Monday Morning Update

Spanning the globe on a Monday morning …

Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake had high praise for the club’s second-round draft pick, Senquez Golson. 

It sounds as though the Steelers thought Golson could possibly have been selected earlier. Most projections had him solidly in the third round. …

Remember Scott Bittle? Of course you do. Ole Miss baseball quite likely would have reached Omaha before 2014 had Bittle been healthy for the duration of 2009. That’s when the Rebels, thin with pitching because of a rash of injuries, were five outs from Omaha in Game 2 of the super regional against Virginia but couldn’t close the deal.

I bring up Bittle because that’s what Scott Weathersby has become … the Rebels’ best pitcher. Bittle was a dominant reliever in 2008 and 2009. He transitioned to starter in 2009 because Ole Miss needed the ball in his hand for as many pitches as possible.

Watching the transformation of Weathersby this season the phrase “poor man’s Bittle” came to mind at the beginning. But Weathersby just keeps transforming and improving, and that phrase is certainly unfair to him right now as his numbers are right there with Bittle’s in 2009.

Bittle had a 2.17 ERA in 45 2-3 innings that season. Opponents were hitting .175 against him. He had a 1.78 ERA in 70 2-3 innings in 27 relief appearances in 2008. His number may have been a bit better in 2009 had he been healthier. Eventually he was shut down and missed the last month of the season.

Weathersby threw seven shutout innings in his first career start last Tuesday in the Rebels’ 11-1 win over Mississippi State.

He got the start against Missouri yesterday and helped the Rebels avoid a sweep. The blowout loss That Ole Miss endured in Game 2 is kind of a trademark for this season. The pitching depth is not there for this team. Sometimes that loss has come in the third game of a series, sometimes the second. It depends on how Mike Bianco manages his arms. He didn’t use his best ones Saturday after Missouri had already built a lead against Brady Bramlett. The result was an 18-1 loss.

Yesterday Weathersby got his second career start and went 3 2-3 innings scattering four hits, two walks and giving up one run.

Two of the better bullpen arms — Jacob Waguespack and Wyatt Short — supported him. Sikes Orvis hit a pair of solo home runs, and Ole Miss won 4-3, a very important win as the Rebels try to remain relevant in the NCAA tournament conversation.

For the year Weathersby has a 1.84 ERA over 44 innings. Opponents are hitting .177 against him.

With seven games left the story line is the same for Ole Miss. The Rebels need to climb above .500 to give themselves some breathing room going into the SEC tournament. If they leave Hoover at or below .500 they will not be eligible for the NCAA tournament.

Leaving Hoover about .500 doesn’t guarantee an NCAA bid, but three more SEC wins — It’s MSU this week and Texas A&M to close — give the Rebels 14 in the league. Other important factors would be in their favor like strength of schedule — right now it’s No. 1 in the nation — and quality wins.

Still a lot of work to do to get there. Right now Ole Miss is ninth in the SEC overall standings. …

Thought for the day, or weekend rather, from former Ole Miss defensive end Cameron Whigham:

From SaturdayDownSouth.com, a list of SEC free agent signings.

From CBS, here are the underclassmen who thought turning pro was their best decision but didn’t get drafted. …

Here’s Hugh Freeze leading a devotion for NASCAR drivers, crew and families at Talladega Superspeedway. There’s a lot more good stuff from Freeze’s time at Talladega on Kyle Campbell’s Twitter feed:

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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