The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake: 2020.11.23

Your daily dose of all things Texas Tech athletics.

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A couple of baseball articles. Avalanche Journal’s Don Williams writes about the roster issue, perhaps too many talented players, 43 players to be exact:

Tadlock said some young players have agreed to using 2021 as a development year. The Red Raiders ended fall ball with about 25 pitchers, Tadlock said.

“We’ve got some guys that we pretty much communicated with going into the year that they wouldn’t pitch a whole lot,” he said, “but they’d be here with our program and get their feet on the ground and be ready to go the next year. And in the COVID year and dealing with people coming in and out, we figured we needed at least 15 arms to go to.

“We’re going to try to get it down to a workable number, with the understanding that when we’re home and when we’re practicing, those other guys are going to be getting development and getting to (play in) intrasquad, too.”

And also from Avalanche Journal’s Don Williams has a bit on the young freshman pitchers who impressed head coach Tim Tadlock this fall:

Wells is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthander from La Porte, Girton a 6-1, 210-pound righthander from Shattuck, Oklahoma, and Hampton a 6-1, 200-pound righthander from Kilgore. Gorby is a 6-1, 226-pound lefthander from Vero Beach, Florida.

“Hampton, I’m going to say he was the best righthander in the state last year,” Tadlock said. “I might be over-speaking my bounds there, but I would say (of the) guys that made it to school, he’s very close to one of the best. Top three for sure.”

Wells works at 92-96 mph with what Tadlock calls “a power wideout breaking ball.”

“Kind of, to me, old-school,” he said. “I don’t want to say 12-to-6 (curveball), but it’s a bigger breaking ball than probably most people. It can buckle you.”

Tadlock called Gorby “a pitch-ability left-hander” with a lower half that reminds him of former Major League pitcher Greg Swindell and a feel for three pitches. He said the repertoire is “all power” with Girton, who has a competitive streak that belies his small-school background. Girton also was part of a Shattuck football program that has won three straight Oklahoma Class B state championships.

“He doesn’t really care who’s standing in the box,” Tadlock said. “He’ll just go right at ’em.”

That’s not even the entire group, there’s more there, including Brandon Birdsell, a JUCO transfer, Matthew Luna, Hayde Key, Jamie Hitt, Josh Sander, and Brandon Beckel

Via HoopsRumors, the Sixers traded Zhaire Smith to the Pistons this weekend, but will use what’s called a stretch provision in his contract and waive Smith entirely, which means that he’ll get the $3.2 million owed for this year, but the team option for the 2021/22 season, $4.915 million, simply goes away.

I think this makes Smith a free agent, but he’s only played 12 or so NBA games and spent most of his time rehabbing and in the G-League. Hoping he lands somewhere he can get some playing time and develop. In the G-League, Smith averaged about 13 points a game on over 50% shooting, while shooting 37% from the three-point line. That’s significant improvement for Smith and that’s more than usable in today’s NBA, especially because he’s such a terrific defender.

Here are some tweets.

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