2004 UK Baseball Preview: Pitchers

For the first time in 25 years, Keith Madison will not be leading the Wildcats onto Cliff Hagan Stadium when the season starts Friday. Instead, that honor is bestowed upon new head coach Jon Cohen.

Although coming off a 24-32 season a year ago, the Cats have a very strong nucleus of experience returning to Lexington this spring. The Cats lost just two starters from its every day lineup in Brad Pickrell and Caleb Brock, and two pitchers in Heath Castle and Scott Wade.

Although Cohen did not have time to add many new players, he managed to find two pitchers that should see significant time in Andy Mynette and Football quarterback Shane Boyd.

Mynette, whom signed with Oregon State out of high school, left after a year of junior college ball to follow assistant coach Gary Henderson to Kentucky. Mynette has a very live arm and should see significant time out of the bullpen. He was a surprise addition to the pitching staff and might provide the needed arm Kentucky so desperately needs.

Shane Boyd, out of Henry Clay HS in Lexington should also be a welcome addition to the team. Boyd, whom was drafted by the Minnesota Twins out of high school, was clocked in the lower 90's in his prime. If he can get back to his earlier form, he will be another valuable asset to the bullpen.

The projected number one starter is Senior Seth Stanley. Stanley led the team in strikeouts in his first year as Wildcat from Southern Union State JC. He also finished second on the team in wins, saves, and innings pitched a year ago.

The Cats number two will most likely be former relief pitcher Kalen Gibson from Webster County. The sophomore Gibson was led the team in ERA last year as freshmen, as well as saves and opponent batting average. He appeared in a team leading 26 games and had a 3.41 ERA.

The third spot in the rotation is still up in the air at this point in time. Junior lefty Craig Snipp is the over-welming choice by the coaches, but he is still recovering from arm surgery a year ago. His abscense would open the door for a battle between sophomore Aaron Tennyson, junior James Rodriguez, senior righthander Mark Galvan, and sophomore righthander Rob Bland to have to move from the bullpen to the starting rotation.

Junior righthander and Defensive Cordinator Mike Archer's son, Jeff Archer will be the closer for the Cats, with sophomore righty Jimmy Rose, Mynette, and senior lefty Matt Scott as setup men.

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