Diamondbacks push Zac Gallen start back for rest after hamstring scare

May 1, 2024, 4:36 PM | Updated: 11:15 pm

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning Mariners at T-Mobile Park on April 26, 2024 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen’s next start has been pushed back from Friday after Tuesday’s near-two-hour bees delay shook up the starting rotation.

Arizona scratched Jordan Montgomery on Tuesday and moved his first home start to Wednesday, which knocked Gallen back to Friday, a full week after he exited his start in Seattle with hamstring spasms.

Manager Torey Lovullo said on Wednesday Slade Cecconi would start Friday’s series opener against the San Diego Padres instead, and Brandon Pfaadt will get the ball Saturday. Sunday’s starter is to be announced, but it will likely be Ryne Nelson once he comes off the 15-day injured list (elbow contusion).

“So what does that mean for Zac Gallen?” Lovullo said. “I have had a lot of conversations around the space. Zac is fine.

“I just felt like it made the most sense to give him the most rest possible so he can make it for the rest of the season without having to worry about that area one more time. We had the luxury to be creative. He understood that.”

Lovullo said Gallen would have pitched on Wednesday as planned had Montgomery thrown in Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gallen is asymptomatic, Lovullo said, and is scheduled to pitch next Tuesday at the Cincinnati Reds.

“I just want to be as safe as I can with one of the best pitchers in the National League,” Lovullo said. “I don’t want to force him into a situation where I feel we could take steps backwards.

“There was a concern when he walked off the mound in Seattle. … There’s no long-term worry of a strain or a pulled hamstring. I just want Zac to be his competitive best every single day for the rest of the season.”

The Diamondbacks have had a frustrating start to the season with injuries, especially in the starting rotation. Merrill Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez are on the IL with no announced timetable to start throwing again.

Lovullo mentioned earlier this week the lessons learned with bringing Rodriguez along too quickly after a lat strain, as he suffered a setback that paused his throwing program.

“The athlete felt great. He looked great. He knew his body. We were using our instincts and his, and it just was probably a little bit too soon,” Lovullo said Monday. “We may have gone a little bit too fast with E-Rod and we’ll learn from that.”

The Diamondbacks seemed to receive bad injury news day after day on their 10-game road trip, which played a role in his decision to slow up with Gallen.

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