Diamondbacks’ Jake McCarthy out weeks, not days with oblique injury

Oct 4, 2023, 4:01 PM | Updated: 4:01 pm

Jake McCarthy...

Jake McCarthy #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks makes a sliding catch on a fly ball hit by Elias Diaz of the Colorado Rockies in the third inning at Chase Field on May 30, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

MILWAUKEE — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo had some clarity on Wednesday regarding the injury status of outfielder Jake McCarthy.

McCarthy suffered a right oblique strain during batting practice ahead of Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on Tuesday.

Lovullo said his concern level for McCarthy was “high.”

“It’s not going to be days, it’s going to be weeks,” Lovullo said. “That’s where you have alternates who are that are standing by.”

Arizona removed McCarthy from the postseason roster and inserted third baseman Jace Peterson. The move gave Arizona three primary third basemen while knocking down the outfield depth.

McCarthy is ineligible to return in the NL Division Series if Arizona advances, as the D-backs enter Game 2 leading Milwaukee 1-0 in the set.

Lovullo explained McCarthy felt a “pop” during his first round of batting practice. The manager said his outfielder looked very uncomfortable in the training room after the incident.

“At that point, we were trying to determine what to do, who to fill him in with. It was a very fast-moving situation,” Lovullo said.

Arizona has a group of roster alternates traveling with the team just in case injuries happen.

The outfield depth outside starters Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. includes designated hitter Tommy Pham — who has been dealing with turf toe — and Pavin Smith. Peterson also has some outfield experience.

In terms of McCarthy’s value as a base runner, the injury could open up an opportunity for 21-year-old shortstop Jordan Lawlar as a pinch runner.

Lawlar has 60-grade speed, per FanGraphs, and stole 36 bases in the minors this year.

“There’s a tremendous amount of speed. We feel he can get on base and score first-to-home,” Lovullo said. “So he’s going to be more one of our pitch runners.”

Devin Williams’ availability

The Brewers used All-Star closer Devin Williams in the ninth inning down 4-3 in Game 1, and he threw 31 pitches and allowed two runs.

Manager Craig Counsell said before first on Wednesday that his availability was a question and depended on how Williams felt throwing ahead of the game.

“Unfortunately, he had to throw a lot of pitches to get through that inning. That’s the risk you take putting him in the game there,” Counsell said. “I think we’ll — he’ll make a contribution in this series again.”

Williams has pitched on consecutive days several times this season but never after having thrown more than 20 pitches.

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