BATON ROUGE, La. — The injuries just keep coming for LSU baseball’s infield.
Per a statement through LSU athletics, LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri announced Monday that second baseman Brandt Broussard will miss the next three to five weeks with a broken left thumb. Broussard sustained the injury Friday night in Nashville when he was hit on the thumb by a pitch, ruled a foul ball by the umpire.
Broussard played through the injury Saturday, turning a double play with a diving catch in the first inning and knocking an RBI single to pad LSU’s lead. But he was unable to play Sunday and tests revealed Monday that he’ll be forced to miss time.
The junior second baseman and transfer from Delgado Community College had been a fixture in LSU’s lineup this season. Broussard leads the Tigers with a .363 batting average and has added 16 RBI and a team-high 9 stolen bases on 10 attempts.
Without Broussard, LSU will have a handful of options at second base. One of the prime candidates to take over for Broussard is Austin Bain, who has been playing first base for the Tigers lately. Moving Bain to second base would sacrifice range at first base, where LSU would likely have to roll with Bryce Jordan, Nick Webre or potentially freshman Daniel Cabrera. Playing Bain at second base every day could also impede his ability to pitch. Bain has worked as LSU’s closer in 2018, posting a 2.79 ERA with 2 saves in 9.2 innings pitched.
If not Bain, LSU could also insert sophomore Jake Slaughter into the lineup. Slaughter started 2018 as LSU’s everyday third baseman before losing his job to Chris Reid. Slaughter has struggled at the plate this season, batting .208 in 53 at-bats, but is considered one of LSU’s best defensive infielders.
This problem is exacerbated by the lack of Josh Smith’s presence in LSU’s infield. An SEC all-defensive team performer at third base in 2017 and LSU baseball’s Opening Day shortstop in 2018, Smith hasn’t played since opening weekend with a stress reaction in his back. Speaking about Smith’s injury on Monday, Mainieri said his sophomore infielder had a minor setback and it’ll be a bit of a stretch to expect Smith back for the Texas A&M series in two weeks. Since the injury, Smith has yet to run or swing a bat.
The LSU baseball team returns to action on Tuesday against UL-Lafayette in the Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic at the Shrine on Airline.
The post LSU baseball: 2B Brandt Broussard to miss 3-5 weeks with broken thumb appeared first on SEC Country.
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