Diamondbacks’ Gabriel Moreno progressing toward live game action

Aug 8, 2023, 5:55 PM

Gabriel Moreno...

Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks prepares for a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Chase Field on June 14, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno has begun catching bullpens, watching live batting practice and started his hitting progression, manager Torey Lovullo said.

Lovullo called Moreno — who has been on the 10-day injured list since July 23 with left shoulder inflammation — asymptomatic,  and he his getting close to live action reps.

The D-backs have targeted Thursday for the 23-year-old to catch five innings in the Arizona Complex League at Salt River Fields.

“I’m not sure what the overall master plan is, but I think we want to increase the workload piece by piece,” Lovullo said. “We’ll see how he gets through it on Thursday.”

There is no target number of at-bats or innings Moreno will need before returning, Lovullo said. It’s about getting him back in game shape at this point.

The D-backs are 36-25 in Moreno’s starts this season. He had played through shoulder discomfort for a couple weeks before getting shutdown to recover. The injury occurred on a batting practice swing ahead of the All-Star break, but he still managed to heat up with a 348/.464/.522 in 28 plate appearances in July.

Ketel Marte good to go

After limping off the field Sunday against the Minnesota Twins, D-backs second baseman Ketel Marte was back in the lineup Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting leadoff.

Marte was removed on Sunday in the fifth inning with right quad tightness, and Lovullo said leaving him in felt risky.

“He’s a very athletic player and sometimes it’s doesn’t feel right,” Lovullo said. “I think we may have dodged something … hopefully, he’ll be out there full strength.”

Zach Davies working toward rehab start

D-backs starting pitcher Zach Davies is back on the mound having thrown 58 pitches in a simulated games on Saturday.

The veteran had a bullpen scheduled for Tuesday, and if all went to plan, he will be off to Triple-A Reno for a rehab outing on Thursday.

Davies landed on the injured list July 19 with lower back inflammation.

“The comments were, I mean, it wasn’t perfect, but he got through it and felt good, up to the 58-pitch mark,” manager Torey Lovullo said on Tuesday. “So it was very encouraging for us.”

Tommy Henry, meanwhile, remains in the treatment phase, and Lovullo did not have a timetable. Henry is still expected to return this season after going on the IL with left elbow inflammation on retroactive to July 29.

Slade Cecconi has been slated into the rotation in his stead, but Lovullo said the 24-year-old will available out of the bullpen Tuesday and Wednesday if needed. Arizona has an off day Thursday to reset the rotation.

More D-backs injury notes

– Lovullo said reliever Drey Jameson will begin a throwing program on Friday. He has been on the 60-day IL since July 8 with a right UCL strain, and he elected not to have surgery.

– Evan Longoria (strained lower back) has taken dry swings. Lovullo told reporters in Minnesota over the weekend Longoria had a setback after early belief was he would be back soon after 10 days. He went on the IL on July 29.

– Mark Melancon is playing catch up to 110-120 feet.

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