The second part in a series after talking with Troy head baseball coach Bobby Pierce at the conclusion of fall practice. Read the position players recap HERE.
Senior RHP Tyler Ray did bullpen work and threw on Scout Day, but there was no need for him to throw in squad scrimmages. He'll be the Friday night guy.
Sophomore LHP Jimmy Hodgskin was forced into prime time duty last year after Drew Hull went down to Tommy John surgery. Hodgskin is entrenched as the Saturday guy.
"He's ready to do what we need him to do, which is flip his record from 3-7 to 7-3," Pierce said.
Troy is also very good at the back end of games with all-conference relievers LHP Nate Hill (junior) and RHP Tyson Workman (senior) returning.
Where the big issue now lies is this: who will step up as the third weekend starter and some quality midweek, middle-relief guys?
Troy has 2 pitchers out for the year after surgeries in LHPs Shane McCain and Ryan Sorce. RHP Adam Purdy is battling a tender elbow, but Purdy could be a Sunday starter if he is healthy.
Hull is expected to be released by doctors to throw around mid-February. He could be in game shape by early to mid April, which is when he got hurt last year.
Pierce mentioned some other guys who are contending: senior LHP Garrett McHenry started last year strong but faded late as a bullpen guy. He's back throwing better, Pierce said. RHP Thomas Austin, a junior, came on strong at the end and he's pitching well with his sinker.
Three guys who had arm surgery at least 2 years ago in senior LHP A.J. Howard, junior RHP William Teal and junior RHP Chris Fisher are coming along, and Pierce said Fisher got the most done of that trio.
JUCO transfer RHP Joseph Hernandez has had his moments in the bullpen. Other guys who could contend are RHP JUCO transfers Ryan Brady and William Shell.