Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell
University of Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell and his staff are back.
The Cardinals have started fall training and are preparing for some scrimmages / exhibition games this fall.
Cardinal Authority editor Jody Demling met with Trainer McDonnell. Here are some notes about the program:
McDonnell and his staff welcomed a large group of freshmen to campus this summer.
However, the veteran head coach said these 16 new signings will be the only additions to the roster for the coming season. Louisville has had some interest from players in the transfer portal, but the Cardinals have started the fall ball without a new transfer on the roster.
“Zero transfers,” said McDonnell. “I talked about it in our first team meeting just to make a statement: ‘Guys, we believe in you’.
“We have a lot of good players coming back and we have a lot of good players coming and coach (Eric) Snider repeated that because we obviously have a lot of interest this summer. I think we are an attractive program for many. ” of kids when you talk about our success, our signings and the big league players. I think that’s why kids will be interested in our program, but I told them how cool it would be to have a press conference next spring and tell the world we did it to the guys we signed and that we did it with the guys we did better over a couple of years. “
POSITIONAL FIGHTS IN AUTUMN
Louisville lost seven players to the MLB Draft, including several perennial starters.
McDonnell said the competition for these spots has already begun and he is excited to see which players will advance this fall.
“It’s fun to see guys compete,” he said. “When you know that the second base is open, the first base is open, the catch is open, the third base is open, the outfield spots are open. And yes, there are some regulars returning like (Ben) Metzinger and (Dalton) Rushing and (Ben) Bianco and (Cameron) Masterman, but those guys weren’t in the line-up every day last year. It’s fun to measure this older group against a talented younger group. “
TALENTED FRESHMAN CLASS
Louisville signed 18 players in the 2021 class, and 16 of those players are in the current roster for the Fall Ball.
“You never get 100 percent,” said McDonnell. “But we have a very good class, lots of talented players.”
“It’s a really good group and we needed an influx of young talent.”
Among the best in class for Louisville: Chicago infielder Noah Smith, Ohio infielder Will Cook and Kurtis Reid, and pitcher Will Koger.
The Cardinals lost Trinity outfielder Daylen Lile, who was the Kentucky Mr. Baseball and the No. 47 pick in the MLB draft, and Danville pitcher Ethan Wood. McDonnell said he’s “sticking with” Wood, but the right-handed pitcher isn’t on the current list. He was on campus this summer but decided to go to junior college.
“His goal is to get to the professional ball,” said McDonnell.
According to McDonnell, Louisville will be holding scrimmages this weekend. The Cardinals will compete on Saturday and Sunday with times to be announced, but it will be on the Saturday before the U of L soccer game against Eastern Kentucky.
The Cardinals will see Xavier next weekend and later in the month take a retreat weekend to North Carolina and play against Appalachian State that weekend.
“I felt like what we lost last year was the connecting piece in our program,” said McDonnell. “I learned last year that we need a connector. A weekend retreat with these guys this fall will be one of those connectors.”
McDonnell said the team will also play seven games in the annual Pizza Bowl to end the fall camp.