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Updating Seth Halvorsen’s Timeline To Return

Tennessee’s pitching staff has been freakishly good this season with a pair of expected major contributors just now working their way back from preseason injuries.

Blade Tidwell was available two weekends ago at Ole Miss, but hasn’t made his weekend debut yet, recording three innings pitched in a pair of midweek wins.

At one time, Halvorsen was ahead of Tidwell in his recovery from an elbow injury suffered in the preseason. A handful of minor setbacks changed that including Halvorsen’s wisdom teeth removal.

“He looked really good today throwing, but what stinks and what we wanted to avoid with Blade — and his situation was different — but the ole two steps forward one step back,” Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello said. “With the throwing arm, when you lose a few days you almost have to kind of restart and you want to go back to ground zero in a lot of cases, but you do have to kind of restart and pick up that momentum.”

Still, Halvorsen isn’t too far off from returning to the mound. The Missouri transfer has been throwing bullpen sessions and his next step is facing live batters in practice. After that, the power pitcher will make his Tennessee debut.

“I don’t know that he’d be ready to go this weekend but he’s been itching to push the envelope a little bit and hopefully not too much time passes before he’s ready,” Vitello said.

The Plymouth, Minnesota native was competing for a weekend starting spot this fall and offseason after transferring to Tennessee in June.

Halvorsen is a senior with two-year of eligibility remaining due to COVID-19 eligibility relief. As a junior at Missouri, Halvorsen was the Tigers’ Friday night starter. The 6-foot-2 right-hander posted a 6.00 ERA while striking out 70 and walking 57 batters in 72 innings pitched. 

You won’t see action for Tennessee pitching coach Frank Anderson if you walk batters at the rate Halvorsen did last season, but the fact that he was in contention for a starting spot suggests his command has been much better in Knoxville.

Halvorsen has big-time stuff including a fastball that sits mid-90s and tops out in the upper 90s.

The Philadelphia Phillies selected Seth Halvorsen in the 19th round of last July’s MLB Draft but the Minnesota native decided to try and improve his draft stock in Knoxville. Halvorsen is eligible for this summer’s MLB Draft.

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