The fall season hasn’t yet started and LSU baseball has lost a pitcher.
Troy Whitty, a hard-throwing righty from Massachusetts, will miss the 2015 season after undergoing shoulder surgery Thursday, coach Paul Mainieri said.
Whitty had knee surgery last winter and redshirted his true freshman season last season. He pitched some this summer, but struggled before the physicians uncovered the injury.
Mainieri would not give details on Whitty's surgery, but said it was “not major.”
Whitty’s absence isn’t expected to put a dent in a 2015 LSU pitching staff that may be one of the deepest and talented Mainieri’s ever coached.
Still, it’s a reminder of last season’s wave of injuries. Pitchers Hunter Newman, Chris Pelaez and Russell Reynolds had offseason surgery and missed last season with injuries. Newman was in line to vie for a starting job, and Reynolds is a guy who could have slipped into the rotation.
All three pitchers are expected to return for the fall season, joining six hurlers in LSU’s top-ranked 2014 signing class. The fall season begins Oct. 6.
LSU has 20 pitchers on its roster. It finished last season with about 13 healthy hurlers.
“I’ve never once in my coaching career said we’ve had too much pitching. It’d be a nice problem to have if it happened once,” Mainieri said.
Newman and Pelaez were shut down during the summer while rehabilitating. Reynolds pitched just a handful of innings over the summer before straining an oblique muscle, forcing him to shut down.
Reynolds will participate in the fall season, but might not be as prepared as the coach would have liked.
“He was having moderate success in those four innings,” Mainieri said. “Wish he could have pitched another 20. Wasn’t able to do that. I’m afraid he’s going to be pretty rusty.”
Purple and Gold WS
LSU will hold its Purple and Gold World Series the same weekend the football team hosts Alabama.
The annual three-game series is set for Nov. 6 (6:30 p.m.), Nov. 7 (7 p.m.) and Nov. 9 (5 p.m.). The Tigers football team plays Alabama in Tigers Stadium on Nov. 8.
Three ex-LSU players coach each team. Teams are split evenly by Mainieri and his staff.
The winning team’s coaches last season will return this year. They include Sean Ochinko, Michael Hollander and Chris McGhee.
The other team’s coaches have not been decided. Admission is free to all games.
Local walk-on added
Former Dunham pitcher Ryan May will walk on to the baseball team this fall, Mainieri said.
May, an all-district first team player in high school, will have a shot at making the team during the fall season. May impressed Mainieri during his summer ball season.
“He pitched extremely well,” the coach said. “His last three outings he went six innings each time, shutout ball on three hits.”
May joins Episcopal catcher Turner Graham as walk-ons vying for roster spots.
With Whitty’s absence from fall, LSU has 38 players on its roster. The Tigers must get to the NCAA maximum of 35 to start the 2015 season.
The list of 38 players includes Jared Foster, who joined the football team this summer as a reserve quarterback. A decision has not been made on Foster’s future with the baseball team.
He has two years to play one season of baseball. He’ll play in 2015 or 2016, Mainieri said.