Manager Torey Lovullo provides updates on rash of D-backs injuries
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo took most of the first half of his pregame press conference to discuss the latest regarding a number of injuries plaguing the team on Monday.
According to the skipper, five players — Robbie Ray, Shelby Miller, A.J. Pollock, Steven Souza and Jorge De La Rosa — have seen solid progress in their healing.
Here is a breakdown of where those players are at, injury-wise:
ROBBIE RAY THROWS SOLID BULLPEN
Ray went to the 10-day DL back in April due to grade-two oblique strain, but has made progress toward making a rehab start with Class A Visalia.
“Ray threw a very good bullpen [Monday] and we feel very strongly that he’s going to come out of that with good news tomorrow,” Lovullo said of the lefty. “We’re going to have an eye on getting him out into Visalia on [June] 14th and start there and throw up to 50 pitches.
Real exciting news there, but we can’t quite put that in motion yet, we just want to make sure when he walks in tomorrow that he’s feeling good out of the bullpen.”
The team is taking an extra level of precaution, hoping that he won’t re-injure the oblique.
“My dialogue is that of him wanting to push and go and we are kind of pulling him back to make sure he doesn’t have any setbacks,” Lovullo said. “We’re somewhere in the middle there, that grey area, and I think he’s letting everybody know that he’s ready for that next challenge to possibly go to Visalia and I have no doubt that he’ll be ready.
“We want to make sure the body is sound from the ground up and he’s in a very good spot right now.”
One way to continuously monitor Ray is through weekly MRIs. The D-backs would not let him push ahead until the healing was complete. Now that it has, he can start getting into baseball activities.
Lovullo is not sure how many rehab starts Ray will need at this point, but hopes to get to a 90-pitch outing before moving him up to the big-league club.
SHELBY MILLER STRUGGLES IN REHAB START
Miller, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, had a rough go of it during his third rehab start on Sunday.
“Miller yesterday got up to 67 pitches, unfortunately we had to cut his outing short after three innings. he had a huge inning, a 37-pitch first inning, but he’s going to get back into town tonight and I’ll get a chance to talk to him, see how he feels,” Lovullo said. “Once again I think we’re going to probably see if we can get him into Visalia I think on Saturday to throw one more time and get him up to that 85-pitch limit.”
In his third rehab start, the 27-year-old allowed five runs in the first inning and three more in the second before throwing a scoreless third.
“You’re immediately wondering what happened, but Brad Arnsberg was there, one of our rehab coordinators, and he said the stuff was fine, everything was OK, he just got clipped a little bit. He made some mistakes, he got squeezed a little bit,” Lovullo said when asked about Miller’s outing. “My knee-jerk reaction was that we got to get that pitch count up, which we did, we got him into an area that we were comfortable with.
“I’m OK with a guy going to a rehab setting and getting hit around, I think it’s part of what you need to do to get ready for the big leagues and you try to cover every base and hit every mark just right, that’s one of them.”
Miller underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 after he had issues with his right elbow.
In terms of how he feels, Lovullo said he was told Miller felt “fantastic” and that he was not aware of any medical setbacks.
Miller will get one more rehab start, with Lovullo confident that the righty can rebound from Sunday.
A.J. POLLOCK STILL ON THE MEND
Although he is still working to get back on the field, Pollock, who came in at No. 13 among Nation League outfielders in the first round of All-Star voting, is right where he needs to be in terms of progression, according to Lovullo.
“Pollock had a CT Scan [Monday] — I was just getting some of those details right now before I walked in here — continued healing, exactly as we anticipated and is feeling good,” Lovullo said. “We might start some range-of-motion stuff with him, but not totally healed and not cleared for total baseball activities, but on the normal progression that we feel like he’s exactly where he should be.”
Pollock, who is hitting .293 with 11 homers and 33 RBI for Arizona, fractured his left thumb on May 14 against the Milwaukee Brewers when he laid out for a diving catch.
It was not known when Pollock might be cleared for baseball activities.
STEVEN SOUZA TAKES BP
After being placed on the 10-day DL after aggravating a strained right pectoral injury, Souza is making progress toward his return.
“Souza will take BP today and start throwing progression possibly tomorrow or the next day, just depends on how he feels after taking BP,” Lovullo said.
After the outfielder was acquired by Arizona in a three-team deal this offseason, Souza injured his pectoral muscle in the spring.
He made it back to the diamond for 13 games before re-injuring himself on May 22.
JORGE DE LA ROSA GETS SIMULATED PFP DRILLS
De La Rosa was placed on the 10-day DL after suffering an Achilles tendon injury on June 1.
“Jorge threw an extended [spring training] since we last talked and tomorrow will again throw an extended,” Lovullo said. “We put him through some [pitcher fielding practice] drills today, simulated some PFP drills today, and he came through it OK, but we want to have him throw one more time.
“Wednesday we’ll go back to PFP, see how he feels. I know tomorrow he’s eligible to come of the DL, but we felt like we wanted to give him one more outing and we’ll evaluate over the next couple days with him.”
The lefty reliever, who is the oldest player on the roster at 37-years old, has a 3.54 ERA in 27 appearances for the D-backs in 2018.