The last two days have been perhaps the most interesting ones of the 2013 season for LSU Baseball. The Tigers received a bit of bad news on Thursday night when they learned that sophomore starting pitcher Cody Glenn would be suspended this weekend for a violation of team rules. The LSU pitching staff showed some inconsistency on Friday as well. On top of that, LSU lost two of their top players on Friday when they took on Jackson State in the opening game of the Baton Rouge Regional, with one possibly out for an extended period of time.
In this notebook, TSD takes a look at a few areas that could present problems for the Tigers moving forward.
With LSU leading Jackson State by a score of 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning, freshman Alex Bregman and senior Raph Rhymes collided with one another in shallow left field as they were both in pursuit of a lazy fly ball. The collision ultimately resulted in both players being removed from the game. Rhymes suffered a laceration to his lip and required stitches. He also suffered a nose injury that is not believed to be serious. Bregman wasn't as lucky. Once the players were off the field, Bregman was taken to an area hospital to undergo tests for a possible concussion. No definitive ruling has been made, but the prognosis of Bregman is slightly more uncertain than that of Rhymes. Following the game, Bregman took to Twitter to explain that he would be in uniform on Saturday for LSU.
"I'm playing tomorrow," Bregman said on Twitter.
Raph Rhymes is expected to play tomorrow after suffering a laceration to his lip and a bloodied nose.
Following LSU's 11-7 victory over Jackson State, Paul Mainieri issued a statement regarding Alex Bregman and his status for tomorrow's game.
"He does not appear to have a fracture in his face," said Mainieri. "He passed all of his concussion tests. He will be checked again by doctors in the morning, and the decision on whether he'll play Saturday will be made closer to game time."
With the possibility of LSU being without Bregman, there is already somewhat of a plan in place for the Tigers to be able to function without him. After the injury, junior Christian Ibarra slid over to shortstop from third base to replace Bregman. This is not an unusual move for Ibarra as he has played the position for numerous years, including throughout his career at Rio Hondo College in California.
If Ibarra mans Bregman's position in his absence, the Tigers have a couple of options as to who they could go with at the hot corner. Senior Casey Yocom played well defensively today following the injury to Bregman. Sophomore Tyler Moore also has experience at the position and would be a very capable player at third base for the Tigers. At this point, Mainieri isn't quite sure about his plans for the position moving forward.
"The options are either Yocom or Tyler Moore there," said Mainieri. "We're going to sleep on that one. I would suspect that Ibarra would do a good job at shortstop. We will have to see what's up with Alex first."
With all that said, it could turn out that both players return to action when the Tigers take on the winner of UL-Lafayette and Sam Houston State on Saturday.
Eades, bullpen performance and plans moving forward
Junior Ryan Eades started the game for the Tigers on Friday against Jackson State and did not provide the results that were expected out of him. Eades went 2.1 innings and allowed four hits, three walks and two earned runs, while struggling with command for the entirety of his outing. After the bad outing from Eades, junior Kurt McCune provided some life for LSU as he came in and shut down the Tigers of Jackson State. McCune threw 4.2 innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts. Following the game McCune reflected on his performance on the day.
"I'm just really happy that I could help my team out today," said McCune. "I went in with the mindset of just getting out of that inning. I didn't think I would be in as long as I was."
Not only did Eades have an uncharacteristically bad outing on Friday, but a couple of other LSU pitchers also did. Senior Kevin Berry came on in relief of McCune in the eighth inning. Berry didn't make it out of the inning as he went one-third of an inning and allowed two hits, three earned runs, two walks and one hit batter. The results weren't much different for freshman Hunter Newman. He came on in the ninth to shut things down and he allowed one hit, two walks and two earned runs. The one hit he allowed was a homerun to Jackson State's Fred Hampton. Outside of those two, the LSU bullpen pitched well enough to secure victory. Mainieri provided his thoughts after the game.
"Ryan had some trouble with his command," said Mainieri. "Kurt came in to save the day. There was some humidity affecting Ryan and his grip on the ball, but he has to know how to deal with that. He just never found any kind of rhythm. He just picked an inopportune time to have a bad game."
"I think Nate Fury and Joey Bourgeois both played well," said Mainieri. "Kevin Berry and Hunter Newman didn't, but we got through it."
Moving forward, the Tigers will start Aaron Nola on Saturday. Beyond that, Maineiri isn't sure what the plan will look like and he doesn't plan to focus on it until after LSU's game on Saturday. The prime option for the coaching staff would be to use the pitching staff in the same manner as they did last weekend against Vanderbilt. Brent Bonvillain seems like a likely candidate to start the game, with the bullpen being able to finish things out.
Cody Glenn situation
Tiger fans everywhere heard surprising news on Thursday evening when it was determined that sophomore starter Cody Glenn would be suspended at least through the Baton Rouge Regional for a violation of team rules. The news has thrown off the pitching plans for what could be the final day of the Regional on Sunday for the Tigers. Glenn was scheduled to start the game on Sunday for LSU. As was mentioned in the previous topic, it is likely that Brent Bonvillain will get that start with Glenn not currently on the active roster for LSU.
Beyond the Regional, not much is known about what the status of Glenn will be. Mainieri said that he would reexamine the status of Glenn following the Baton Rouge Regional, if LSU is successful in winning it. There has been much speculation as to why Glenn was ultimately suspended, but there just isn't any information on the topic. Paul Maineiri shied away from questions regarding his reasoning for the move following LSU's victory on Friday.
"It wasn't known until last night," said Mainieri. "I can't really go into detail because it is a personal matter. Like we said in the release, it was a violation of team rules. Unfortunately, sometimes youngsters don't do the right things and they have to learn their lessons the hard way.
One thing is for sure; Mainieri knows just how important Glenn is to his pitching staff. While that may be the case, Mainieri also knows that Glenn didn't do what was expected of him.
"He will learn his lesson this weekend and we will go on without him," said Mainieri. "He let his teammates down and he will realize that."
NOTES: An interesting week for LSU
Tiger Blitz Top Stories
LSU turning finesse into power in run gameWhile LSU could have reinvented the wheel when Steve Ensminger took over the Tigers' offense, LSU instead turned finesse into power in their running game.
Tiger BlitzYesterday at 4:00 AM
Recruits react to LSU's win over Ole MissFollowing LSU's win over Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night, recruits sounded off on how they felt about it to Tiger Blitz.
Tiger BlitzSunday at 10:00 AM
LSU's halftime adjustments on defense keyAfter coming down to earth a bit after the first half that saw LSU's defense surrender 21 points, Dave Aranda made adjustments and fixed the issues, leading to a smothering second…
Tiger BlitzSunday at 9:33 AM
Orgeron, LSU picks up signature winEd Orgeron won a signature win against a top 25 opponent here Saturday night at home in Death Valley against rival Ole Miss in convincing fashion 38-21. Orgeron, who has run his…
Tiger BlitzSunday at 12:55 AM
New Tiger Blitz members receive a great perk!Another great partnership from the folks at Scout.com brings a big benefit to new Tiger Blitz/Scout members!
Tiger BlitzFriday at 11:18 AM