We’ve got a number of interesting items to pass along today, beginning with news out of Tempe, Ariz. Sophomore righthander Jason Jarvis, the closer for No. 2 Arizona State, has been ruled ineligible for the remainder of the season. Jarvis had appealed an academic dishonesty accusation that caused an online grade to be lowered, but he had been allowed to play since the first game of the season while waiting for his appeal to be heard. He was cleared of academic dishonesty but was still ruled ineliglbe, leaving a gaping hole in ASU’s bullpen. He has until March 21 to file a petition for early entrance into the 2008 draft, according to the Arizona Republic.
"Jason was not found guilty of academic dishonesty," Murphy told the Republic. "The kid has endured a lot of scrutiny. If there was cheating involved, he wouldn’t have been on the team from the beginning if I knew about it. It was taking an online course, and he did not follow the instructions of how to take the course. He didn’t receive a high enough grade to be eligible. That’s the music department’s decision."
Freshman righthander Seth Blair and junior righty Reyes Dorado could vie to fill his spot, but putting Blair in the bullpen depletes ASU’s starting pitching. At some point, this lack of pitching depth (which has been exacerbated by the ineligibilty of Jarvis and freshman Devin Fuller) figures to be a major factor for the Sun Devils, thanks to the compacted schedule.
In other news, North Carolina has shuffled its pitching staff heading into this weekend’s series against Virginia Tech. Closer Rob Wooten has been sidelined by an injury, so the Tar Heels will move sophomore righthander Alex White from the Friday starter spot to the closer role this weekend. That leaves Adam Warren starting Friday, Rob Catapano on Saturday and freshman righty Matt Harvey on Sunday.
Florida sophomore lefthander Kevin Chapman will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Chapman was a major piece of Florida’s sixth-ranked 2006 recruiting class, and he went 2-1, 4.23 in 38 innings as a freshman. Tenderness kept him from pitching in the fall, though Gators coach Kevin O’Sullivan said that there did not appear to be any structural damage at the time.
"He’s got a chance to be really good," O’Sullivan said in late February. "His fastball is 88-91, touching 92, and he’s what they look like: a lean, tall lefthander, with a good arm, his delivery’s on line. He has a good feel for his breaking ball. His changeup has to get better, but he’s athletic enough to figure it out."
He’ll have to figure it out in 2009. In other Southeastern Conference injury news, Mississippi State is dealing with injuries to its two best players. Bulldogs coach Ron Polk said this week that junior closer Aaron Weatherford is battling shoulder tenderness that could sideline him this weekend against rival Mississippi, and sophomore second baseman Brandon Turner will miss at least a week and a half with a hamstring injury. The flame-throwing Weatherford has gotten off to a terrific start this year, picking up two saves in three scoreless appearances while holding hitters to just one hit and racking up 12 strikeouts in five innings. Turner, a freshman All-American a year ago, has played just five games and is hitting .267.
"Some years you can lose guys like that–they’re two of our more high-profile guys if you ask pro baseball scouts," Polk said. "With this ballclub, if you lose a couple of key guys, it makes it real difficult."
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