Season Preview: Relief Pitching

By Jake Eisenberg

Yesterday, we broke down the Terrapins starting pitching. Today, eight days before the season-opener, we’ll take a look at the bullpen.

DAY 8
Graphic by Kate Correia

The bullpen may be one of the Terps’ biggest question marks entering this season after many of the key pieces have either graduated or been drafted.

Most notably, the Terps will be without RHP Kevin Mooney, who established a new school career saves record before he was drafted in the 15th round by the Washington Nationals.

Maryland will also be without key southpaws Alex Robinson and Zach Morris. Robinson was drafted in the 5th round by the Minnesota Twins and Morris was taken drafted in the 24th by the Philadelphia Phillies. Also gone from the bullpen are veteran arms LHP Jake Drossner and RHP Bobby Ruse.  Drossner was drafted in the 10th round by the Milwaukee Brewers and Ruse exhausted his NCAA eligibility.

So, in total, the Terps said goodbye to three key left-handers and two veteran righties, one of which is arguably the best closer in Terps history.

But, returning players and an infusion of freshman pitchers from the Terps’ 17th-ranked recruiting class should have no problem filling any holes.

 

The Bullpen:

 

Stiles HS
LHP Tayler Stiles

LHP Tayler Stiles is jumping from the starting rotation to the bullpen and will likely be the team’s new closer. Last year, he won the Saturday starting job and made six starts for the Terps before his injury against Cal St. Fullerton. His fastball sits in the mid-80s, atypical of a closer, but makes up for it with a solid curveball and tremendous control. The junior walked just eight batters in his 39.0 IP last year, to go along with 37 punchouts. Finally, Stiles offers a unique arm slot from the left side, only increasing his chance of success.

Galligan
LHP Robert Galligan

Joining Stiles in the bullpen is another southpaw, LHP Robert Galligan. The redshirt senior pitched 62.1 innings last year, most on the team by anyone not named Mike Shawaryn, and notched a 2.74 ERA with a 58:21 K/BB ratio. His role varied, as he was both used in long-relief situations, like when he tossed 4.1 IP of scoreless relief against UCLA in the Regional, and in one-batter matchup situations. This year, Galligan will continue to be a reliable late-inning option from head coach John Szefc and pitching coach Jimmy Belanger.

Selmer
RHP Ryan Selmer

RHP Ryan Selmer is another reliable option for the Terps. The sophomore made the most appearances (31) last season, including four starts, recording a 2.18 ERA in 53.2 IP. Selmer has the ability to be a consistent starter for the Terps, which also makes him the go-to candidate for long-relief. As we mentioned yesterday in our starting pitching preview, if Selmer be as consistent as last year, he could become a mainstay in the mid-week rotation by the end of the season.

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RHP Mike Rescigno

RHP Mike Rescigno struggled in his limited use last season, walking seven in his four innings after moving from the infield to the mound. But the junior had a terrific summer in the Cal Ripken Baseball League for the Bethesda Big Train, allowing just eight hits in his 20 IP, good for a 1.80 ERA. With his summer success and more pitching experience, Rescigno could be in for a bigger role in 2016.

Yesterday, we mentioned RHPs Cameron Enck, John Murphy and Hunter Parsons as freshman that could make significant contributions to mid-week starts. Each could also fill a long-relief role like Selmer, as could Andrew Miller, a new southpaw.

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LHP Andrew Miller

LHP Andrew Miller is the only member of the Terps’ 2015 recruiting class besides Hunter Persons to have been drafted—Miller was selected in the 34th round by the New York Yankees. In his senior year at Sterling High School, Miller threw 52 2/3 IP, allowing just 25 hits while notching 88 strikeouts. The southpaw was named first-team All-Conference as both an outfielder and a pitcher. Miller figures to be another key lefty option with the departures of Robinson, Morris and Drossner.

