Even after the Tampa Bay Rays gave him a $1.15 million signing bonus, Mikie Mahtook said the decision to pass up his senior season at LSU wasn’t easy.
“The hard part of (the negotiations) wasn’t the money or anything like that,” Mahtook said Tuesday. “The hardest part was me making a decision on what I wanted to do whether I wanted to come back to LSU or whether I was going to take that next step in my life.
“Everything about LSU I love. The coaches gave me the chance to play. It really was a hard decision.”
Mahtook, the 31st pick in the first round who signed shortly before the 11 p.m. deadline Monday, said he’ll report to Port Charlotte, Fla., on Sunday and be there a week before the next move is made.
Pitchers on track
Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said junior right-hander Joey Bourgeois and sophomore left-hander Jordan Rittiner are doing well after having Tommy John surgery more than a year ago.
“I think the Tommy John surgery aspect is a thing of the past for them,” Mainieri said, “and as many pitchers have proven they can recover very effectively from that surgery. I expect both of them to be 100 percent this fall.”
Summers cut short
Right-hander Kevin Gausman made a couple of starts in the Cape Cod League before joining Team USA, which broke up in early July.
“He had a couple of really cool experiences, then he got to rest his arm,” Mainieri said. “He’s been on a throwing program since August 1.”
Right-hander Kevin Berry, who had some tightness in his shoulder at the end of last season, started experiencing some more tightness and came home to rehab. “He’s 100 percent now,” Mainieri said.
Mainieri said a heavy workload for right-hander Kurt McCune as a senior at Destrehan High and as a freshman at LSU last season, took a toll.
“At this point in his career, the best thing was just to shut him down,” Mainieri said. “He feels great and will be ready to go (in the fall).”
Infielder/outfielder JaCoby Jones had his shoulder checked after experiencing soreness sliding into third base “There are no issues there at all,” Mainieri said.
Outfielder Raph Rhymes, who was limited to designated hitter duties because of an elbow injury last season, had Tommy John surgery to fix the problem, Mainieri said. He added Rhymes should be able to swing a bat around the first of October and participate fully in the last couple of weeks of fall practice.
Catcher Jordy Snikeris was sidelined by a strained groin. Infielder Mike Lowery suffered a recurrence of chronic hamstring problems.
Mainieri said he’s awaiting the results of an MRI on right-hander Jimmy Dykstra’s knee.
Outfielder Jamie Bruno missed the last four or five games of his team’s summer season, but Mainieri said he hadn’t spoken to him yet to find out the reason.
Left-hander Forrest Garrett has decided to transfer, but Mainieri didn’t know where. Mainieri said outfielder Trey Watkins and pitcher/infielder Kirk Cunningham were not retained, but decided to stay at LSU and graduate. Pitcher/catcher Sam Peterson is transferring to a junior college to focus on catching after learning there wasn’t room for him on a team with six other catchers.
Freshman football players running back Terrence Magee (outfielder) and quarterback Jared Foster (infielder) are projected to join the team in the spring. Mainieri said the baseball future of running back/outfielder Spencer Ware is up in the air.
Advocate sportswriter Robin Fambrough contributed to this report.