No. 3 MSU (16-0) resumes play Friday night when Central Arkansas (12-1) visits for a three-game weekend series – the Bulldogs’ last non-SEC weekend. They open league play next Friday vs. LSU. I caught up with coach John Cohen earlier today to discuss a few things, mostly pitching. This is the first three-game weekend series MSU has played this year, so he had to decide who to leave out of the starting mix.
Cohen said Jacob Lindgren will start Friday, followed by Evan Mitchell on Saturday and Kendall Graveman on Sunday. Those have been the first three all year, so Will Cox is the one left on the bench this time. Now, some excerpts from my chat with Cohen.
Brandon Woodruff only threw one-third of an inning Tuesday, what’s going on with him?
“He just wasn’t himself the other night. We really believe in Brandon Woodruff. He’s going to be a great one for us. He’s going to pitch in some big games this year for us. But for whatever reason that night just wasn’t his night. He’ll learn from it. I hate to blame it on cold (weather) or things like that, but I just didn’t think he had the feel that he’d had in previous outings.”
What’s your plan on setting the rotation for SEC play, and is part of that reviewing every start of every pitcher?
“That’s a big part of it; we’ll evaluate who’s earned the opportunity. But also who’s pitching well at the time. All that’s a factor. My goodness, Cox pitched very well, he could be one of those guys. Certainly Woodruff could go out next week in the middle of the week and pitch very, very well, and he could be right back in the middle of it.”
Could you pitch Woodruff some this weekend?
“It’s possible. It’s certainly possible. That’s something we have discussed for sure.”
How’s first baseman Wes Rea (quad) doing? (He’s played one game since opening weekend.)
“Wes seems to be getting better every day. They feel like they had a little bit of a breakthrough the other day with some of his rehab. We’re going to try and do everything we an to get him ready for LSU, and hopefully it will be.”
On Central Arkansas:
“What jumps out at you is they really pitch, especially their starting guys. They have a back-end guy (Bryce Biggerstaff, 1-0, 1.89 ERA) who’s very good. They don’t make a lot of mistakes defensively. Man, do they do a good job of the strike zone offensively.”