Season Preview: Starting Pitchers

By Jake Eisenberg

With just nine days to go until the Terrapins open their season in Alabama, we take a look at the Terps 2016 starting pitching. RHP Mike Shawaryn was among the best in the country last year, and LHP Tayler Stiles added a potent one-two punch. But, after Stiles was injured against Cal St. Fullerton and lost for the season, the rotation struggled to find consistency, as eight different Terps (other than Shawaryn and Stiles) made starts.

DAY 9
Graphic by Kate Correia

This year, with Shawaryn poised for another stellar year, Tayler Stiles back from injury, and returning sophomores RHP Brian Shaffer, RHP Taylor Bloom and RHP Ryan Selmer emerging, Maryland fixes to have a solid foundation. Mix in freshman RHP John Murphy, RHP Cameron Enck and RHP Hunter Parsons, and head coach John Szefc and pitching coach Jimmy Belanger have exciting depth.

 

The Weekend Rotation:

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RHP Mike Shawaryn

As expected, preseason first-team all-American RHP Mike Shawaryn will sit atop the the weekend rotation. Shawaryn, a junior, had the best pitching season in Terps history in 2015, totaling 13 wins and racking up 138 strikeouts, both school single-season records. In the process, he also set the school record for career wins (24). The right-hander recorded a 1.71 ERA in 116.0 IP, good for 17th in the country and 2nd in the Big Ten, trailing only Illinois closer Tyler Jay (1.08 ERA, 66.2 IP).

Shawaryn is projected to be picked in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Baseball America lists him as the 15th-best college prospect, giving him the chance to be Maryland’s highest-ever draft pick, a honor currently held by former Minnesota Twins LHP Eric Milton (1996 MLB Draft, 20th overall).

 

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RHP Taylor Bloom

The Saturday slot in the rotation is expected to be manned by sophomore RHP Taylor Bloom. On paper, Bloom  struggled last season, posting a 2-3 record in five starts to go along with a 4.01 ERA. But, the right-hander showed his potential in the postseason, tossing six innings of one-run ball against top-ranked UCLA in the Regional Final to help the Terps win 2-1.

Over the summer, Bloom played for the Gaithersburg Giants of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League and saw tremendous success, including being named to the CRCBL All-Star team. The sophomore went 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA, with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 38:2. That ratio was helped by a 16 strikeout performance against the Alexandria Aces. With a fastball in the upper-80s, he won’t beat hitters with speed. Instead, Bloom mixes speeds to keep hitters off-balance and uses a lethal change-up to miss bats.

 

Shaffer
RHP Brian Shaffer

Rounding out the weekend rotation is RHP Brian Shaffer. The sophomore was the only Terps pitcher besides Shawaryn to make more than 10 starts in 2015. Shaffer went 5-1 in 11 starts with a 4.57 ERA. His repertoire includes a low-90s fastball and a slider with a strong late break.

Shaffer doesn’t rely on strikeouts to get through innings, but pitches to contact by maintaining excellent control. The right-hander only gave out only nine free passes to go along with 52 strikeouts.

Like Bloom, Shaffer emerged in the postseason. He held the Illinois Fighting Illini, then winners of 27 straight games, to one run over seven innings, striking out seven in his best performance of the season. He was on his way to another solid start against UCLA (2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 K) before exiting due to injury.

 

In the Mix:

While the weekend rotation is set for now, the Terps have plenty of mid-week games, presenting starting opportunities for other hurlers. Most notably absent from the 2016 weekend rotation is junior LHP Tayler Stiles.

Stiles HS
LHP Tayler Stiles

While the southpaw started six games for the Terps before his injury, securing the Saturday slot, Stiles will start the 2016 season in a new role. With all-time saves leader Kevin Mooney (drafted in the 15th round by the Washington Nationals), and bullpen arms Zach Morris (drafted in the 24th by the Philadelphia Phillies) and Alex Robinson (drafted in the 5th round by the Minnesota Twins) gone, Stiles has been named the team’s new closer, anchoring the bullpen with his strong left arm and veteran presence (more on this in our relief pitching preview tomorrow).

