ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs bullpen: Boxberger dealing with soreness, Sherfy fatigued

Mar 1, 2018, 2:15 PM | Updated: 4:19 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Jimmie Sherfy delivers pitch in the eighth inning of a baseball...
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Jimmie Sherfy delivers pitch in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Boxberger’s “general soreness” in his right arm kept him out of his scheduled spring training appearance Tuesday, manager Torey Lovullo said.

Boxberger hasn’t seen game action since Feb. 23. He threw a bullpen session Thursday and has another scheduled for Sunday.

The medical staff is relying on what the pitcher tells it.

“It just made a lot of sense for him to give us input and then we’re going to just go with what he normally does throughout the course of the spring,” Lovullo said.

Boxberger is one of three pitchers fighting for a high-leverage bullpen role.

Former Japanese standout Yoshi Hirano gave up two runs on three hits on Wednesday. Archie Bradley, the third pitcher in the competition, has given up four runs in 2.1 innings this spring.

Middle inning relievers are fighting through their own soreness. Randall Delgado, who missed the final 2.5 months of last season with a right elbow injury, looked “fantastic” in a live batting practice, Lovullo said.

“(He) threw all pitches, just knocking off some of the rust. We’re very, very satisfied with the delivery and the stuff.”

Jimmie Sherfy debuted last season by throwing 10.2 scoreless innings but has yet to appear this spring due to shoulder fatigue. He hasn’t gone through any tests – the team is taking his input into account in a similar way they are with Boxberger and expects him to be ready by opening day.

“We are cautious with our athletes,” Lovullo said. “(Sherfy’s) got to go out and compete and earn, so he knows what’s at stake.”

Another pitcher getting attention: Neftali Feliz. Lovullo called the 2010 American League Rookie of the Year “very intriguing.”

“I’ve seen him overmatch people,” Lovullo said. “He cares and he’s highly engaged at what’s happening on  a daily basis.”

After amassing a total of 72 saves with a 2.74 ERA in his first two seasons, Feliz was moved into the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation. However, he sprained his UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery after seven starts in 2012. He pitched well in 2014, but in 2015, Feliz’ ERA rocketed to 6.38 and he hasn’t spent more than one season on a single team since.

He threw a bullpen session this week. Lovullo said he needs to make sure Feliz has his strength before putting him in a game.

The minor league contract gives the team an inexpensive way to see if he can regain production.

“Sometimes when a guy throws 100 (mph), you think he’s just a thrower and he’s getting away with it, but that’s not the case with (Feliz),” Lovullo said. “He’s making an impression here, a very strong impression.”

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D-backs bullpen: Boxberger dealing with soreness, Sherfy fatigued