Luke Weaver set to make return for Diamondbacks on Wednesday
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Luke Weaver is set to make his first start since mid-May on Wednesday, manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday.
Weaver last pitched for the D-backs on May 16, exiting his start after four innings with what the team called right shoulder discomfort. Two days later, the D-backs placed Weaver on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain before transferring him to the 60-day injured list on May 28 with a subscapularis strain in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder.
The 28-year-old spent a week under COVID-19 protocols due to close contact with someone who had tested positive for the virus, originally entering the protocols on Aug. 20. Weaver had made three rehab starts with Triple-A Reno to that point, and when Weaver was in the protocols, Lovullo said at the time that he believed Weaver would likely need another rehab start before making his return.
Lovullo commented on that change.
“We felt like there was enough of buildup that he could throw a bullpen and be ready to go,” Lovullo said, noting that Weaver was extremely close before the protocols and that the team never locked in any decision.
Weaver has made eight starts in 2021, recording a 4.50 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP over 40.0 innings. He missed a significant chunk of 2019 as well, his first season with the D-backs, due to forearm and UCL injuries.
It has been quite the three-year stint with the D-backs thus far for Weaver, who joined catcher Carson Kelly as the two big pieces Arizona got in return when they traded franchise first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the St. Louis Cardinals in October of 2018.
When Weaver did pitch in 2019, he was excellent, posting a 2.94 ERA and 1.073 WHIP over 12 starts. But in the dozen starts he made last year, Weaver was lost, giving up 38 earned runs in 52.0 innings for a 6.58 ERA and 1.558 WHIP.
Weaver avoided arbitration last offseason and has two more potential years of it until he would become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.