When the line-up came out for this afternoon’s game against the Athletics today, there had been a change in the D-backs’ scheduled starter, with Zac Gallen no longer listed. In Torey Lovullo’s media call just now, the manager said this was due to Gallen suffering from “right lateral forearm soreness”. I’ll insert a pause here, for SnakePit readers to freak out at a phrase which seems, almost inevitably, to lead to Tommy John surgery.
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Thank you. While Lovullo said that it had been an issue for the past 10 days or so, it had not been causing Gallen significant problems on the mound, but when he swings, which may be about the only saving grace. It seems possible it could be the result of something that happened when Zac was swinging a bat, either in practice or during a game. This would likely be the best case scenario. For now, Gallen is being evaluated in-house, and hopefully we don’t get to hear that Gallen is going for a second opinion to Dr. James Andrews, who seem never to have met an ulnar collateral ligament his scalpel didn’t like.
Zac said he feels fine physically, but mentally is the toughest part. He said he first noticed it when taking batting practice, he didn’t barrel up a couple of swings, and felt it there after getting jammed. On the mound, his fastball is fine, but he does notice it when throwing a curveball, which is “weird”. He’s had this kind of thing before, but it has been “kinda lingering, so let’s take a deeper dive and see what we find.” He had an MRI yesterday, and a CT scan and X-ray today, but they’re still gathering the results. He feels it’s “definitely a positive” he has been able to pitch with it. Gallen said he has always been pro-DH, though not for injury reasons, more because it allows him to pitch deeper into games.
Collectively, we will still be holding our breath until the results of the medical tests are known, and we have a real idea of the situation. Until then, and a plan can be established, Gallen will be “chomping at the bit” to get back on the field - as will Arizona fans.