FanPost

Starting the 2009 Baseball Season: New(er) Faces, Lineup, and Starters

I want to preface this with a small note. My services have been bought out by Varsity Blue. Being a close friend of Paul at their site, he has requested I start doing guest posts with them. I'd like to thank Maize n' Brew Dave for his generosity and exposure. Thanks to Beauford for the bumps as well. I'll still be around making comments, so keep the content coming.

Thanks,
formerlyanonymous 
Thanks for all your awesome work FA! - the gang at MnB

Continuing the preview of Michigan Baseball's 2009 season, this post will address the new contributors and make my blind guess of a lineup.

New(er) Faces

The starting short stop this year appears to be redshirt sophomore Anthony Toth. Those close watching fans may remember Toth from a few starts at second base in 2007. As a freshman he appeared in 29 games with 4 starts, batting .440 in 25 at-bats. Toth redshirted his true sophomore season due to the extreme depth at the middle infield last year. With Christian at short, and both Mahler and Cislo lined up at second base, his middle infield prospects were low. Although initially slated to play second base for the Wolverines, he was a shortstop throughout high school and did get a few innings at shortstop in the NCAA regional against Vanderbilt in his freshman year. There is a chance that Toth and Cislo may swap positions on the infield, but we won't know until they hit the field.

#16, Anthony Toth in Middle, Image from Blue Cats Red Sox Flickr

At designated hitter, we don't have quite the number of options as we did last year. BigTenHardball.com is projecting Nick Urban, the backup middle infielder to take over the slot for the team this year. Urban is a redshirt junior who has

Lorenz in a PBR hat,
Image from
amatuerbaseballreport.com
been a career bench player to this point. He has made 33 appearances (1 start) with only 18 career at-bats. Due to the limited sample size, I wouldn't put too much stock in his career numbers.

BigTenHardball.com also suggests that "the keys to third base" have been handed to true freshman John Lorenz. Lorenz was listed as the #8 overall player in the state of Illinois after his junior year, but he suffered a broken hand his senior year, causing him to miss the entire season. He did play summer ball this year to get him back into the swing of things. Lorenz had been a shortstop throughout high school, but will be trying it out at third to start the season. It sounds like it's his job to lose.

Attempting the Impossible

Lineup guessing is an impossible task without knowing what's going on in practice. So here's my disclaimer, I just don't know how well these guys have progressed over the offseason. I don't know the new guys that well. This is just my thoughts on what the lineup will look like.

Lineup Rotation Bullpen
Kenny Fellows 8 Fri Chris Fetters RHP Closer Tyler Burgoon RHP
Anthony Toth 6 Sat Eric Katzman LHP Closer Mike Dufek RHP
Kevin Cislo 4 Sun Travis Smith RHP Setup Matt Broder LHP
Ryan Lamarre 9 MW1 Mike Wilson LHP Long Ben Jenzen RHP
Mike Dufek 3 MW2 Kolby Wood RHP Lefty Jeff DeCarlo LHP
Alan Oaks 7 MW3 Brandon Sinnery RHP Short Matt Gerbe RHP
Chris Berset 2
Nick Urban DH
John Lorenz 5

Any opinions expressed in Fanposts or Fanshots are not the opinions of Maize n Brew. Peruse at your own risk.

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