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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hot corner recovery

    Four months ago Arizona baseball infielder Brad Glenn thought his season, and possibly his career in Tucson, was finished.

    While sitting on a wood-bordered glass table playing video games, the surface abruptly gave way, and so did Glenn. The senior used his right hand to brace himself and suffered a severed artery, two nerves and a ligament, all in his throwing hand.

    “”When it first happened I was thinking, ‘Great, there goes my season,'”” Glenn said. “”But I just tried to block those thoughts out and get back as fast as possible.””

    Throughout his recovery, the reports kept getting more positive. First, news came that he may be back mid-season. Then his return date moved up a couple of weeks. Soon, his recovery was moving so quickly that he was able to throw and hit by early December. Now, with only a day to go until the season opener, Glenn is expected to be the Wildcats’ starting third baseman.

    All that remains of the gashes in his hand are a few long scars, one across his palm and others near his wrist. But despite their grim appearance, Glenn says he almost doesn’t notice them when he’s out on the field or hitting in the cage.

    “”Early on, there was a lot of tenderness,”” Glenn said. “”Even now if I get jammed I feel it a little bit, but other than that it feels fine.””

    With Glenn back in the Wildcats’ lineup, Arizona got a huge boost not only to its infield but its batting lineup as well. Last season, the senior finished the year second on the team in home runs and RBI’s. Glenn – Arizona’s third all-time home run hitter with 34 – was also one of only two Wildcat players to return to the team after being drafted. He went 514th overall to Oakland. Pitcher Preston Guilmet was the only other Arizona draftee to return.

    With so many veteran players lost to the draft last season, in addition to Glenn’s experience throughout last year’s postseason run, the third baseman is called upon for more than just his big bat and stingy glove in the dugout, but also his leadership.

    “”It’s big to get (Glenn) back; that’s really good news,”” said UA head coach Andy Lopez. “”He was really solid for us last year and to bring back a veteran who has experience and who’s played in the postseason is really big for our team, especially with how many (players) we lost last year.””

    Glenn and his other veteran teammates have already started mentally preparing their younger counterparts for the rigors of the college baseball season. While this season’s schedule keeps the Wildcats at home for more often than it did last season, Glenn said there are still many things that are unexpected throughout the spring.

    “”The goal for the veterans is just making sure the younger guys know what’s coming at them,”” Glenn said. “”Not many of them actually know what playing a 56-game season is like. It’s a lot of games in a short amount of time.

    “”We know they have the physical tools, otherwise they wouldn’t be here. But it’s important to just mentally prepare them for what’s gonna be coming.””

    One of those veterans who will also be stepping into more of a leadership role this season is Dillon Baird, who is expected to take control of the other corner, first base, for Arizona come Friday.

    Competition opened at the position after graduated senior C.J. Ziegler departed for the San Francisco Giants’ organization. In the weeks leading up to the season opener, it was Baird and infielder Bobby Brown competing for the position.

    However, Lopez has hinted the job will likely start out as Baird’s.

    Last season, Baird began as the team’s starting third baseman before slumping and losing the job to Glenn. This year, however, Baird said he feels he’s back in the mix to keep that starting job.

    “”I started off really well (last year), but then I let the game get a little big,”” Baird said. “”I’m gonna try not to do that this year. I want to stay consistent throughout and not change anything; just keep things simple.””

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