Junior college transfer Sean Johnson, a 6-7 right-hander from Iowa Western, has emerged as a strong candidate to be the third starter with Christian Trent and Sam Smith.
Johnson, though, is slowed by tendonitis in his shoulder right now. He’s expected to pitch but may not start on opening weekend.
The Rebels open Feb. 13 against William and Mary.
“He’s 6-7, and he’s a good athlete. In the fall he was tremendous with 88 to 93 on his fastball, a good curve ball, a cutter and a developing change-up. If you’re looking at him as a pro prospect he projects through the roof,” Ole Miss assistant coach Carl Lafferty said.
The last part of that statement could make him a short-timer in the program. If that turns out to be the case it likely means he’s had a very good junior season at Ole Miss, and that’s not a bad trade-off.
One guy would could start opening weekend is sophomore Brady Bramlett, who sat out last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
He’s been one of the team’s most consistent pitchers this winter.
“In his first two outings he’s looked great,” Lafferty said. “He’s had 90 to 92 on the fastball. He’s yet to give up a run. In five innigns he’s had seven strikeouts and no walks.”
Bramlett, a 6-4, 245 right-hander, appeared in eight games in 2013 going 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA.