Bama's Pitching Options Scant

Alabama junior left hander Brian Griggs found out he was starting on the mound against Mississippi Valley State Wednesday night when his dad called him up and told him he'd seen the news on Alabama's official website.

There was no big speech from Jim Wells. No pep talks from teammates. After all, it's a mid-week game Alabama is expected to win. But the state of Alabama's pitching staff is in serious condition.

The Crimson Tide has used six different starters on the mound and 11 total pitchers. Four pitchers are currently out of the rotation with various injury situations.

Austin Hyatt is out – hopeful for a limited return to the mound this weekend when Alabama faces Ole Miss. Austin Graham is out – still recovering from shoulder surgery a year ago. Patrick Kelly is out – broken hand. Brandon Belcher is out – muscle strain.

Wednesday night's game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Alabama was originally scheduled to play MVSU twice this week, but because of the beleaguered pitching staff it will reschedule the Tuesday game for later in the year when it hopefully has some arms.

"We don't have enough pitching to go through 18 innings," Wells said. "It's a real concern. The main thing is to give us something, where a guy can give you two or three innings."

Wells has sophomores Miers Quigley and Casey Kebodeaux and senior Bernard Robert to start on the weekends, and Tommy Hunter to work in relief, ideally on Friday and Sunday (or possibly to start on Sundays).

The rest of the staff that is currently available to pitch in mid-week contests and out of the bullpen on weekends includes Josh Copeland, Will Stroup and Griggs. Freshman right hander Del Howell (1 G,0-0,33.75 ERA) has one appearance out of the pen, also.

Alabama has lost three straight mid-week games.

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