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D-backs Preview #12: 4/13 vs. Athletics

Definitely pleased to see Gallen back.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images


Today's Lineups

Mark Canha - LF Tim Locastro - CF
Ramon Laureano - CF Kole Calhoun - RF
Jed Lowrie - 2B Eduardo Escobar - 2B
Matt Chapman - 3B Asdrubal Cabrera - 3B
Seth Brown - 1B Nick Ahmed - SS
Stephen Piscotty - RF David Peralta - LF
Elvis Andrus - SS Carson Kelly - C
Aramis Garcia - C Wyatt Mathisen - 1B
Jesus Luzardo - LHP Zac Gallen - RHP

Roster move

To make way for Gallen, the team optioned Matt Peacock to the alternate training site. Seems a bit of a shame, consider his heroic efforts in his debut. But it’s a numbers game, and I’m sure he’ll be near the top of the list for a recall when another arm is needed.

The return of Gallen

I think we were all expecting Zac Gallen to be out of action for considerably longer, when we heard he had suffered a hairline fracture in the forearm. I was personally thinking late May might have been about right, so for him only to miss 11 games definitely counts as a major win. It does seem reasonable that he won’t be throwing 110 pitches today, but I’d rather have four or five decent innings of Gallen than... /gestures vaguely in the direction of last night. Zac spoke to the media yesterday and said he felt good after the diagnosis; “I was kinda chomping at the bit”, but said he had no idea what the plan was. “I’m just going to treat it like a regular start, do my job and throw up as many zeroes as possible.”

He has been taking his hitting easy, to “limit the stress,” and so has been bunting rather than actively slugging. He was cleared to throw his curve-ball after two weeks on April 5, though had flipped a couple before that, just to check it out. Since then, it has been a gradual build-up until he feels he has as many as he needs for a regular outing. He felt so good after the diagnosis - “the best I felt through all spring training” - he felt he could have given the team seven innings that night. It really seems the team was erring on the side of caution. However, we all know that pitchers have a tendency to gut it out, and for the sake of Gallen’s long-term future as our likely staff ace, I’ll take a couple of starts being skipped.

Torey Lovullo notes

Ketel Marte: While we know that KM had imaging done Torey would still not indicate if Marte had a grade 1 or grade 2 tear. (Or something in between). “I don’t know the grade. He hasn’t resumed baseball activity up to this point. He’s just getting treatment in the training room (at Salt River Fields). He’s getting around the clock attention from that group. They will slowly initiate baseball activity when tolerated. I don’t have an update on that because he hasn’t taken the next steps. “

So with the team unwilling to reveal more information than that we are only left to speculate and use the powers of Google. Presuming an elite athlete getting elite medical attention, and looking at the calendar and the time needed to get going and based on not yet “taking the next steps”, it’s probably pretty safe to say that he won’t be returning to the lineup when eligible next Tuesday, April 20th, at Cincinnati. Beyond that is pure speculation, but I’ll give it a go:

If this is a grade 1 tear then it’s possible he could return as soon as April 27th at home against San Diego. To me that would appear to be the earliest we see him. If they report any return to baseball activity in the next 3-4 days that timeline could be moved up perhaps.

If this is a grade 2 tear, then I’d expect him out a minimum of 4 weeks, based on what I can research on line. That means we might not see him until May 10th, OR LATER. Trent Grisham missed 4 weeks from an early spring Hamstring strain. Back in the day Eric Byrnes tried to return too quickly from a grade 2 strain, and ended up reinjuring himself, tearing the tendon OFF the bone. My hope is they don’t try to rush Ketel back.

Zac Gallen was activated and Matt Peacock was optioned to the alternate site. Peacock is not eligible to return to the roster for at least 11 days, and could only do so in the event of an injury. So for safety he will not be part of the Taxi Squad for the upcoming road trip. Gallen will be on a pitch count limit and will not exceed it, but what that limit is was not revealed. He did throw 67 pitches in his most recent sim game outing. So somewhere between 65-75 pitches is a reasonable guess.

Christian Walker woke up a few days ago with right side soreness, but it went away during the day. Then during the game two nights ago it flared up on him and he was removed from the game. Further evaluation revealed the Oblique strain and he is out for at least 10-14 days.

Other topics discussed were bullpen roles and Madison Bumgarner. Check audio if you have a moment

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]