ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs reinstate Zach Davies from injured list to start vs. Reds, option Justin Martinez

Aug 26, 2023, 2:01 PM

Zach Davies...

Zach Davies #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on July 18, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks reinstated starting pitcher Zach Davies from the 15-day injured list and optioned reliever Justin Martinez to Triple-A Reno, the team announced on Saturday. 

Davies will start Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds at Chase Field after missing more than five weeks with a lower back issue.

He has a 7.38 ERA in 12 starts this season with two IL stints after he suffered an oblique strain in April.

The veteran said he’s dealt with on-and-off lower-back discomfort since 2018 but has never felt it debilitated him enough to go on the IL. After a difficult stretch to start July in which he felt his command struggled, Davies opted for a cortisone shot to address the pain.

“Just feeling healthy, feeling better, feeling my mechanics can do what I want them to do and not compensating for certain things. Focusing a little bit more on a specific routine for my back and to keep it healthy,” Davies said. “So those are the kind of things that I went down there and feel like I improved upon, being able to throw all my pitches and feel comfortable with throwing all of them.”

Davies made three rehab starts with Triple-A Reno, and he allowed three runs in six innings Sunday.

He returns to a rotation short on arms, as the Diamondbacks have opted for a more unorthodox approach over the last two weeks with three openers, leaning on the bullpen, and young arms to fill innings.

“Definitely ready to contribute, ready to be part of the team again,” Davies said. “It’s been exciting to watch even though I’ve been behind the scenes.”

Martinez heads back to Reno, getting optioned for the third time this year. The 22-year-old flame thrower can hit 103 on the radar gun and deploys an effective splitter, but his command has lacked consistency.

He picked up his first career save last week against the San Diego Padres, but allowed a grand slam in Friday’s 10-8 win over the Reds.

“When you’re gifted with an arm like Martinez has been gifted with, it becomes almost like you have a race car that is a little too fast, and you can’t control the damn thing,” pitching coach Brent Strom said Friday. “I think that’s the case with Martinez. He just needs to wrap his arms around what I have and how it should feel and things like that. He’s going to be special down the road.”

First pitch Saturday is at 5:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.

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D-backs reinstate Zach Davies from injured list to start vs. Reds, option Justin Martinez