UConn Baseball 2019



Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968
This interview covers returning pitchers. No JUCO’s or freshmen or redshirt freshmen were discussed. I hope that additional interview will drop either later today or tomorrow.

According to Coach MacDonald, Mason Feole felt discomfort in his tricep about a week before returning to campus for the spring semester. They shut him down and checked him out. Now he is feeling fine. Figures he will miss the first couple of weekends barring any setbacks.

Jeffrey Kersten and Colby Dunlop are the leaders for the other weekend spots. Coach said Dunlop seems to be following the same path as Wills Montgomerie, so they are hoping for a lot more out him this season.

As expected, Jake Wallace to be the primary closer. Chase Gardner and CJ Dandeneau will be the other main guys in the bullpen and will also see time in the late innings and have chances to close games. Coach said they thought Gardner had a chance to get drafted last season, so they feel fortunate that he is back with the team. They think moving him to the pen will help his chances to get drafted. Dandeneau had an excellent summer ball season, so he will build off of that.

Avery Santos is now fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, and now looks like a completely different guy. They say he learned a lot of things pitching wise out in summer ball. A guy who the coaching staff thinks he could take a big jump and see a goodly number of innings.

Joe Simeone had a hip injury he pitched through last season, and had surgery for it over the summer. He’s recovered now, his hip isn’t bothering him now. He hasn’t pitched a lot in preseason, but he has looked good. A candidate to start games, possibly the early weekend games that Feole will miss.

Randy Polonia is back on the mound and is close to being at full strength. Given that he missed the last two seasons, the coaching staff is going to be careful and is not going to rush him. A potentially dynamic arm that could be available.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968
A 39 man roster has been posted the UConn baseball website today, so 4 more cuts still need to be made.

I've done a quick search. It seems that missing from the fall ball roster are:

Colin Sparaco
Mike Yarin
Luke Broadhurst
AJ Denny
Justin Lanese
Nate Panzer
Matt Catalfo
Vinnie Pallisco

Hopefully I don't have any names wrong. In addition, redshirt freshman RHP Jimmy Wang has been added to this roster. If memory serves, he was on the UConn baseball fall ball roster in 2017.

2019 Baseball Roster - University of Connecticut Athletics
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968
A 39 man roster has been posted the UConn baseball website today, so 4 more cuts still need to be made.

I've done a quick search. It seems that missing from the fall ball roster are:

Colin Sparaco
Mike Yarin
Luke Broadhurst
AJ Denny
Justin Lanese
Nate Panzer
Matt Catalfo
Vinnie Pallisco

Hopefully I don't have any names wrong. In addition, redshirt freshman RHP Jimmy Wang has been added to this roster. If memory serves, he was on the UConn baseball fall ball roster in 2017.

2019 Baseball Roster - University of Connecticut Athletics
Down to a 38 man roster. I clicked on Ryan Bagdasarian name on the website, a JUCO from Avery Point, and there is a note there saying he is redshirting and is not on the 35 man roster. 3 cuts to go.

Ryan Bagdasarian - Baseball - University of Connecticut Athletics
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
1,028
Likes
769
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968
By the way, last season was the first time I could remember that UConn listed on its baseball roster redshirt players who were not on the 35 man roster.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
164
Likes
122
By the way, last season was the first time I could remember that UConn listed on its baseball roster redshirt players who were not on the 35 man roster.
I am not sure what benefit there is listing redshirts who are not solely redshirting for transfer reasons (I.e. Gozzo/Johnson last year) . To me these four redshirts (maybe Bigelow aside due to injury) are no different than the other 8 guys cut between the fall ball roster and now. If any of these 12 stay enrolled and make the 35 man outright next year then this year will be treated as a RS year either way.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968
I am not sure what benefit there is listing redshirts who are not solely redshirting for transfer reasons (I.e. Gozzo/Johnson last year) . To me these four redshirts (maybe Bigelow aside due to injury) are no different than the other 8 guys cut between the fall ball roster and now. If any of these 12 stay enrolled and make the 35 man outright next year then this year will be treated as a RS year either way.
Very true. The only thing I can think of is that it being listed on a roster online is that it would make these players feel more a part of the team, even though I believe that by being off the the 35 man roster the NCAA mandates that you can't practice with the team during the spring season.

In an odd way, these four players form an odd taxi squad for the following year. Still, basically getting cut doesn't make it any easier to make the team the following year.
 

Stainmaster

Occasionally Constructive
Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Messages
19,031
Likes
29,651
Very true. The only thing I can think of is that it being listed on a roster online is that it would make these players feel more a part of the team, even though I believe that by being off the the 35 man roster the NCAA mandates that you can't practice with the team during the spring season.

In an odd way, these four players form an odd taxi squad for the following year. Still, basically getting cut doesn't make it any easier to make the team the following year.
This was my thought as well.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968
If Nucerino could get his average into the .260 range he could be quite a valuable player, a possible lead off hitter candidate in the future. Very good defense in the outfield, good baserunner, plus he last season he gets on base through walks. The biggest thing lacking in his game is a solid batting average.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 24, 2012
Messages
8,275
Likes
5,968

A very quick summary of the pitching newcomers is this. The freshmen newcomers all have talent and good stuff, but at this beginning stage of their careers, they have their good days, and they have their bad days. They do some stuff well, and other things not so well. Just have to see how these pitchers develop over time.

Coach MacDonald leads off by saying that freshmen redshirts Angus Mayock and Caleb Wurster could see time on the mound this weekend.

California JUCO transfer Kenny Haus sounds like another Jeff Kersten type. He throws strikes, and he could see time both starting and as a reliever.

Two freshmen pitchers are coming back from Tommy John surgery. Leif Bigelow will not be ready to pitch this season, so he got redshirted, and they will see what he has next year. Tim Pfaffenbichler just got cleared to face batters. He isn’t ready to pitch in a game yet, but it is possible he could see game time sometime during the season.

Adam Schwartz and Will Lucas are both two way players. Lucas is being geared more as a position player, but could get the occasional shot at pitching in a game. Schwartz at this point is much more likely to see mound action than play in the field.

By far the most interesting and intriguing story is Jimmy Wang, and it is worth listening to the first half of the interview just to get that tale (about 2 minutes in). UConn baseball had never heard of Wang until Wang contacted them about becoming a walk on prior to the 2017 fall semester. Wang got himself a walk on tryout, and the coaching staff liked what they saw. Wang got invited to play in the 2017 fall ball season, but ended up quitting the team because his school course load was too heavy to also play baseball. Still, he had left an impression on the coaching staff. In late September of 2018 Wang contacted the coaching staff about walking on to the team again for fall ball. The coaches are really impressed with his stuff. The upshot of it all is that even though Wang has barely pitched since playing high school ball in Michigan, the coaches think Wang has a chance to turn into something really special.
 
Last edited:

Top