Just like 2021, and 2020, the Diamondbacks have been bit by the injury bug this spring. This year, it's the shoulder and oblique injury bug that is particularly creating issues for the Arizona Diamondbacks and their players. Three players have shoulder issues, two have oblique issues, and one somehow got a blister on the back of his thumb. Anyways, let's get you a quick and easy update on the latest injuries that are affecting the Dbacks and their players.
Josh Rojas, 3rd Baseman, Oblique:
Rojas was lighting up the scoreboard this spring with his hitting while competing for the team's everyday third base position. That's why he hid the injury to his oblique thinking that it was just a bruise he could play through. During an at-bat on March 31st against the Padres, he swung at a pitch and injured the oblique far worse than if he had spoken up a couple of days prior. Honestly, Rojas already had the third base job locked up, but I understand why a young player like him didn't want to risk losing it because he had to miss a week of ST.
However, Rojas suffered a Grade 2 Oblique Strain, which usually means he's out at least 6 weeks, if not more. The Dbacks have had players struggle returning too fast from oblique injuries like Christian Walker last year. They will take it slowly with him. I just wish Rojas had seen what was going on with Nick Ahmed not speaking up about Nick's shoulder soon enough and that Josh had spoken up sooner about his own. Rojas will be placed on the 10-Day IL Thursday, before Opening Day. At least Torey and Nick spoke to Rojas in order to encourage him to speak up sooner next time.
Nick Ahmed, SS, Right Shoulder soreness
No one truly knew just what was causing Nick's severe decline in both hitting and defense last year, at least no one did until it was released to the media towards the end of the season. We had assumed it was Nick's knee since that was what held him out to start the season last year. AS it turns out though, Nick's been hobbled by a bad right shoulder that he originally injured late in 2020 during a diving attempt at a grounder.
Nick's gotten multiple shots and done tons of therapy on it in order to avoid surgery. Most recently, he just received a pair of cortisone injections that will limit him from performing any baseball activities for ten days. There's hope that with this rest and these shots Nick can get the shoulder loose and working normal enough to play this season and just manage it throughout the year. However, a cortisone injection and platelet-rich plasma injection over the off-season didn't help his shoulder enough. Expect Nick to be placed on the 10-Day IL on Thursday as he builds up his shoulder strength. I'd be surprised to see Nick, who's under contract through 2023, before May.
Luke Weaver, RP, Blister/Cut on Right Thumb
In what would be Luke's final appearance this spring on March 31st while fighting for a rotation spot, Luke developed a blister on the back of his thumb while pitching. During the final pitch, he ripped the blister open that was located on the first knuckle of his right thumb. This caused him to leave the game. Soon after, it was announced that he will be fine for the regular season and should be ready to go in the bullpen for Opening Day. This is good news as the last thing Luke needs is another injury after an injury-ruined 2021 season.
Zac Gallen, SP, Right Shoulder Bursitis
Gallen was slowed entering Spring Training with a case of right shoulder bursitis. This caused Gallen to be a week or two behind the other starters. Yet, Gallen's made a strong recovery and has developed enough stamina to be able to start the season in the Opening Day rotation. He will be the #5 starter, not because he's bad, but to give him the most amount of time to prepare for the season and build up his pitch count. This is great news as we need our best starter to be healthy for the whole season.
Jordan Luplow, OF, Oblique
Luplow was the first of the Dbacks to suffer an oblique injury back on March 28th. Unlike Rojas, he spoke up to the Dbacks right away and they determined it was a Grade 1 strain, which is the lowest of the strains. It's doubtful that Luplow will be on the active roster for Opening Day or the first week of the series, but I could see him being back around April 20th or so. He's a crucial right-handed bat for the team that plays outfield. Expect him to be put on the 10-Day IL to start the season, but to be back not long after that 10-Day stint is up.
J.B. Bukauskas, RP, Strained Teres Major
A former top-prospect relief pitcher in Bukauskas suffered the worst injury of the spring so far. He suffered a Grade 2 Teres Major strain in his right shoulder. This is a severe strain that has caused him to be already be put on the 60-Day IL. He has a ton of potential but will now look to rebuild the health in his shoulder so that he can come back in roughly 2 months or so. I would be surprised to see J.B. before mid-June. This is because he must first recover from the strain, and then build up his arm strength so he can pitch reliably every few days out of the bullpen.