Paul Mainieri Hard At Work…For Next Season
Just because the LSU Tiger baseball team isn't participating in a regional, doesn't mean that head coach Paul Mainieri isn't hard at work. Mainieri has been putting in many hard hours to slightly reconstruct and tweak his program for 2012. Here is more from Jim Kleinpeter of the Times Picayune and nola.com.
Mainieri has accepted responsibility for that failure. The first piece that needs to fall into place is finding a lead assistant to replace David Grewe, who left after three seasons to seek other opportunities. Hitting coach Javi Sanchez and volunteer assistant Will Davis have been retained.
But Mainieri also has to look at tweaking a roster that will return nearly intact, with the exception of its best offensive player, Mikie Mahtook, who more than likely will be a first-round pick in the Major League Baseball draft Monday. The draft also will determine how much of this year's recruiting class makes it to fall practice.
Perhaps Mainieri's most important offseason tweak will be the hire of a new pitching coach. Whoever is brought in to develop the young Tiger arms must be productive. Mainieri said as much at his media session on Wednesday.
"The No. 1 priority will be development of pitchers we have in our program. I want to look for somebody that has the ability, the history, the experience at developing pitchers, particularly guys that are power arms, that can teach them what it takes to win big," explained Mainieri. "The face of college baseball has changed forever. It's going to be a pitcher-dominated sport forever."
Mainieri is right. Nobody knows how important the pitching coach hire will be more than Paul Mainieri. LSU Tiger fans will be anxiously awaiting the announcement. Tiger pitchers will anxiously be awaiting the arrival.