questions

Letters... we get letters... we get stacks and stacks of letters...


Question from RocketCityVandy:

Due to the weather delays, I was unable to actually listen to today’s games, outside of approximately an inning and a half of the second game. Given my lack of paying attention and our wins, does this mean I’m contractually obligated to not watch/listen to any of our games this season?

As Michael Scott once said, “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.“ Seeing as these games were postponed until Monday, and a large portion of the Monday double header occurred during regular business hours, you get a pass. Had this been Omaha, you would have to do exactly what you did on Monday, down to wearing the same socks, until the final pitch of the CWS Finals was thrown.

That said, the Vanderbilt belt I had on Monday stays on until the winning streak ends.

Question from Owen ‘98:

I’m a ‘98 Owen grad, huge #Vandyboys fan, and I love your stuff. Here’s my question: Race to 1:1, did Jack or Kumar win the week?

...and a similar question from WestEndMayhem:

Who is your “too-early-to-predict-first-Vandyboy-to-get-drafted” pick?

Prior to Monday, I would have told you to write Kumar Rocker to the Pirates 1-1 in Sharpie. Now? Well, I still think it’s Kumar (longer track record; pitched perhaps the best ever single game in college baseball history; big, strong guy; unflappable on the mound), but I’m writing it in pencil now.

Why? Well... that first inning of Game 2 of Monday’s double header happened, and had me like:

...and then he broke out his breaking ball:

In other words, the friendly competition is on, with the prize a trip to the top of Pittsburgh’s rotation.

And if it’s neither Kumar nor Jack, it will be Vanderbilt commit Jordan Lawlar.

It will be either Kumar or Jack, though, unless the Pittsburgh Pirates are a horrendously run organization (okay, that would be why it’s not a lock). Still, I’ll give a slight edge to Kumar right now. Stay tuned.

Question from Shoogymgshoogs:

Which SEC team had the most disappointing weekend?

For some reason, SEC Sports dot Com lists Missourah (spits) at the bottom of the SEC East with a 1-3 record, and aTm at the bottom of the SEC West with a 1-2 record. As they are both Big XII teams, it can’t be them

The next candidate is the Gainesville Jorts, who dropped 2 of 3 to the University of Miami Hurry Canes. I’m sure they and their full body Tim Tebow back tattooed fans are the most disappointed, as they came into the season ranked #1 and dropped two to a hated OOC rival. Still, they did look to be the better team, and Miami is at least a team that might be able to do some damage in the NCAA tourney, so that might soften the blow a bit.

In other words, as Parlagi said, “Tulane dropped 2 of 3 to UL-Lafayette.“

And yet... it’s not even them.

I’mma go with Sewanee, as they oddly didn’t even play this weekend, and have only scheduled 8 total games all year—4 against Rhodes and 4 against Birmingham Southern. We really should consider kicking them out of the conference.

Question from Athanatos504:

Do you like having Gonzales provide some power to the bottom of the order? Or is he getting moved up this weekend? Also, if you had the draft tonight, Leiter or Rocker?

Personally, I would move him up to 5th. He’s looked that good. I do think Corbs will move him up, too, as I can’t see Cooper Davis back by next week. As such, they’ll have to shift the lineup around (maybe lead off with Enrique “Shockwave” Bradfield). Let’s get that Gonzo thump higher in the order.

See above for the answer to question 3.

Question from Force10JC:

I’ve heard of having a ‘nose for the ball’ but I don’t think a freak foul ball was what Cooper Davis had in mind. Is he going to be OK? How soon can he realistically be expected to return to the lineup?

Yeah... I’ve never seen someone hit themselves in the face harder than that, and I used to watch Tommy Dreamer rassle in the ECW. I was certain that his orbital bone was now a pudding, but I’m hearing it’s just a broken nose and some stitches.

*Quick cut to the rapper Stitches’ song “Brick in Yo Face.” You’re welcome.

In short, I have no idea when The Ontario Barrel-Maker will return, but when he does, he’ll be wearing a full face cage. I suggest a goalie mask.

In fact, I suggest Murray Bannerman’s goalie mask:

Question from ComradDore:

Any early predictions on how the starting pitching will be set up for the week after Monday’s games?

I have a bit of an idea, but I thought Ethan Smith would be the Sunday starter, and Corbs decided to put him in the Ty Brown role (which is a good idea, I’m just saying, don’t take what I say as gospel).

My best guess (really, what I want to see happen, I mean) is this:

Wednesday vs. The Western Kentucky Red Grimaces: So. RHP Michael “Doolin Banjo” Doolin.

Friday vs. The Georgia State Sex Panthers: Jr. RHP Kumar “White Castle” Rocker.

Saturday vs. The Georgia State Sex Panthers: So. RHP Jack “Leits Out” Leiter.

Sunday (Game 1) vs. The Georgia State Sex Panthers: So. RHP Thomas “The Mayor” Schultz.

Sunday (Game 2) vs. The Georgia State Sex Panthers: Fr. RHP Christian “Rock” Little (or So. RHP Sam “Perfect Stranger” Hliboki if he’s not used in the pen this weekend).

The 70 pitch pitch count Corbs put on both Rocker and Leiter means they should be good to go on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Of course, if he moves them back a day to be safe, that makes sense, too. In that instance, move Christian Little or Hliboki Bartokomous to Friday, and bump everyone else down one slot.

Question from Duke Stoner:

Perhaps the most challenging problem that Corbin and coaching staff face.

How do you get your veterans enough playing time, at-bats, IP to keep their stat numbers impressive for the MLB Scouts ?

while still

Getting your freshman and RS-Fr (or covid-Fr…whatever we call them) on the field to see what they can do in a real game ?

Vanderbilt has some talented baseball kids who would be everyday players at UMemphis, APSU, even Auburn or Mizzou but cannot get on the field during meaningful games because you have Dom Keegan, Isiah Thomas, Gonzo, Chi-Chi [Bleday, Clarke, etc, etc].

Fantastic problem to have….not unlike Saban’s delimna [sic] a bit south of Hawk.

When Corbs/Brown/Baxter/Macias has recruited kids and parents on the dream of VU Baseball and then they cannot get an opportunity to get on the field, that must be tough….

Any thoughts or analysis on how the present staff does balancing this ?

Just got to ask them one by one, “What do you do in the mix?”

As host R.J. Watkins of The New Dance Show says, “Nothing to it, but to do it, so let’s do it.”