D-backs ace Zack Greinke avoids IL, will make next scheduled start
PHOENIX — The good outweighed the bad ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.
Arizona’s ace, Zack Greinke, will not only miss the injured list after suffering an abdominal strain in his previous outing, but will make his next start Tuesday against the San Diego Padres.
After going through a light throwing session Friday and a bullpen Saturday, Greinke has been given the green light from manager Torey Lovullo.
“Zack’s bullpen went very good,” Lovullo said of the pitcher Saturday. “He’s going to start for us on Tuesday.”
That’s nothing but good news for a team fighting to keep position in a competitive NL West.
Greinke has been nearly flawless this season, going 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA. His only blemish came in a lopsided loss on Opening Day, but since then, the pitcher has found his groove.
In Greinke’s following nine starts (61.0 IP), he allowed just 13 earned runs on 42 hits, while striking out 59 batters in the process for a 1.92 ERA.
Greinke’s last start signaled his best yet this season, but the way it ended gave the team and D-backs fans quite a scare.
After going 7.2 scoreless innings, the pitcher unexpectedly exited the game. It was later diagnosed that Greinke was dealing with an abdominal strain and he would undergo an MRI.
David Peralta scratched late vs. Giants
It wasn’t all good news Saturday afternoon.
David Peralta was a late scratch from the starting lineup as the outfielder’s still dealing with right trap tightness, an injury he suffered against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
“He felt good to play in the game yesterday with the situation with the trap the other day,” Lovullo said Saturday. “He looked great obviously. The solo home run told me that he was doing quite well, but I think the dive yesterday might have re-aggravated some things in that area.”
In Friday’s matchup against the Giants, Peralta went 1-for-3 with a home run and a walk. He also scored two runs. The outfielder did, however, try to make a diving play early on in the game, something Lovullo doesn’t want to take any chances on.
“He was trying to make a go of it today, but I just elected that it was best to get him off of his feet and give him the day,” Lovullo said. “We feel like he’ll be day-to-day and he’ll be available tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll be available tonight if needed.”
Lovullo added the “concern is fairly minimal” and the decision was a “no-brainer” to sit Peralta off the fact that the manager is willing to “sacrifice today rather than seven possible days” if the outfielder were to aggravate anything Saturday.
Peralta’s absence is a tough void to fill.
Entering play Saturday, Peralta is first among the D-backs batters in hits (58), doubles (16), and batting average (.319). He’s tied for first in runs (27), tied for second in RBI (30) and fifth in home runs with seven.
Blake Swihart fills in in left field in Peralta’s absence.
Taijuan Walker facing a “tough stretch” in his recovery
The D-backs were given good news regarding Greinke’s MRI, but received bad news on fellow pitcher Taijuan Walker on Friday.
Walker, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, suffered a setback in his recovery in the way of a capsule sprain in his right shoulder and will now not throw for six weeks.
“I got a chance to see him today, yesterday he got his injection and didn’t get to the field,” Lovullo said of Walker. “I just was trying to be as encouraging as I possibly can. It’s a tough little stretch, tough little grind for him.
“It’s a situation where he’s trying to get back full strength and this pops up. It’s not anything we predicted, and he seemed to be okay with it and he’s got some more work to do before he gets back on his feet.”
Walker had been throwing bullpen sessions and simulated games as he made his return back to the rotation. He’ll be re-evaluated in six weeks.
It’s a tough spot to be in for the D-backs who could have used the extra arm in the rotation with a spot seemingly up for grabs.
After exiting Friday night’s game with a left hand contusion Jarrod Dyson is available of the bench Saturday for Arizona.