LSU coach Paul Mainieri met with reporters Friday to kick off the 2016 baseball season. Here’s a quick summary of the news Mainieri delivered on his tenth media day:
Not all young
Mainieri cracked a joke to open his address — that his team’s most important supplement may be Boudreaux’s Butt Paste given the diaper rash this young team that replaces eight of nine everyday starters may face.
It’s not all young, though. Mainieri said six returning players will be in LSU’s opening night lineup — Jake Fraley in center field, Kramer Robertson at second base, Greg Deichmann at first, Mike Papierski behind the plate, Bryce Jordan at designated hitter and his brother, Beau, in left field.
Rounding out the projected opening night lineup were two freshmen — Antoine Duplantis in right field and Trey Dawson at shortstop –and junior college transfer Cole Freeman at third.
So, all in one place, Mainieri’s projected opening day lineup:
Beau Jordan (LF)
Bryce Jordan (DH)
As far as a batting order is concerned, Mainieri would only commit to a 3-4-5 of a combination of Fraley, Beau Jordan and Deichmann, while hinting Duplantis and Robertson could flip-flop at 1-2 in the order.
Bush done for the season, Ducote injured in freak accident, Latz could start throwing in a week or two
Freshman lefty Nick Bush will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Mainieri said. Bush had surgery in the fall, threw a bullpen and had more elbow issues, leading to the surgery.
Junior college outfielder Cody Ducote had what Mainieri termed a “freak accident,” cutting his hand on a broken bottle under some leaves, requiring surgery. He can’t grip a bat, Mainieri said, until March.
Heralded lefty Jake Latz, fresh off offseason elbow surgery, should be ready to throw a baseball in a week or two. Mainieri is still holding out hope he can help the team in late April.
Bonvillain on staff
Former LSU lefty Brent Bonvillain, who is one semester away from graduation, has joined the staff as an undergraduate assistant coach.
Aside from throwing left-handed batting practice, Bonvillain will coach first base while new volunteer assistant coach Nolan Cain will man third base.