Outfielder David Peralta of the Arizona Diamondbacks is anxious for the season to begin
Landing three times on the disabled list last season did not damper Peralta’s enthusiasm nor his desire to get back in left field.
To the contrary, an inability to help his teammates essentially though the 2016 season weighted heavily on Peralta, but did not compromise his work ethic or preparation.
"“I feel great, and ready to go, 100 percent,” he told Venom Strikes in the Salt River clubhouse. “I’m turning the page and learning from the past. I look forward to what we can do as a team.”"
Last year, the frustration began early and ended with a protracted injury.
Just two weeks into the season, Peralta was hit on the right wrist on consecutive days by Giants’ reliever Josh Osich at AT&T Park. After the second incident, Peralta glared at Osich and pointed to the mound. Nothing happened between Peralta and Osich, but the seed of a difficult and painful season was planted.
The result was damage to his right wrist and concern. With this injury, Peralta went on the DL for the initial time on May 15 with right wrist inflammation. Coming off on June 6, Peralta went right back on June 20 with a lower back sprain. Then, aggravation of the right wrist sent the native of Valencia, Venezuela to the disabled list for the third time on Aug. 11, and for the remainder of the season.
At that point, Peralta underwent surgery from team physical Dr. Don Sheridan to stabilize a tendon in his right wrist. All of which limited play and resulted in a season batting average of .251. That represented a decline of 61 points from his 2015 season and limited participation to 48 games.
Now, Peralta announced he’s recovered from the maladies of the recent past, and ready to step back into his normal spot in left field.
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“It’s been a longer than usual recovery,” Peralta pointed out. “This took around six months and I took it slowly. I knew I had to be patient and not rush anything. At this point, I just want to help the team.”
Peralta arrived at Salt River, the Diamondbacks’ spring facility, on Jan. 8. Slowly, he established at a comfort level to the point where he was swinging, first in the cage, and now against live pitching.
"“David looks great, looks fantastic,” manager Torey Lovullo told Venom Strikes. “He has a pure swing and that’s kind of swing which usually makes contact.”"
At this point, Lovullo said Peralta will return to his customary left field. At the same time, Peralta could play center and right, and noted, “where ever they want me to play, I’ll be ready.” A healthy A. J. Pollock is set to return to center field and Yasmany Tomas, coming off a 31-home run season a year ago, will open in right field.
Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, signed Sunday to a minor-league contract, arrived in camp.
After 13 years with the Royals, Brewers and Rockies, De La Rosa, who turns 36 on April 5, was inked with the expectation of earning a spot in the bullpen. A starter over his career, the native of Monterrey, Mexico is 101-84 in 241 major league starts.
“I’ve started my whole career, so this will be a change,” he said in the clubhouse Monday. “In the bullpen, you have to ready every day and I know I can do that.”