By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Doug Norman’s season is over.
Paul Mainieri confirmed Monday that the right-handed reliever will require season-ending Tommy John Surgery. Norman dropped to his knees and grabbed his elbow in obvious pain after throwing a pitch in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 9-5 victory over Maryland.
“Our worst fears were realized when we found out today that Doug’s elbow injury will force him to miss the rest of this season,” Mainieri said. “Doug is a great competitor, and he will meet head-on this next challenge in his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he goes through the surgery and begins his rehab.”
The injury leaves a hole in LSU’s bullpen. Mainieri had hoped the junior would develop into a setup man and part of the bridge to closer Hunter Newman. He appeared in three games this season and pitched to a 5.40 ERA in 3.1 innings of work.
The South Carolina native is eligible to receive a medical redshirt for the 2017 season. Last year he made 23 appearances (two starts), posting a 1-1 mark and a 3.41 ERA in 31.2 innings with 18 walks and 21 strikeouts.
Mainieri said no decision has been made regarding whether the freshmen who doesn’t earn the third starter spot, either Eric Walker Zack Hess, will develop as a midweek starter or help bolster the bullpen. He’s said repeatedly that decision will depend on the needs of LSU’s relief corps.