The 2016 baseball season has been a major disappointment for the Virginia Tech Hokies with only a couple weeks left in the season and a managerial change being very likely once the Hokies finish their season at Virginia.
The next Hokies’ manager will need to make sure he can rebuild the pitching staff along with developing the ones currently in Blacksburg after a season in which, the ERA for Virginia Tech’s pitching staff is above 6, and only two pitchers have an ERA below 5. However, one of those two pitchers with an ERA below 5 has given the Hokies a quality starter at the front of the rotation to help them win a few more games.
Kit Scheetz has dealt with multiple injuries during in his time in Blacksburg that have prevented him from having a big breakout season. However, that has changed this year as Scheetz has had fairly good health in 2016, and been the one starter that Pat Mason has been able to regularly rely on to get the job done.
In 11 starts this season, Scheetz has a 5-4 record with 72.1 innings pitched, a 3.61 ERA, and 1 complete game. Scheetz hasn’t been a big strikeout pitcher with 48 strikeouts on the season, but he has prevented the long ball as he has only given up five home runs all season. Scheetz has also been hard to get on base against with opposing hitters batting .221 against him along with Scheetz only allowing 21 walks and 6 hit-by-pitches so far.
Arguably the most important thing Scheetz has done is go deep into games as he is averaging over 6 innings per start, giving the Hokies’ bullpen some extra rest especially with the Hokies dealing with many early pitching changes this season. Having a guy like Scheetz next year can also be valuable in making sure the Hokies’ bullpen is not heavily used at the beginning of any big weekend series against ACC teams.
There is a chance that Scheetz could get selected in one of the 50 rounds of the MLB Draft this summer and leave Blacksburg, but his past health issues and low strikeout rate will most likely mean Scheetz is back next season. Whoever is managing the Hokies in 2017 will definitely look to Scheetz as the cornerstone of what will hopefully be an improved rotation that can get the Hokies headed in the right direction ahead of English Field renovations being completed for the 2018 season.
Virginia Tech’s pitching staff has had a painful season, but Kit Scheetz has been a bright spot and is now the cornerstone for next year’s hopefully improved rotation.