While this is a big week for the UNC and ECU baseball teams, which begin NCAA play Friday in Chapel Hill, it’s turning out to be anything except that for some of the two programs’ best former players.
Former Pirate Chad Tracy (Washington Nats) and ex-Tar Heel Chris Iannetta (Los Angeles Angels) recently have landed on the injured reserve list.
Tracy, a utility man who was leading the Majors in pinch hits, went out with a groin injury in a Sunday at game against Atlanta.
Iannetta, a catcher in his first season with the Angels, is expected to be sidelined until mid-June with a wrist injury.
Meanwhile in Seattle, former UNC stars Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager have slipped into batting slumps at virtually the same time.
Ackley, a second baseman and the No. 2 overall pick the 2009 draft, was give a day off Monday after having gone 3-for-22 during the previous week.
Seager, a third round pick in ’09, had two hits in last 30 at-bats entering Tuesday’s game at Texas.
For the season, Ackley is batting. 242 with three homers and 16 runs batted in. Seager, after a hot start, is down to .255 with five homers and 26 RBI.
But on the positive side, former Tar Heel teammates and pitching stars Andrew Miller and Daniel Bard are performing well for the Boston Red Sox.
Miller, 27 and frequently injured in previous stops at Detroit and Miami, began the season in the minors but has a 1-0 record with a 1.86 earned run average in 10 appearances since joining the Red Sox in mid April.
Bard, after a disappointing 2-9 record last season, took a 4-5 record with a 4.60 ERA entering Tuesday’s game against Detroit and its ace Justin Verlander.
And aside from rehabbing Matt Kemp, one of the hottest hitters in the Pacific Coast League of late has been ex-Tar Heel catcher Tim Federowicz of the Albuquerque Isotopes (L.A. Dodgers AAA farm team).
Federowicz, for the season, was batting .295 with four homers and 26 RBI entering Tuesday’s game.