Injury Update: Stanford’s Beck, Others, Out

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The college baseball season is on the horizon, and as usual, there are a fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. The latest setback could be an important one in college baseball and from a draft standpoint, as Stanford draft-eligible sophomore Tristan Beck will miss several weeks of action because of a stress fracture in his back.

Beck, a 6-foot-4, 190-pounder, from Corona, Calif., complained about back stiffness a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t thrown in team scrimmages in 10 days. Beck, however, is continuing to play catch, and trusted sources continue to guarantee the injury isn’t arm related.

Beck received multiple opinions about the injury and the results were conclusive: He has a stress fracture in his back and won’t be able to throw off the mound again for 10-14 days. Sources close to the situation are confident Beck will be able to return to the mound around mid-March, which obviously would be big news for the Cardinal with Pac-12 play heating up.

“I don’t see how he’s going to be ready for the start of the season,” one NL scout said. “I would think he’s going to miss several weeks just to get him ramped back up.”

Beck being sidelined undoubtedly will hurt the Cardinal as they look to return to greatness in Mark Marquess’ final season with the program. Beck jumped on the scene in impressive fashion last season by tallying a 6-5 record with a 2.48 ERA in 83.1 innings. He also struck out 76 and walked 26, while also limiting teams to a .205 batting average. Beck also is a heralded prospect. He was ranked No. 10 overall in our Fall Top 100 Prospects list and is poised to be high on our Top 300 Prospects list, which comes out in two weeks.

With Beck’s setback, the Cardinal now needs the duo of Chris Castellanos and Brett Hanewich to step up in a big way with Cal State Fullerton on the docket to open the season. Hanewich is an interesting guy to watch after he was up into the mid-90s during fall workouts. This also reopens the discussion about power-armed Colton Hock and his role. He was slated to begin the season on the back-end of the bullpen, but perhaps the Cardinal will reconsider putting him in the weekend rotation? For now, the Cardinal is likely to go with sophomore lefty Kris Bubic to fill the void. Bubic tallied a 3.26 ERA in 47 innings last season and has been strong so far this spring.

All of this will soon be clear, as Beck aims to get healthy for his head coach’s last ride.

OTHER INJURIES

• Arkansas junior righthander Keaton McKinney will miss the 2017 season after suffering an elbow injury that requires Tommy John surgery. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder, was one of the more heralded prospects out of high school. And while he made an instant impact for the Razorbacks, he took a step back last season with a 6.66 ERA in 52.2 innings. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn had hoped to thrust McKinney into another important role this spring as his stuff had improved during fall workouts, but unfortunately, he’ll spend the season getting over an injury.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets logo• Georgia Tech sophomore righthander Tristin English was expected to be one of the more exciting rising arms in the ACC this spring, but his season, at least from a pitching standpoint, as he’ll have Tommy John surgery. English made some serious strides in the fall and showed electric stuff with a fastball in the low-to-mid 90s. He also was a key contributor offensively last season with a .315 average, five homers and 44 RBIs.

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