Q Will the pitching staff be better?
A Most definitely. Last year’s 4.40 ERA was very un-Tony Robichaux-like despite the 43 wins, and the Cajuns coach recruited two key junior-college arms in Carson Baranik and Greg Milhorn to join son and preseason Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Austin Robichaux in the rotation.
Q Will the pitching staff be deep enough?
A The Cajuns ran short on consistent pitching depth last year, but this year’s additions will allow returning starters Ryan Wilson and Cody Boutte to spot-start and work midweek games. Robichaux also has seven other first-year pitchers and an experienced bullpen from both sides.
Q Who’s going to lead off in the batting order?
AThe only departure from the 2013 lineup was leadoff hitter Dex Kjerstad, who led the Sun Belt Conference at .388 and also hit 12 homers. Outfielder Seth Harrison hit .338 and is a candidate along with several attack-style hitters who could take that role.
Q Will the power stay on for the Ragin’ Cajuns?
A UL-Lafayette bucked the national trend toward “small ball,” leading the nation with 74 homers and ranking second in slugging and sixth in hitting (.317) and scoring (7.6 runs per game). In the third year in assistant Matt Deggs’ hitting system, those numbers should be big again.
Q Is this a team that can get to Omaha?
A The Cajuns have full-time starters back in all but one position from a 43-win team that was among the nation’s best-hitting clubs. They’ve got two quality catchers and depth in the infield and outfield and should be hugely improved on the mound. They should be positioned for their deepest postseason run since winning twice in the 2000 CWS.