Zac Gallen’s spring training got off to a slow start. During the off season he suffered a sore shoulder and was diagnosed with bursitis. As a result he came to spring training a little behind the other starters. After two bullpen sessions, and two live BP sessions, he made his spring debut today, and it went well.
Zac threw 36 pitches, 22 for strikes. He went 2.2 IP, giving up a lone single and striking out two. His fast ball velocity was sitting around 94-95, and he used all his pitches, including slider, changeup and curve. Due to wanting to get Kyle Nelson in the game and evaluate him left on left against Charlie Blackmon, Torey pulled Zac before he reached the pre stated 3 IP, 45 pitches. But Zac went down to the bullpen to finish his work, throwing 9 more pitches.
After the game, Gallen said he felt good about his both his velocity and command, but more importantly
“It was good to get back out there , you see everybody else out there having fun, so you [feel like] ok... I’m tired of backfield games, lets get back out there, and see another uniform.”
He also talked about not wanting to start another year on the IL like last year. He’s healthy and expects to be ready to take a turn the first time through the rotation, but it will be up to the team of course.
The game was a scoreless tie through the first three innings. The Diamondbacks squandered a couple of opportunities in both 1st and 2nd innings against Colorado Rockies starter German Marquez, who struck out 6 in this outing. They tallied the first run in the 4th however when Josh Rojas and Carson Kelly hit back to back doubles.
Mark Melancon had another rough outing today. His cutter velocity is still stuck at 87-89, more than 3 full MPH lower than last year’s average. He gave up two singles and a walk, and Daulton Varsho misplayed a ball to allow a run home. A sac fly by Garrett Hampson scored the second run and Melancon was pulled after 23 pitches. Kenyan Middleton recorded the last out to end the inning. Ian Kennedy threw the 5th, and recorded another scoreless inning, walking one.
Caleb Smith tossed three scoreless innings, facing the minimum 9 batters and striking out two. 25 of his 32 pitches we strikes.
Meanwhile, in the top of the 7th David Peralta crushed a moonshot 459 feet to right, 111 MPH off the bat at 54 degrees launch angle. That tied the game up at 2 . It was Peralta’s 4th homerun of spring. He also had a single and a HBP
Geraldo Perdomo came into the game in Varsho’s leadoff spot in the order in the top of the 9th against Jordan Sheffield and did this:
Perdomo for the lead! And with authority. pic.twitter.com/ocDpRUqimR— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 30, 2022
Sheffield went on to get rocked, giving up two singles, a walk and a wild pitch to D-backs subs to score the 4th run, and then Jake McCarthy blasted a no doubter three run homer to the right center field berm upping the score to 7-2. He walked one more and got pulled from the game. Matt Davidson greeted reliever Logan Cozart with another long homer, this one to center, for the 7th D-back run of the inning, making the score 9-2.
We heard Dinger was at the game today, but looks like we're the only ones providing dingers this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/L9NO3QAUAr— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 30, 2022
Another one for good measure. pic.twitter.com/R8zCkjob3v— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 30, 2022
After starting the spring 1-5, the Diamondbacks are 6-3-1 in their last 10 contests.
Prior to the game Torey Lovullo broke some bad news about Nick Ahmed and Jordan Luplow.
Ahmed got a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder and ended up getting two more cortisone shots. He is completely shutdown from all activity for 10 days and then they’ll re evaluate. Torey spoke about Ahmed’s toughness, and didn’t want to sell short his ability to rebound quickly. But clearly Ahmed is going to need some time to get ready after 10 days of no activity. He will certainly begin the year on the IL and miss the beginning of the season.
Jordan Luplow injured his right oblique on a swing and twice Torey said his absence would NOT be measured in days. While Torey was somewhat vague when pressed on whether he would miss opening day, this clearly means more than one week. Remember last year’s oblique injury to Christian Walker not only kept him out a while, but he later re injured it and the impact was felt all year.
“Using MLB’s Health and Injury Tracking System (HITS), the study ultimately revealed that hitters typically take 27 days to recover from a Grade 1 strain,”
Indeed......the “HITS” just keep coming. This will complicate matters for Torey a great deal. Luplow is a key right handed bat brought in to balance the lineup. With Stuart Fairchild optioned to Reno, and seemingly not a favored choice, the team is without a proven right handed bat in the outfield. After the game I also asked Torey if he felt he could run an all left handed outfield out there regardless if the starter was a lefty or a righty and he answered in the affirmative.