AUBURN | No. 10 Auburn will likely be without one of its two top pitchers for this weekend’s showdown against No. 14 Arkansas.
Mize, who is experiencing fatigue, didn't throw a bullpen this week and is doubtful for the battle at Plainsman Park between two of the top teams in the SEC West.
“I think he’s fatigued and sore at this point, and I think it’ll be the same as like Keegan (Thompson): Instead of me saying push through and stay on track, then let’s take our time and make sure that he’s good, so we’ll take another week and we’ll see,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said.
Keegan Thompson, who sat out the South Carolina series three weeks ago with a sore shoulder, pitched the last two weekends and will start Friday night against the Razorbacks.
Mize is 6-1 on the season with a 1.23 ERA. He leads the SEC with 82 strikeouts. He averaged 104 pitches over six-straight starts before throwing just 82 at Georgia last weekend.
Thompson is 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA. Freshman Davis Daniel (3-2, 4.00) will start Saturday and Auburn will be TBA Sunday with freshman Ryan Watson (1-0, 3.10) a potential candidate to start.
When healthy, Thompson and Mize give the Tigers one of the best pair of starting pitchers in the country.It’s a tough blow for an Auburn team that is 28-11 overall and tied for second in the SEC West with a 10-5 conference record. Arkansas is first in the West with an 11-4 record.
“I think it’s the right play, the safest play for this young man,” Butch Thompson said. “Right now, outside of him, we’ve got Keegan going back full speed and feeling good, and the other 32 players on our roster that can be on that 27-man are good to go. You can do everything right and have some injuries, but we’re a pretty healthy club right now.
“I just think it’s uncomfortable to send him back out without seeing him throw a bullpen on his normal days. That makes me think of what’s the right thing for our club this weekend without looking too far down the road with what’s best for him right now.”
Game times for the Arkansas series are 6 p.m. CT Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Friday and Saturday’s games are on SECN+ and WatchESPN while Sunday’s game will be carried on the SEC Network.