MAILBAG: Jan. 17, 2009

Jan. 17, 2009

Thank you to the fans that sent in their Titan Baseball Mailbag questions this past week. If you have a question you would like answered by any of the Titans' coaching staff, send your question to titanmailbag@yahoo.com. Please include your name and the city you are writing in from in your email.

This week, Head Coach Dave Serrano took a few moments and answered questions dealing with pitching and the upcoming practice schedule.

With 5 weeks until the home opener vs. TCU can you tell us who will make up the weekend rotation?
- Robert B., Dana Point, Calif.

Good question! I don't think we'll know our set rotation for some time. I do like that we have good options to choose from within the pitching staff. In no particular order I believe the starters this year will come from a group that includes Daniel Renken, Michael Morrison, Kyle Witten, Travis Kelly, Tyler Pill, Jason Dovel, Kyle Mertins, Kevin Rath and Noe Ramirez. Performances during the early part of February workouts and the non-conference portion of our schedule will help us make the decisions that will give us the best rotation heading into Big West action.
- Dave Serrano

Can you have TOO many pitchers on the team? I know it is a good problem to have, but do you think sometimes having a very deep rotation hurts pitchers from staying in a groove?
- Reuben E.

I won't disagree that sometimes you can have too many good pitchers because finding them quality innings can be hard to come by. But personally, I find that a great problem to have. With schedules being condensed, and us having to play 4 to 5 times a week, a deep staff comes in very handy.

I will agree that if there are not enough quality innings to share, it can at times, keep them from staying in "the groove." But I don't believe that having too many pitchers hurts each individual's development and growth. It comes down to how game-like they are making their bullpens and side work sessions each week.
- Dave Serrano

I have followed your coaching career over the years and I am grateful that you decided to come back to Cal State Fullerton. Over the years the Titans have had some great starting pitching but a big part of their success has come from who they have had in the closer's role. Who do you foresee settling into the 2009 closer role?
-John B., Chicago

John, thank you for your kind words. I too am grateful for the opportunity I have had to return to Cal State Fullerton. I agree that much of our success since 1999 has comes from the likes of Adam Johnson, Kirk Saarloos, Chad Cordero, Vinny Pestano and Adam Jorgenson, all of which have spent significant time in the closing role. That is pretty impressive list to follow. I do believe we have some very qualified people to fill this role and the way the starting rotation fills out will effect how the rest of the staff will line up. Guys like Ryan Ackland, Noe Ramirez, Brock Floro and R.J. Hively are bidding for innings as the Titans' closer right now.
- Dave Serrano

Are Titan practices open to the public? I am a huge fan and would love to come.
- Laura J.

Our practices are always open to the public and we welcome anyone wishing to come watch. We are officially starting on Feb. 1. On that note, I want to remind fans that we will begin our quest as the 2009 Titans early Sunday morning (Feb. 1) beginning at 12:01 a.m. I'm guessing that we will be seeing some of our most loyal fans that morning... or at least, the ones suffering from insomnia. See you at the ballpark!
- Dave Serrano