Quick and Dirty 2010 NIU Baseball Preview: The Pitching

"Good Luck Chuck" was the hoss at the front end of the starting rotation last year (via grfx.cstv.com)

The pitching staff really got behind the 8-ball last year after Brandon Copp disappeared and Andy Deain broke his finger on a fluke line drive hit.  It really put a hamper on the season, but the good thing about that happening is that a lot of young talent got plenty of experience on the mound.  While it wasn't pretty, it should pay off in the long run throughout this year.

What we lost

Chris Wakefield - (1-5) 44.0 IP, 7.77 ERA, 1.91 WHIP

Nick Badgley - (2-3) 37.2 IP, 7.88 ERA, 2.23 WHIP

Brandon Copp - (0-4) 29.0 IP, 9.62 ERA, 1.97 WHIP

The Starters

LHP Chuck Lukanen - (7-6) 79.2 IP, 5.65 ERA, 1.76 WHIP.  The JC transfer took over the lead pitching role on the team after Deain & Copp went away and performed admirably.

RHP Brian Smith - 6th Year Senior with a career 4.37 ERA.  Had bone spurs removed in 2007 and Tommy John surgery in 2008.  It's great to see that he's finally back pitching for us.  He's also writing a blog called Can o' Corn over at the official site and it's a really entertaining read.

RHP Jeremy Gonzales - The JC transfer from Bakersfield College in CA brings a ton of experience with him and should be able to start right away in the rotation.

LHP Jake Hermsen - (1-1) 17.0 IP, 10.06 ERA, 2.29 WHIP, was hurt for a lot of last year.

RHP Zach Oates - (1-4) 37.0 IP, 5.59 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

Spot Starters

LHP Tom Barry - (2-0) 24.2 IP, 5.47 ERA, 2.11 WHIP

RHP Kyle Glancy - (0-3) 37.2 IP, 10.27 ERA, 2.18 WHIP

RHP Zach Badgley - (1-0) 15.2 IP, 10.34 ERA, 2.57 WHIP

The Relievers

RHP Andy Deain - (2-0) 21.1 IP, 4.64 ERA, 1.67 WHIP

LHP Tom Zelasko - (2-4) 4 SV, 47 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

RHP Zach Oates - (1-4) 37.0 IP, 5.59 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

LHP Dave Reynolds - (0-4) 3 SV, 37.2 IP, 9.80 ERA, 2.15 WHIP

Who has the edge: Deain will assume the closer role, after taking a medical redshirt last year due to a liner that broke his finger.  Zelako will move from his closer spot last year to the setup man this year.  If the starting lineup doesn't work out for Oates, then he'll be a solid stopper in the pen.  No talk of Reynolds really in the preseason, but he'll probably only pitch if we are in need of some extra arms.

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