Entering their third weekend of ACC play, the Miami Hurricanes are still trying to sort out the rotation to pitch during conference play. They received a boost last weekend against N.C. State in the return of Andrew Suarez, the highest drafted college player to return from a year ago.
Thomas Woodrey pitched admirably in his time in the rotation, but without overpowering stuff it is remained to be seen how he handles the entire ACC schedule as a starter.
The hope was that Derik Beauprez was going to be that guy, but the sophomore has struggled in each of his attempts to hold down a spot in the rotation, settling in as a reliever his last appearance.
Miami has started seven different pitchers this season, including Daniel Sayles and his 10.80 ERA on a Friday night against N.C. State last weekend, but the obvious choice to fill out the weekend rotation may be the most obvious one.
After starting three games (in 11 appearances) as a true freshman, Danny Garcia has emerged as one of the better pitchers on the staff as the team’s midweek starter.
The Westwood Christian graduate has a team-best four wins on the season to go along with a 1.73 ERA. Outside of Enrique Sosa, no other pitcher is anywhere close to Garcia’s team leading 34 strikeouts and has only walked eight batters in 36 1/3 innings pitched.
Mainly against opponents that is far below the level of competition seen in the ACC, Garcia has taken full advantage of the opportunity given. In four midweek starts, Garcia has pitched 26 2/3 innings and has only allowed three earned runs (1.01 ERA). Adding in his relief appearance against Florida Atlantic, his ERA drops to under one during midweek games.
While used predominately during the week, Garcia took full advantage of an opportunity against much tougher competition. After Beauprez couldn’t finish the third against Louisville, surrounding a lead that the Hurricanes built, Garcia came in and pitched four shutout innings while only allowing two hits.
Garcia does have one other appearance pitching during the weekend, as he started the fourth game of the opening series against Rutgers. Throwing only 58 pitches, the sophomore only lasted three innings while allowing three earned runs. To date this is the lone blemish outing to an outstanding start to the year.
A lefty who can touch the low-90s is certainly an intriguing arm to utilize during the weekend, but the Hurricanes seem content with just using the one lefty in Suarez while keeping Garcia pitching during the week.
The first two weekends of ACC play has shown that the difference between finishing at the top or bottom isn’t going to be likely, UVA at the bottom of the Coastal is a testament to that. Every win is going to matter and the sophomore has certainly shown that he is worthy of the opportunity to become part of the weekend rotation.