D-backs’ Merrill Kelly trending in right direction from blood clot, set for sim game

Jul 14, 2023, 3:58 PM | Updated: 3:58 pm

Merrill Kelly on the mound...

Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts to an out of David Peralta #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on March 31, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly was stringing together a solid 2023 campaign before a blood clot in his calf moved him from the active roster to the 15-day injured list on June 25.

But amid D-backs returning to action from the All-Star break, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for a pitcher critical to the team’s continued success in 2023.

“He’s trending in a very positive direction,” skipper Torey Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Friday. “He had something that needed attention. He had a little bit of a blood-clotting situation in his calf and we got to make sure that doesn’t return or come back.”

The next step in Kelly’s progression back to full strength is a 75-pitch simulation game in the Arizona Complex League on Saturday.

For Lovullo and the rest of the organization, it’s a healthy reminder Kelly is getting close to return.

“Everything is trending as far as the health of his shoulder and his legs in a very, very positive direction,” Lovullo added. “Once they check that box tomorrow and make sure he recovers and does everything he’s supposed to do, we’ll address what the next steps are.”

Kelly has been a big piece to Arizona’s puzzle in 2023, posting a 9-4 record with a 3.22 ERA and 1.13 WHIP across 16 starts (95 innings pitched). He’s registered 98 strikeouts and 37 walks.

Ace Zac Gallen, who has appeared in three more games than Kelly this season, is the only D-backs starting pitcher with better numbers than his counterpart.

The D-backs are back in action Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays. First pitch is slated for 4:07 p.m. Hear the game live on the Arizona Sports app, 98.7 or

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