It is quite evident there are going to be a lot of new faces for the Canes this year. Whether they are guys from this past recruiting class, JUCO guys or guys who are upperclassman that have been waiting on their time to shine. It is going to be hard to come right in and have the best chemistry in the nation but I know Jim Morris has some tricks up his sleeve. There are two words I want you to remember during this season: SMALL BALL. Small ball is the exact opposite of relying on power hitters and homeruns. Small ball is used to get runners in scoring position and across the plate without taking monster hacks. Below you’ll see what I expect Morris to implement this year to get some runs across on the board:
Expect guys up and down the lineup to bunt this year. Yes, even Edgar Michelangeli if it gets a potential needed run in scoring position. The Canes have a ton of guys with little or no experience that will need some confidence boosters. Sacrifice bunts that get guys into scoring position or push bunts that lead to a single could be that play that turns it around for a player.
Hit and Run:
For those of you that do not know, a hit and run is when a baserunner steals a bag and the hitter must, I repeat, MUST put his bat on the ball. You will mostly see this with a runner on first. The goal of a hit and run is for the hit to be placed where the runner can go from first to third or possibly even score. A hit and run is a big risk though. The batter can hit a line drive which could lead to a double play or the batter could swing and miss which could get the runner thrown out trying to steal. Morris will be sure to emphasize how important it is to keep the ball on the ground during these situations, though. Don’t be surprise if you see some bunt and runs as well.
“Get ‘Em On, Get ‘Em Over, Get ‘Em In”
There is an old baseball saying which states, “Get ‘Em On, Get ‘Em Over, Get ‘Em In.” This means that the first guy up that inning better get on, the next guy better get him over into scoring position and the third guy better get him in. Now, does this happen every inning? No chance. But this is a great small ball strategy to get runners across the plate. If the first guy gets on, expect to see Morris have the next guy sacrifice bunt or hit and run to get him over. If this pans out, this means a base hit, sacrifice fly or home run scores the Canes a run/runs.
Long story short, baseball is confusing but expect a future Hall of Fame coach like Jim Morris to figure it out and keep the Canes in the post-season picture all year long. What do you think we will see the most of this year? Bunts or Hit and Runs?