Morning Musings: Spring Cleaning
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Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey confirmed on Tuesday… that Auburn would not name a starting quarterback during spring practice. This is because the coaches want to get an accurate look at a healthy Sean White before they make a decision. White’s work in spring practice thus far has been limited, as he is still nursing a broken forearm injury from the Sugar Bowl.
This decision sounds like a no-brainer to me. It’s only fair to give the incumbent starter a fair shot at the starting position. Especially for a quarterback race this close. I expect Jarrett Stidham to be starting in the fall, but it’d be silly to rule out the possibility of Sean White getting the nod under center. Remember how impressive a healthy Sean White can look. The only question is, can he remain healthy?
I’m glad to see the coaching staff taking their time with this decision. There is no need to rush this decision. I have a feeling that we won’t hear of a decision until a week or two before kickoff in September, and that’s perfectly fine by me.
John Franklin III appears to have made a position change… as he dressed out of the noncontact orange jersey during Tuesday’s practice to switch into a blue contact jersey to train with the receiving corps. That means that there are currently just two quarterbacks currently participating in pace drills—Jarrett Stidham and Woody Barrett.
I’ll be very interested to see how Franklin develops into what should be a slot-receiver type of role, and I applaud him for his cooperation and willingness to switch positions in order to benefit not only the team but himself as well. Heading into his final year of eligibility, this change can only benefit the former JUCO transfer as his time at quarterback would have been extremely limited this season, especially with the arrival of Stidham.
It looks like Butch Thompson… might have a depth problem in his pitching rotation. Auburn’s top three pitchers, Keegan Thompson, Casey Mize and Cole Lipscomb are about as good as you can get at the top of the rotation. But that’s where the strength seems to stop. On Tuesday, six Auburn pitchers allowed a combined 14 runs to South Alabama. The reason? Auburn used up its aces over the weekend in a series win against Lipscomb.
The good news is that Auburn should fare well in weekend conference series as the season progresses, but will slip up quite a bit in midweek games that include Georgia Tech, Alabama, UAB, Troy, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State and Samford. All of these should be winnable games, but without their stud pitchers on the mound during the middle of the week, wins might be hard to come by on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the Tigers.
The good news is that freshmen Christian Camacho, who actually had a pretty good day on Tuesday, allowing just one run in four innings, and Davis Daniel will be solid arms in the future. The problem is that you can’t expect freshmen to be able to deliver consistent performances throughout the course of a season.
I expect another up-and-down season for Auburn baseball, but I have faith that Butch Thompson is building something special. The top portion of this pitching staff is truly special and gives me confidence for weekend series. But in the SEC, a conference with six teams in the top 25, sometimes even your best isn’t good enough.