Poyer plans to play baseball only this spring

2011-02-12T19:45:00Z 2015-03-25T18:07:51Z Poyer plans to play baseball only this springBy Cliff Kirkpatrick, Gazette-Times Reporter Corvallis Gazette Times

Jordan Poyer is firmly committed to playing baseball this spring.

The Oregon State football player is finally on the field with the baseball team. He wanted to play both sports when he arrived at OSU, but decided to focus on football his first two years.

Now that he's established enough to be a projected starter at cornerback in the fall, Poyer is ready for baseball.

"I'm as excited as I can be," Poyer said. "These guys are great."

How he balances his schedule during spring football in April is still to be worked out. As of now, he's 100 percent a baseball player.

"I'm going to play it by ear," Poyer said. "I'm just trying to do the best I can to help the team win. My schedule is not decided as of right now. We'll take it one step at a time."

Poyer hasn't worked out with the football team in the winter. He lifts three mornings a week with the baseball team. By noon he's in Goss Stadium hitting and fielding to prepare for baseball practice.

"I still have a lot of work to do," said Poyer, who played for the Corvallis Knights in the summer. "I'm getting better. I'm a year and half behind these guys, but I'm catching up."

Poyer was drafted in the 42nd round by the Florida Marlins out of Astoria High, but did not sign. He still has a strong arm, exceptional speed and pop in the bat.

The Beavers hope to use his ability to cover the outfield and be aggressive on the base paths.

"However it works out with spring football, both (football coach) Mike (Riley) and I wanted to make sure the kid is comfortable in what he is doing academically and athletically," baseball coach Pat Casey said. "He has played in the football program enough to know what to do. We want it to work for them, and football wants to make it work for us. Therefore, it will work. How much time he spends over there will ultimately come down to where he's at with baseball and how he's comfortable splitting time."

The rotation

With so many young pitchers on the staff the Beavers plan to use the early part of the season to figure out everyone's roles. At the moment there are no set closer, setup men and the starting rotation is far from figured out.

Next weekend's starters are expected to be Sam Gaviglio, Ben Wetzler and Matt Boyd. Josh Osich potentially would go in the fourth game, but he's on a short pitch count after an arm injury.

"Sam Gaviglio should be the leader there," Casey said. "He separated himself a long time ago. After that there's extreme competition in the pitching ranks."

Ryan Dunn started his career as an infielder, but converted to reliever. He has the potential to be a closer but must prove he can finish games. Scott Schultz has the durability to be used often as a setup man.

Several of the freshmen pitchers will be eased into action. Many of them were overworked in high school and were not allowed to throw in the fall.

Injury update

Pitchers Taylor Starr and Dylan Jones, and utility player Jeff Johnson won't be available at the start of the season.

Starr is coming off a long-term arm injury and is still rehabbing. Jones, who is a potential starter, fractured fingers in his throwing hand recently.

Johnson is coming back from a broken wrist. He recently started swinging the bat again.

"Better to be injured now," Jones said. "This will cause us adversity early but will make us deeper at the end of the season."

The roster

There had been 39 players on the roster, but a new NCAA rule allows only 35 on the team. Four will redshirt by the start of the season, Casey said.

The Beavers didn't want to start the fall with 35 and lose players to injury and not have anyone available to replace them. The final cut was this week.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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