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Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren questionable to return from elbow issue this weekend vs. Florida

 

Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren is questionable for a return this weekend vs. Florida due to elbow issues.

Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren is questionable for a return this weekend vs. Florida due to elbow issues. Photo by: MSU athletics

 

Matt Stevens

 

STARKVILLE - Mississippi State sophomore left-handed pitcher Jacob Lindgren could be on the disabled list this weekend when the Bulldogs host the University of Florida.  

 

Lindgren, who has been hampered with a injury issue with his his left elbow after a bullpen session last week, will not be available until at least Sunday vs. the Gators this weekend and MSU coach John Cohen listed his status as "questionable" when asked in a phone interview Monday afternoon.  

 

"We feel more than confident that he'll pitch again but we don't know when that will be exactly," Cohen said.  

 

Lindgren (2-0, 2.83) hadn't missed a start after getting the call for the season opening assignment until last weekend when he started feeling discomfort in his elbow area while preparing in the bullpen on March 26. Lindgren did receiver a Magnetic resonance imaging scan on his left arm last week and the results of that exam gave MSU coaches some hope that their left-handed ace could return this season.  

 

"He was checked out pretty throughly and there's some soreness there so I think we'll get him back," Cohen said. "I know Jacob will eventually beg us to give him the ball even if he's really close to being fully back." 

 

Lindgren was scheduled to throw from flat ground Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark., in front of MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson to assess his status for working Sunday against the University of Arkansas. However, Lindgren didn't respond to that process well and the Bulldogs (23-8, 3-6 in SEC) were forced to turn to junior right-handed reliever Ben Bracewell for an emergency spot start in a 3-1 loss.  

 

"I think we asked him to do something completely out of the ordinary there," Cohen said about Bracewell's start. "All of his pitches were good in terms of velocity, they just didn't locate them perfectly and in that scenario, you can't afford early walks." 

 

Due to the fact that Lindgren, a former 12th round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2011 MLB draft, is a high-profile prospect on the Bulldogs club, Cohen and the Bulldogs staff will be patient with his return and not try to speed up his rehabilitation process. 

 

"He was checked out pretty throughly and there's some soreness there so I think we'll get him back," Cohen said. "I know Jacob will eventually beg us to give him the ball even if he's really close to being fully back." 

 

If Lindgren isn't able to pitch Sunday against Florida (13-16, 4-5), the options for that role include sophomore right-hander Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 5.56), sophomore right-hander Trevor Fitts (0-0, 1.17) and sophomore right-hander Will Cox (2-1, 3.60).  

 

"I don't think anything is off the table for our rotation right now because we feel like we've got enough young, talented arms that quite frankly haven't been given a great chance to pitch right now," Cohen said. 

 

 

 

Here's some other noteworthy items:  

 

 

 

- Will Cox will get another mid-week opportunity to earn his way onto the weekend rotation in a critical game against a solid non-conference opponent.  

 

Cox (2-1, 3.60) has been named MSU's starting pitcher tonight when the Bulldogs travel to Mobile, Ala., to face the University of South Alabama for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. The right-hander from Amory got the start last week at Dudy Noble Field against Austin Peay but lasted only 1 1/3 innings after allowing four runs on five hits.  

 

South Alabama (22-7) is ranked 12th in the latest ratings percentage index despite not having only two victories against teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI.  

 

 

 

MSU senior catcher Mitch Slauter is expected to be back on the active roster this weekend after recovering from emergency throat surgery last week. 

 

Slauter had to have emergency surgery on his throat last week after a cyst developed near his wind pipe making it difficult for him to breath easy. Slauter did not travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the weekend series against the Razorbacks forcing senior Nick Ammirati to catch all three games this past weekend. 

 

"I think having Mitch back obviously gives us more options later in a ball game and that's not to take away from the job defensively that Nick Ammirati did all weekend for us," Cohen said. "Mitch may not be in the lineup (Tuesday) but yes, he will be back with us for the weekend." 

 

The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog spoke to Cohen about future usage for sophomore closer Jonathan Holder. Holder (3.21 ERA in 12 appearances and 7 saves) may have his role advanced to emergency reliever instead of just the normal closer role. Holder has struggled in non-save situations this season (4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K in that role) but Cohen hinted he could be brought in to end the momentum at any point of a game. This concept is very well appreciated by the saber metric community in baseball that suggests managers should want their best reliever in any inning to control a game and not just the final inning to accumulate individual save or hold statistics.  

 

"I think I can probably see us getting him in the game a little earlier than normal," Cohen said. "If we feel like the game is hanging in the balance in the seventh inning, then he'll come in the game. He's still pitching incredibly well for us and we want him on the mound when the game matters the most for us. Sometimes that's the seventh inning, sometimes that's fourth inning and judging by how we've lost games here late, sometimes that's the first inning." 

 

 

 

All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.

 

 

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