Coach Andy Lopez can go ahead and pencil in his Friday starter for the 2014 season.
Right-hander James Farris, who was drafted in the 15th round by the Houston Astros last week, has told the coach he intends to return to UA.
“He told me Monday that he had told Houston he was planning on coming back and finishing up his senior year and be a Friday starter,” Lopez said.
Farris was the Sunday starter on Arizona’s 2012 national championship team, going 7-3 with a 3.97 ERA. He was the Saturday starter this season, finishing at 5-5 with a 4.18 ERA.
“He wants to increase his draft status, and I think he can do that,” Lopez said.
“There used to be a stigma about being a senior and not getting picked to the 55th round. But a lot of seniors get drafted in the first 10 rounds now (because of the new bonus slotting system). If he pitches well, he could go in the top 10 rounds easy.”
Lopez’s early plan is to move closer Mathew Troupe, who will be a junior, to the rotation. Arizona also has left-hander Tyler Crawford, who ended the season as the team’s Sunday starter, posting a 7-2 mark with a 3.83 ERA.
As for who would take over Troupe’s role, “I think we’re going to have a closer in the recruiting class,” Lopez said. “There are about three candidates.”
Tyger Talley and Cody Moffett, who pitched well as freshmen this season, figure to have key roles.
Stephen Manthei, whose role was limited last season after some early struggles, is deciding on whether to return to the team, Lopez said. Manthei, who has appeared in 62 games across three seasons, would be a fifth-year senior in 2014.
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A couple of Lopez’s pitching recruits from junior college aren’t likely to make it to campus — Chris Freudenberg of South Mountain CC has signed with the Chicago White Sox after being an eighth-round pick, and Thomas Pannone from the College of Southern Nevada, is likely to sign as a ninth-round pick of Cleveland.
“I think the rest we will be able to hold on to,” Lopez said of his recruiting class.
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Arizona’s Friday starter, Konner Wade, signed with the Colorado Rockies this week after being chosen in the seventh round, No. 199 overall.
He signed for exactly his slot value — $198,500 — according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.
Look for Arizona juniors Brandon Dixon (third round, Dodgers) and Johnny Field (fifth round, Rays) to sign very soon.
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Five Arizona players are playing this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, which began Wednesday night.
Second baseman Trent Gilbert is playing for the Bourne Braves. Outfielder/first baseman Joseph Maggi and shortstop Kevin Newman, coming off a Freshman All-American season, are with the Falmouth Commodores. Troupe and catcher Riley Moore are with the Orleans Firebirds.
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Arizona has received a commitment from 6-foot-4 right-hander Kyle Beadles, a senior-to-be from Los Angeles Loyola High School.
The Los Angeles Times notes that Beadles will be part of a high school rotation that includes UCLA-bound Nathan Hadley and Stanford commit Quinn Brodey.
Beadles was 5-2 with a 3.71 ERA as a junior, striking out 36 in 39 2/3 innings.