LISTEN IN: Paul Mainieri
LSU baseball coach gets ready for the 2013 season with TR Radio
With the start of the 2013 season roughly a month away, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri joined Jeff Palermo, Cody Worsham and Richard Fischer on Tiger Rag Radio Tuesday night.
The coach broke down his 2013 team in great detail telling you who you should be looking out for this year. The two headlining starting pitchers will be Aaron Nola and Ryan Eades, and even though the coach hasn’t decided which days the hurlers will tow the rubber.
“I think it’s a pretty good guess that Nola and Eades would be in that weekend rotation. Nola came off a great freshman season. He was named a Freshman All American. He’s a Preseason All American this year. He just had a phenomenal year for us and you may remember that he started the opening game of the SEC Tournament, the opening game of the Regional and the opening game of the Super Regional so there’s a strong possibility he could be pitching on opening night. He’s going to be just a tremendous anchor of our staff. Ryan Eades I believe is ready to blossom into what Kevin Gausman was last year for us, and I think at the end of the year this kid will be thought of as not only one of the best pitchers in the SEC if not the country. He’ll be a first round draft choice, and hopefully he’s going to win 12 or 14 games for us this spring. So I don’t want to say which guy will pitch on Friday and which guy will pitch on Saturday because obviously we haven’t figured out that yet.”
That’s high praise for Ryan Eades - a guy who hasn’t exactly lived up to his potential so far at LSU. We’ll see in a few months if he can make Mainieri a brilliant prognosticator.
At the plate, Raph Rhymes returns as the defending NCAA batting champion at .431 last year.
“I don’t think he can top last season and it’s a dangerous thought to say I hope he can just do as well as he did last year because that’ll be hard to duplicate. But Raph has never been about statistics and he’s never been about batting average and he’s never been about accolades. All he’s wanted to do is win and that’s what makes him so great. And I think if his focus remains on doing what he needs to do to help our team win, at the end of the year he’s going to have some phenomenal numbers. If he puts up phenomenal numbers, I think we’re going to have to talk at the end of the year about him being one of the greats of all time at LSU.”
The coach also discussed how LSU plans to replace Austin Nola and Tyler Hanover on the left side of the infield as well as how recruiting has brought in speed and left-handed hitting this offseason. If you like LSU baseball you’ll love this interview.
CLICK HERE to listen to Tiger Rag Radio’s interview with Paul Mainieri in its entirety.