As the University baseball squad has had no out-door practice as yet, the process of selection has gone on rather slowly in spite of the fact that the squad has been considerably reduced. No attempt will be made to pick definitely the men for the various positions until all have been thoroughly tried in outdoor practice. The work of the men, as a whole, is promising. In batting, however, there is still room for much improvement.
The training tables will probably be started about April 4. Beginning with this week, smoking is prohibited to all candidates.
For the first game on Soldiers Field, the diamond will be laid out near the Cage, in order to protect the turf on the University diamond from being trampled before the grass has had a chance to grow.
The candidates for pitcher are, at present, Coburn, Kernan, Stillman, MacDonald, Dudley and Winsor. Lack of control is still the most prominent fault of all these men. Coburn, though showing most speed, is especially weak in his control.
The competition for first base has narrowed down to Kendall and J. D. Clark. Clark is superior in batting, but Kendall's fielding is the more brilliant. Out-door work, however, will form the only true basis on which to determine the relative value of the two men.
Keene and Fincke are at present the leading candidates for second. Putnam, the other candidate, though fielding well, is still weak at the the bat; while Keene, also a good fielder, has shown improvement in this respect.
For shortstop, the competition is exceedingly close. The candidates are George, Coolidge, Wheelock and Devens. George who appears to be thoroughly seasoned, is batting fairly well. Coolidge fields splendidly and throws well. Should he continue to improve in batting, the competition for the position will be much closer. Wheelock, although a new man, has improved rapidly both in batting and fielding, and gives promise of further improvement. Devens throws well, but is not so quick as either George or Coolidge. His batting is only fair.
Of the candidates for third base, G. C. Clark, Ewer and Clay show most promise. Judging from their work in the cage, Clark and Ewer seem likely to become good hitters. Ewer, however, is handicapped by being left-handed. Clay is still weak at batting, and both he and Clark are somewhat slow. As in the case of the other candidates for the infield, nothing can safely be predicted of these men until after outdoor work has begun. All three throw well.
Loughlin, Jaynes, Wendell, Christenson, Stewart and Wood are the candidates for the outfield. Of these, Loughlin, Wendell and Christenson are doing the best work at the bat. Jaynes is doing well except for his batting which is still weak. Stewart and Wood throw well, and improvement at the bat would make them strong candidates. In addition to these men, Stillman and Kernan, should they not pitch, would make good fielders.
Much will depend upon the work of the next two weeks as to what men will go on the Southern trip. The second squad has now been reduced to three men.
The Freshman squad has been reduced to twenty-six men. Loughlin will coach them until the University team begins regular outdoor practice.