Fall Report: ClemsonFall Report
CLEMSON, S.C. — The major storyline of Clemson’s fall is an obvious one: How will the Tigers replace the four departed starting pitchers who combined for 380 innings in 2017?
No returning Clemson pitcher logged more than 35 innings last spring, so the Tigers are going to need some unproven arms to establish themselves as reliable workhorses in the rotation. The lineup will undoubtedly be potent again, the defense will be athletic, and the bullpen should be a major strength — but will Clemson be able to hand leads to that bullpen regularly in 2018?
There are plenty of intriguing candidates to assume rotation roles. As much as the Tigers will miss Charlie Barnes, Pat Krall, Tyler Jackson and Alex Eubanks, the guys who could take over in the rotation figure to have more raw arm strength and better pure stuff. The saying goes that there’s no substitute for experience — but Clemson is hoping that talent can mitigate inexperience. And there’s only one way to gain experience: throw the newbies into the deep end and let them swim.
“The big thing for us is we don’t have guys with experience starting,” Clemson coach Monte Lee said. “So that’s our big challenge right now, trying to stretch these guys out and see who can give us four, five, six innings as a starter, to where we can turn it over to the bullpen, where we feel like we’ve got some pretty good options.”
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