Brandon Leibrandt was expected to lead the Florida State starting rotation following the departure of Scott Sitz. However, things took a turn for the worst in late-September as Leibrandt broke his right ankle during a fall practice session.
He will be out indefinitely as recovery following ankle surgery typically takes between four and five months. That timetable may be favorable for the Seminoles as he may be ready to resume play at some point early this coming season.
Leibrandt has shown outstanding upside potential in his first two seasons with the Seminoles and was making great strides in the months leading up to his injury, working on the strength of his off-speed pitch arsenal.
“We are extremely disappointed about Brandon’s injury because he had worked so hard this past summer into the early part of fall on conditioning and developing a couple of other pitches,” said Florida State head coach Mike Martin. “Of course now everything will be put on hold until he makes a full recovery.”
In 16 starts last season, Leibrandt registered a team-high 10 victories and posted a 3.44 ERA, while boasting a 77/30 strikeout to walk ratio in 89.0 innings of work. Leibrandt continued his success into the summer months, posting a 2-1 record and 3.00 ERA in five starts for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League.
The Florida State southpaw possesses an effective fastball that sits in the high-80s (can reach 90-91 at times) and one of the best changeups in college baseball. He has a great frame (6-4, 205) and possesses superb control, wherein perhaps his most endearing qualities is his commanding and mature mound presence.
While Weaver will be looked upon to anchor the rotation (after turning in an impressive sophomore campaign that saw him post a 2.26 ERA and 119/19 strikeout to walk ratio) along with the help of returner Peter Miller, the presence of fellow rotational anchor Leibrandt is vital for the Seminoles’ success down the stretch of the 2014 season.