University of Hawaii catcher Dallas Duarte’s 2021 season is over as the sophomore will undergo shoulder surgery this week.
The Hilo native who was off to a strong start to the season hitting .320 with 10 runs in 10 games, suffered a a partial dislocation of his right shoulder diving back to first base on a pickoff play at UC Irvine on March 26.
“It affects you in a couple of ways. Obviously, with Dallas the first thing that I notice is the affect it has on the pitching and the job that he does handling pitchers,” said head coach Mike Trapasso. “He was having a good year offensively, he was hitting over .300 and Dallas also can play other positions so it’s tough. Injuries are part of the game though and you have to be able to overcome those obstacles and this is the type of team that I think can do that, no question.”
With the long term loss of Duarte behind the dish, senior Tyler Murray will continue to make majority of the starts at the catcher position with Freshmen Nainoa Cardinez and Jared Quandt providing backup.
“The pitchers need to step up and understand that Quandt and Cardinez are going to be good catchers and they’re just young, and we’re fortunate obviously to have Tyler Murray who is a mature senior who has been in the program a long time and is a good receiver. We have to make sure that we don’t wear him out now because he has to catch the rest of the year and he’s our number one guy from this point on.”
Elsewhere on the injury report, first baseman Alex Baeza’s shoulder injury suffered on Sunday in a similar play as Duarte against UC Santa Barbara is not expected to require time away from the team as the slugging junior is anticipated to be available in their road series at UC Riverside starting on Friday.