Feb. 1, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Thursday’s news that Florida State pre-season All-American Mike Compton will miss the entire 2013 season following Tommy John surgery is a significant setback for the perennial college baseball power but with exactly two weeks until opening day, Mike Martin and the Seminoles aren’t panicking.
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“It was disappointing for all of us to hear the news regarding Mike Compton,” Martin said. “He will definitely be missed but we also see this as an opportunity for someone else to step in and fill that spot in the rotation.”
While another pre-season All-American, Brandon Leibrandt, is set to lead the ‘Noles’ pitching staff into the new season, Compton’s loss just means that Scott Sitz, Luke Weaver and Peter Miller’s respective roles become that much more important in the slightly shifted rotation.
Sitz is coming off a strong performance against UCLA in the College World Series last summer when he tossed eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings. He has 52 appearances to his credit in his first three years with the program and went 4-3 in 13 starts last year.
Miller, a junior now that started his career as a two-way player, made 10 starts and had four relief appearances in 2012 as he generated a 5-2 record with a 3.89 ERA.
Weaver showed flashes as a rookie a season ago after making a name for himself as one of the state’s top prep pitchers at Deland High School. The 6-foot-2 hurler finished the year with a 1-0 record and a save with a 5.93 ERA in 16 appearances. He posted 40 strikeouts in 41 innings on the mound on the year.
To prepare for his sophomore campaign, Weaver spent the off-season diligently working on his one “iffy pitch,” as he calls it: the slider.
“That’s the one thing [the coaches] really harped on and I worked day in and day out getting that down,” Weaver told reporters Thursday. “I have a new grip I am comfortable with and it has gone well so far.”
Martin and FSU pitching coach Mike Bell hope it continues to trend that way as Weaver’s performance, and the performances of Sitz and Miller, will be critical to Florida State’s success this year.
The Seminoles officially start the new year with a 4 p.m. game at Dick Howser Stadium Feb. 15. The team’s annual “Fan Day” is slated for 11 a.m. Feb. 9.
[Compton] is a great starter; he’s always solid … five, six, seven innings,” said Leibrandt, who went 8-3 last year with a 2.82 ERA. “Now somebody else has to step up. Who that is we’ll see shortly. Me and Compton are pretty good friends. He’s a little down but at the same time he has to do this to do what’s best for him. It’s just unfortunate.”
Compton’s surgery was scheduled for Friday morning.