Diamondbacks Venom Bites: Ahmed, Luplow, and the Rotation
Opening weekend started off well, but went downhill from there. They finished the 4 game set at home with the Padres only winning that first game with the Seth Beer heroics and losing the final three. But there were some other things that have been discussed over the four game series as well. The three things I found pertinent were; an update on Nick Ahmed, an update on Jordan Luplow, and how the rotation will be handled despite having two upcoming days off.
Let's start with Ahmed. We learned through Lovullo that Nick has been hitting and throwing since early last week and hopes to progress to taking actual at-bats at Salt River Fields in extended spring training games this week. Nick himself even told reporters, "It's way better than it was two weeks ago." He received two cortisone shots in late March and said that had helped him turn a corner. Now, temper your excitement, because he also said because he missed virtually all of spring training that he will be, "taking it a little bit slower." As far as a time table goes, he will not be back for either of the next two series when the Diamondbacks host the Houston Astros and visit the New York Mets. In fact he may miss the entire upcoming road trip that includes the above-mentioned weekend series with the Mets and a four game series in our nation's capital with the Nationals starting on Monday with three night games and an afternoon affair on Thursday. Lovullo then added that despite the encouraging news on Ahmed that he was further along in his recovery than was Jordan Luplow as he recovers from an oblique strain.
Lastly, Torey also commented about the plans for the rotation despite the friendly schedule with two scheduled days off this week on both the 11th and the 14th. The current plan is to remain on schedule at least with the top three rotation starters. This means Zac Gallen will get the start on Tuesday night the 12th after the first day off with lefty Madison Bumgarner starting the afternoon tilt at Chase field. Then, they have another off day and the first two games of the series in Queens will feature right-hander Merrill Kelly followed by fellow right-hander Zach Davies. Also of note is that all three games in New York will be early morning start times for us here in Arizona with the first two games at 10:10am and the third and final game on Sunday at 10:40am.
UPDATE- After this story was written it was then announced because of a cut on the thumb of Zac Gallen, he will not start on Tuesday. Madison Bumgarner will get that start and Merrill Kelly with start the afternoon game on Wednesday.