Lopez looking to fill starters’ spots
Daniel Workman was not supposed to be in the starting rotation, but nothing is keeping him from that role now.
The University of Arizona baseball team has sought consistency from its pitchers this year, and Workman, who attended Sierra Vista Buena High School, has delivered.
“When you have the kind of year we have had, where we have struggled, there are always going to be some surprises, both ways, good and bad,” UA coach Andy Lopez said. “Daniel has been a pleasant, pleasant surprise. He has a bright future. He has a chance to be pretty good when it is all said and done.”
Workman is not fully recovered from the ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery he had in February 2008.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound pitcher has been on a pitch count of 85 per game. That took him through six innings against a hard-hitting California team last week, when he allowed only two runs on five hits.
He will get the call for the Wildcats against Loyola Marymount on Monday as the No. 3 starter.
The three-game series at Sancet Stadium starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The right-hander has posted a team-best 2.27 ERA in 31 1/2 innings. He is 2-1 and has struck out 21 hitters while walking nine.
“I was just trying to fit in wherever I could,” Workman said. “I’m working on my fastball location and getting ahead of hitters so the team can get back into the dugout.”
The Wildcats have tried several starting pitchers as Kyle Simon, Joe Allison, Bryce Bandilla, Donn Roach and Matt Veltmann have all gotten turns to try and complement No. 1 starter Preston Guilmet.
“It is neat the way it has all worked out for him,” Lopez said. “If we don’t get some guys hurt he may have had to work his way through more traffic. With us struggling he not only got his chance but he has run with it.
“I just sat down (Friday) morning projecting next year and he is in our plans. He is near the top of the list for the guys we want coming back. He is going to be a factor.”
Workman, who is the son of an Army intelligence officer, hurt his arm while throwing a fastball at Salt Lake City College.
“It was a one-time thing,” Workman said. “I threw a fastball and it hurt. It felt like somebody put a three-inch blade into my arm.
“I’ve always wanted to come back (to southern Arizona), and I always wanted to play here where my grandfather is a big UA fan and (I’m) an hour away from home.”
Loyola Marymount (29-21) at Arizona (22-23)
Saturday: 7 p.m. (1290 AM)
Sunday: 7 p.m. (1290 AM)
Monday: 6 p.m.