Selmer
RHP Ryan Selmer

RHP Ryan Selmer is another returning pitcher to watch. The sophomore was one of the Terps best options out of the bullpen last year leading the team with 31 appearances, posting a 2.18 ERA in 53.2 IP. However, four of the 6’8″ right-hander’s appearances were starts, where he went 3-1. Selmer may start the year as the go-to arm in the bullpen, but could very well be a consistent mid-week starter by the end of the season.

Some freshman arms could make an impact early in the season as well. RHP Cameron EnckRHP John Murphy and RHP Hunter Parsons could all vie for a mid-week slot.

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RHP Cameron Enck

Enck went 2-3 his senior year of high school (Lampeter-Strasburg) posting a 2.97 ERA in 37 IP, striking out 45. The right-hander was named first-team all-league and also earned a 2015 Perfect Game All-American honorable mention.

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RHP John Murphy

Murphy is cut from a similar cloth to Shawaryn, both having attended Gloucester Catholic High School. But, the similarities don’t end there. While Shawaryn holds the Terps career wins record, Murphy established the careers wins record at Gloucester Catholic, notching 28 over his four years, finishing his senior year 5-2 with 70 strikeouts.

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RHP Hunter Parsons

Parsons is one of the two players—along with Andrew Miller—in the Terps’ incoming class to be drafted out of high school. Parsons was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 40th round. The right-hander tallied 67 strikeouts in just 40 IP his senior year at Parkside High School en route to being named the Bayside South Pitcher of the Year.

 

 

25 Days of Baseball: Day 10

2015 was full of exciting memories. While we’re just 10 days away from the start of the 2016 season we thought it would be fun to look back at some of the top moments from a year ago.

day 10
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Number 5: All season long Kevin Smith was smooth with the glove, but in the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 2 of the Charlottesville Super Regional, Smith made a super play.

 

Number 4: LaMonte Wade’s speed, reactions and leaping ability all played a part in his robbery at the wall against Ole Miss in Game 1 of the Regional round.

 

Number 3: But Wade wasn’t done there, in the following game against UCLA, it was time to show off his arm.

 

Number 2: In the Big Ten tournament, the Terps ran into the hottest team in baseball, Illinois, winners of 27 straight games. Maryland was up to the challenge.

 

Number 1: In 2014 the Terps went into Columbia to claim their first Regional championship in school history. In 2015 they flew cross country to do the same against the top ranked UCLA Bruins.

25 Days of Baseball: Day 11

Okay Terp fans, today is the final day of the player profile portion of the countdown. Tomorrow we will take a look at the top play of 2015 and then move into positional previews, and coaches interviews. We will however sprinkle in more player profiles throughout the regular season. In the meantime, we saved the best for last, enjoy!

Ryan Selmer burst onto the scene as a freshman last season, quickly becoming a dominant force in the middle of the Terps bullpen. He showed the ability to not only get out of jams, but go multiple innings when necessary, bridging the gap between the Maryland starter, and Alex Robinson and Kevin Mooney in the back end of the pen. In 31 appearances last season Selmer worked 53 2/3 innings, posting a 3-1 record and a 2.18 ERA.

Selmer is expected to maintain his middle innings role this season, although he could see a start every now and then, like he did a season ago when he started four games, including game two of the Charlottesville Super Regional.

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Ryan had to say about baseball and beyond…

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Favorite baseball memory: Winning the UCLA regional is definitely my best memory. Another great memory was growing up and being able to have my dad coach all of my little league teams and also him being the pitching coach of my high school team.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without God blessing me with a great dad. And mom!

Another good memory was hitting a grand slam in high school off of a 70 mph pitch. It was my first home run, and probably my last. Growing up and never having an announcer for your little league games, but then once in a blue moon when we did get one, they never could pronounce my name right. It’s “Sel-MER”, not “Sel-MAR”, or any other variations they came up with. It’s not even that hard to say!

