The Red Raiders started the 2018 campaign with a four-game sweep of the Maine Black Bears followed by a midweek win over the New Mexico State Aggies. The strong opening week found Tech at the top of the Big 12 as the lone undefeated team, but it wasn’t all good news. After only two and a half innings, Steven Gingery came out of the game with an unknown injury.
At first there was speculation of possible blistering, and then the talk became about elbow discomfort which turned into the worst possible news for a pitcher to receive. A torn UCL. Gingery will have to undergo Tommy John’s surgery which at best means the end of the season, at worst means the end of his career.
Gingery was no doubt a crucial part of the team. We here at Viva had him ranked as number one in our top ten countdown. As a pitcher, he was named a First Team All American by Baseball America and finished last season as the national Pitcher of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation. As a leader, he is irreplaceable.
But what does this loss mean for the Red Raiders?
Some fans were quick to dismiss Tech’s chances if making it back to the College World Series without Gingery, and to a point, they have a right to be concerned. How can any team overcome losing it’s best player? We saw the effects of a football team without Patrick Mahomes and a basketball team without Keenan Evans.
Baseball is different though. In some ways it is the ultimate team sport and the saying “next man up” applies here more than almost anywhere else. One player can’t make or break a team as a whole. Pitchers especially, because they only start once a week. So as good as Gingery is, he was only effective one out of every four to five games the Red Raiders played in a week.
In the grand scheme of things that means Gingery was an answer for one game out of every weekend series which means hypothetically if Tech loses every game that Gingery Would have played in, then they could still win every single series this season. Gingery was an ace, no doubt, but it’s time for the next man to step up. The good news is that what makes Tech so good and the reason the Red Raiders are ranked in the top five, is that, in addition to a stellar offense, the Red Raiders have an incredibly deep pitching staff.
In regards to the starting rotation I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan Shetter moves up to fill the Sunday spot after his shut out performance against the New Mexico State Aggies on Tuesday. If not him then Tadlock will probably plug guys in with no apparent rhyme or reason until he finds the rotation he’s looking for. Steven Gingery will be missed, both as a pitcher and as a leader, but it’s time for someone else to step up. At this level Texas Tech baseball doesn’t rebuild anymore, they reload, and I have no doubt there is a pitcher on this staff who is ready to fill the void left by Gingery.
How far can the Red Raiders go without Gingery?
This poll is closed
Won't make the post season
College World Series