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At critical point in season, D-backs’ David Peralta returns from IL

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta was hesitant to agree that this week makes for a particularly timely return from the injured list.

“Important week?” Peralta said Wednesday, repeating part of a reporter’s question with skepticism. “Like I think every day for us is important. Every game’s important. We just have to keep battling, keep grinding and keep trying to win as much games as we can.

“I’m here, so I’m going to do my best to help the team to win games and then see what’s going to happen.”

Moments later, as a filled room listened to manager Torey Lovullo talk before the series finale against the Orioles, questions arose about the team’s intentions at the trade deadline. Indeed, it has been perhaps the top storyline for the .500 ballclub, which entered Wednesday 51-51 and three games back in a very crowded National League Wild Card race.

And as much as there have been questions about whether the D-backs will “buy” or “sell” (or something in between) at the July 31 deadline, there have been little answers from the on-the-field performance. The Diamondbacks are mired in a crowd, neither a hot team making its case for the playoffs nor a sinking ship ready to jettison its assets in consideration of seasons ahead.

So, for a D-backs team that’s 4-6 in its last 10 games and has seven more games before the trade market closes shop, perhaps the return of Peralta, one of Arizona’s best hitters, can push things in the right direction.

“David Peralta’s back and active. We worked his butt off to make today happen,” Lovullo said the morning after Peralta finished a rehab assignment in the Arizona League (AZL), a rookie-level minor league in the Valley.

Lovullo said that the team wouldn’t hesitate to use Peralta in Wednesday’s game against Baltimore, though he was not in the lineup in his first game off the IL. The manager cited the day game after a night game as being part of the logic in that.

Peralta said he feels good, and it should be noted this is the second time through this process in 2019 for the outfielder. From May 24 to June 3, Peralta was out with the same injury he had this time: right AC joint inflammation (shoulder).

“I think the first time, I made the decision to come too early, which I just wanted to play,” Peralta said. “We all make that mistake. I told them, ‘Yeah, I’m ready, I’m ready!’ I thought I was going to go through that and it didn’t happen. I just wanted to help the team, and I learned from that mistake. And I was like, ‘OK, until then, I’m going to take a little bit of my time to get everything right.’ And now, you can see the result, it’s feeling better.”

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