Rice ace Ryan Berry, who hasn’t pitched since March 21, will pitch an inning in relief against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Wednesday. If all goes well, he’ll make a start this weekend against Houston.
Berry pitched himself into first-round consideration early in the season when he threw consecutive complete-game victories against Texas A&M, Notre Dame and San Diego. During that span, he allowed just five hits, no walks and one unearned run while striking out 28. Then he lasted just five innings against Southern Mississippi in his next outing before being sidelined by a subscapular muscle strain beneath his shoulder.
Before Berry was sidelined, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior righthander featured an 88-91 mph fastball that touched 93 and complemented it with a plus knuckle-curve, a slider and a changeup. He still has time to move back up draft boards, though major league teams already are leery of the health of recent prominent Rice pitchers. The Owls have had eight pitchers drafted in the first or supplemental first round this decade, and six of them (Kenny Baugh, Jon Skaggs, Philip Humber, Jeff Niemann, Wade Townsend, Joe Savery) had elbow or shoulder surgery in college or early in their pro careers.
The outlook for another Rice junior righthander, Mike Ojala, is less certain. Ojala went down the same weekend as Berry, and his elbow tightness has been diagnosed as a slight tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. Doctors have told Ojala he can try to pitch through the injury, which eventually may require surgery. He won five-inning starts April 12 at East Carolina (striking out 10) and April 18 against Marshall, but won’t pitch this weekend after the Owls had last weekend off.
Ojala also has piqued the interest of scouts. He has a lean 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame and showed an 88-92 mph fastball and a hard curveball early in the season. He mainly works with those two pitches because his curve is effective against lefties and righties, and he also has a solid changeup.
Comments will be monitored prior to being added to the site. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be rejected. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed.
We have chosen to open up commenting to everyone, so comment away! We want to hear from each and every one of you! Leave a comment.
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog