Diamond Notes: 4/10

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Plenty of news and notes around the baseball team including comments from coach Jim Morris, Scott Maine, Manny Miguelez, and injury updates.

The Miami Hurricanes are currently 20-14 (7-8 in ACC) and have won six of their last eight games including taking two of three against Georgia Tech this past weekend.

They will take travel to FIU on Wednesday before a three-game home series against N.C. State beginning on Friday.

MIGUELEZ TO START ON WEDNESDAY

LHP Manny Miguelez (0-1, 7.34 ERA) will start Wednesday at FIU. It will be Miguelez's eight start of the season.

After three weeks out of the rotation, Miguelez started last Wednesday's game against FIU throwing 6 1/3 innings allowing six hits and five runs while striking out two. It was a step in the right direction for Miguelez, who was expected to be the team's No. 2 or No. 3 starter this season.

"My season started off good, but then against Florida I had a pretty rough start leaving the ball up and having some troubles with my location," said Miguelez, who allowed five runs against UF in 2/3 innings. "I tried to change things and it just escalated. I got into a funk and ended up getting taken out of the rotation."

Miguelez, a junior, went 8-4 last season with a 4.31 while leading the team in strikeouts with 78.

"It has been pretty tough," Miguelez said. "You go from being one of the top guys to not even pitching. It requires you to be strong and keep faith in yourself because if you don't have faith in yourself, then who will?"

DEMOTION WAKES UP MAINE

Since losing his spot as the team's Friday night starter, LHP Scott Maine has been solid. In his last four starts since the demotion, Maine has a 2.66 ERA in 23 2/3 innings while striking out 21 and allowing just four walks.

"When I got taken out of the Friday spot that is when I started to realize that I really have got to start stepping it up," Maine said. "I needed to do what I did last year so I didn't lose the Saturday spot and at the rate I was going, I would have been moved to Sunday or even out of the rotation."

This season has not gone as planned for Maine who is 2-5 with a 4.03 ERA in nine starts after last year when he was 12-3 with a 4.57 ERA in

"It was definitely a little frustrating especially because I was supposed to be the ace coming and when I don't perform up to what everyone expected me to, it just made me realize that I need to work on and off the field," Maine said.

Maine feels comfortable with all three of his pitches--fastball, curve, and changeup. A sign of his confidence came in his last start when he threw his curve twice on 3-2 counts. Maine tops out at 94 mph on his fastball with an 89-92 mph range.

ROTATION SET FOR N.C. STATE

Morris will go with LHP Scott Maine (2-5, 4.03 ERA), LHP Eric Erickson (4-3, 1.96 ERA), and RHP Enrique Garcia (2-2, 3.08 ERA) this weekend.

Maine will start on Friday with Erickson getting the extra day to heal with his arm soreness that kept him out of last weekend's series. If Erickson can't go, Morris will have ample time to make the adjustment.

WEEKS OUT

2B Jemile Weeks, who is at 75-80 percent right now, will be out at least another week with a pulled right groin. Weeks, the team's leadoff hitter, suffered the injury on March 25 and has missed the last seven games. Weeks will be re-evaluated following the weekend series to see if he can play in the April 18 game against North Florida.

"He is a guy we are not going to take a chance on," Morris said. "He's got to get well before we let him play.

GUTIERREZ TO THROW OFF MOUND

RHP Carlos Gutierrez, who is out for the year after having Tommy John surgery last summer, is supposed to start throwing off the mound as early as next week. Gutierrez is meeting with Dr. Uribe today for an update.

"He is coming along very well, but time will tell," Morris said.

Gutierrez was the team's ace in 2006 before the injury and finished with a 9-7 record with a 4.40 ERA. After redshirting this year, he will be a junior in 2008.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com

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