The LSU baseball team won’t have two representatives on the USA Collegiate National Team this summer after all.
Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said Tuesday that he decided to “shut down” All-America right-hander Aaron Nola for the summer after the sophomore threw 126 innings this season. The most innings Nola had thrown previously was 89.2 as a freshman in 2012.
A USA Baseball spokesperson said LSU informed them of the decision to rest Nola shortly after the Tigers were eliminated from the College World Series on June 18.
Nola was 12-1 with a 1.57 earned run average, his only loss coming in a 2-1 setback against UCLA in the opening round of the CWS.
Meanwhile, LSU shortstop Alex Bregman reported to Team USA on Monday and went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk while playing second base in his debut, an 11-3 victory against Fayetteville (N.C.) in the Coastal Plains League.
“It was a fun day and an eventful day,” Bregman told USA Baseball. “I couldn’t have dreamt it up any better. I was thrilled. I got some good pitches to hit, and it was a good day at the park.”
Team USA is 3-0 in preparation for games against Japan and Cuba next month.
Infielder Mason Katz is the first of the draftees from this year’s team to sign a pro contract. The Cardinals announced the signing of Katz, their fourth-round pick, Tuesday.
St. Louis has assigned Katz, who was drafted as a second baseman, to their short-season Class A affiliate in State College (Pa.) of the New York-Penn League.
Right-hander Ryan Eades, the first Tiger selected in the draft, is on the verge of signing with the Minnesota Twins. Eades, a second-round pick, was on his way to Minneapolis on Tuesday night and was scheduled to take a physical Wednesday.
Eades said if everything goes as planned, he’ll sign a contract Thursday. He said he expects to be assigned to the Twins’ Elizabethton (Tenn.) affiliate in the rookie Appalachian League, where he’s scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen.
Eades’ signing would leave seven players from this year’s team that were drafted but have not signed: outfielder JaCoby Jones (third round, Pirates), right-hander Nick Rumbelow (seventh round, Yankees), right-hander Will LaMarche (ninth round, Tigers), catcher Ty Ross (12th round, Giants), left-hander Chris Cotton (14th round, Astros), outfielder Raph Rhymes (15th round, Tigers) and infielder Christian Ibarra (32nd round, Pirates).
Jones, Rumbelow, LaMarche, Ross and Ibarra are underclassmen, though Ibarra is the only one expected to return to LSU.
Two Tigers commitments — outfielder Justin Williams, a second-round pick of the Diamondbacks, and infielder David Palladino, a fifth-round pick of the Yankees — already have signed professionally.
Left-hander Brent Bonvillain, who was not drafted, signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals, who said they were assigning Bonvillain to their rookie league affiliate in Iowa Falls of the Pioneer League.
Five Tigers have been assigned to the Cape Cod Summer League. Outfielder Sean McMullen, right-hander Kurt McCune and catcher Chris Chinea will be with Wareham. Outifielder Mark Laird will play for Bourne; and third baseman Conner Hale, an incoming recruit, will play for Falmouth.
Heading to the Northwoods League are Ibarra, outfielder Andrew Stevenson and right-hander Mitch Sewald (Lakeshore); right-hander Hunter Newman and catcher Michael Barash (Alexandria); infielder Tyler Moore, left-hander Hunter Devall and catcher Kade Scivicque, an incoming recruit, (Battle Creek); and right-hander Nate Fury (Duluth).
Outfielder Jared Foster is joining Thomasville of the Coastal Plains League, and outfielder Chris Sciambra is joining Acadiana of the Texas League. Right-hander Taylor Butler will be with Amsterdam of the Perfect Game Collegiate league.
Left-hander Cody Glenn will be taking the summer off.
Online registration for the all five summer sessions of the Paul Mainieri LSU Baseball Camp is now available at http://www.LSUbaseballcamps.com. The camps are open to all applicants entering grades K-8.
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