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Vols’ Tidwell out indefinitely

Tennessee’s No. 1 starter out “for the time being.”

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Tennessee v Texas Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Blade Tidwell, Tennessee’s Sunday starter last season and likely Friday starter this year, is out indefinitely with tightness in his shoulder, according to Mike Wilson of the KNS and multiple other reports.

WATE reports that Tidwell won’t be ready for the start of the season and will “miss a significant amount of time.” There’s more chatter out there about Tidwell being done for the year, but the Tennessee medical staff is “working on a rehab plan,” according to the KNS story.

This injury is a huge downer for the Vols baseball team that’s coming off a 50-18 season and its first College World Series appearance since 2005. The squad was expected to rely pretty heavily on a retooled pitching staff that added multiple talented throwers in the offseason.

But to make matters worse, Tennessee announced that one of those hard-throwing additions, Missouri transfer Seth Halvorsen, has a fractured elbow that’s gonna keep him out for “a couple months,” according to Vols head coach Tony Vitello.

Halvorsen was Missouri’s Friday starter and though his numbers aren’t all that impressive — 4-3 record in 14 starts with a 6.0 ERA — he’s got mid-to-high 90s power and was a welcome offseason addition to a Tennessee staff in need of big arms.

Tidwell was slated to take over No. 1 duties in his sophomore season from Chad Dallas, who was drafted by the Blue Jays in the fourth round of the MLB Draft. As a freshman, Tidwell went 10-3 with a 3.74 and 90 Ks in 98 innings en route to All-American honors. He’s projected as a first-round MLB pick, according to KNS.

It’s likely the staff leans on freshman Chase Burns and upperclassmen Camden Sewell and Mark Mclaughlin with Halvorsen and Tidwell out.

The Vols seem to be working on a string of serious, early-year injuries to integral pitchers as they lost preseason All-American and power arm Jackson Leath to a season-ending hamstring in February of last year. Big sad.

UT opens the season with Georgia Southern on February 18th.