There were questions about the TCU pitching staff going into the season. Plenty of new faces coming in, but there was one familiar face where no worries were needed when talking about performance and experience. That player is Mitchell Traver.
The junior righty was tabbed Preseason All-American after going 9-2 with a 1.89 ERA in 14 starts and two appearances in relief last season. Just as impressive was 77 strikeouts in 76.1 innings pitched, stats good enough to earn the right to pitch in an elimination game against LSU in the College World Series.
But this season didn’t start off as planned, or you can say hasn’t started at all. Dealing with a muscle strain injury, Traver has yet to take the mound as he works his way back from that injury.
“I may not know why this happened and the timing certainly wasn’t great but God knows what he is doing,” said Traver. “I know that he is with me and I came back for a reason. “
The good news is Traver is use to working his way back onto the field. He was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome as a senior in high school and then had Tommy John surgery as a freshman at TCU. So this current injury isn’t phasing him at all.
“I don’t look at it as a setback,” said Traver. “Just something that continues to build character inside of me and will be used well in my career however long that will last.”
We saw some of that character last June in Omaha during that game against LSU. He allowed three runs in just over three innings, but kept TCU in the game. The Frogs went on to win 8-4.
“It was unbelievable; you dream about that kind of stuff. That’s one of the reasons I came to TCU,” said Traver. “When coach (Jim) Schlossnagle and coach (Kirk) Saarloos decided to give me the nod against LSU, I was fired up about it. That was a dream come true for me.”
There’s no specific timetable for Traver’s return, but he’s hoping to be back for the series against Oklahoma next month. And with the impressive showing by the pitching staff so far, getting him back at full health will only making that staff even better.
By C. James