Once again, Auburn Baseball Coach John Pawlowski will periodically update fans with his thoughts and ideas and what's happening with the Auburn baseball program. Entering his second season at Auburn, Coach Pawlowski shares his thoughts on the start of fall practice, which begins on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2009
Talk about the start of the school year:
Head Coach John Pawlowski: As the fall season begins, you look back to the summer. I thought it was a very productive summer. The new players that are coming in, we are certainly excited about them and the contributions that we think they can make for our club. Right now we are in individual practice where we can work with four players at one time. We will do that until September 14th. We start our team practices on September 15th. The NCAA allows us a 45-day window in the fall and we will practice 30 of those days. I encourage everybody to come out. Our first scrimmage will be Friday, September 18th at 6pm, which is the Friday before the Auburn-West Virginia football game.
Talk about fall workouts and other important dates:
JP: We will scrimmage on the weekends during our 30 days. We will also have a scout day when all the major league teams come in and run the guys through the 60 and have them throw off the mound. That is always an interesting time for our players. We will also have our annual Home Run Derby on October 16th at 6pm with a scrimmage to follow and once again all the proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County. We conclude our team practices with the Fall World Series the 23rd-25th of October. We have a lot of stuff to get done. We need to find out what some of these young guys can do while continuing to find a way to get better.
Can positions be won in fall practice? What do you look for in the fall?
JP: A lot can be determined in the fall. Some of the older guys need to be pushed in the fall because after a while you know if you have been playing every day, but the younger guys will push them. I don't think the pitching rotation will be set in the fall. We are going to give a lot of guys a lot of opportunities to go out there and perform. That should give us a good indication of what each guy can do. February 1st is when we will start our spring practices and really start cranking it up. A big part of our fall is getting into the weight room. (Strength coach) Rich Levy does a great job with them and we are spending a lot of time in there this fall. One thing to look at, we have to monitor the number of innings they are going to throw in the fall. We have to be preventative when it comes to injuries.
Have you seen any changes in players coming out of the summer?
JP: Hunter Morris went up to the Cape (Cod League) and really worked hard on getting his body in shape. He committed himself off the field and on the field. Brian Fletcher and Trent Mummey had great summers also. Kevin Patterson was up in the Cape too. All four of those guys are a huge part of what we are trying to do.
With two new offensive coaches on staff, what will be different?
JP: We are going to try and get better at the little things. Last year we hit some home runs, and that was a good thing, but we need to find ways to manufacture more runs. I think we will have more options to manufacture runs this year. We will have a little more team speed and we will be more than one dimensional offensively because we have more pieces of the puzzle that we can input. (Assistant Coach) Link Jarrett has done a great job with the guys so far.
We lost two great guys in Matt Heath and Jeff Duncan but both of them had great opportunities. Matt is now scouting with the Houston Astros and Jeff is now a full-time, paid assistant at Purdue. I think our team is better for having both of those guys around the program but we have to move forward, and that is one of the toughest things about coaching; you always have to be alert to what may happen. You have to have guys available or names that will surface. We will fill Jeff's spot with a quality individual, that's for sure.
Talk about the spring schedule:
JP: The spring is going to be a great challenge for us. We added some new teams on the schedule. We open up with Southeast Missouri State, a team that is very good year-in and year-out. We are starting a new thing this year in that we are hosting a tournament this year and hope to make that a yearly thing. This year Missouri, Florida Atlantic and Boston College will be in the field. If you are a baseball fan and you want to watch some quality baseball, that tournament should be exciting. We have a trip out to Arizona State again too. Then you look at our conference schedule. It goes without saying that this is the toughest conference in the country. It will be a great challenge for us. We have to be better offensively and we are going to have to pitch better in spots. The key for us will be how quickly the new pitchers develop and how much an adjustment our returning position players make.
2008 INSIDE THE AUBURN CLUBHOUSE WITH JOHN PAWLOWSKI
This season, Auburn Baseball Coach John Pawlowski will periodically update you with his thoughts and ideas and what's happening with the Auburn baseball program. Hired on June 20, Pawlowski has hired his staff and begun preparing for the 2008 season. Below are his entries into 'Inside The Auburn Clubhouse.'
DECEMBER 18, 2008
Just wanted to give you a quick update on and around Auburn Baseball as we settle in for the Holiday Season. As we look back at what was accomplished and the work ethic that our student-athletes put forward this fall, I am pleased with the overall direction we are headed. We all understand the goals we have in place and just how much time, effort and passion one must have to achieve the success we want here at Auburn both on and off the playing field. Its pretty exciting to know that the season is fast approaching and Feb 20th will be here soon.
Please check back in soon as we will be releasing some important dates as it pertains to practice and scrimmages here in Jan and Feb. We appreciate all your support and want everyone to know that Auburn Baseball encourages you to help us continue to get this program where we want to be. Your support is a big part of the picture and we look forward to seeing you out at Samford Stadium-Hitchock Field at Plainsman Park.
From all of us here, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season.
See you soon!
