Texas Christian righthander Mitchell Traver will be out four to six weeks due to a muscle strain, a school spokesperson confirmed Monday.
No. 18 TCU lost starters Tyler Alexander, Preston Morrison and Alex Young and closer Riley Ferrell from last year’s team, and was expecting Traver to be a key piece of this year’s staff. He went 9-2, 1.89 with 77 strikeouts in 76 innings last season.
Traver, a redshirt junior, has struggled with injuries in the past. He was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome as a senior in high school and had surgery to have a rip removed. The next year, he missed his freshman season at TCU due to Tommy John surgery. He missed most of the next season due to a back injury.
When healthy, however, Traver has impressive stuff. The Cardinals drafted him in the 28th round last year and he ranked No. 52 on the Top 100 College Prospects list last month.
TCU opens the season Friday against Loyola Marymount, and without Traver at the start of the season, the Horned Frogs will need righthanders Brian Howard and Luken Baker to step up. Howard, a junior, is the only other returning Horned Frog to have started a game last season. He primarily worked out of the bullpen, however, going 4-0, 3.52 last season. Baker was one of the most heralded freshmen to arrive on a college campus last fall. Also likely in the mix for the weekend rotation is junior lefthander Rex Hill, a transfer from San Jacinto (Texas) JC.
Kendall Rogers of D1baseball.com was the first to report Traver’s injury.