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Elbow soreness will force Kevin Alexander (4-0, 2.01) to miss his scheduled Saturday start. ( file photo)


Arms reduction

A sore elbow will force Saturday starter Kevin Alexander to miss his scheduled turn this weekend against ULL, once again putting the Owls' weekend rotation in flux.

Originally published on 3/29/2012

by Chuck King

BOCA RATON – A 5-1 start to conference play during which time no starter allowed more than three earned runs in a game has apparently provided only the illusion of stability for FAU's rotation.

Kevin Alexander, arguably the pitcher most responsible for settling down what had been a tumultuous rotation, will skip his scheduled Saturday start against Louisiana-Lafayette because of elbow pain.

FAU coach John McCormack hopes Alexander - who is tied for the team lead with four wins and is second in ERA at 2.01 - will only miss one turn, but could not say with any certainty how long Alexander will be shelved.

“Two days ago I felt great about (the rotation), but now we are going to shuffle the deck,” said McCormack, whose Owls are tied for the top spot in the Sun Belt with Arkansas St. and South Alabama.

Alexander posted a 3-3 record as a freshman in 2009, but missed all of last season after undergoing off-season ligament replacement surgery.

He began 2012 working primarily out of the bullpen, Anderson drew the Saturday start against Florida International in the Sun Belt Conference opening series two weekends ago.

The redshirt sophomore right-hander kept the Owls in the ballgame that afternoon by allowing three earned runs over seven innings. FAU's bats eventually came alive and Alexander earned the win in the Owls' 9-5 victory.

Alexander had an even better outing last weekend at Middle Tennessee, surrendering only one run in seven innings, throwing 95 pitches.

McCormack said Alexander felt general tightness late on Saturday and that tightness eventually became soreness as the week progressed. Alexander underwent an X-ray on Wednesday that McCormack said came back negative.

“He says he's feeling better. (The doctors) just think it's a little residual scar tissue problem. With the Tommy John, it's kind of a normal part of the process,” McCormack said.

Alexander has played catch but has not thrown a bullpen since Saturday's start.

As of Thursday, McCormack did not plan on moving Sunday stater Austin Gomber into the Saturday role. Instead, either Bo Logan, Jake Meiers or Josh Gonzaga will likely get the start against the Ragin' Cajuns. Meiers and Logan both pitched in Tuesday's loss to Central Florida.

Ryan Garton will remain the Friday starter.

The Saturday starting role has been in flux since Jeremy Strawn walked off the mound with a season ending torn lat tendon during the second week of the season.

  Louisiana-Lafayette (13-11, 3-3 Sun Belt)
at FAU  (1
6-10, 5-1 Sun Belt)

  • When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday
  • Where:  FAU Stadium, Boca Raton
  • Tickets: 1-866-FAU-Owls
  • Listen:
  • Scouting the Ragin' Cajuns: ULL has lost its last three games, including the final two games of a weekend series against Arkansas State and a mid-week shutout by LSU. ULL's 3.77 team ERA is second in the Sun Belt. ...Dylan Butler's 29 RBI is third in the conference. ...Chase Compton is tied for the conference lead in doubles with 9. ...Brian Bowman's 15 stolen bases is second in the conference.
  • About the Owls: The injury news isn't all bad for FAU. Center fielder Nathan Pittman could return to the starting line-up after missing a couple of weekends with a pulled hamstring. Pittman pinch-hit on Tuesday but did not play the field. McCormack said he was considering moving Pittman from center to left give him less ground to cover. ...This is the Sun Belt home-opening series for the Owls. ...Mike Albaladejo's 37 hits leads the Sun Belt. ... Despite not being tabbed a “closer” for much of the year, R. J. Alvarez's 3 saves are only one shy of the conference lead.
  • Pitching plans:

FAU - RHP Ryan Garton (4-2, 2.09)
ULL - RHP Jordan Nicholson (3-1, 3.22)

ULL - LHP Chris Griffitt (3-2, 4.33)

FAU - LHP Austin Gomber (2-1, 2.45)

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