Destination: Omaha - NCAABB

TCU reliever Kaleb Merck will miss the 2011 season after having Tommy John surgery, coach Jim Schlossnagle said on Monday.

Merck, a junior right-hander, had an excellent campaign as the Horned Frogs made their first College World Series appearance last season. He made 22 appearances and tallied a 1.47 ERA in 30 2/3 innings. He also struck out 23 and walked six and limited teams to a .210 batting average.

"He had become very special for us," Schlossnagle said via text message. "He will be ready to go in 2012, though."

Without Merck, TCU's bullpen has increased in intrigue this fall. The Horned Frogs also are without Tyler Lockwood, who signed this past summer. That means Trent Appleby, who had a 4.39 ERA in 23 appearances last season, is the top returning reliever.

Stay tuned more information on TCU's fall workouts.

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