Weather has Southern baseball playing catch-up

The weather isn’t helping Southern’s baseball coaching staff make up ground.

The arrival of weather better suited for the Winter Olympics forced cancellation of the Jaguars’ first preseason practice Friday.

“With so many kids living off campus, we didn’t want to take the chance of having them drive to campus,” coach Roger Cador said as freezing precipitation fell Friday afternoon.

Cador said the team will try to convene indoors Saturday for some conditioning and fundamentals work.

“We’ll do what we can do,” Cador said. “It’s not that big of an issue.”

Cador’s newly hired assistants, Rick Greene and Mike Partida, already are playing catch-up because of their recent arrival.

“The biggest disadvantage is they’re coming in in January and they didn’t have the fall to learn and see these kids,” Cador said. “So they’re at a disadvantage, and we have to hit the ground really not just running but sprinting.”

Though the new assistants will need time to get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each player, Cador stressed the need to be patient.

“We have some catching up to do, but I’ve cautioned them against panicking,” Cador said. “Championships are won in May, anyway, so we’re not too concerned. We just have to learn.”

Cador said “nobody has solidified a position” heading into preseason practice. He said the Jaguars have quality depth in the outfield, but a lack of experience in the infield and wide-open battles among the pitchers.

He added it would be a boost to the program if long-time assistant Fernando Puebla can get his citizenship application resolved in time to rejoin the staff.

“It would be a big plus for us to have him here,” Cador said, “because he can help teach (Greene and Partida) with a lot of the things that I don’t know, because Fernando literally ran the day-to-day operations of the program.”

The Jaguars, who were 21-23 and won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division last year, will open the season Feb. 14 against Grambling as part of the three-day MLB Urban Invitational, which also features LSU and UNO.