A week after LSU coach Paul Mainieri moved the freshman pitcher up in the Tigers’ rotation, he’s reverting back to the order he’s used most of this season. But the decision has nothing to do with performance.
It’s more about timing. Both Lange and Jared Poché pitched in LSU’s doubleheader last Saturday at Georgia. With this weekend’s series against Texas A&M starting on Thursday, Mainieri doesn’t want to rush Lange back to the mound after his problems with arm fatigue two weeks ago.
So that means Poché will take the mound Thursday night to kick off the weekend. Lange will follow him on Friday, and Austin Bain’s scheduled to start Saturday.
“It’s simply because of the rest time,” Mainieri said. “With Lange coming off a little tightness, I just don’t want him to come back on two days short rest. Poché’s style of pitching and his veteran experience lends him to coming back on the shorter rest a little better than Alex.”
He said it’ll remind him of the playoffs his senior year of high school and could be a good test for the future.
“My arm’s feeling great, and I’m looking forward to it,” Poché said. “I’ve been there, done that. And in the big leagues, they pitch on five days rest all the time.”
Poché agreed with Mainieri that his pitching style helps him bounce back quickly.
“I’m not the type of guy that goes up there and puts max effort to blow it by someone,” he said. “I’m going to pick the corners and let the defense work.”
Mainieri admitted that Lange could probably handle returning on five days rest, but he wants to be as cautious as possible with the gem of his pitching staff.
Lange had to miss his start two weeks ago against Auburn while struggling with fatigue in his throwing arm. He returned to the mound last weekend and threw six innings, allowing one run on five hits against Georgia.
“Last weekend was good,” he said. “Right where I wanted to be. I’m feeling strong, feeling healthy. I’m ready to go…I was little nervous at first, getting back out there and pitching again. But after I settled in, I felt great.”