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D-backs could throw Luke Weaver this weekend vs. Padres

Luke Weaver #24 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park on May 26, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Luke Weaver is “on deck” to be activated off the injured list as soon as this week, manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday.

“I think the next step for Luke would be a game here (in the majors),” the skipper added. “When and where will be up to me. At some point here in the next couple of days, you’re going to see him pop out and throw some baseballs.”

Weaver would come out of the D-backs bullpen once he returns from UCL and flexor pronator injuries in his right arm. He last pitched two scoreless innings during a rehab game in Single-A Visalia on Friday before a 28-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.

The right-hander will take Wednesday off, and Arizona has Thursday off before starting a three-game series against the San Diego Padres from Friday until Sunday.

“I think if you’re targeting some time around that San Diego series would be pretty accurate,” Lovullo said of Weaver’s potential return.

Weaver went on the injured list in May after his throwing arm suffered mild sprains to the flexor pronator and UCL. Weaver last pitched for Arizona on May 26.

Bradley’s back OK, gives Ginkel opportunity

Reliever Archie Bradley expected to be available out of the bullpen Tuesday against the Miami Marlins after rehabbing a tweaked back over the last two days.

Bradley said he woke up feeling off on Sunday.

“It kind of locked up on me and put me in a bad spot for a couple days,” Bradley said. “I’ve had it a few times. Backs are super nervy and it’s just kind of a weird, uncomfortable feeling.”

Bradley progressed enough to feel OK to go on Monday if needed, but Arizona instead turned to Kevin Ginkel, who earned his first save in a 7-5 win over Miami.

The back improved for Bradley even more Tuesday, but his absence gave a chance for one of the D-backs’ more unheralded relief pitchers to shine.

“You talk about guys who came up from player development and really helped resurrect our season, Kevin is one of the first guys I’m thinking about,” Lovullo said. “Kevin has been fantastic. He’s extremely reliable, he’s unfazed by any situation and he executes the gameplan.

“The beauty of what he’s going through now is there’s been very little change in his performance at this level. Sometimes you see there’s a little dip. This is exactly what player development said he was in Triple-A.”

In 20 games with the MLB club, Ginkel has a 1.83 ERA and 0.92 WHIP with 22 strikeouts over 19.2 innings.

Ahmed remains day-to-day with finger injury

Nick Ahmed was initially listed in the Diamondbacks lineup Tuesday, but Lovullo pulled him for shortstop Ildemaro Vargas hours before the game after Ahmed reported pain in a finger that took him out of Arizona’s win on Monday.

“It’s where that nail separates from that skin, right below, right in that opening,” Lovullo said. “It’s painful. It’s going to be painful, and at some point, it’s going to stop being so painful and he’ll be able to let us know when that happens.”

Base hits

— Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, who continues rehabbing this year from Tommy John surgery done last season, threw a 33-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.

— Lovullo said reliever Yoan Lopez is attempting to get his fastball mechanics back in sync in order to earn him more swing-and-misses. The manager said the issue is with fastball command and the “flight” of the pitch, not the velocity.

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