With only three SEC weekends left in the regular season, Mississippi State is counting on the latest rotation shuffle to pan out. Luis Pollorena is set to start Friday at Tennessee, and if all goes well for the sophomore lefty, coach John Cohen might be able to smile just a bit.
Because the starting pitching for MSU has not been strong. I'm not going to belabor that point, because it was made earlier this week with statistics to illustrate those struggles. Can Pollorena beef things up? It'll depend on how well his success as a reliever carries over.
Pollorena, a starter in high school and junior college, doesn't expect there to be a big adjustment.
"It's pretty much the same mentality: Pump strikes and let the defense work and try to go deep in the ballgame and try to get the ball to Caleb (Reed), who's been doing a great job for us," he said.
It's obviously an exciting time for Pollorena, who was fine being a middle reliever but, like most pitchers, wants to be the first one with the ball in his hand. Perhaps the biggest self-imposed obstacle he'll have to overcome is an excess of adrenaline.
"During the warmups my adrenaline will be pumping, but once I get into the bullpen and I start getting ready for the game, I'm going to remind myself to stay calm, breathe," Pollorena said. "It's the same game I played back home, and the same game I've played for the past three months here."