Arizona baseball's starting rotation changed for opening weekend
The Arizona baseball season begins Friday and the starting pitching rotations have changed from what head coach Andy Lopez had planned.
Lopez originally planned that senior James Farris would be the starting pitcher for Friday, junior Mathew Troupe for Saturday and junior Tyler Crawford on Sunday.
With only two days before the season starts, he has had to make adjustments.
Farris and Crawford prepared all fall for the spring; however, Troupe had to sit out toward the end due to pain in his elbow.
Junior pitcher Tyler Crawford pitches the ball during a scrimmage at Hi Corbett Field on Saturday, Feb. 1.
“It wasn’t worth it, to keep going and getting my arm more tired,” Troupe said.
It was confirmed on Monday that Troupe will not be the starting pitcher this upcoming Saturday as had been planned.
With Troupe out on Saturday night, it will give sophomore transfer Cody Hamlin the opportunity to make his debut as a Wildcat on Sunday’s game as the starting pitcher.
When asked which new pitchers would be helpful for the team, Lopez did not hesitate to answer.
“Cody has pitched well,” Lopez said. “He’s one of the guys who could be a factor.”
If Troupe’s elbow recovers closer to full strength, he will get to start next Tuesday or Wednesday when Arizona hosts Utah Valley.
This will allow Troupe to prepare more before making his debut this season.
Troupe said he has been working on his strikeout pitches, which are his fastball and curveball. He said he will be including the changeup more in repertoire during the season, which he hasn’t used since high school, after he was a reliever his first two seasons as a Wildcat.
Although Lopez wasn’t on the field to watch his pitchers, he said it didn’t take him long to come to his decision for the pitching positions.
“Not having a fall with [the pitchers] has been the hardest part, but I know what to expect from Farris and Troupe,” Lopez said.
Junior left-handed pitcher Tyler Crawford has come a long way with Arizona.
He was supposed to be Sunday’s pitcher, but instead, he will start his season a day earlier and pitch this upcoming Saturday night.
During the summer, he was working with a physical therapist to be able to have his arm ready for the fall and the spring season.
“I’m focused, and I’ll do whatever it takes,” Crawford said. “During the fall, I worked on my fastball, curveball and my change up.”
—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal