St. Joseph graduate ready to start anew
Jan. 24, 2014 at 10:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 23, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.
Andre Del Bosque went 2 for 3 in his first game for the Regina Red Sox of the Western Major Baseball League.
When UHV coach Terry Puhl found out, he quickly got word to the Canadian summer league team that he didn't want Del Bosque to hit anymore.
"It's too dangerous to keep him out in right field," Puhl said. "With all the throwing he has to do - and then all of a sudden, we use him as a position player and a pitcher. We're not going to mess with that."
Del Bosque spent the rest of the summer on the mound, which is where he'll be when the Jaguars open the 2014 season against Doane College on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Riverside Stadium.
Cory Carter, Del Bosque's roommate in Canada, will be the starting pitcher for UHV.
Puhl said Del Bosque will relieve him in the middle innings before Orlando Quirogga finishes the game.
"Whatever coach has in mind," Del Bosque said. "He told me I was going to start, so I have to look after my arm and stay healthy."
Del Bosque has battled injuries since he graduated from St. Joseph in 2009.
He walked on at Temple College but sufferred an elbow injury and underwent Tommy John surgery during his freshman year.
After playing some in the outfield and being used as a designated hitter in his second year at Temple, he attended a UHV tryout and caught Puhl's attention.
"We saw him, and he was somebody we wanted," Puhl said. "He was coming off arm surgery. We took a lot of risk that way."
Del Bosque had an outstanding fall season at UHV but tore an oblique muscle in an intrasquad game a week before the 2013 season opener.
"I was trying to get my arm back in shape," Del Bosque said. "It's frustrating. You get to the top, and you have to go all the way back to the bottom."
Del Bosque recovered in time to be used out of the bullpen last season.
He pitched in 12 games and had a 1-0 record with two saves. He had a 6.75 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 13 walks in 18.2 innings.
"He had a tendency to come in, and then his velocity would sometimes drop off, and that's why we decided to use him as a closer," Puhl said. "Even last year, he tweaked his arm, and that set him back. His arm got out of shape. I feel he is way ahead of where he was in previous years."
Puhl decided to make Del Bosque a starter as he begins his junior season. Del Bosque is convinced he's up to the task.
"I think it had a lot to do with recovering because my endurance wasn't there last season," he said. "It was tough getting my velocity back and then having to maintain that. It was overwhelming, but I got some innings in this past summer, and they let me throw a lot this fall."
Puhl is well aware of Del Bosque's ability to swing the bat and plans to use him as a designated hitter when he isn't pitching.
"He's too valuable as a pitcher to be messing with him, but yet he does have the talent to play," Puhl said. "He can hit. For the best things in his future, somebody needs to see him hit. He's got power that's a little scary."
• UHV went 20-23 last season and lost in the Association of Independent Institutions Tournament, which was at Riverside Stadium meaning the Jaguars had an automatic bid.
• This year's tournament is scheduled for May 2-5 in Lynn, Mass.
• "I've communicated this very clearly to our team that we want to go to Boston for that first round," Puhl said. "In order for us to do it, we have to win ball games from the get-go. I will be going with players who are more ready and who have showed they are more ready."
• Doane College, which is located in Nebraska, had a 32-20 record last season.
• The teams will play a doubleheader Sunday beginning at noon and a single game Monday starting at 11 a.m.