I'm on the fence with Erstad. on one hand, I view him as a bargain price head coach in his first head coach job who's pretty much been learning as he goes.
recruiting has been an issue previously, but part of that has to do with the B1G restrictions on baseball schollies, plus it seems to have picked up recently, as last year's class was pretty good and already has contributors.
last year with the injuries I think you can give him a pass
otherwise, he's been decent at making the conference tourney and a regional most years, which is probably all that we should expect from a baseball program in this conference and the weather, etc
the issue for many has been his postseason performance, since up until this year they had only 1 postseason win in several years
midseason I thought this team sucked, and I thought NU had to figure out how the fuck to teach hitting asap
but, the end of the season they appeared to be peaking at just the right time. but baseball is also a fickle game. team has a 2 run lead in the top of the ninth vs the #9 ranked team in the country to be able to take a commanding second win in the regional, only to see a kid jack a 3 run HR to make them lose, then get clobbered in the losers bracket. one out from being in great position to advance to a super to being 1-2 and bounced from the regional oh well.
pitching is going to be the concern next season.
and really that's all they lose from contributors from this past season. but yeah, losing the entire weekend starting rotation might sting a bit.
but, on the flip side, that's a lot of offensive production to be returning next season, plus most of them are young and were playing their first full season so have more room for improvement
NU returns Roskom/Hellstrom at C, Gomes at 1B/closer (maybe), Hagge, Acker, Palensky all return in the OF, Schwellenbach, Hallmark, Chick all return in the IF
once some of those younger players get a year of S&C under their belts, a bit more power should come, especially for players like Gomes, Schwell
I wouldnt be surprised to see the staff try to transition Palkert to a starting role, but then again, sometimes guys are just more comfortable coming in out of the pen, and it's nice to have a lockdown long reliever. wonder if Luensmann will ever recover from his injury, whether it's mental or physical. otherwise you're looking at Perry as probably the top dog starter heading into the offseason. Tillotson has a shot as well. lots of young arms to give it a go, though.
"One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."