Tim Tadlock and J-Bob Thomas have rarely let me down the last few years, so I hate to doubt their wisdom now. Although, I’m very concerned the ceiling for this Texas Tech team hinges on the health of Davis Martin’s right shoulder.
Martin, as stated here, is one of the top players for the Red Raider team and a calming force coming off the mound on Friday nights. Six innings, ground outs, and great pace are things you’ll generally notice when you see him throw.
Although, we’re two weekends through his missed starts and the side-effects are obvious. We’re blowing through the bullpen too quickly, and we have nobody available come Sunday.
Your current substitute, John Henry Gonzalez, isn’t ready for the bright lights. I do think he has potential to be a weekend starter next season. He issues too many walks, and I don’t feel as if his secondary pitches are developed enough to handle hitters in the Big 12 3-4 times/night.
I’m not unreasonable though - it’s not like a team is going to have multiple Friday night starters littered throughout its roster. Yet, if this team wants to win the Big 12 and make another run for Omaha, we’re going to need three quality starters, and likely six or seven bullpen arms.
Right now - you have Steven Gingery and Ryan Shetter for starters. John McMillon, Erikson Lanning, Jacob Patterson, Parker Mushinski, Jose Quezada, Caleb Killian, and maybe Dylan Dusek in the pen?
If you’re only getting two to three innings from your starter on Friday - that’s roughly 6 innings of bullpen on Friday, three on Saturday, and likely five on Sunday. Fourteen innings divided among seven arms is A LOT. Yet, 11 innings over seven arms is significantly more reasonable.
We’ve heard the diagnosis is tendinitis, which can honestly mean a lot of things. If Martin is back in two to three weeks then this likely is a mute point, and a worthless article. Anything past that and you’ll continue to see the Red Raiders struggle to close out a weekend.