Hogs Trying to Fill Bigham's Spot

Bo Bigham's shoulder injury leaves Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn with multiple options as baseball team prepares for the Troy series.

Bo Bigham is out for awhile, but the Arkansas baseball team still has options in the infield.

Head coach Dave Van Horn outlined some of the potential moves with the key second baseman sidelined for maybe one month with a torn labrum to his left shoulder.

We saw one of them last weekend after Bigham tore the labrum in his left shoulder on a dive in the field. Zack Cox moved from third to second and true freshman Derrick Bleeker stepped in at third.

There are other possibilities, but the simplest is the way the Hogs will probably line up to start the Troy series. Weather permitting, third-year sophomore Tim Carver will step in at second on Friday.

However, Carver, a Fayetteville product, could be the best option at shortstop. He and true freshman Matt Reynolds may duke it out there for a bit. Van Horn has a plan for that, too.

"We are disappointed to lose Bo because we know he helps our (hitting) lineup," Van Horn said. "He was penciled in as the starter there. We don't feel as good without him.

"We'll start the weekend with Tim at second, and we've known all along that he was very valuable because of his versatility to play so many spots. But we've been working Cox there, too. We have other things we can do with that, like move Andy Wilkins to third, put James McCann at first and catch Monk Kreder.

"That would allow us to put one more bat at DH. Derrick Bleeker can play first or third, too." Another option is to play Collin Kuhn in the infield. He's played there before and has taken groundballs recently.

"We are going to be fine defensively with any of that," Van Horn said. "We just want to make sure we hit."

That was part of the problem this weekend when some of the younger players failed to hit. "We had some freshmen out there and it was pretty gaudy," Van Horn deadpanned. "I think those young ones went 1 for 15 combined. We hope they got those first swings out of the way and they settle in. I will say we are confident on those guys. Matt Vinson and Derrick Bleeker can field, and they will hit."

Van Horn didn't sound as confident on a return date for Bigham, or even if it would be this season.

"He was feeling a lot better (Wednesday)," Van Horn said of Bigham. "But it is a torn labrum. The pain is about gone. We'll see in a few weeks if he can swing a bat. If not, then he's done for this year. I'd say there is a lot of hope that he can swing the bat and play (this year)."

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