Sidelined TCU pitcher Mitchell Traver had a strong throwing session on Monday and is tentatively scheduled to return to the rotation next weekend at Penn State.
Coach Jim Schlossnagle said he plans to start Traver in the series finale on Sunday on a pitch limit.
“Traver’s good,” he said. “He had a great bullpen on Monday. Right now, we’re planning on starting him at Penn State, as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks.”
Traver has not pitched this season because of a muscle strain in his back suffered a week before the season opener, which he was scheduled to pitch. The senior right-hander is the Horned Frogs’ most experienced pitcher, including a College World Series start a year ago, and was expected to be the Friday night starter. But injuries have slowed down his career at TCU.
Mitchell Traver led TCU in earned run average (1.89) and opponents batting average (.184) last season. He was 9-2 with 77 strikeouts in 76.1 innings.
Traver’s return would help a rotation that is now missing right-hander Luken Baker, who has a strained muscle in his arm and is out indefinitely as a pitcher. Baker, the Friday night starter, had not missed a start.
TCU has not announced a rotation for this weekend’s home series against Texas Tech.
Rex Hill started and pitched two innings on Tuesday at Dallas Baptist, and reliever Jared Janczak was at 4.1 innings when the game — won 2-0 by TCU in seven innings — was stopped by lightning.
Schlossnagle said he considered limiting Janczak, who leads the team in appearances, against DBU but opted to let him pitch as long as he was effective.
“I told Janczak, ‘We’re not going to conserve anything for the weekend,’” Schlossnagle said. “I just felt like for the morale of our club, if we had a chance to win, we needed to get a win against a really good team. The last time we played these guys, he was pitching great, and I took him out, and I wasn’t going to do that unless he showed otherwise.”