LEXINGTON, Ky (WKYT) - With the departure of starters Jerad Grundy, Corey Littrell, saves leader Trevor Gott and set up man Walt Wijas...the UK pitching staff will look a little different this season. 10 new pitchers join the staff, but the trio of AJ Reed, Chandler Shepherd and Kyle Cody will be the weekend rotation against the SEC. Gary Henderson likes his staff heading in to the season opener against top-ranked Virginia. "AJ and Shep have been in the league for two years and Kyle got some starts obviously last year on the weekend as well, towards the end of the year. They're three very talented kids who are competitive and we're proud to run those three guys out."
The bullpen is in under construction. UK had a two year run of dominance in this department and this is Gary Henderson's number one priority. Catcher Micheal Thomas will see plenty of southpaws. " With the lefties that we have, I mean have such an abundant source of them. We have, it feels like everyone in our pen is a lefty and we have like two righties." Chandler Shepherd was the UK set-up man last season, now he moves in as the Cats' number two SEC starter. "All the guys, everyone has their specific role. Y'know Ryne Combs is going to be throwing a lot. Dylan Dwyer will be throwing. Taylor Martin is going to throw this year and be a big help as well as a righty."
Gary Henderson is a pitching guru and known around the country as one of the best in the business. His bullpen has plenty of questions which need answers. "I've got to get a bullpen developed. That's on me that's what I do and I need to do a good job of it. Zach Strecker, we got Dylan Dwyer, we've got Ryne Combs from here in town so those three along with the 10 new ones, I've got to find a group of basically five kids that we can count on."