Tennessee right-handed pitcher Chase Dollander avoided a right arm fracture when struck with a line drive in the Vols’ Saturday win over Alabama, Volquest.com’s Ben McKee first reported and a Tennessee spokesperson confirmed to RockyTopInsider.
Dollander suffered a deep bone bruise and is day-to-day as the swelling decreases and he begins to throw again. Tennessee hasn’t ruled Dollander out for his usual Saturday start this weekend in Gainesville but that would be a quick turnaround.
If the Georgia Southern transfer isn’t ready for the weekend trip to Gainesville, Tennessee has an obvious replacement candidate in Blade Tidwell.
Tidwell was Tennessee’s Sunday starter, and a freshman All American, in the Vols’ trip to the College World Series last year. Tennessee expected Tidwell to be its ace this season before the sophomore suffered from shoulder stiffness that sidelined him the first six weeks of the season.
While inserting the right-hander into that role makes sense on paper, Tidwell hasn’t thrown for more than two innings in a game yet this season and how much Tennessee can stretch him out is unknown.
The Vols could start him with the expectation that he doesn’t go deep into the game. Senior bullpen arm Camden Sewell is another potential starter.
Dollander exited the game after getting struck with the line drive. Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello and pitching coach Frank Anderson were quick to follow him to the locker room, earning ejections from umpire Jeffrey Macias.
Dollander has a 6-0 record, 2.93 ERA and an impressive .80 WHIP so far this season. The sophomore’s disgusting stuff has shown this season. Dollander has struck out 72 batters in 46 innings pitched this season.
The No. 1 Vols return to the field Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET against Bellarmine.