Updated Feb 11, 2014 - 3:38 pm
ASU baseball coach Tim Esmay looking forward to 'exciting' 2014 campaign
The Arizona State Sun Devils will play this year in their on-campus home, Packard Stadium, before moving their operation to Phoenix Municipal Stadium in 2015, ending a 40-year run at the stadium.
Head coach Tim Esmay, who is entering his fifth season as ASU's head coach, believes Sun Devil faithful will see a good product on Bobby Winkles Field in 2014.
"I think (the program) is in a really good spot," Esmay told Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. "We feel good about our guys, we've got some young kids -- our recruiting the last couple years, we're back where we needed to be. We got through some tough times and I feel we're back and rolling."
The Sun Devils, by their own standards, had a down year in 2013, going 37-22-1, finishing tied for fourth in the Pac-12 and being eliminated in the NCAA Regionals by Cal State Fullerton. But Esmay feels like his team is on a good path to return to former glory.
"We're back into being in rhythm as far as what we're doing and as far as having the right kids in the program," he said. "We're definitely getting a lot stronger on the mound -- credit goes to Ken Knutson, our pitching coach. "We're getting a lot more kids interested, as far as pitching goes, to come to Arizona State."
Sophomore Ryan Burr, who was the team's closer in 2013, is projected to be the Friday night starter for the Sun Devils. The 19-year-old right-hander went 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA in his first year as a collegian. He'll be followed in the rotation by sophomore Canadian lefty Ryan Kellogg, who went 11-1 in 2013.
"This is going to be a team that's going to play well," Esmay said. "They're going to play together. They're going to play an exciting brand of baseball and we're looking forward to another great season."
The Sun Devils are ranked in every preseason poll -- their highest ranking is #19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
The regular season opens Friday with a three-game series against Baylor.
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
Schedule for the week
Dave Tippett and Lon Babby are in-studio on Tuesday for Newsmakers Week.
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Friday and the full week
- Greg Byrne: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part two
- Steve Keim: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf part one
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Thursday
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Herb Sendek: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Derrick Hall: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Wednesday
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jerry Colangelo: Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week Recap: Tuesday
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Lon Babby - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Dave Tippett - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week recap: Monday
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Jeff Hornacek - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Four
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Three
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part Two
- Kevin Towers - Newsmakers Week with Doug & Wolf Part One
- Bryan Sperber, PIR President - Friday February 14PIR president Bryan Sperber closes out Newsmakers Week with Doug and Wolf.
- Greg Byrne, UA Athletic Director - Friday February 14Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne sits in on Newsmakers Week.
- Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals GM - Friday February 14Cardinals GM Steve Keim joins Newsmakers Week.
- Kevin Guy, Arizona Rattlers Head Coach - Thursday February 13What should the NFL implement from arena football?
- Herb Sendek, Head Coach ASU Basketball - Thursday February 13Can ASU make the tournament in March?
- Derrick Hall, D-backs President and CEO - Thursday February 13When does Derrick Hall think things will heat up with the Dodgers?
- Brian Mueller, GCU President - Thursday February 13Brian Mueller explains what attracts athletes to GCU.
- Jim Pitman, Mercury General Manager - Thursday February 13How do things look on the business side of the Mercury organization?
- Ray Anderson, ASU Athletic Director - Wednesday February 12Ray Anderson explains why he took the job at ASU.
- Jason Rowley, Suns President - Wednesday February 12Where are the Suns trending financially?
- Jerry Colangelo, Godfather of Phoenix Sports - Wednesday February 12Jerry Colangelo comes in studio for an entire hour!
- Dan Majerle, Head Coach GCU Basketball - Wednesday February 12Dan Majerle explains the recruiting process.
- David Rousseau, AZ Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman - Tuesday February 11Find out how Glendale is preparing right now to host next year's Super Bowl.
- Lon Babby, Suns President of Operations - Tuesday February 11Eric Bledsoe's future with the team and the relationship between the Suns and Dan Majerle.
- Dave Tippett, Coyotes head coach - Tuesday February 11Dave spends his Olympic break with us in studio to discuss the playoff race his team is in.
- Tim Esmay, ASU baseball coach - Tuesday February 11Tim describes the competitive nature in recruiting high school athletes.
- Tom King, 2014 Waste Managment Phoenix Open Chairman - Tuesday February 11Tom explains how the Phoenix Open continues to be a huge success year after year.
- Charli Turner Thorne, ASU Women's basketball head coach - Monday February 10How is the women's basketball program at ASU doing?
- Kevin Towers, D-backs GM - Monday February 10The D-backs made moves on the mound
- Jeff Hornacek, Suns Head Coach - Monday February 10Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek joins Doug and Wolf during Newsmakers Week.
- Keith Baker, GCU Athletic Director - Monday February 10How long until GCU can make the NCAA tournament?
- George Gosbee Phoenix Coyotes Co-Owner - Monday February 10Live update from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Doug & Wolf's Newsmakers Week
D&W talk to all the top decision makers in Arizona sports.