ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Robbie Ray among injured D-backs progressing, Jake Barrett is rolling

Aug 8, 2017, 6:23 PM | Updated: Aug 9, 2017, 3:27 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray delivers in the fourth inning of a baseball game a...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Robbie Ray delivers in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Ray pitched a complete game, four-hit, 3-0 shutout. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PHOENIX — Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray continues progressing in his recovery from an injury suffered on a comebacker that struck him in the head, but Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the lefty won’t start in the finale of the team’s three-game series against the Dodgers.

Anthony Banda, 23, will get the Thursday start opposite newly-acquired pitcher Yu Darvish, but Ray’s return appears around the corner.

Ray threw 28 pitches on Monday in a bullpen session and Lovullo hopes they can map out another throwing session before scheduling his next start. The team hopes it can announce a decision in the coming days.

“He’s progressing exactly the way we’re hoping, and it’s trending in a very positive direction,” Lovullo said Tuesday before the series-opener against the Dodgers.

Injured July 28, Ray suffered a concussion and admitted two days later things were moving slow for him, but he had no other symptoms.

Banda has gone 1-1 in Ray’s absence, taking a win in his last outing by allowing one earned run and three hits to go with seven strikeouts and four walks in 6.0 innings against the Giants.

Other injured Diamondbacks likewise don’t have timelines for their returns.

• Outfielder Yasmany Tomas was running the bases Tuesday as he attempts to come back from groin tendinitis that put him on the 60-day disabled list. He was eligible to return on a rehab assignment this week, and Lovullo said he will certainly require such a stint if the injury checks out.

• Shortstop Nick Ahmed (fractured right hand) can come off the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 28. He began tossing balls underhand and swinging bats off a tee the past two days. He appeared optimistic he will be able to return when the 60 days ends. Ahmed is attempting to get his range of motion back after pins were removed from his hand to help the healing. “Once I had the surgery and got the cast off and the pins out, it was really stiff and was a little nervous on how quickly I’d come back, but it’s been progress every day and haven’t had any setbacks,” Ahmed said Tuesday. “I think I’ll be on for another two and a half weeks but I’ll definitely be ready when that time’s up and hopefully slightly before that — will come back at 100 percent and be ready for a playoff push.”

• Reliever and spot-starter Randall Delgado (flexor strain in right elbow) has been throwing from 90 feet, Lovullo said.

BARRETT ROLLING

Jake Barrett’s recovery from a shoulder impingement on his throwing arm began at the start of spring training.

It took the Arizona Diamondbacks reliever until July 7 to finally make his MLB debut this season after patiently waiting 22 games in the minors for his shot. He’s taken full advantage, having gone 12.2 innings in 13 appearances and only allowing one earned run (0.71 ERA) heading into Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers.

“Health-wise, I’m just trying to stay on top of it. Just trying to stretch it out and be as loose as possible. As far as a pitching standpoint, just being out there on the mound, it’s no different than last year. Just trying to keep the ball down and not walk people,” Barrett said.

That, and the acquisition of veteran David Hernandez from the Angels before the trade deadline, has steadied the D-backs’ bullpen that needed reliable options behind Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin.

“We put him into innings with traffic and he’s responded very well,” Lovullo said of Barrett. “We’ve given him clean innings … He’s on the attack with a very aggressive fastball with some secondary pitches he’s not afraid to throw any time.. It’s a great story. A guy that was missed early in the year because of an injury and then he had to go to the minor leagues and work his way back to the big leagues.”

LOVULLO LOOKS FOR INFIELD PRODUCTION

While Ketel Marte will remain the main shortstop with newly-acquired infielder Adam Rosales plugging holes as a utility man, the D-backs continue to tinker with second base, where Brandon Drury and Daniel Descalso will be platooned, per Lovullo.

Neither has hit particularly well this month.

Descalso has one hit in 16 at-bats with two walks and three strikeouts to start August. Drury has two hits in 13 at-bats.

“Daniel has been very productive for us on both sides of the ball, as has Brandon,” Lovullo said. “How it plays out moving forward I haven’t quite mapped out.”

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