UNC Baseball: Vance Honeycutt sidelined for start of ACC Tournament due to injury

After Honeycutt missed the end of the 2023 season, should UNC baseball fans be concerned about their star centerfielder?
Virginia Tech v North Carolina
Virginia Tech v North Carolina / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

When the UNC baseball program announced its lineup for its ACC Tournament opener on Thursday afternoon, a rather important player was missing.

Star centerfielder Vance Honeycutt was not listed in the starting lineup, which caused a great amount of concern heading into postseason play. As the action got underway on the ACC Network, information regarding Honeycutt's absence was announced.

Honeycutt is dealing with back spasms, which is the reason why he didn't start on Thursday afternoon. His status for the remainder of the ACC Tournament is still up in the air.

Obviously, fans of the UNC baseball program remember how last season ended for Honeycutt, as he missed the final weeks of the season due to injury. Before you start to panic, let's just highlight a few things:

For starters, Thursday's game is essentially a tune-up game. With Pittsburgh losing to Wake Forest on Wednesday, the game won't matter for the Diamond Heels, as the winner of Friday night's game between the Tar Heels and Demon Deacons will move on to Saturday's semifinals.

If you're Scott Forbes, why would you run your star centerfielder out in a game that doesn't mean anything, especially when he's hurting?

To that same point, what happens if he makes the injury worse? Sure, the Diamond Heels want to win the ACC Tournament, but they also want to make a huge run towards Omaha.

They definitely know they need Honeycutt to do that.

At this point, it's a bit premature to worry about Honeycutt's health, as we'll have to wait and see how the next couple of days go for him. If he's absent in Friday night's lineup, that could tell us more about the severity of the back spasms, as this could simply be a sign of precaution for the UNC baseball program.