Paul Mainieri digested the series loss at Vanderbilt and is looking at the trip to Nashville in a positive light: the Tigers did get one of off what the coach calls the best pitching staff in the nation.
There’s video of Mainieri talking about that above. Here are a few news nuggets that came out of our meeting with the coach Monday afternoon ahead of a game Wednesday against South Alabama.
- Cody Glenn will start the game against the Jaguars on Wednesday. Why? “I think Cody Glenn gives us the best chance to win,” Mainieri said. “He was in the running to be a starting pitcher on the weekend. Still in the running to be a starting pitcher for us. Guy who won seven or eight games for us as a starter (last year).” Glenn has had a rough go at it so far this year. He has a 4.79 ERA and entered Saturday’s rubber match at Vandy by hitting a batter to loaded the bases and then issuing a bases-loaded walk.
- Alden Cartwright, a Runnels grad, could be out for at least two weeks with what Mainieri said is likely a muscle strain in his shoulder. Cartwright will be examined by a doctor Tuesday. Cartwright injured the shoulder on an in-the-dirt curveball during Saturday’s first game of the DH at Vandy, Mainieri said. If it’s only a muscle strain, Cartwright will likely be out a couple of weeks.
- With Cartwright out, Mainieri has moved Brady Domangue back into the bullpen. Domangue had been moved out of the pen and into the starting rotation as the midweek guy. Domangue is likely to be used out of the pen against South Alabama, Mainieri said.
- With Cartwright’s injury, LSU is down to 12 available healthy pitchers. Teams usually have 16-18 pitchers. The Tigers lost three before the season to injury, and Mitch Sewald left the team after a DWI. “I’m getting a little nervous about it to be honest,” Mainieri said. “Let’s hope we can keep everybody else healthy. Starts to get a little bit thin when you have four games in a week, and outside of Nola you don’t have really that one guy that’s going to dominate and pitch deep into the game.”
- The weekend starting rotation this week against Georgia will include the same three pitchers – Aaron Nola, Kyle Bouman and Jared Poché – but the order may change, Mainieri said. Poché might be moved into the Saturday role.
- Freshman Jake Fraley continues to impress Mainieri with his ability to get on base. The freshman has been in and out of the lineup. Mainieri gave him several pinch-hitting chances at Vandy, but working him into the lineup is tough. Why? Because LSU’s outfield is already so solid. “Fraley’s showing me a lot. … He continues to impress in practice,” Mainieri said. “He’s got to learn some of the finer points of the game in base-running and defense. If we weren’t so deep right now in the outfield, we’ve be getting him more playing time.”
- Mainieri is tempted to “expand” the role of reliever Zac Person, usually a one-inning, middle relief guy. Mainieri said Person could move into the role that Kurt McCune has had. Expanding him to a starter has been discussed, it appears. “There’s a little bit of temptation to expand his role,” the coach said. “(Alan Dunn) and I have talked about it a lot. I don’t know. I think Zac is going to be one of those guys real valuable for us in the late innings, combined with Bugg and Broussard.”
- South Alabama took two of three from Arkansas and beat Southern Miss. The Jaguars will start their No. 1 from last season, who has been moved to the midweek this season. “Should be a really good game,” Mainieri said. “It’ll be a great battle. We have to fight the feeling of looking ahead to Georgia.”
- Mainieri said he’s happy winning just one of three games on the road against a team like Vanderbilt. The Commodores have one of the best pitching staffs in the nation, Mainieri said, stifling LSU’s hitters. “You want to win series. We’re going to win our series. This was a good series to get one win in,” the coach said.
- More about LSU’s hitters against Vandy’s pitching: “I’m just not going to get down on our guys. Not going to be a lot of weekends where Alex Bregman goes 1 for 12 and Kade Scivicque goes 1 for 12 and Mark Laird foes 1 for 11 and Ibarra goes 1 for 9. You’re not going to have a lot of weekends like that,” Mainieri said.
- Back to Cody Glenn. Mainieri said he still can win a spot in the weekend rotation. It’s a big game for him Wednesday. “We need Cody Glenn to pitch well. I don’t need him to prove anything to me,” Mainieri said. “I just need him to pitch well so we can win games. We need him to pitch well.”
- More on Glenn and his role with the team: “He’s going to have a tough time coming out of the pen. We’ve always known that because he doesn’t have the greatest of control,” Mainieri said. “He needs to kind of settle in and get into a groove.”