The Houston Chronicle is reporting that freshman pitcher Ricky Jacquez has been dismissed from the Texas baseball team for violating a team rule. Jacquez, a 39th round pick of the Chicago Cubs, took the mound on Sunday but returned to the dugout after throwing his first inning warmup pitches. Rumor was that Jacquez was sick but that is clearly not the case. He was replaced by John Curtiss who pitched admirably in a tough spot. Jacquez, who had been 2-1 with a 5.79 ERA in nine starts this season, has shown flashes of brilliance but also has had limited command -- he leads the team in walks. Jacquez was suspended a start earlier in the season against Kansas for an unspecified violation of team rules.
The loss of Jacquez and injury to French leaves Texas with a growing hole in the starting rotation. Thornhill should return to starting now (likely joining Dillon Peters there) and we wouldn't be surprised to find life behind the increasingly loud chatter that Corey Knebel would like to start. If they were going to lose another starter, doing so the week before the series with Texas Southern isn't a terrible time. But a critical series with Baylor and the Big 12 tournament awaits, and the Texas baseball team may start to find itself on perilously thin ice as it approaches the NCAA tournament.