Torey Lovullo gives injury updates as Diamondbacks open spring training

Feb 15, 2024, 2:26 PM

Kevin Ginkel...

Kevin Ginkel #37 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning at Comerica Park on June 11, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE — The Arizona Diamondbacks don’t quite have a clean bill of health but close to it with spring training underway.

Manager Torey Lovullo said relief pitcher Kevin Ginkel is dealing with right elbow soreness that popped up about a week ago. Imaging came back clean, which alleviates some concern, but he will need some time off.

“It’s just a little bit of a red flag at this point in time,” Lovullo said. “We don’t have to hustle through this. He threw a lot of baseball games for us last year. So we’re gonna pull him back a little bit and start his clock a little bit later than most.”

Ginkel threw 65.1 innings over 60 games in the regular season and added 11.2 frames during the postseason last year. He become an essential contributor late in games, solidifying himself as the setup man for closer Paul Sewald down the stretch and into the playoffs. He did not allow an earned run in the postseason with a 2.48 ERA on the year.

Diamondbacks fans will also have to wait a bit to watch the club’s top two returning starters, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly. This is not for injuries but based on workload from 2023.

“They’re healthy, they feel fine,” Lovullo said. “Zac threw 240 innings last year, we worked very hard at his offseason program, we worked with him and our medical team to make sure he was as ready as he could possibly be. So it spit out an equation and you’ll see both of them early in March. They’re getting their work done, but we’re going to back them up just a tiny bit.”

Lovullo had a grim but not unexpected update on right-handed pitcher Drey Jameson, whom he does not expect to take the hill in 2024 for the Diamondbacks after undergoing Tommy John surgery late last season.

The D-backs can add Jameson to the 60-day injured list to open up a 40-man roster spot. He has still been out and about so far in spring training, working on fielding with the other pitchers.

As for those returning from injury, 28-year-old right-hander Corbin Martin is full-go. Lovullo said Martin was heavily in the mix to make the roster last spring before he went on the injured list with right lat tendon avulsion.

Martin is the final piece remaining directly acquired for Zack Greinke in Arizona’s 2019 deadline trade with the Houston Astros.

“He’s picked up right where he left off,” Lovullo said.

Tommy Henry is back competing for the fifth starter role. He missed the final two months of the year and the postseason with an elbow injury, but he said on Thursday he was ready to compete by the World Series. Lovullo explained Henry was a bullpen depth option the club discussed how to use at the time.

Henry said he was able to treat this as a normal offseason with his routine.

Another pitcher who did not throw for Arizona last year was Humberto Castellanos, who had Tommy John surgery after starting nine games for the D-backs in 2022.

Castellanos is healthy and threw a bullpen on Wednesday, but it took a second for Lovullo to recognize him.

“I was here for my physical the other day. He was sitting right there. I’m like, I don’t know who that player is. He had a hat on, his head down. He was he was looking at his paperwork as he’s getting ready to have his eye exam. And I looked at him and I said, ‘Hey, man, I’m Torey.’ And he said, ‘I’m a Humberto.’ I said, ‘Oh my God.’ He lost 20-30 pounds. He changed his diet completely. And he looks fantastic. So he’s in a great spot and he’s healthy. He’s throwing the ball really well.”

Castellanos is now 25 years old and a non -roster invitee at spring training.

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