Texas Tech Pitching Staff Suffers Another Injury Before Start of Season
Kendall Rogers of the college baseball website D1baseball.com reported Tuesday that Texas Tech pitcher Hunter Dobbins will miss the entire 2021 season with a UCL injury.
Rogers also noted that Dobbins was throwing 98 just last month and was in line to see significant innings next season as a projected weekend starter.
Dobbins' career at Texas Tech might be over before it ever really gets going. If he never pitches at Texas Tech again, it will be because he's headed to the MLB draft, not because he can't come back from a UCL injury. It's an injury that generally requires Tommy John surgery and has become less significant with updates and the advancement of modern medicine.
In D1baseball's fall writeup on Texas Tech, Rogers said this about Dobbins:
"Dobbins, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, had a 4.44 ERA in his first season with the Red Raiders, but like many of these arms, took a step forward in his second season with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings, along with 25 strikeouts and five walks. Dobbins showed electric stuff again this fall, sitting in the 91-94 and up to 95 mph range with his fastball. Earlier this summer at the CSBI Invitational, Dobbins showed that type of heat with a spin rate in the 2000-2200 range, along with a slider and changeup."
Dobbins debuted as a freshman and struggled early, but found his footing late and started a game in the Big 12 tournament, where he went 6 innings deep and looked really sharp.
In 2020, Dobbins was looking really strong and had two games with at least eight strikeouts. He was trending toward being an incredible asset during Big 12 play before the season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic in March. Dobbins had 14 appearances in which he threw 20 innings with 25 strikeouts and five walks with an ERA under 2.
Head Coach Tim Tadlock and the Red Raiders expected Dobbins to pick up where he left off this year, but unfortunately, that's not going to happen. It's not the first season-ending injury to the pitching staff either, with both Austin Becker and Jakob Brustoski already going under the knife for Tommy John surgery.
The Red Raiders have a solid crop of freshmen arms coming in and a lot of returning innings so the team will be still able to attain its impossibly high standards, but losing Dobbins certainly doesn't help the team.
Micah Dallas, Mason Montgomery, and JUCO transfer Brandon Birdsell will likely be a part of the rotation with a plethora of other arms working in.
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