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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe // 06.23.09

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Odds and Ends

I'm Back . . . Sorta

I got back into town yesterday evening and considering I'm heading into work this morning, I'm probably not going to be on schedule until next week.  Just too much to do and not enough time.  It would be fair to say that I'm going to be mailing it in until I have a weekend to catch-up.  Not to mention, it would be fair to say that I haven't read anything related to sports or Texas Tech since last week so there's a ton that I've missed.

Texas Tech Football

Summer Preview

LJWorld's Eric Sorrentino is previewing every Big 12 team as Texas Tech is next on his list and I think at this point, it's standard operating procedure to note that the secondary will struggle for Texas Tech:

Senior cornerback Jamar Wall returns, but the rest of the secondary is gone, including starting safeties Darcel McBath and Daniel Charbonnet, who combined for 12 interceptions last season. Much of the reason Tech shared the Big 12 South title was because of Ruffin McNeill's improved defense, which ranked third in the conference with 27.85 points per game given up last year. That may sound like a lot, but when you average 43.77, you'll more than likely win some games. Tech won 11.

Freshman safety Cody Davis established himself as a hard hitter in the spring, while junior Franklin Mitchem should occupy the other safety spot. It's an open competition for the spot opposite of Wall. If Tech is to make another run at the South title, the defense cannot revert to its old ways of getting picked apart for points.

It's a Little Early for the 2010 NFL Draft

It appears that the NFL scouts, or maybe specifically the National Football Posts' Wes Bunting scouts some of your Red Raiders (hat-tip Hyatt) which includes Marlon Winn, Brandon Carter, Edward Britton, Shawn Byrnes, Colby Whitlock, Rajon Henley and Jamar Wall.  Some of Bunting's previews sound accurate, but then there are others where I wonder if we've watched the same player, but defintely a good read and certainly a different perspective.

Texas Tech Baseball

Brian Cloud Signs with Mariners

Per DT's Chris Martin, senior pitcher Brian Cloud, who went undrafted in the MLB draft, has signed on with the Seattle Mariners.  Congrats to Brian and it sounds as if he's going to make the best of his opportunity:

"It doesn't matter if you were a top-five-round draft pick or a free agent like me, we all start off with an even slate and it is all based on performance," he said. "They will put me wherever they need me, and I expect to perform well."

Zach Stewart Pitching Well in the Minors

Baseball America's J.J. Cooper checks in with former Red Raider Zach Stewart, who is pitching incredibly well for the Carolina Mudcats and the Cincinnati Reds organizations. 

"He definitely trusts (the changeup)," Beltran said. "He throws it in counts that I didn’t think he would because he believes in it. He’s worked on it since he’s been here. He had a little cut to it, not he’s getting more sink to it, which is what we want."

The development of the changeup gives Stewart a third option to go with an average slider and a plus fastball. Stewart’s calling card is his 93-94 mph fastball that combines velocity with plenty of sink. It’s not a strikeout pitch, but it is a ground-ball magnet.

"That sinker inside is devastating when you’re throwing 90-94 with that kind of movement," Beltran said. "I really haven’t seen anyone turn on it. Even when he misses, he misses off the plate."