Diamondbacks’ Drey Jameson elects rehab over surgery on UCL

Jul 28, 2023, 5:41 PM

Drey Jameson...

Drey Jameson #99 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of the Spring Training game against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on March 12, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks rookie reliever Drey Jameson has elected to not have surgery on his right ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) after suffering a strain, manager Torey Lovullo said.

Jameson will begin plyometric exercises and work on range of motion as he ramps up to throwing again. Lovullo did not have a specific timeline and was not sure whether the 25-year-old could return this season.

“He was the one who did all the research, and I’m sure it’s been grinding on him,” Lovullo said. “But he is completely 100% bought in on this being the right decision. Other people have had this type of injury and have come back. We just saw Luke Weaver throwing low bullets at us at 95-97 mph. So we feel like he’s going to come full circle.”

Weaver went through a similar predicament in 2019, landing on the injured list May 27 and returning Sept. 21. Jameson was placed on the IL July 7 with right elbow inflammation, so Lovullo acknowledged he does not have the same runway.

Jameson went on the IL after pitching against the New York Mets, an outing in which Lovullo and an athletic trainer visited him on the mound. He stayed in the game with what Lovullo called a cramp postgame.

Lovullo said surgery remains an option if Jameson opts for it, which the manager said would keep the pitcher out for a year.

“He’s young and athletic, we feel like his ability to recover is going to be more in his favor,” Lovullo said.

Jameson came up late last season as a starter and has filled multiple roles in 2023. He owns a 3.32 ERA in 40.2 innings with two starts and a save.

What’s up with Mark Melancon?

Melancon is working at Salt River Fields and throwing up to 120 feet, Lovullo said. The D-backs added him to the 15-day injured list on March 3o with a right shoulder strain and he has been out all year.

“It’s going to be close whether or not he gets back for before the end of the year,” Lovullo said.

Melancon had a down year in 2022 with a 4.66 ERA and 1.5 WHIP in 56 innings pitched. He saved 18 games and blew three save opportunities. Over the previous four campaigns, he averaged a 3.23 ERA and 1.3 WHIP.

The 38-year-old is an upcoming free agent.

Gabriel Moreno update

Lovullo similarly did not have a timeline on Moreno, who is still receiving treatment on his left shoulder after going on the 10-day IL Sunday.

Moreno is able to perform certain baseball activities that don’t put pressure on the shoulder, such as ball tracking, working out the lower body and throwing.

“We want to bridge that gap the best way we know how to shorten up that window once he does get that clearance so he doesn’t have that far to go,” Lovullo said. “We’re hoping to get back as soon as possible … We miss Gabi.”

Lovullo said swinging is what seemed to bother Moreno the most in regards to the shoulder. Moreno tried playing through it for a couple of weeks before the team decided to put him on the IL. His playing time decreased to lighten the load on him with Carson Kelly starting most of the games.

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