D-backs C/OF Daulton Varsho day-to-day, catcher depth pressed
The Arizona Diamondbacks have dwindled depth at catcher this weekend.
Daulton Varsho is day-to-day with a right scapula contusion, manager Torey Lovullo updated on Saturday.
Varsho exited Friday’s game after getting hit with a pitch. He was initially in the lineup Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers as the designated hitter, as throwing is currently the main issue he faces.
His start Saturday was subject to change, though, with Lovullo saying he was 50-50 on a decision a couple of hours before first pitch. Lovullo took Varsho out of the batting order in favor of Pavin Smith soon after.
“I put him in the lineup for a reason because I want him to play,” Louvllo said. “…if Dalton could not throw today, I would never put him into a situation where he would not be performing at the highest level we expect.”
Jose Herrera is slated to start a second straight contest behind the dish on Saturday and then a third on Sunday, which will be a day game after playing at night.
Lovullo said the D-backs will lean on Herrera until Varsho is ready, with Cooper Hummel as the backup.
Hummel has caught two innings this season and has had more practice lately, although, Lovullo said he would not start the rookie at catcher at this point.
“We’ll rely on Jose for as long as we need to, but we want Daulton to be an option for us,” Lovullo said. “If he’s not, we would certainly turn to Cooper but not in a starting catcher situation.”
The D-backs started the season with three backstops plus Hummel on the active roster, with Carson Kelly starting at catcher and Varsho in center field.
Kelly has been on the injured list since May 8, and Lovullo said Saturday he does not know when the 27-year-old will return.
“Everything is progressing in a very positive way for him,” Lovullo said. “I don’t have any any part of this plan beyond what he’s doing.”
Kelly has been hitting in the cage.
BULLPEN COACH HAS COVID-19
Lovullo also updated the status of his coaching staff, saying bullpen coach Mike Fetters has COVID-19.
Fetters is the second D-backs coach in the protocols along with Dave McKay, their first base coach.
Assistant pitching coach and minor league pitching coordinator Dan Carlson will fulfill Fetters’ role in the bullpen for the time being.
“I just got off the phone with Fet right now, and he said that he feels great,” Lovullo said. “He’s just maybe a little tired walking around his house, goin up the stairs, which is to be expected.
“We’ll get him back on his program as soon as he’s able and has cleared the COVID protocols.”
First pitch on Saturday is at 4:15 p.m. from Chase Field with Merrill Kelly on the hill for Arizona against Tony Gonsolin.
Catch the game on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.