It’s no secret that Arizona State’s rotation has struggled this season.
Heading into the year, juniors Eli Lingos and Ryan Hingst were joined by freshman Spencer Van Scoyoc to round up the rotation for the Sun Devils, but much has changed since the beginning of the season a month ago.
Lingos and Van Scoyoc have remained key components of the rotation, yet the Sunday starter had yet to be determined as the Sun Devils head into conference play. Before Saturday’s series finale against Oregon State, ASU head coach Tracy Smith had tried four different arm in the third slot, yet no pitcher had emerged as the favorite to lock up the back end of the rotation.
Senior Eder Erives took the mound in Saturday’s tilt against the Beavers and delivered a promising performance, allowing just two earned runs while tallying three strikeouts in 4.2 innings. Erives’ command struggled a bit in the first couple innings as he allowed four hits and four walks, but he was able to escape some early tough situations with timely fly balls.
Smith spoke on the senior’s performance following Saturday’s game.
“I thought he did a good job of giving the team a chance to win,” Smith said. “When he left the game we were two runs down and I was confident in our offense, it just didn’t happen this weekend.”
Although Smith’s hand was forced in putting Erives on the mound Saturday, it’s unlikely he’ll want to keep him in the rotation. The senior began the season on the Stopper of the Year Watch List and would prove to be much more effective in the later innings as the season continues.
Also in contention for the final starting spot is left-hander Reagan Todd. In 1.2 innings against Oregon State on Saturday he allowed just one run and looked sharp making a couple athletic plays off the mound.
Although getting swept in the opening series of conference play was surely frustrating to Arizona State, Smith urged his team to maintain a sense of maturity and togetherness in the locker room.
“Our greatest challenge is how to handle this, as a mature group,” Smith said. “Or are we going to be immature and start breaking ranks. That’s the sort of stuff you look for as a coach, making sure everyone is together.”
The end of the rotation will surely remain a question mark for a little while longer, but for the time being, ASU should be able to string together some quality starts from Lingos and continue to develop freshman Spencer Van Scoyoc until Smith finds the guy he wants to start on Sundays.