Tyler Webb’s status for the Kentucky series remains uncertain.
USC coach Chad Holbrook said Thursday that the senior left-hander’s sore elbow is structurally sound based on the MRI but it still needs to show that it can stand up to the test of throwing a baseball.
How Webb feels Friday after a Thursday throwing session will go a long way in determining his availability. Team medical personnel will evaluate how Webb’s elbow responds to throwing and then determine if he should be cleared to pitch against the Wildcats. Webb also needs to make his own determination that his elbow feels well enough to pitch.
Holbrook understands that pitching him when he’s in pain could not only limit his effectiveness but also irritate the tendinitis further and put him out a few more weeks.
“Tyler’s a very important part of team,” Holbrook said. “If he’s not going to be able to throw the way he’s capable of throwing, then we’ll hold him out.”
Catch as catch can
With backup catcher Dante Rosenberg out with a broken hamate bone in his wrist, the burden falls on starter Grayson Greiner to catch the bulk of the team’s innings down the stretch.
Sophomore Patrick Harrington, who has played sparingly in his injury-marred career, will fill in behind the plate as needed since Holbrook said he had the most experience catching in scrimmages and bullpen sessions, which makes him familiar with the signs and pitch-calling.
“Since Dante’s not here, he’s been making sure I’ve been getting ready for the opportunity,” Harrington said. “Everybody waits for the opportunity. It’s just patience that gets you there. It’s a blessing to be able to play for this team and just be a part of this whole organization.”
Holbrook didn’t announce a starting pitcher for the final game of the weekend series, but he noted that freshman left-hander Jack Wynkoop (4-2, 3.90 ERA) will be the choice as long as he isn’t needed in a relief capacity in the first two Kentucky games.