Judging from Cody Glenn’s scouting report, he’s the same.
He’s still a 6-foot-4, 195-pound southpaw who relies on his defense behind him, living and dying by ground ball outs.
He still employs a two-seam fastball and a patented sinkerball to keep hitters off-balance — all the while refining a new curveball for his repertoire.
But looking beyond the man on the mound, Glenn has changed.
“I’ve definitely tried to take all areas of my life more seriously,” Glenn said Tuesday. “Get focused in all areas of my life and I’m going to give everything I have to
After flirting with dismissal from the LSU baseball team following a suspension before the NCAA Regional last season, Glenn returned for an unflattering performance against North Carolina in the College World Series and had to reassess all facets of his life.
Step one: re-focusing in the classroom.
“I talked to a few people back home while I took the summer off, and they felt petroleum engineering was a profitable career path,” Glenn said. “I thought I’d give it a shot.”
Previously a sports administration major “because all the other baseball guys are,” Glenn made the leap to a more rigorous curriculum and has flourished, according to LSU coach Paul Mainieri.
Mainieri, who talked to both players and staff last season before ultimately deciding to reinstate Glenn before the NCAA Super Regional against Oklahoma, said he’s noticed Glenn’s attention to detail as he works to get back in the coach’s good graces.
“[He] got great grades this fall, is working really hard this spring again,” Mainieri said. “I think he’s starting to realize something he may have taken for granted can be taken away from you pretty quickly.”
He realized it because it very nearly was taken away. Mainieri didn’t mince words Monday, claiming he was “pretty close” to cutting all ties with his Sunday starter and asserting Glenn has no room for any sort of error.
“The suspension certainly made him understand that he’s not bigger than the team and we’ll go on without him if he doesn’t want to do what he’s supposed to do,” Mainieri said. “It’s a gradual process and it takes a while. It’s what I’m in this
Seen as a wayward, carefree athlete last season, Glenn is admittedly more focused
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by Mainieri and pitching coach Alan Dunn, who both saw Glenn’s sidework, bullpen sessions and pre-practice exercises improve tremendously compared to last year when he’d search for shortcuts and simply go through the motions.
Dunn said it’s a growth that manifests with time, though he said he and Glenn hashed numerous things out through
“[Maturation] happens once you’ve been in a program for three years,” Dunn said. “You learn the rules and what the program expects. He’s taken the understanding that he needs to be the leaders of the pitching staff.”
Dunn marveled at Glenn’s improvement early in counts and ability to fill the strike zone from the first pitch of an at-bat.
“Not going deep in counts is huge, especially with the type of pitcher he is,” Dunn said. “[He] knows what he needs to do. Not get outside of himself and just compete like he did last year, with a little better plan.”
As he fidgeted in front of reporters Monday, Glenn showed the focus his coaches had already noted. He talked not of the suspension, but of his new curveball and the atmosphere he expected Wednesday against Southeastern.
Inevitably, the suspension and his off-field troubles were mentioned.
With a new outlook, Glenn faced it head-on.
“It was a silly mistake I paid the consequences for and we’ve moved on,” Glenn said. “I always loved to be a Tiger and I feel like I always will be.”