David Pierce and the Texas Longhorns received some good news on Wednesday, as school officials confirmed that catcher/first baseman DJ Petrinsky received approval for his medical hardship waiver to return for the 2020 season as a redshirt senior.
Petrinsky only appeared in 11 games and hit .257 in 2019 as he attempted to play through a shoulder injury that forced him to move from catcher to first base. Unfortunately for Petrinsky and the Longhorns, his shoulder didn’t hold up and he underwent season-ending surgery in March.
The loss of Petrinsky hurt Texas behind the plate and at the plate — after a slow start, Petrinsky was excellent gunning down opposing baserunners and also hit nine home runs, including three in the NCAA Tournament. In 2019, however, the Longhorns catchers struggled to control the running game and also had significant issues with passed balls while attempting to handle a pitching staff with more stuff than control.
So getting Petrinsky back in 2020 should have ripple effects throughout the entire program, solidifying the catcher position if incoming freshman Silas Ardoin doesn’t take control of it. If Ardoin does become the starter, Petrinsky should transition easily to first base and could also appear as the designated hitter.