Bittle Out Of Rotation

Mississippi righthander Scott Bittle will miss his second consecutive start this weekend for the Rebels due to biceps tendinitis, coach Mike Bianco said Wednesday.

"He will not pitch this weekend," said Bianco, who added that Bittle threw a bullpen Tuesday to see if he could get ready for the weekend. "The good news is he’s a lot better than he was last week in throwing the ball, actually got to long toss a little bit yesterday. (He) still feels some stiffness in the biceps area. We just felt we’ve gone this far and made so many gains, it wasn’t worth the risk to run him out there if he’s not 100 percent."

Bittle was a second-round pick of the Yankees last year but didn’t pass medical muster with the organization and didn’t sign, missing out on a bonus of roughly $500,000. Owner of the nation’s best cut fastball and the Division I leader in 2008 for strikeouts per nine innings at 16.55, Bittle has shifted to a rotation role after a below-par start and has shined in that role. He’s 4-1, 1.89 in SEC games with 54 strikeouts in 38 innings, and he’s 5-2, 2.17 overall with 68 strikeouts in 46 innings.

"As we’ve done the last week now, it’s day to day, and when he’s ready to throw he’ll throw," Bianco said. "We were hoping to use him this weekend but not as a starter, hoping he could give us a couple innings out of the bullpen. Now I guess that will be his role in the postseason, or I guess he could start a game. But we just want to get him healthy."