BASEBALL: What do you do with Scott Bittle?

What a season Scott Bittle is putting together, a year after he couldn’t seem to close a conference game.

Lots of factors went into Bittle’s problems his first season in the program, some of them his own, some of them a lack of execution from teammates, but his turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable.

He leads the SEC in strikeouts with 92 to 89 for Tennessee’s Bryan Morgado. Here’s the kicker: Bittle has thrown just 50 2-3 innings to Morgado’s 68 2-3.

I’ve heard a lot of folks ready to throw Cody Satterwhite, the No. 3 starter, under the bus. Certainly, the expectation level was different this season for Satterwhite, a preseason All-American. The bottom line is he’s given Ole Miss a chance to compete most games. Prior to the Sunday game at Georgia when he gave up six runs — four earned — on seven hits, Satterwhite had not allowed more than four runs in five straight SEC starts.

That’s giving your team a chance to compete. Now, only giving your team a chance to compete is what you ask of a freshman. For a junior and a player of Satterwhite’s experience, more is expected. Sometimes you need to put the team on your back and carry it a while, as he did at Alabama in a 2-1 Ole Miss win.

While the Georgia game may be his low point, I’m not ready to lay all the Game 3 problems at Satterwhite’s feet. Score some runs fellas.

Sometimes, however, you make a change, because you’re hoping for a spark.

Scott Bittle is the team’s best pitcher right now, and you want your best players on the field as much as possible. Certainly, you’d like the opportunity to use him more than once on the weekend. In the last three weekends the Rebels are 3-0 in the games in which Bittle has pitched and 0-6 in the games he has not.

He’s given up just nine earned runs, 20 walks, three extra-base hits, and opponents are batting just .114 against him.

With the coming of Jake Morgan, perhaps Bittle could be used less in long relief stints. Use him to pitch the ninth in Games 1 and 2 if the opportunity presents itself, because every win is critical.

But if it could be managed to have Bittle available for five or six innings on Sunday, it could be the spark needed for a team that has won only three conference series and none in the second half of the season.

— PA

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15 Responses to “BASEBALL: What do you do with Scott Bittle?”

  1. john Says:

    Can we please move onto to football? I feel we are beating a dead horse. Bottomline: we are an ok team. That’s it. There has been enough changes, injuries, positive talk re: Omaha, team meetings, etc. And nothing changes. It is what it is. Even Bianco said that. Let’s move on.

  2. djrebel Says:

    Whoa John, I’ll grant you that baseball appears to be bogging down, but let me get some summertime in before we barrel into football.

    — PA

  3. cr Says:

    It would seem that starting him would get him more innings but his pitching style is more of a reliever.

    I would definitely sit Satterwhite.

  4. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    What do you do with Bittle? They had better make up their minds very quickly. Time is running out for this Rebel baseball team. I believe they need at least four (4) wins of the remaining six (6) SEC games. This would put them into the SEC tournment. From there???? Go Rebels

  5. rebel2011 Says:

    john, i am not so sure that we need to head on to football. i dont think that we will have any more to cheer about this football season than we do this baseball season.

  6. rebel2011 Says:

    although bittle fits the reliever bill better, i agree that you need to have your best pitchers out there as much as possible. bittle did give us a great start last year in the postseason. i think he went 7 innings and only gave up one run. the only thing is, what do you do with satterwhite? he has too good of stuff to not to play. he performed pretty well his first two seasons in the bullpen, however great enough to pitch the way bittle has. Jake Morgan has been pitching extremely well also, but its always scary to pitch a freshman in high pressure situations.

  7. rebel2011 Says:

    sorry, i accidentally submitted that last one before i was finished…
    I think that satterwhite’s problem is that he tries to throw too hard and just throw it past the guys. He can hit his spots very well when he controls his pitches and throws it about 94 or 95. when he gets in trouble is when he tries to throw it by people at 97 or 98. Thats when he has control problems and either walks too many guys or leaves a fastball fat over the plate. In the SEC you cant throw a ball by someone as easily as in another league. I think all he needs to do is slow it down just a little bit and worry about hitting his spots a litle more.

  8. djrebel Says:

    2011, I think Satterwhite would immediately become the long relief/setup guy. I agree that you have to use him somewhere.

    — PA

  9. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    2011, I buy that, Satterwhite’s fast balls at 97 and 98 mph is like throwing hay seed into the wind. Now, tell us how are the Rebs going to handle the next six (6) SEC games? Are they going to “fold”, or, are they going to “call” and play the hand that is dealt to them? I hope they have some “aces” in the hole, they are definitely going to need them.

  10. Jay Stokes Says:

    i’ve wanted to see bittle as the sunday starter for a while. lynn, pomeranz, and bittle would be a killer weekend rotation. i’ve always thought satterwhite was a better closer than starter……he got the team out of some tight games last year, and i think he could do the same again this year. i’ve always been a justin cryer fan, and i think he’s not used nearly enough. mckean and morgan have also done well this year, so i think we have the tools we need to finish out games. satterwhite has been a bit like brett bukvich….you just never know what you’ll get with him. we’ll see if bianco gives him another shot to get back on track or if he’ll rotate somebody else in on sunday….being that this weekend’s series is so critical. a sweep would be nice, wouldn’t it?

  11. djrebel Says:

    I did not endorse moving Bittle into the rotation earlier, because I thought the Rebels had a good thing going with him in the pen. Now I think something needs to spark this team, and it needs to let its best players play as much as possible.

    Satterwhite may not do what Bittle does in the pen. He’s hit and miss, but he has been effective there.

    — PA

  12. rebel2011 Says:

    PA, what do you think about giving Jake Morgan a try? i am not trying to give Satterwhite the boot, as i still think he can get the job done. however, if it was not him, then do you think Morgan could perform? i know its kind of late in the season to throw a freshman in like that without experimenting with it earlier in the year. what are your thoughts on that idea?

  13. djrebel Says:

    I think Morgan has put together some consistent outings, but I’d be more inclined to try Bittle at this point.

    I think Satterwhite’s experience and potential are important, and he needs to pitch in some capacity.

    I don’t think he’s been the biggest problem in Sunday games, but he’s been less than sharp usually for an inning or two.

    My take right now is even though Satterwhite has given them a chance to compete most of the time, sometimes you shake things up looking for a spark. Mike has done that with his batting order at various times.

    — PA

  14. kylebuddy Says:

    Who do you think will win the series this weekend between Ole Miss and Auburn? How do you think the Rebels will do on pitching?

    Friday- Ole Miss 6, Auburn 5
    Saturday- Ole Miss11, Auburn7
    Sunday- Ole Miss10, Auburn 8

  15. djrebel Says:

    Kylebuddy, you’ve got a lot of faith in the Rebels to predict a sweep. I’m not sure Ole Miss doesn’t generally score double digits on Sunday.

    Pitching is the key, and Auburn is a good-hitting team. The Rebels need big games from Lance Lynn and Drew Pomeranz on Friday and Saturday. Maybe they’ll come through.

    — PA

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