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ACC Midterm Grades: Miami

Photo Courtesy of Miami Athletics

It is past the halfway mark in the ACC conference slate which means it's time for midterm grades to go out on all 14 ACC teams. We continue with the Miami Hurricanes, who currently sit 6th in the Coastal Division.

It’s been a tumultuous season for Miami who are currently under .500 on the year at 16-19 overall and 6-12 in ACC play. They have fared better at home, especially in conference where they are 5-4. Mark Light has provided more than a little magic as all five of those home wins were against teams currently ranked in the Top 10. They’ve struggled in midweeks, however, going 4-4 with some disappointing performances.

Offense: B-

The Miami offense has been consistently inconsistent. We’ve seen some dazzling performances from freshman star Daniel Cuvet, who leads the team in average, homers, and RBIs. First baseman Jason Torres started the season on a tear, but has since cooled down as of late. He’s still hitting .359 with 8 home runs, however. Dorian Gonzalez Jr. and catcher Jack Scanlon have been their most consistent hitters this season, with both providing some of that aforementioned Mark Light magic.

Rotation: B

The rotation appears to be the primary strength of this Miami team. Don’t let the inflated ERAs of Gage Ziehl, Rafe Schlesinger, and Herick Hernandez fool you, this trio has been above average all year and tend to pitch deep into games. Both Ziehl and Schlesinger are top five in the conference in innings pitched, while Hernandez isn’t that far behind at 12th in the conference. All three are top 10 in strikeouts as well and Ziehl leads the conference with two complete games. There’s an argument that the starters are extended longer than they are effective due to the disappointing performances of the bullpen coming in behind them.

Bullpen: D+

The Miami bullpen has struggled all season but the return of Brian Walters from injury should continue to provide a boost. He’s been impressive with a 2.16 ERA in 8.1 innings pitched and should continue to take the mound in high leverage situations. The only truly reliable arm this season out of the ‘pen has been freshman Nick Robert, who leads the team with two saves. He’s pitched 27.1 innings over 19 games with a 3.62 ERA. Other relievers such as Brandon Olivera, Myles Caba, and Ben Chestnutt have not been as reliable. If the bullpen can settle over the rest of the season, it could help Miami finish the season strong.

Overall: C

This is clearly a transitional year for the Hurricanes, who boast a lot of talent. They’re only two games ahead of Pittsburgh in the standings for the last spot in the ACC Tournament, so they’ll need to put in good performances to stay ahead of those pesky Panthers, who they’ll host for the final weekend of the year. Expect the Canes to have a decent last twelve games in conference, as half of them will be at home.

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