I have learned a new lesson: Do not open up the Blog Bag the week a new basketball coach has been hired. The craziness of said week pushed this little feature well past my self-imposed deadline, so for that I apologize.
But I managed to get (most of) the questions answered. A couple of y'all had queries related to Dudy Noble Field, and I have yet to receive a response to those queries, so I'll roll them over into this week's Blog Bag.
We'll let this entry serve double duty; that is, it's the drop point for the next round of questions. I will try to bring you answers in a more timely fashion.
Q: What is the return schedule of the injured baseball players?
A: As we saw this past weekend, it's hard to pin down a schedule. Coach John Cohen told us Thursday he didn't expect Daryl Norris (knee) back for at least a week, but then he starts all three games at DH. Brent Brownlee and Taylor Stark saw action, C.T. Bradford is back in the lineup, so I guess now it's just a matter of how quickly these guys get back to 100 percent. Cohen told me Monday that RHP Ben Bracewell (elbow) is "day-by-day."
Q: Is there an update on recruits opening back up their recruitment because of new coach? And same question pointed to current players that may transfer? If a current roster player wants to transfer to another SEC school, would the current administration not release them?
A: Since this question was asked, Rodney Hood decided he wanted to transfer. And a pair of walk-ons, Reed Clayton and Charles Parker, have left the program. No word right now on the signees. As for your last question, I have asked but haven't yet gotten an answer on what kind of restrictions may be attached to Hood's scholarship release.
Q: The offensive line is in my mind the biggest problem/question for next year. Better or worse? Will Charles Siddoway or Dylan Holley start? Will Tobias Smith be back to full strength? Are Damien Robinson and Justin Malone any good? What about backups like Archie Muniz and Ben Beckwith? Analysis? Projections?
A: Excellent question. Hard to say if it'll be better, but the first five has promise. I do expect Siddoway will really push Blaine Clausell at left tackle, and I expect Holley to give Dillon Day a run at center. Smith is still recovering from September surgery and has been spending most of this spring on the sidelines, so he remains a question mark.
I believe Robinson will start, but not Malone. Muniz has battled injury but looks solid. Not so sure about Beckwith, although he did get some first-team snaps at right guard last week.
Q: What is Adam Frazier's on-base percentage and where does that rank in the SEC?
A: It's currently at .471, which ranks the sophomore infielder seventh in the SEC. LSU's Raph Rhymes leads with .515.
Q: How good will Mississippi State be in football this upcoming season. Any upsets?
A: Ought to make a bowl game. The schedule sets up favorably for a fast start, but the closing stretch is brutal: at Alabama, vs. Texas A&M, at LSU, vs. Arkansas, at Ole Miss. I could see nine wins in the regular season. As for upsets, I don't see the Bulldogs winning at Bama or LSU, and Arkansas is going to be a top-five team. Just win the games it's supposed to – and that includes home games versus Auburn and Tennessee – and State will be fine.