LSU baseball’s running list of injuries seems to keep getting longer, including several members of its starting lineup.
The latest was second baseman Cade Doughty, who dislocated his left shoulder diving for a ball in the ninth inning of the Tigers’ final game against Vanderbilt on Saturday. Doughty had two home runs in the opening game of the series, batting .286 on the weekend, scoring five times and driving in five runs.
“Cade stabilized the shoulder the other day after he had the injury for a 36-hour period. He’s out of the soft cast and looks good,” LSU coach Jay Johnson said Monday. “The thing I’ll say about him is if he can play at all, he’ll play.
“The only fortunate thing about the injury is that he’s the toughest guy on the team from a physical standpoint. We have to be smart about it, obviously with his future and wanting to get him ready for the NCAA tournament. That will play into whether he plays, when he plays and if he plays at all. “
Another positive, Johnson said, is that Doughty will get two more days of rest before the Tigers on Wednesday face the winner of Auburn and Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Outfielder Gavin Dugas has also been dealing with his own issue, having missed 15 games earlier this season with a thumb injury suffered during the Florida series in March before re-injuring it in the Ole Miss series in May. Dugas wore a wrap around his left hand during the Vanderbilt series, but the thumb was not broken.
“Gavin Dugas has improved,” Johnson said. “He was not available last weekend at Vanderbilt. Just talked to (trainer) Cory Couture before I got in this call, and it seems like he’s made some really good progress and the swelling has gone down.”
Another of the most notable injuries for LSU was to Jacob Berry, who broke his right middle finger during batting practice before a game Alabama on May 6.
Berry, a switch hitter, returned to the lineup May 17 after missing the Ole Miss series, then batted the entire series against Vanderbilt right-handed.
This season, from the left side, Berry has hit .381, with a .463 on-base percentage and .727 slugging percentage. From the right side, he has hit .375 with a .492 on-base percentage and .479 slugging percentage.
This weekend, Berry hit .500, including .428 batting right-handed against right-handed pitchers, drawing two walks, getting hit with two pitches and driving home one run. He had a hit in his lone plate appearance against a left-hander.
“Jacob lifted our team in a huge way this weekend. Him going up and batting right-handed and getting on base like 10 or 11 times against right-handers should’ve been highlighted more,” Johnson said. “He got hit in the hand the other day (again). It’s not broken but again was bruised. That’ll be a day-to-day thing. As much as I want to win here and play well here, we need him in the NCAA tournament. ”
Catcher Alex Milazzo has missed the majority of the season with a knee injury he suffered in March. He took at-bats March 29 against UL-Monroe and returned last Tuesday against Northwestern state with a single in his one at-bat. He also spent one inning behind the plate.
“Alex Milazzo has improved,” Johnson said. “He was a little sore after the inning that he caught on Tuesday, but he’s improved throughout the weekend and is moving good.”