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D-backs Preview #37: 5/12 vs. Marlins

The climb up Mt. 500 just became a good deal tougher

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

Today's Lineups

Miguel Rojas - SS Pavin Smith - RF
Jesus Aguilar - 1B Josh Rojas - 2B
Corey Dickerson - LF Asdrubal Cabrera - 1B
Adam Duvall - RF David Peralta - LF
Jon Berti - 3B Stephen Vogt - C
Isan Diaz - 2B Eduardo Escobar - 3B
Sandy Leon - C Nick Ahmed - SS
Magneuris Sierra - CF Daulton Varsho - CF
Cody Poteet - RHP Matt Peacock - RHP

Roster moves

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the following roster moves:

  • Selected RHP Seth Frankoff (No. 61) from Triple-A Reno.
  • Recalled INF/OF Andrew Young from Triple-A Reno.
  • Placed RHP Zac Gallen (sprained right elbow) [retro to May 9] and INF Christian Walker (right oblique soreness) on the 10-day injured list.
  • Designated INF/OF Wyatt Mathisen for assignment.

The loss of Walker isn’t too much of a surprise. That’s a recurrence, or at least in the same area, as the previous problem which put him on the DL earlier in the season. Hopefully, it’s more of a setback than a reset. But the news on Gallen is definitely an unpleasant shock, and will test the depth of the Diamondbacks’ starting pitching again. You can hear from Torey Lovullo on the situation, and how the team plans to handle it, later. With luck, Taylor Widener should not be too far off returning - a sim game due later this week. That will help, though he isn’t at the same level of pitching as Gallen. While their raw ERAs were similar (3.04 for Gallen, 2.82 for Widener), there is a very large gap in FIP (2.99 vs. 4.76).

Matt Peacock is starting tonight, in what figures to be a bullpen game for Arizona, with Frankoff added to the 40-man roster for additional depth. The latter move is what leads to Mathisen being DFA’d, in order to make room. It has not been a great year for Wyatt: his OPS+ of 25 is ahead only of Geraldo Perdomo, and he has struck out in exactly half of his at-bats. I would not be surprised if he ends up making it through waivers.

Torey Lovullo notes

Manager Torey Lovullo had to deliver some tough news today:

  • Zac Gallen has a sprain of his UCL on his right pitching elbow. According to doctors, this injury has no connection at all to the previous fractured elbow Gallen suffered in late spring while taking BP. Zac first reported the injury to the training staff a couple of days ago and has been undergoing evaluations since then. Torey said he will be shut down and rested for two weeks and then re-evaluated. He could not offer any timeline nor assess the odds that Zac may ultimately require Tommy John Surgery. He said he remains optimistic that won’t be the case.

Torey emphasized that he trusts his athletes to come forward when something isn’t right, and Zac appears to have done so. Torey said that if he had not done so they might have lost him for the year, but by catching it now he is optimistic that can be avoided. That said, Torey did defer to Zac himself to identify exactly when he might have felt any discomfort prior to two days ago.

  • In last night’s post game ZOOM Torey I mentioned the following stats to Torey :
    2017 NL Avg Pitches G/Started = 91, D-backs = 96, Ranked 2nd
    2021 NL Avg Pitches G/Started = 84, D-backs = 86, Ranked 6th
    I also pointed out the D-backs are the only team without a pitcher to have gone 100 pitches in a game, but also have the most games between 80-99 and the fewest under 80 by a starter.

Following up that today I asked him if he had any thoughts about the fact that despite lowered pitch counts and workloads, league wide pitcher injuries are through the roof.

“You know how hard it was for me to answer your question last night knowing the information that I knew? I couldn’t help but agree with some of the numbers and some of the thoughts you were throwing at me. All I care about is protecting our athletes. Almost to the point where people think that I’m crazy. But we have to be mindful that things like this can happen. If Zac threw 15 more pitches in his last outing what would that have meant.

I’m very aware of the amount of injuries that are running through the league right now. So I feel like it’s my job to hold the line. I have some very difficult conversations with some pitchers when I remove them from the game. They feel like they have 20-25 more pitches. Well, I know you do. But what’s that gonna mean to your right elbow in August or September or next year or in five years. It’s hard for them to separate that but I’ve got to be the parent in the room.“

Torey Lovullo audio [or link]

Zac Gallen [audio link]

Zac said the issue first popped up in Atlanta as just a little tightness in the forearm. But it came and went. He felt better in Colorado, but it bothered him again in NY so he decided to alert the staff. He had an MRI and 3 different doctors have looked at what has been described as a “Very Mild Strain”. Nobody has mentioned surgery yet, and he doesn’t think he’ll need surgery. But the collaborative effort between the 3 doctors is ongoing to determine his course of action. PRP injections are a possibility.

Christian Walker [audio link]

Christian said the MRI did not show a “setback” But he has felt discomfort and has had a “lack of trust” in his body. He talked about how game speed, sudden quick decisions like a check swing or an adjustment on an off balance swing, etc are difficult to recreate in rehab training.