Baseball, Sports

Hurricanes changing the closer’s role

The Hurricane baseball team may have found their missing piece.

They have a veteran starting rotation that has allowed three earned runs or less in 18 of the 21 ACC starts; they have speed, they have power in the middle of the lineup and they have set-up men. And they just found their closer.

Senior David Gutierrez began the year as the squad’s closer. He was effective early on but struggled in ACC play-blowing saves to N.C. State and Wake Forest.

Two weeks ago, Morris and pitching coach JD Arteaga moved to make Gutierrez a midweek starter and promoted sophomore left-hander Danny Miranda to the closer’s role.

“Danny [Miranda] is a competitor,” Arteaga said. “You have to have a short memory. There are going to be games when you don’t execute, but you have to compete and go out there again.”

The move has been genius.

Gutierrez has made three starts since the switch and has thrown 17.2 innings and only allowed two runs. In one start he had a perfect game through seven innings but was taken out due to a pitch count.

Miranda has been flawless as well. He has converted all three of his save opportunities and only allowed two earned runs in his last 19.2 innings.

Miranda, at 6 feet and 220 pounds, is from Miami. He was drafted in the 50th round by the St. Louis Cardinals out of high school but elected to attend the University of Miami.

“It’s a big transition,” said Miranda of now being the team’s ninth inning pitcher. “All of the pressure is on me. I like pressure and I like the feeling of closing the game out.”

Prior to this year, Miranda had never closed at any level before but he has responded to the challenge.

“He’s not going to go in there and throw 95 [mph]and blow people away,” starting pitcher Eric Erickson said. “He’s a good pitcher but, more importantly, he’s a smart pitcher. He keeps people off balance.”

Miranda’s best pitch is his change-up. He works both sides of the plate and throws strikes.

The sports administration major recently sought advice from former UM standout closer Kyle Bellamy.

“[Bellamy] told me to stay strong and throw strikes,” Miranda said. “Don’t go out there and do too much. Once you do that you may start missing your spots.”

Miranda was determined to get in better shape during offseason. Over the winter he did cardio drills with fellow teammate Jason Santana every day.  Miranda eventually lost 10 pounds and has more endurance than ever.

He has aspirations of getting the final out at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska.

Justin Antweil may be contacted at jantweil@themiamihurricane.com.

April 21, 2010

Reporters

Justin Antweil

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Mark Richt said he’s spending the bye week evaluating everything about Miami’s offense, a process th ...

Mark Richt is sticking with the veteran. The Miami Hurricanes coach announced during the weekly Atla ...

Is there an apt comparison for this year’s American League Championship series between the Boston Re ...

If the University of Miami defense isn’t boiling with frustration by now, it must be simmering in an ...

Miami Hurricanes redshirt senior Gerald Willis was the lone UM football player chosen for the Associ ...

Through an innovative program, Miami Law students are empowering local high schoolers to think like ...

A grant from the German government will support a series of roundtable and networking sessions on U. ...

As BioNIUM’s new director, the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology plans t ...

Fareed Zakaria, a CNN host, journalist and author, tells UM students that globalization and technolo ...

The program, in which UM students mentor high school students, aims to get first generation students ...

For the second straight year, all of the Miami women's basketball teams will be televised and f ...

The University of Miami soccer team heads to the Tar Heel state for a pair of road matches beginning ...

Get to Know U is a series that introduces the newest members of the Miami Hurricanes track and field ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.