What he chose Maryland: I’ve always wanted to attend Maryland. I’ve always lived right next to the school and have always wanted to play a sport for UMD. I followed Maryland basketball, football, and baseball while growing up. When I heard that they were interested in me playing for them it was like a dream come true, not only for me, but for my dad. My dad grew up around the College Park area and has always been a huge fan of UMD. He wanted to attend the school but was never able to. So for him to have a son be able to go is really exciting for him.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Definitely winning the UCLA regional is my favorite memory. You can’t really beat a moment like that. Probably my second most memorable moment was my first inning as a Terp. I think one of the most fun things was that not many people believed in our team. There were a lot of people saying that we couldn’t be a good team, and people tweeting about how overrated we were. I think one of the most memorable things was that we proved them wrong throughout the last two seasons, and we will again this year.

Goals for this season: Work as hard as I can to be the guy that the coaches will go to in a tight situation. I want to be consistent for my team, and be the best that I can be and help my team make it to Omaha and win a championship .

Favorite teammate: I can’t really pick out a favorite teammate, seeing that they are all my brothers. I will say that I’m good pals with Taylor Bloom and Tayler Stiles because we grew up playing baseball together in little league and high school. Bloom and I attended Riverdale together.

Walk-out song: I’m really leaning toward Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (Rocky 3 version), great song

Hobbies: You can ask some of my teammates about my magic tricks. They are pretty cool. Or you can come ask me, I’ll show you one. I go to church in Bowie, Md. I grew up going to that church, and many of my lifelong friends go there.  I also enjoy learning random things that other people don’t know. I’m trying to visit all of the MLB stadiums before I die. So far I am at 16.

Favorite place to eat around campus: If you ask my teammates, they will all say Chipotle. I walk into the locker room all the time with Chipotle. Definitely get a burrito bowl, with extra, extra, extra white rice, double chicken, mild and medium salsa, extra cheese, and a bag of chips. I get that pretty much all the time. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve been standing outside the Chipotle door at 10:59 A.M. waiting for them to open the door at 11 A.M. Or how many times I was the last customer. It’s just so good! The best is when you get a buy one get one free coupon. A lady gave me one once, and she told me I could bring a friend. Instead of bringing a friend, I just got two bowls. It was yummy! I also like Kiyoko, Panda Express, Blaze Pizza, and Chick-fil-A (milkshakes are great).

Favorite TV shows: I don’t care how old I get, I could watch Spongebob Squarepants all day long. It’s great for all ages. My favorite show is probably 24 (Jack Bauer is the man). I also like Walker Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris. Great show. Currently I’m watching Criminal Minds and I am really enjoying it. The Office is also hilarious.

Favorite movie: I would like to put down Star Wars… I’m the biggest Star Wars fan on the team and probably on the face of the planet. Best movies ever!

Dream job besides playing baseball: I’ve always wanted to be a pilot. In a few years I am going to go get my private pilots license. I don’t know if that will ever become my job, but if it did then that would be awesome! I’ve always loved to fly and it’s been something that I’ve been wanting to do my whole life. I’ve also always wanted to be a baseball coach, and stay around the game I love. Also, something in law enforcement would be cool. FBI or something like that.

25 Days of Baseball: Day 12

Jamal Wade started his career at Maryland with a bang. Well three bangs to be exact. Wade’s first three hits as a Terp were all home runs. He finished the season with five home runs, one more than his brother LaMonte, to go along with three doubles and a triple in 35 appearances as a freshman.

Jamal’s big bat will be a valuable asset for the Terps again this season as he gives them the threat  of adding a run to the board every time he comes to the plate.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Jamal had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Going to play at Cooperstown when I was twelve years old. Every little kid who grows up playing baseball should experience it as it is a great experience as you get to visit the MLB Hall of Fame, trade team pins with other teams from all over the country and you get to play everyday on great ball fields.

