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UNLV Lacks Pitching Heading into 2017

Kyle Isbel comes back from an outstanding freshman year.
UNLV Athletics

UNLV Possibilities For Starting Lineup in 2017

Here’s the deal coach. You lose all your rotation from 2016 including your closer. What are you going to do about it? Yes, folks, that’s the big question for this coming season. As you can see below I had a little trouble penciling starters other than Bohall. Teachers and coaches don’t get paid enough. Read on.

Bozar's Best Guess:

C - Drew Newson - juco transfer with power

1B - Nick Ames (JR) - .239 and 2

2B - Bryson Stott - freshman

SS - Nick Rodriguez (JR) - .244 and 1

3B - Kyle Isbel (SO) - .319 and 1 (2nd team All-MWC and Co-Freshman of the Year)

OF - Max Smith (JR) OF - .179 and 0

OF - Payton Squier (SR) - .375 and 1 (first team All-MWC)

OF - Austin Anderson (SR) - .246 and 1

DH - Ernie de la Trinidad OF - juco transfer with power

SP - Blaze Bohall (SR) - 2-2 and 10.18

SP - ?

SP - ?

SP - ?

RP - ?

Coach's Comments:

Coach Stolte was kind enough to get back to me quickly. He had a lot to say and he is not in denial that pitching needs work. Generally, here's what he had to say. First, notice all the question marks I have under pitching above.

C - Squier (above) or Vince Taormina (SO) (.179 and 0)

2B - Justin Jones (SR) (.250 and 5) or Cooper Esmay (SR) (.284 and 4)

SS - Rodriguez (above) or Stott (above)

3B - Anderson (above) or Rodriguez (above)

OF - De la Trinidad (above)

OF - Cody Howard (SR)(.276 and 0), Smith (above), or Keyon Allen (SR)(.056 and 0)

DH - Esmay - (above), Corey Pool (SR)(.258 and 3), or Newson (above)

Coach says starting pitching is up in the air and all listed below he called contenders.

SP - Bohall (above)

SP - Larry Quaney (SO)(2-1 and 5.19)

SP - Alan Strong (juco transfer)

SP - Chase Maddux (SO)(0-0 and 15.95)

Along with Tevita Gerber (0-1 and 7.00), Garrett Poole (juco transfer), Corey Wilson (1-2 and 6.87)

RP - Bryan Menendez (JR)(0-0 and 9.00) and Christian Myers (JR)(0-2 and 12.19)

The Rebels could be in trouble. They lost their three top starters from last year's squad and there is not a lot of proven experience that looks to take their place. Some newbies need to step in to provide some innings and some returning vets need to do the same thing. Some of the lineup returns and I see a lot of holes that need to be filled here, too. It's the pitching that's keeping the coaching staff awake at night. Only Blaze Bohall returns with starting experience. He had three starts last year and that's leading their returners. The question with Bohall is which one will show up. Last year's (see record above) or 2015's (6-3 and 3.66 with 12 starts). Maybe he's twins.

I made a bit of a mistake when I first wrote this as I thought the following had moved on; Cooper Esmay, Justin Jones, and Corey Pool who are pretty solid players and vets to boot. That alone makes me feel a little better about Coach’s starting lineup. I still have misgivings about the pitching.

Recruits that may help are Stott, de la Trinidad and Newson who caught my eye as they have power so I included them in the lineup. Pitching still remains a problem and some of the recruits will have a good shot to see a lot of innings early.