Cody Glenn doesn’t plan on changing much. Well, maybe he’ll throw a little harder.
Glenn has moved from a starting role to the bullpen ahead of LSU’s Southeastern Conference-opening series this weekend at Vanderbilt. He lost out on the weekend starting job to freshman Jared Poché and junior Kyle Bouman.
Glenn can now test that arm strength.
“Maybe I can get my velocity up a little bit knowing I don’t have to go five or six innings an outing,” the junior said.
Outside of that, Glenn says he’ll take the same approach coming out of the bullpen as he did the dugout as a starter: fill up the strike zone and get early outs.
Glenn was LSU’s No. 2 and No. 3 starter last season, and many expected him to win one of the two open weekend starting role behind ace Aaron Nola.
He struggled through four starts this season, though, allowing 10 earned runs and 24 hits in 19 innings.
Pitching coach Alan Dunn has told Glenn to stay ready during games. Coach Paul Mainieri said earlier this week that he expects to use Glenn as a long reliever and that he’d be ready to enter a game this weekend.
“It’s not really that much of a difference game-wise,” Glenn said Dunn has told him. “He said (to) keep a positive attitude and I’ll get another chance soon and to take advantage of my next opportunity.”
Replay at SEC tournament
The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee approved a request Wednesday to allow the SEC to use the experimental instant replay rules during its conference tournament in May.
The SEC will be the third conference to use the experimental instant replay rules. The West Coast Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference previously had their requests approved to use it in their conference tournaments this season.
Replay was originally implemented for games that took place in the College World Series. Since last season, the committee has permitted experimental instant replay reviews on the following:
- Deciding if an apparent home run is fair or foul;
- Deciding whether a batted ball left the playing field for a home run or a ground-rule double;
- Spectator-interference plays (only on plays involving home run balls); and
- Deciding if a batted ball is fair or foul.
There were no replay reviews during the 2012 or 2013 CWS.
Third baseman Christian Ibarra expects to start in Friday night’s game at Vanderbilt, but Mainieri said Thursday afternoon that the decision on that — and another player — have not been made.
Ibarra missed the past three games with a “tweaked” right hamstring, an injury suffered in Saturday’s win over Purdue.
Mainieri suggested that another everyday starter was “nicked up” and that the staff would make a decision on that later. He would not reveal the identity of the player.
Ibarra, meanwhile, said he’s healthy enough to play.
“I’m ready to go,” Ibarra said. “I’m starting (Friday).”
No rush on Fraley
Freshman reserve Jake Fraley has driven in nine runs, scored eight himself and has reached base 10 times this season.
Those stats don’t seem impressive until knowing this: Fraley has just 10 official at-bats.
He’s batting .600 with an on-base percentage of .714.
“What can you say about Jake Fraley? My goodness,” Mainieri said. “Every time we give him a chance, he’s hitting the ball hard.”
Can he work into the group of 11-12 starters?
Maineri doesn’t want to rush Fraley along. The coach suggested that Fraley is the heir apparent to Sean McMullen and/or Mark Laird, who is a draft-eligible sophomore.
“He’s got a future here,” Mainieri said. “McMullen’s a senior. We don’t know if we’ll lose Laird to the draft. We don’t need to rush him along.”
LSU is taking all 13 pitchers and 14 position players to Vanderbilt. The NCAA travel limit is 27 players. Freshmen Dakota Dean, Cade Stone and Jarret DeHart won’t make the trip to Nashville, Tenn. ... Mainieri called Vanderbilt and LSU “mirror images.” Said the coach: “Batting average is close, ERA is close, fielding percentage is close. It’s going to be two really evenly matched teams, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”