The LSU pitching staff has been hammered with injuries, transfers, and players signing with MLB teams. The Tigers have lost three pitchers to Tommy John surgery this summer with Jordan Rittiner and Joey Bourgeois will miss next season after undergoing Tommy John surgery this summer. There is an outside chance Left-hander Chris Garrett will be back in April according to a Paul Mainieri in a report from The Times-Picayune. (Link) Both LHP Chris Matulis and RHP Mitch Moorman have decided to transfer. Matulis will join former LSU assistant Terry Rooney at Central Florida while Mitch Moorman will head to Wichita State to play under legendary head coach Gene Stephenson.
The biggest news is yet to come as ace pitcher Anthony Ranaudo is expected to sign with the Boston Red Sox later this week after having an outstanding summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League. (TCBB Article). It is highly doubtful that the Red Sox and Ranaudo don’t come to an agreement but it is possible. Heading into the 2010 season, We had rated Ranaudo as the top prospect in the entire country but he ended up finishing the season with a 5-3 record and a 7.32 ERA in 15 appearances (11 starts). (TCBB Top 100 Article) The other player to watch from the LSU rotation is incoming freshman Zach Lee who was selected in the first round by the LA Dodgers but hasn’t had any contact with the team according to a report in the LA Times. (The Times-Picayune Article)
We should see how LSU head coach Paul Mainieri deals with all these pitching issues that have to be dealt with heading into the 2011 season. The staff in 2010 struggled mightily with a team ERA of 5.56 which was good enough for eighth place in the conference. The pitching did come together in the postseason as they were able to win the 2010 SEC Tournament with a 4-3 victory over Alabama in 11 innings. (LSU Release)