The University of Hawaii’s pitchers are in for an adjustment coach Mike Trapasso said, because they’ve lost a security blanket.
Catcher Dallas Duarte will undergo shoulder surgery this week and miss the remainder of the baseball season. Duarte, a 2018 Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate, suffered a subluxation of his right (throwing) shoulder on a pickoff play against UC Irvine on March 26.
“He’ll have shoulder surgery and his focus now — and our focus now — is to get him ready for next year, ” Trapasso said.
The recovery time line has not been determined.
“Shoulders can be tricky,” Trapasso said. “That’s why we’re having the surgery right away, so we can hopefully have him back throwing by January or February of next year.”
Trapasso said Duarte has mastered the catcher’s criteria of receiving, blocking, throwing and hitting.
“In that order is what we want from our catchers, ” Trapasso said.
“It affects us in a couple ways,” he told KHON-TV. “With Dallas, the first thing that I notice is the effect he has on the pitching and the job he does handling the pitchers. They need to step up.
Duarte also is punctual in meeting the tempo-setting goal of a pitch every 11 seconds.
“He was off to a great start, ” Trapasso said of Duarte, who was hitting.320 with 10 runs in 10 games.
First baseman Alex Baeza, whose right (nonthrowing) arm was in a sling following Sunday’s game, is expected to be available for this weekend’s road series against UC Riverside.
“He’s pretty sore,” UH coach Mike Trapasso said of Baeza, who left the game after sliding to first base on a pickoff attempt. “But structurally he’s sound enough to be able to go. I think we dodged the bullet on that one.”
Tyler Murray, a sixth-year senior, is handling the bulk of the catching duties. Freshmen Nainoa Cardinez and Jared Quandt are the backups.
“We were fortunate to have two very solid catchers defensively, ” Trapasso said of Duarte and Murray. “Now one of them is down, and we’re glad Tyler is with us. He’s doing a great job. He’s an even-keeled guy. In this early part of the season, he’s caught well.”
In the four-game series against the Roadrunners (6-13, 4-8), Murray is expected to start in all but one of the doubleheader games.
“It’s imperative for us to keep tabs on him and keep him fresh, ” Trapasso said. “He has to be available to us. We’re also in position to get back into the hunt. We’ll need Tyler to catch one game a day for three days, and I don’t think there’s any question he’s capable of doing that.”
Trapasso said third baseman Dustin Demeter continues to rehabilitate a sprained foot and probably will miss another two weeks.
”We need him for defense, we need him for offense, ” Trapasso said. “He’s important to us.