Podcast summary: Javi Salas breaks down Canes season

Podcast summary: Javi Salas breaks down Canes season

Peter Ariz
After an intense ACC tournament, the Miami Hurricanes are gearing up for a regional contest right at home. In Episode 40 of the CanesInSight Podcast, former Miami Hurricanes pitcher Javi Salas joins Peter Ariz to discuss the season, dissecting both the triumphs and the trials of the Canes while looking forward to this weekend’s Coral Gables Regional.

The Canes' regular season had its fair share of highs and lows, as is the norm in college sports, yet Salas praised the Canes' performance towards the end of the season, which he believed was instrumental in setting the stage for a strong postseason showing. The team has made considerable strides since their initial matches in February, transforming into a remarkably cohesive unit capable of impressive feats.

Despite a seemingly unpredictable pitching roster, Salas highlighted the Canes' impressive accomplishments, including earning the number nine national seed and setting a new decade-high record with over 100 home runs. However, he recognized the necessity for stronger, more consistent pitching in the upcoming regional games, and expressed concern over the potential consequences of weak pitching in the postseason.

Salas commended the Canes' coaching staff, including Gino DiMare, J.D. Arteaga, and Norberto Lopez, for their ability to put together a winning strategy, despite the constant fluctuations in the team's performance throughout the season. He emphasized their impressive feat of securing 40 wins, a testament to the collective efforts of the players and the staff.

Looking back at the ACC tournament, Salas applauded the Canes for their fearless performance against formidable opponents. Despite the challenging route, the Canes held their own against the top-seeded Wake Forest, showcasing their resilience in the face of adversity. Andrew Walters was particularly praised for his instrumental role in driving the team towards the championship game. However, the Canes fell short against the number four national seed, Clemson, with a single disastrous inning serving as their undoing.

When asked to single out one pitcher and one hitter who could be pivotal in the team's journey moving forward, Salas chose Alejandro Rosario and CJ Kayfus respectively. Rosario, in Salas' opinion, is a diamond in the rough. Despite his inconsistent performance, Rosario's raw talent and potential make him a promising asset for the team. On the hitting side, Kayfus was spotlighted for his mature and controlled approach at the plate.

Moving onto the upcoming Coral Gables Regional, the Canes face formidable opposition from teams like Texas, Louisiana, and Maine. Salas admitted that while he hasn't extensively studied these teams, Texas' historic prowess is undeniably intimidating. Nevertheless, he is optimistic about the Canes' chances and emphasizes the need to focus on beating the team in front of them.

Salas commended the young players on the team, highlighting the potential of players like Blake Cyr and Jason Torres. Despite their rookie status, these players have shown fearlessness and a strong grasp of the game, making them crucial pieces of the team's future.

As the podcast wound down, Salas and Ariz contemplated the potential future of the team, discussing which players are likely to leave or stay next season. While it's a tough question to answer definitively, they agreed that Yohandy Morales is likely to depart. Alejandro Rosario, while inconsistent, might also attract interest from major league clubs due to his raw potential.

Despite the possible departures, Salas remains hopeful for the future of the Canes. He believes in their potential to go deep into the postseason, and possibly even further. "It's a special time for the Canes," he concluded. "They've shown guts, and they've played incredibly well."

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