Diamondbacks OF Alek Thomas on track to play games this week 

Jun 11, 2024, 5:32 PM

Alek Thomas...

Alek Thomas #5 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates his two-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth inning during Game Four of the National League Championship Series at Chase Field on October 20, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks plan on center fielder Alek Thomas jumping into game action as soon as this week as he continues to work back from a hamstring strain.

Thomas is on track to be the designated hitter in an Arizona Complex League game Thursday so long as he feels good with his rehab work these next couple days.

“He’s running the bases and doing most of the things that we’re looking for,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “Some of the moves on the bases and some of the moves in the outfield are still coming.

“But he’s going to be here (at Chase Field) tomorrow to take (batting practice) and do his work here, outfield work, with an eye on DHing on Thursday in an ACL game.  … That’s a real game, so he’s gonna hit and he’s gonna run and see how he feels.”

The D-backs got shortstop Geraldo Perdomo back from the injured list on Tuesday (torn meniscus), and Thomas appears to be the next domino as the team inches closer to whole.

Thomas landed on the 10-day injured list on April 1 and went on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno on May 3. But he was shut down after three games due to discomfort.

Lovullo has said Thomas may need less time than Perdomo in games since he’s been through the process and has been hitting for a while now.

How far out is Zac Gallen?

Lovullo said ace pitcher Zac Gallen (hamstring) threw a 31-pitch bullpen on Tuesday with plans to throw another bullpen on Friday.

From there Lovullo wants to see Gallen jump into a simulated game or two.

“He’s going to need to get out there and really test it, get after it for me,” Lovullo said.

Lovullo imagines Gallen getting three-to-four up-downs and 40-50 pitches in a sim game, then upping that by an up-down and 15 pitches.

“It’ll all be in response to how he feels but let’s get through that next bullpen and figure out what’s going to happen next,” Lovullo said.

Gallen went on the 15-day IL on May 31.

Why did Pavin Smith get sent down?

The D-backs optioned right fielder/first baseman Pavin Smith to Triple-A Reno to make room for Perdomo.

Lovullo said he made it clear to Smith this was not a performance-bases send-down, as Smith had an .829 OPS and three home runs in 61 plate appearances.

“With Gerry coming back, there’s gonna be some time he’s gonna need to be down,” Lovullo said. “So instead of running the infielders full throttle, we needed that extra infielder. It was a very tough send-down. Pavin had been swinging the bat extremely well.”

Lovullo said Kevin Newman and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are the backup first basemen with Newman able to fill in right away and Gurriel the emergency option.

D-backs injury updates

– Relief pitcher Miguel Castro (shoulder) threw a 21-pitch bullpen on Tuesday with another scheduled for Friday.

– Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (shoulder) is throwing out to 105 feet. He will continue to receive imaging in conjunction with his throwing program.

– Starter Merrill Kelly (teres major) is throwing out to 70 feet.

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