Why he chose Maryland: I chose Maryland because living in Maryland I was a Terps fan my whole life and thought it would be awesome to play in my home state and for a well respected team in the country on the rise to do many great things.  When I first stepped on campus I was amazed by the great facilities.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Winning Regionals at UCLA

Goals for this season: Work hard, be a good teammate and do whatever is asked of me to help the team win.

Favorite teammate:  It is impossible to narrow it down to just one as the team is filled with great guys.

What’s your walk up song: My walk up song last year was “Got Me Some More” by Wiz Khalifa but this year I am not really sure what it is going to be yet, but narrowed it down to a few choices.

Pump up playlist: Pretty much the whole playlist from the movie South Paw as that movie pumps me up so much.

Hobbies: Playing ping-pong

Favorite place to eat around campus: Blaze Pizza

Guilty pleasure TV show: Keeping up with the Kardashians

Dream job besides playing baseball: Coach or sports agent

25 Days of Baseball: Day 13

Tayler Stiles thrived in a variety of roles for the Maryland last season. He gave the Terps quality innings as a starter, and out of the bullpen, got key outs time and time again to get the team out of jams. In 14 appearances Stiles notched a 3.46 ERA and struck out 37 batters, while issuing just 8 walks. However, on April 18 against Cal State Fullerton, Stiles was struck in the head with a line drive on just the second pitch of the game, ending his season.

Since the injury, Taylor has endured multiple surgeries, and has rehabbed tirelessly to make his way back to be able to pitch again this season. Taylor will enter this season in yet another role for the Terps: closer. He will follow in the footsteps of Kevin Mooney, the school’s all-time saves leader, who was drafted by the Nationals in 15th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Tayler had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Leading my high school team to the WCAC championship played at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium 2 years straight.

Why he chose Maryland: Maryland is close to home and it is a great school academically and athletically. My first reaction when stepping foot on campus was “woah this place is huge”.

Favorite Maryland Memory: Back-to-back Regional Championships

Goals for this season: Have success in my pitching role and help win games for my team.

Favorite teammates: Taylor Bloom and Brian Shaffer

Walk-out song: Back in Black by AC/DC

Hobbies: Golfing (with Taylor Bloom)

Favorite place to eat around campus: Bread N Greens

Guilty pleasure TV show: How I Met Your Mother

Dream job besides playing baseball: Owner/head of my own training facility

25 Days of Baseball: Day 14

Kevin Smith had big shoes to fill last year, coming in as a freshman, and taking the place of Blake Schmit who was selected in the 26th round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Minnesota Twins. The transition between the flashy Schmit and the smooth fielding Smith was seamless. At the dish, Smith batted .273, with 7 home runs, and 35 RBI. He was named a 2015 first team Perfect Game Freshman All-American, and was tied for the team lead with 11 stolen bases.

Expect more of the same from Smith this year: solid defense in the middle of the infield, and a consistent stick near the top of the Terps lineup.

Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia
Graphic courtesy of Kate Correia

Players on the team were kind enough to fill out a questionnaire, so here’s what Kevin had to say about baseball and beyond…

Favorite baseball memory: Winning the New York 9&10 year old Little League State Championship

Why he chose Maryland: I chose Maryland mostly because of the coaching staff and the culture they wanted to implement into the program. My first reaction on campus was how much warmer it was than upstate New York, and how much it felt like home.

Favorite Maryland baseball memory: Beating UCLA to win Regionals in 2015

Goals for the season: I want to help the team win more games than last year. I think if everyone tries to improve one or two things going into the season, it will all come together and create more dog piles in a few months.

Favorite teammate: John Michael Szefc takes the cake

Pump up playlist: Drake, Mike Stud, G-Eazy, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z and others

Hobbies: Golf, might be my best sport

Favorite place to eat around campus: Marathon Deli – Best chicken parm sandwich on this side of the Mississippi

Guilty pleasure TV show: Keeping up with the Kardashians

Dream job besides playing baseball: Anesthesiologist