Kenyon Yovan will miss a second straight start for Oregon.

The ace of UO’s pitching staff has not thrown in a game since the Ducks opened the season with a 9-4 win at Texas Tech on Feb. 15. Yovan left that outing after two innings with soreness in his palm and did not pitch during Oregon’s series against Saint Mary’s last weekend.

The right-hander will not take the mound when the Ducks (4-2) host Loyola Marymount (4-3) in a three-game series beginning Friday.

“He was in the hospital running tests and what has been determined is that he had a couple small blood clots in his wrist that was causing the discomfort,” Oregon coach George Horton said Tuesday. “They gave him medication and he was under watch in the hospital. They feel like they got the clots and he was released yesterday. Because of the dye that they put in to do the tests and the wound, he is going to be out for a week. … I am not sure exactly when he will be released for physical activity.”

It is unlikely Yovan would be back at the top of Oregon’s rotation when it opens a four-game series at Hawaii on March 7, but he could potentially pitch later in that series.

Yovan, who began his career as Oregon’s closer as a freshman in 2017 before moving into the rotation in the middle of last season, is 7-5 with a 2.73 ERA and 20 saves in his career. The 6-foot-2 junior is a two-time all-Pac-12 selection who earned multiple preseason all-American honors this season and is projected to be one of the first college pitchers take in the Major League Baseball draft in June.

“The good news it is not anything with his arm,” Horton said. “As soon as he works himself back up and is cleared, we will get him ready to pitch. That is a real blessing. We were sweating out that it was just a mild hand problem which we thought it was.”

Junior Ryne Nelson (1-0, 6.10 ERA) will start the series opener against Loyola Marymount on Friday at 3 p.m. Sophomore Cullen Kafka (1-0, 5.56) will start the second game Saturday at 2 p.m. followed by junior left-hander Cole Stringer (0-0, 1.50) in the series finale at noon Sunday.

Conditions clearing


Oregon has had one game cancelled due to poor weather conditions during each of its first two series this season.

Despite nearly a foot of snow falling at PK Park on Monday, Horton is hopeful the Ducks can get in all three games against the Lions. As of Tuesday afternoon, the forecast showed rain Friday morning but mostly clear conditions Saturday and Sunday.

“Fingers crossed because it keeps changing its mind when the sun will be out,” Horton said. “As we all know it changes. The original forecast was for Sunday to be crummy so we considered moving that game forward to Saturday, but we will keep an eye on it and do what we need to do to try and get all three games in.”

Oregon practiced inside the Moshofky Center on Tuesday with snow still piled up at the ballpark. First baseman Gabe Matthews said he had never played in the type of weather that hit town this week.

“I’m from Salem so we’d just get rained out every time it rained,” he said.

Matthews and some teammates enjoyed their snow day.

“We definitely went out a little bit,” he added. “Walked around and hung out. We threw the football around in the backyard, but not too much because it was cold.”

Horton spent the day around his house.

“Feeding birds and squirrels, so they were happy,” he said. “It was pretty, but not great baseball conditions.”

Additional games?

With the games against Texas Tech and Saint Mary’s cancelled due to weather, Oregon has a couple opening it could fill on the schedule.

However, Horton noted that the Ducks were able to schedule three more games than most teams because next week’s trip to Hawaii does not count against the NCAA limit of 56 games in the regular season. So the Ducks originally had 59 games on the schedule including four at Hawaii.  

“That is a real bonus this year since we lost a couple of games,” the coach said. “In a normal year when we don’t go to Hawaii we’d probably look very hard to make up those two games.”

The Ducks could still look to add up to three games to the schedule, but have already scheduled midweek games before or after four of five Pac-12 road trips.

“We would do that if it fits with somebody we want to play and not stretch our pitching too thin to play two midweek games, things like that we’ve done in the past and quite frankly were not as productive as we wanted it to be,” Horton said. “If we don’t get any more rain outs, which is unusual for us because we usually get games in, we might just play 57 instead of trying to add two.”

Oregon could not make up the Saint Mary’s game during its lone trip to the Bay Area to play California April 26-28 because it plays at San Jose State on April 29. Horton said the Ducks talked to Loyola Marymount — which had a game at UC Santa Barbara postponed earlier this month — about adding a game Monday, but the Lions have to return home to visit USC on Tuesday.