Diamondbacks feel good Gabriel Moreno’s IL stint will be the minimum

Jun 26, 2024, 5:53 PM

Gabriel Moreno...

Gabriel Moreno #14 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws during a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 21, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks are confident in a minimum 10-day injured list stint for catcher Gabriel Moreno, manager Torey Lovullo said on Wednesday.

Moreno (sprained left thumb) has boxes to check off, notably catching Zac Gallen’s bullpen at Salt River Fields on Thursday and playing an Arizona Complex League game over the weekend. He has been hitting off a tee and playing catch.

Arizona placed him on the 10-day IL on Saturday after he took a foul ball off his glove against the Philadelphia Phillies. The 11th day puts him in the mix for the Los Angeles Dodgers series starting Tuesday at Chavez Ravine.

“We’re looking to get him back on on the 11th day. We feel really good about that,” Lovullo said.

Tucker Barnhart and Jose Herrera have stepped in during his absence, with Barnhart getting starter reps.

Lovullo on Tuesday said catching is the greater hurdle for Moreno than hitting, specifically the ability to square up pitches.

This could be a notable weeklong stretch for the Diamondbacks getting healthier.

Gallen (hamstring strain) starting Saturday’s game against the Oakland Athletics has been discussed if all goes well with his bullpen.

Alek Thomas (hamstring strain) is rehabbing with Triple-A Reno, and assistant general manager Mike Fitzgerald told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke Thomas will play Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for the Aces. At that point, the hope is he returns to the Diamondbacks.

It a possibility Moreno and Thomas reenter the lineup on the same day in Los Angeles, so long as no further speed bumps impede that progress.

Miguel Castro making progress

Reliever Miguel Castro (shoulder) threw 17 pitches in an ACL game on Tuesday and will throw again Saturday. Moreno may be his catcher, Lovullo said.

Lovullo explained he would not be surprised to see Castro get a look at a minor league affiliate before coming back.

Who will be back first: Merrill Kelly or Eduardo Rodriguez?

Starters Merrill Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez are throwing out to 90-105 feet at this point with no work off a mound.

Kelly candidly pointed to a mid-August road trip as a targeted return during a Q&A last week. Lovullo said Rodriguez is likely a bit ahead of Kelly and would pitch for the D-backs first.

Rodriguez will get another MRI to clear him for working off a mound.

“The last one was fairly unremarkable, almost showed complete resolution. But we’re still going to be a little bit more cautious,” Lovullo said of Rodriguez.

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Diamondbacks feel good Gabriel Moreno’s IL stint will be the minimum