Final rehab steps for Diamondbacks’ Alek Thomas to come off injured list

Jun 15, 2024, 4:58 PM

Alek Thomas...

Alek Thomas #5 and Geraldo Perdomo #2 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate after Thomas scored a run in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers during Game Two of the World Series at Globe Life Field on October 28, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — By the time Arizona Diamondbacks fans pile into Chase Field for the club’s next homestand, Alek Thomas may be patrolling center field again.

Manager Torey Lovullo laid out the next steps for Thomas, who played in the Arizona Complex League on Saturday.

Thomas has been stuck on the 10-day injured list since April 1 with a left hamstring strain.

AT played in the game today, three at-bats, played center field,” Lovullo said. “I got a chance to speak to him on the phone, and he had a great day. Felt good, got on base, there was a back-pick on him, made some plays on defense and everything checked out.

“He’s going to play in an ACL game on Monday. Tomorrow is off, and then if everything goes well Monday, we’ll get him up to Salt Lake City on Tuesday to start playing games in Salt Lake City for Triple-A Reno on Wednesday.”

Lovullo did not give a specific number of games for Thomas in Triple-A, but he expected the outfielder to be there through next weekend.

The Diamondbacks return to Chase Field on June 25 to face the Minnesota Twins. Lovullo said that will be pretty close to Thomas’ return date.

If Thomas can make it back for that first Twins game, it will be the second-straight homestand started with a key D-backs contributor returning from the IL. Shortstop Geraldo Perdomo made his way back into the lineup Tuesday against the Angels.

As for what happens to the roster when Thomas is ready, Lovullo said the club has not crossed that bridge.

“We’ve had some tough decisions,” Lovullo said. “We’re a good team. You end up sending out good players. Pavin Smith is a good hitter, he can hit. We had to send him out for a reason that was a little bit challenging to us. So that means we’re a good club.”

The D-backs are carrying six infielders at the moment. Outfielder Jake McCarthy’s role will be something to figure out when another left-handed outfielder returns. At the same time, McCarthy has been one of the steadiest offensive players on the team (.744 OPS).

Merrill Kelly’s return date looking further than anticipated

Lovullo gave a short update on starter Merrill Kelly (shoulder), who continues to throw but has not gotten to long toss yet.

Lovullo acknowledged it is getting past the point to expect Kelly back by the All-Star break from July 15-18.

“We’re being very cautious with Merrill,” Lovullo said. “He knows his body well, he gives great input.

“It’s just going to take a little bit of time for him to get back to long toss then onto a mound. … If we’ve got to wait a little extra time on the front side to get him back for the remaining month and a half of baseball, or two months of baseball, we’ll sign up for that.”

Meanwhile, Eduardo Rodriguez (shoulder) underwent another MRI on Saturday, but Lovullo had not yet received the results.

Zac Gallen has a simulated game scheduled for Tuesday (around 45 pitches), as he gets closer to coming off the IL (hamstring). Sim games are treated like games, so he’ll be able to pitch again in some capacity the following Sunday. There remains plenty of steps to go for Kelly and Rodriguez to provide more stability for a youth-dependent rotation.

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