ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Assistant GM Mike Fitzgerald: It’s hard to read the Diamondbacks due to injuries

Apr 24, 2024, 7:27 AM

D-backs assistant GM Mike Fitzgerald joins Wolf & Luke to discuss recent injuries to the team, incl...

Merrill Kelly #42 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on April 15, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks assistant general manager Mike Fitzgerald admits it’s hard to get a read on the team 24 games into the 2024 season with the all the injuries that have happened.

“We probably have one of the more talented rehab groups across the game right now,” Fitzgerald told Wolf & Luke on Tuesday. “It’s tricky to get a read on a team 24, 25 games into the season even without the injuries.”

The team has been riddled with injuries to open up their season.

Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly is the latest player to join the injured list as the team announced Tuesday he was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right shoulder strain. Relievers Miguel Castro and Kyle Nelson joined him with an IL assignment on Tuesday.

Fitzgerald told Wolf & Luke that the D-backs are glad Kelly’s injury was caught early on and that he spoke up about the injury. Lovullo told reporters on the road that the injury doesn’t have a timetable for a potential return but that it could be measured in months rather than weeks.

“It could have been a higher concern had Merrill not spoken up and said this [injury] felt a little funky,” Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “I think we are confident that where the intervention was early enough where this won’t be a long-term lingering thing.”

Kelly isn’t expected to require surgery.

The D-backs did get some good news related to the injury list as pitcher Paul Sewald nears a return as he made his first rehab assignment appearance Tuesday.

With the Reno Aces, Sewald had two strikeouts in his appearance.

Sewald has yet to play this season. He’s been on the injured list since March 25 with an oblique injury.

Fitzgerald said that he expects outfielder Alek Thomas to return sometime during the team’s next homestand.

Thomas has not made an appearance with the team since March 31 where he left a game against the Colorado Rockies with left hamstring tightness and has been on the injured list since.

Fitzgerald is hopeful that Sewald’s and Thomas’ return can help give the team more stability in the bullpen and outfield respectively.

“Hopefully they can help steer the tide a little bit in some of the areas that we want to address and be strengths of ours,” Fitzgerald said. “The big success of the team last year was the bullpen holding its own and helping us convert leads into W’s at a really high rate. Getting Paul back will be good in that spot and hopefully we can get Alek back a few days after that and give us a normalcy in the outfield’s defense.”

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