OCTOBER 29, 2008
It's really hard to believe that our fall team practice has come to a close. The time seemed to fly by and I feel we learned a lot about the character and makeup of this team. Overall, our staff was pleased with how the players conducted themselves both on and off the field throughout the semester. Being a student-athlete here at Auburn takes discipline, structure and a commitment to succeed. The new faces around the clubhouse continue to go through this learning curve and have made some major adjustments to life in college.
It was great to see the support we had at our scrimmages and the passion that people have for Auburn Baseball: from the Home Run Derby to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Lee County; the Lettermen's Club reunion weekend; the Fall World Series; the two mile run that the players did for Breast Cancer awareness; our fall picnic with all parents and family members. We not only covered a lot on the field, but off the field as well. It truly is an exciting time to be part of Auburn Baseball.
The rest of our fall will consist of more individual skill work, an increase in work load in the weight room, and high intensity workouts for conditioning. This will take us into the end of November and early December. As the fall winds down, I will continue to update you on events and happenings around Auburn Baseball.
Here's a quick look:
October 29th- last official day of team practice.
November 8th- MLP Fundraiser www.au4mlp.com
November 9th- Auburn Diamond Club meet the coaches and team. www.auburndiamondclub.com
December 16- Final Exams end
December 20-23, 27-30 Baseball Camp www.Auburnbaseballacademy.com
Thank you again for all the support this fall and making our staff feel welcomed here at Auburn. Our players have worked hard in the class room and on the field. A great challenge lies ahead for us all, and we certainly look forward to the rest of the fall and of course the 2009 season.
Have a Great Day and "Expect to Win"
SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2008
It's hard to believe that we have just completed our first two weeks of fall team practice. Although the time has gone by quickly, I feel like it has been productive in many different areas. The number of days and hours we have for the fall is restricted by the NCAA, so we have to utilize every day we can and try to improve and maximize every practice or scrimmage. Our staff has been pleased with the progress of several players and encouraged by the commitment of the team.
One of our goals heading into the fall was to make strides on the mound and continue to build our pitching staff. We all have been encouraged by the return and progress of Paul Burnside and Taylor Thompson, both of whom can play a major factor in our success in 2009. Several adjustments are being made and with a continued work ethic, we believe our staff is headed in the right direction. Besides the pitching staff, we have to solidify our infield and find a shortstop that can replace the loss of Matt Hall. Several players have had opportunities during our five scrimmages and the competition will continue to carry on into the spring. Casey McElroy, Chezz McCann and Joseph Sanders all have taken several ground balls over there and shown well during the games. If you have stopped by and caught a few innings this fall, I am sure you have noticed that Hunter Morris is not participating at this time. He has a hand injury that has limited his practice time and appears he will be out for most of the fall.
The attendance has been very good at our scrimmages and we will try to keep everybody posted on dates and times as we progress through the fall. A lot of this is contingent on the availability of the pitching staff. Please check back on the Auburn web site as we will post important dates as it pertains to our Home Run Derby, Alumni Game and three-game "Fall World Series" later on this month. It's an exciting time surrounding Auburn Baseball and we know we have a lot of work to do. We appreciate your help and support and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for this club. As the sign reads, "Expect To Win".
SEPTEMBER 8, 2008
To say that it has been a busy fall around Auburn Baseball would be an understatement. Since Friday June 20th, my staff (Scott Foxhall,Matt Heath, Jeff Duncan) and I have been putting forth the effort required to make the transition run smoothly and begin laying the foundation for fall practice. We certainly are very excited and anxious to begin the quest and challenges that lie ahead for our program. Auburn Baseball has a very long and proud history that we certainly are very thankful to be part of. The players,staff and coaches are ready to commitment themselves to making Auburn Baseball a winning combination.
The NCAA has many rules and regulations as it pertains to fall practice and the number of players and workouts we are allowed to have. Currently, we are entering into our 3rd week of individual practice and have started to settle into a weekly routine. This pertains to not only on the baseball field, but certainly in the classroom. I believe that the adjustment period that is taking place both for the players and coaching staff is going very well at this time . For the freshman and new players, they are just beginning to understand what commitment they have to make in order to be a successful student-athlete here at Auburn. For the returning players, its time to step up and help lead this program back to where we want to be, both on and off the field.
Our workouts have been going well as we can only have 4 players doing skill work at a time. This allows us to teach, instruct and learn about each player as we prepare for team practice to begin on Sept 16. This should be a very competitive fall in many different areas for our team and especially on the pitching staff. I am very anxious to see how we compete and the work ethic that is required for us to Win in the SEC and compete on a National level.
We have many events scheduled for this fall that I hope our alumni, fans and supporters of Auburn Baseball will be excited about. Please check the website for weekly updates and information, including our Fall World Series, beginning in October. We encourage all of you to come out and help support Auburn Baseball and be part of our Team. We want you to be as excited and anxious as we are to get started. There is a sign that now hangs in our Dugout and Locker room that simply says, "Auburn Baseball-Expect To Win". Every player is required to touch it upon entering and exiting. It takes a effort from everyone to firmly believe that we can in fact Win, and we do" Expect to Win".