Monte Lee and Co. lose their entire weekend rotation from last year (Barnes, Krall, and Eubanks) as well as their midweek starter (Tyler Jackson). The competition for the weekend rotation spots was pretty wide open this past offseason but Coach Lee finally announced his weekend rotation for the 2018 season on Tuesday.
Friday- Jacob Hennessy (LHP, Sophomore)
- Hennessy was one of the top lefties out of the bullpen last year as a freshman. Interesting decision here by the coaching staff. Hennessy pitched with a fastball and slider last year but developed a changeup to add to his repertoire this year. If this decision works out then major credit will have to be given to Coach Lee and to pitching coach Andrew See for developing Hennessy into the “Ace” of the staff.
Saturday- Brooks Crawford (RHP, Junior)
- Crawford has been a solid reliever for the Tigers during his first few seasons in Tigertown. Coach Lee has decided to move Brooks into the weekend rotation based on his experience and how well he performed this Fall. Since he was a freshman the coaching staff has been talking up about how special Crawford can be. Let’s see if that materializes as the Tigers’ weekend starter. An arm injury ended his freshman season in April and carried on into the 2017 season (which he ended up having to redshirt). Now 100% healthy according to Coach Lee, Higginbotham now has a chance to show he can live up to his pre-collegiate hype and help solidify the weekend rotation.
Sunday- Jake Higginbotham (LHP, Redshirt Sophomore)
- Highly regarded coming out of high school, Higginbotham has had an injury-plagued career so far in Tigertown. After being drafted by the Mets in the 27th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Higginbotham decided to attend Clemson. Higginbotham started the 2016 season as the Tigers’ Sunday starter before being moved to the midweek role. A
Weekday- This spot is a little up in the air right now. Ryan Miller, Spencer Strider, and Travis Marr were among the six finalists for the weekend rotation. Coach Lee says he expects to rely on the bullpen more a lot this year due to the amount of depth so we might see this spot as a week-by-week basis scenario. Redshirt Freshman lefty Mat Clark and Freshman lefty Sam Weatherly could also be options. Clark threw very well this past offseason and is expected to be a major contributor out of the bullpen. Weatherly is arguably the most athletic player on the team and can play in the outfield and first along with being able to hit. The coaching staff’s management of Weatherly’s innings on the mound along with his time on the field and at the plate will be a major yet underrated storyline for this coming baseball season.