Florida State formally announced on Wednesday that junior outfielder Gage West has been suspended indefinitely and sophomore outfielder Darren Miller has left the program to focus on academics.
Miller had appeared in 31 games this season, including 25 starts in right field, batting .229 with one home run and 14 RBIs. However, Miller's early productivity, most notably his three-run home run in the conference opening series against Georgia Tech, has faded, giving way to a .125 batting average in ACC games.
The script is similar for West, who started 22 of the 27 games he played with the Seminoles in 2016. His .293 batting average was the fifth-highest average among FSU players with 50 or more at-bats, and he also added a single home run in addition to 12 RBIs. Like Miller, though, West's production has fallen off considerably since the early portion of the season. West hit the first home run of Florida State's 2016 season as part of his five-RBI performance in the Seminoles' season opener against Rhode Island, but, since that point, he has contributed no long balls and a mere seven RBIs in 26 appearances.
Florida State seems to have found its replacements for Miller and West in true freshman Jackson Lueck in left field and Donovan Petrey, also a first-year Seminole, as the right fielder. Lueck is batting .460 in 50 at-bats this year with a home run and 18 RBIs, fifth-most on the team, despite his limited action. Petrey has a .285 batting average in 42 at-bats and hit his first career homer last weekend against Wake Forest.
Florida State's issue going forward lies in the bench depth beyond the two freshmen. With Lueck and Petrey called into full-time starting roles for the foreseeable future, that leaves the Seminoles with limited options off the bench in pinch-hitting or outfield substitute roles. On the FSU roster, only Steven Wells Jr., Hank Truluck, Nick Graganella and Hayden Kelly are bench players listed as potential outfielders. None of these four has had more than 22 at-bats this year and only one (Truluck) has a batting average above .200, which could prove to be a major issue for the 'Noles going forward.
No further comments are expected on these matters.