Lineup beginning to take shape

LSU and coach Paul Mainieri begin the 2014 season Friday. (Bill Feig | The Advocate)

LSU and coach Paul Mainieri begin the 2014 season Friday. (Bill Feig | The Advocate)

Three days before his team’s 2014 season opener, coach Paul Mainieri’s opening-day lineup is beginning to take shape.

LSU, ranked as high as No. 2 and low as No. 12 in preseason polls, will begin the season at 7 p.m. Friday against New Orleans at Alex Box Stadium with a host of new starters in the order.

Mainieri said Tuesday that Chris Chinea will start at catcher and Tyler Moore at first base, a pair of players who started just 30 combined games in 2013.

As expected, Conner Hale, a junior college transfer, will start at second base, and Jared Foster, a junior, will start in right field and bat cleanup behind shortstop Alex Bregman.

Mainieri still isn’t sure who will start in center field.

Normal center fielder Andrew Stevenson has been suffering from a groin strain and hasn’t practiced in the outfield in more than a week. If Stevenson doesn’t start, Sean McMullen, expected to be LSU’s designated hitter, would likely play center. Kade Scivicque would DH.

Stevenson is expected to return to full strength soon.

Moore is set to catch on Saturday in LSU’s game against UNO at Zephyr Field. Scivicque will catch Sunday against Grambling at Alex Box. Moore, Chinea, and Scivicque are battling for the starting spots at catcher and first base.