Q How have the new assistant coaches (Rick Greene and Martin Partida) positively impacted the team?
APartida has placed an emphasis on hitting line drives and ground balls, and going the other way with the pitch — forcing the defense to make a play to record an out. Greene has brought a new approach, emphasizing statistical analysis, to the way the Jaguars will teach pitching this season.
Q Losing all three weekend starters from last season, who is expected to fill those roles?
A“Right now we don’t know that. We are going to use the next three weekends of play to try and figure that out. We won’t know who are weekend guys are going to be until we get into conference play,” Southern coach Roger Cador said.
Q Last in the SWAC with 35 stolen bases and third-worst in runs last season — how will SU improve those areas?
AThe Jaguars are poised to be better on the basepaths with Tyler Kirksey and Lance Jones leading the way. Cador also said he expects there will be a lot more attempted bunts this season: sacrificing and bunting for base hits.
Q How will playing time be distributed in a talented, but crowded outfield?
ACador says the plan is to platoon up to five outfielders. Tyler Kirksey, Lance Jones and Stephen Wallace almost certainly will be everyday players, while Sean Washington and Gavin Webster will platoon. With Wallace and Kirksey missing extensive time last season with injuries, it’s reassuring to have a surplus of capable outfielders.
Q What has made Cador successful in his 29 seasons as head coach?
A“It’s a gift I inherited from my father. He had wonderful instincts I’d admire. ... God gave me a gift to love people and talk to everybody. … There are too many people who think they are more than others, especially when they get a title, and they forget about the little people. And the little people end up being the ones who help you,” Cador said.