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Moving on without Compton

Florida State's coaching staff knows full well that replacing Mike Compton isn't going to be easy.

Mike Martin and Mike Bell mentioned Peter Miller as a candidate to be a weekend starter.

The sophomore starter accounted for 12 wins a year ago and had garnered preseason All-American honors before elbow soreness led to a Tommy John surgery that will be performed Friday.

But with opening day two weeks away, Mike Martin and pitching coach Mike Bell certainly have to try.

“It's extremely disappointing because he was such a great leader in the clubhouse, in the classroom and threw 9-to-5 in the first semester,” Martin said. “It's unfortunate but it's the best thing and we'll just monitor him closely for the next four months while we're here.”

With only sophomore Brandon Leibrandt's (8-3, 2.83 ERA in 2012) spot as the Friday night starter certain, FSU has vacancies for Saturdays and Sundays as well as openings for its mid-week, non-conference games,

“We've got a very tough non-conference schedule and you've got to be good with your four and five guys,” Martin said. “So somebody that we weren't planning on is going to get an opportunity.”

Both Martin and Bell mentioned Luke Weaver and Peter Miller as two pitchers likely to get first cracks at the rotation.

Miller, a 6-1, 195-pound right-hander, made 10 starts and four relief appearances in 2012. He compiled a 5-2 record to go along with a 3.89 earned runs average and notched 36 strikeouts.

Weaver, meanwhile, had a less extensive body of work in 2012 but still showed some encouraging signs. He had 40 strikeouts in 41 innings of work but was also touched up for a 5.93 ERA. He didn't factor into his only start, an early-season contest against Jacksonville, but earned a win against Stetson later in the season.

Scott Sitz brings experience to a pitching staff that features a lot of youth.

“They've both got electric fastballs, the ability to spin a nice breaking ball,” Bell said. “It's just about being consistent. If they could minimize their pitch counts and give us nice, quality starts, they can kind of fill that void. That's kind of the direction we're going with it.”

Martin also said Thursday that a familiar face was a near certainty to begin the season in the rotation. Scott Sitz, a senior who has pitched in just about every scenario during his three seasons in Tallahassee, is likely to be back on the mound as a weekend starter in 2013.

Sitz went 4-3 in 13 starts a year ago and helped pace FSU to a win over UCLA in last season's College World Series. Bell said that having a pitcher with Sitz's experience – on a team that doesn't feature much of it – would be valuable.

“Scotty Sitz, being a fourth-year guy, he can go on a Sunday, can go on a Saturday. You can plug him in to a couple different directions,” Bell said. “But you know what you're going to get – you're going to get a quality chance from the mound and bulldog that's going to compete.”

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