BASEBALL: A few notebook items

Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco

Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco

Sometimes it takes guys a while to develop, and it’s been interesting thus far in the baseball season to chart the development of junior right-handed pitcher Phillip Irwin.

Coaches go out and sign junior college players to fill immediate needs, and transfer pitchers Aaron Barrett and Chris Corrigan may yet do that for Ole Miss. Right now they are transitioning slowly to the college game, both with ERAs over 11.

Irwin is a fourth-year junior out of Collierville, Tenn., a guy who signed late in his class and then had Tommy John surgery early in his career.

He turned in a solid relief outing in an NCAA tournament elimination game against Bethune-Cookman last spring at Miami. Now Irwin (3-0) is second on the team with a 1.59 ERA and leads in innings at 22.

“In any sport you can look at guys like Chris Warren, who come in and adapt right away, then you look at other guys, and it takes them a while to mature physically and mentally,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “I don’t know if any of us as coaches are good enough to know who’s going to do it right away, and who will need time to mature. In Phillip’s case, was it the surgery that set him back or did he just need time to mature? It was probably a combination of both.”

Bianco said Irwin’s strong outing in Miami turned into a solid summer of a work, then a “terrific” fall. He compared Irwin to former Ole Miss pitchers Will Kline and Eric Fowler who started their careers slowly and blossomed later. …

Elsewhere, Barrett, a weekend starter since the season began, will be replaced in the rotation by another program veteran, Brett Bukvich this Sunday against Alabama. Bukvich currently leads the team with a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings. Bianco believes Barrett will make big contributions this season if he can get his confidence back, and he’ll try to work the player into some mid-week opportunities. …

Junior infielder Zach Miller, who moved from third base to second base, is expected to be available for the Alabama series. Miller, who suffered a slight hamstring pull last at Vanderbilt, has been held out of mid-week action mostly as a precautionary measure. He has been fielding balls in practice. …

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3 Responses to “BASEBALL: A few notebook items”

  1. oxfordrebel Says:

    Glad to see Barrett out of the lineup PA, I saw him pitch once this season and the guy has a good fastball but is way too predictable with it.

    Hope Miller makes a complete recovery, he’s been productive in the offense so far and we need him in there more than Button.

  2. djrebel Says:

    OR, I haven’t seen Barrett, though I’ve followed him in the numbers. He appears to to have good control. If the issue is predictability that seems like something the coaches can help him with.

    — PA

  3. Jeff Jolly Says:

    I saw Barrett against Liberty in the season opener at South Alabama. I thought he had a chance to do well. Looked like he might have high strikeout numbers. But did show the propensity to get hit. He was victim of a couple of costly errors in the game. I don’t think he has pitched as well since.

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