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What’s Wrong with USF Baseball LHP Shane McClanahan?*

The future first rounder has an 8.24 ERA in conference play.


* I’m only doing this because it worked when I “called out” SS Coco Montes in my season preview. Then it worked again when I said USF football running back Elijah Mack was a transfer candidate. We joked in our Slack Channel about me doing this and we have the “Five Minute Rule”. So here we are.

What is wrong with USF baseball LHP Shane McClanahan?

Over his last two starts (at Houston and at ECU) he’s walked ten (10) batters in just 9 23 innings. McClanahan has always been “effectively wild” dating back to last season but his electric fastball and secondary pitches have helped him get away with it for the most part.

When he can’t spot his changeup and slider he has to rely on the fastball. Although it can top out at 100 MPH, most college hitters can time up a heater when they know it’s coming. When things aren’t going his way, he tends to overthrow and it makes matters worse.

In 2018, he’s only allowed two or fewer walks twice (vs. Fordham and Columbia) in his nine starts. In conference play, the problem has plagued him more so than ever. In his four starts, he has allowed 16 free passes in 19 23 innings compared to 13 in over 30 innings.

He didn’t allow an earned run in his first five starts and he’s been tagged for 18 in his last four, allowing six to UConn, three to Tulane, five to Houston and six to ECU. To be fair, against Houston he was cruising until the seventh inning and reliever Richie Cruz allowed all three inherited runners to score causing McClanahan’s line to look worse.

Understandably the competition has gotten better in conference play—UConn and ECU are projected to host regionals— but, for a future first round pick, and possible top selection overall, the walks are out of control (pun kinda intended). His 1.728 WHIP in conference play is downright atrocious.

This team will only go as far as McClanahan will take them. They have the talent to make noise in the conference tournament and make a regional as an at-large bid if they don’t win the AAC tournament but head coach Billy Mohl can’t waste his bullpen on the day the ace of the staff starts.

Luckily Mohl has gotten the most out of senior RHP Peter Strzelecki on the day after McClanahan’s blow ups. The righty threw a complete game against ECU over the weekend one day after McClanahan was only able to make it three innings, giving Mohl his full arsenal of pitchers on Sunday to close out the series against the Pirates.

McClanahan is by far the most talented pitcher to come through USF. It would be a shame for his last season with the Bulls to end like this. He has an enormous match up versus C. on Friday that will go a long way in determining the conference and how we remember him long after he’s stopped wearing the green and gold.

It’s put up or shut up time for the flame-throwing lefty.

[Again, this is a reverse jinx.]