Diamondbacks’ Gabriel Moreno says he’s ready to play, front office finalizing NLDS roster

Oct 6, 2023, 8:52 PM

Gabriel Moreno...

Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno during batting practice at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Friday, Oct. 6. (Arizona Sports Photo/Alex Weiner)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Alex Weiner)

LOS ANGELES — Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Gabriel Moreno was back in the batting turtle hitting on the field at Dodger Stadium Friday night.

Game 1 between the D-backs and Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series is Saturday, and Moreno said he feels ready to play two days after suffering a head injury.

Moreno was caught with a backswing by Milwaukee Brewers infielder Brice Turang in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series on Wednesday and was pulled. Manager Torey Lovullo said Moreno never entered the concussion protocol after passing “every test he was supposed to,” while Moreno said he did not undergo any scanning.

Moreno said via translator he experienced “a little bit of a temperature” on Thursday but felt normal on Friday.

“He has been tested and monitored over the past couple of days and continues to improve and shows no symptoms whatsoever,” Lovullo said. “If something changes in the next 18 hours, we will make a change, but tomorrow he will be our starting catcher as of now.”

Lovullo said Moreno told him and the athletic trainer on the field after the incident he felt a little dizzy, which threw off the manager. Moreno wanted to stay in the game, caught some warmup pitches and said he felt normal. Team physicians said he could not go back on the field after evaluating Moreno in the dugout the ensuing half inning.

This was not the first time he had been caught by a backswing in the head. He said it occurred in 2021 when he was in the Toronto Blue Jays’ farm system.

“Back in 2021, the first time I got hit in a similar place, I did take off about a week or so,” Moreno said via translator.

Moreno was hugely important to Arizona’s success in the regular season and stepped up with a go-ahead home run in his playoff debut on Tuesday.

Arizona went 57-37 with Moreno in the starting lineup during the regular season, benefitting from his .284/.339/.408 slash line and ability to control the run game.

Diamondbacks evaluating postseason roster

D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said the front office is finalizing its roster for the NLDS. He anticipates maintaining the 12 pitchers and 14 positions players split Arizona used in the NLWS.

“We’re talking about a position player move and a pitching move that would involve the bullpen and bench or platoon scenarios,” Hazen said on Friday.

The D-backs won’t have outfielder Jake McCarthy available for the series, as he suffered a right oblique strain ahead of the first Brewers game on Tuesday.

A handful of roster alternates have been traveling with the team for options.

The only bench position players Arizona used in the first two playoff games were catcher Jose Herrera, who entered for Moreno on Wednesday, and third baseman Emmanuel Rivera as a defensive sub.

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