Emptying The Notebook: Catchers will rotate, Hale at cleanup, Bugg talks

Paul Mainieri talked to us Thursday. (Bill Feig | The Advocate)

Paul Mainieri talked to us Thursday. (Bill Feig | The Advocate)

LSU’s battle for the starting catcher spot is on-going, and Conner Hale has secured the cleanup position for now, coach Paul Mainieri said Thursday.

That and more (Mainieri video) in our Emptying The Notebook post on this rainy Thursday.

  • Each of LSU’s three catchers will catch a game during this weekend’s three-game slate at Alex Box Stadium (Virginia Tech, Toledo and Texas Southern). Chris Chinea will catch Friday, Tyler Moore on Saturday and Kade Scivicque on Sunday.
  • Hale’s 3 for 5 night Wednesday in the win over Southeastern has at least secured him the cleanup spot for the near future, Mainieri said. “I’m going to stick with that. Give him a shot at it and see where it goes,” Mainieri said.  Hale had been in the No. 9 hole for the first three games and then replaced Jared Foster at the four hole Wednesday. Both actually had good outings. Foster went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
  • Mainieri said Hale reminds him of Raph Rhymes. “Occasional power. Doubles power. Once in a while a home run, but he’s not going to strikeout much. Rhymes drove in a lot of runs for us in his career here. Hale just might be that kind of guy,” the coach said.
  • Mainieri confirmed what we all expected – that Kurt McCune is, for now, LSU’s closer. Expect to see him once or twice this weekend in the ninth inning, especially if the Tigers are nursing a slim lead. There’s video of McCune talking about this subject on the way.
  • A blurb or two now about Parker Bugg, the 6-foot-6 freshman who appears to be LSU’s No. 2 or 3 guys out of the pen. Bugg is the only freshman who was drafted and signed with LSU. His one inning Wednesday night was much better than his first-ever appearance, when he hit two batters in the ninth inning Saturday. “Fell behind a couple of times Saturday. Last night got ahead. It’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count,” Bugg said.
  • Bugg, as we noted, is 6-6. How? His dad is 6-5 and uncle is 6-6. He stopped playing basketball several years ago (freshman year in HS). The basketball coach at his high school didn’t appreciate that too much. The coach was also Bugg’s math teacher. “He was begging me to play basketball but my dad, since he played (basketball)… he was like, ‘No it’s going to mess up your ankles and your knees.’”

Videos

  • Paul Mainieri on his bullpen.

  • Kurt McCune on his role as a closer.