LSU Baseball: Pitching Issues

Jacob KerrContributor IMay 12, 2009

4 Jun 1998: Pitcher Jake Esteves #28 of the  Louisiana State Tigers throws during the College World Series game against the USC Trojans at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. USC defeated LSU 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Laforet  /Allsport

LSU has had some problems with pitching. They have been trying to find consistent relief pitching, but the only people that have been able to relieve with ease are Matty Ott, Nolan Cain, Chad Jones, Daniel Bradshaw, Paul Bertuccini, and Buzzy Haydel. If LSU wants to have a chance to win a national they must find more relief pitching.

As of late, LSU starters Anthony Ranaudo and Louis Coleman have been able to go seven to eight innings in their last games, but LSU still needs to find a Sunday starter.

Currently it is Austin Ross, whose record is 5-6 with about 60 strikeouts and an ERA of about five, which is not good for a pitcher.

A good substitute for him would be Daniel Bradshaw. He has a 3-0 record with an ERA of 4.40 and 23 strikeouts in only 30.2 innings. If LSU were to convert him to a starter, then it would help our bullpen because you would have a starter who can go about six innings and then put Ross in, and he can go about five innings to finish off the game.

Many have seen the emergence of Chad Jones and Buzzy Haydel. If they can stretch their arms to let them go two or three innings instead of just one, that will go a long way for the Tigers.

If LSU were to make these switches, then they would have five relief pitchers who can go two to three innings and have one who can go four to five.

LSU also has Ryan Byrd who can go about three to four innings and has had a lot of starts in the past, which gives them more experience in the bullpen.

As you look at the relief pitching, you might be thinking, how has LSU not been able to win more games, and why is pitching such a problem? The answer to that is the fact that LSU makes calls to the bullpen when it is already too late.

One pitching change could help LSU go far because Bradshaw has shown he can pitch consistently, while it's a toss up whenever Austin Ross pitches.

In the middle of the week, LSU has been trying to stabilize pitchers like Ben Alsup and Chris Matulis. They are young and have good stuff, but they need to find some control with their pitching to make them elite pitchers.

For a team to be successful, their starters must be able to go deep in the game and not give up too many runs. Then they must have a variety of relievers to pitch so the opposition does not know what the relievers have in store for them.

All the Tigers need to do is make one switch so their pitching staff can go from good to great.