ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Gabriel Moreno good to go for NLCS vs. Phillies after hand injury

Oct 13, 2023, 5:18 PM

Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is attended to after being injured in the fifth inni...

Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks is attended to after being injured in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game Three of the Division Series at Chase Field on October 11, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have dodged a bullet twice in the postseason in regards to the health of their catcher Gabriel Moreno.

Moreno is set to be the D-backs’ starting catcher for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Monday in Philadelphia against the Phillies, manager Torey Lovullo said Friday.

“We are full steam ahead with him. … That is our intent, he’s gonna  have some work in here today, come back out for another workout tomorrow,” Lovullo said. “We’re gonna head east tomorrow, we’ll have another workout on Sunday, so we’ll get him a lot of time to see how he’s feeling, test it out and I think it’s just obviously soreness and everything is negative as far as X-rays.”

The second scare with Moreno was in Wednesday’s series-clinching Game 3 win when Moreno suffered a right hand contusion. During an at-bat for Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor in the top of the fifth inning, Taylor attempted a bunt that was fouled back and Moreno’s right hand draping between his legs was struck by the ball.

Moreno was evaluated for a few minutes by a trainer while having a conversation with Lovullo. He did some soft toss with first baseman Christian Walker that wasn’t all that encouraging, extended the distance to test out the hand further and then stayed in the game.

Once Moreno returned to the dugout and his place in the order came up for the bottom half of the inning, he was replaced by a pinch hitter.

Moreno went through a similar instance in Game 2 of the National League Wild Card round, taking a bat to the head on the follow-through of a swing. He stayed in the game before getting pulled once he was evaluated in the dugout. He went on to start in Game 1 of the NLDS.

It’s great news for several reasons given how Moreno contributes to Arizona both offensively and defensively.

Moreno leads the D-backs across the five games of postseason play in home runs (3) and RBIs (6). He’s only got four hits and a walk in his 17 plate appearances but those long balls make him good for a 1.107 OPS in the postseason. Arizona’s only other catcher on the postseason roster is Jose Herrera, who replaced Moreno in the field on Wednesday.

Arizona kicks off the NLCS in Game 1 on Monday, a first pitch set for 5:07 p.m. you can hear on the Arizona Sports app, 98.7 and ArizonaSports.com, beginning with pregame coverage at 4:30 p.m.

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