Opening day for Tennessee baseball is slated for Feb. 17.
The Vols will play in the 2023 MLB Desert Invitational in Arizona Feb. 17-19. The MLB Desert Invitational field will consist of Tennessee, Arizona, Fresno State, Grand Canyon, Michigan State and San Diego.
Ahead of opening day, sixth-year head coach Tony Vitello discussed the health status of Tennessee entering the 2023 campaign.
"Nothing unique, other than the usual, you know, sore here, maybe a guy turns an ankle - I don't have anything specific - but nothing than your usual," Vitello said. "You'd love to play a game in the spring when your team is 100 percent, and it probably never happens, not only to us, but everybody in the country.
"Fortunately for guys like (Kyle) Booker with a foot injury, (Christian) Scott, Jared Dickey suffers a minor fracture in his hand, and then some setbacks. We had really a lot of them stemmed from guys just not being able to stay on the field with that rash of illnesses we had in the semester. Right now, most of that is behind us, so we feel good about the fact that we're out there, everyone's present on day one today, but we also have a sense of urgency that we've got a lot of work to do."
Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire
Vitello also discussed pitchers Seth Halvorsen and Zach Joyce.
"Yeah, no more than the other guys, I think with he (Halvorsen) and Joyce, both of them have not pitched competitively in quite some time," Vitello said. "They have faced hitters about a week ago.
"We'd be foolish, they'd be foolish, if they didn't say they need to kind of get a little cozy out there with some outings, but otherwise, those guys have utilized the free time that they've had. It's tough when a young kid gets injured, but I think most coaches nowadays try and spin it and realize, okay, if you can't do this, it stinks, but it does mean you can dedicate more time to this. Both those guys have just been on a mission. Literally from the instant they had an injury and had the few moments of being emotional about it, and then just gotten after it. They're two as physical of pitchers as you're going to find in the SEC, and I think that's going to support their health."
Story originally appeared on Vols Wire