First of all, remember that IL is now the correct term. It stands for injured list, we don't use the term DL anymore which was disabled list, it is still taking some time for me to get used to as well. Luke Weaver was placed in the bullpen at the end of spring training. He pitched on Opening Night in relief allowing 3 hits and 1 run in two-thirds of an inning. During that outing his velocity was noticeably down. As a starter last season he averaged 93.6 mph and in his relief appearance on Thursday it was down to 92.4. Weaver was placed on the 10 day IL with what the club is calling elbow inflammation. This is the third time in the last four seasons he has missed time with an arm issue. Three years ago he was diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament and a strained flexor mass. Last year he was taken out of action by a shoulder injury that was diagnosed by the team as a subscapularis strain.
Weaver will undergo an MRI exam and that will tell the team doctors the extent of his injury and will in turn give them a plan for his return. Diamondback skipper Torey Lovullo said that Luke reported feeling tightness in his elbow on Saturday, and added that the club decided not to take any chances with the 28 year old right-hander. Weaver was part of the package the Diamondbacks received in return for Paul Goldschmidt on December 5th 2018. They also received current catcher Carson Kelly, Andrew Young and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. Andrew Young was placed on waivers on December 8th 2021 and selected by the Washington Nationals. The competitive balance pick turned out to be Dominic Fletcher, who currently is a 24 year old outfielder in AA who bats and throws left and is ranked by MLB.com as the Diamondbacks #19 prospect. He is currently with the Amarillo Sod Poodles, where he is the starting center fielder and is also the younger brother of Angel's infielder David Fletcher.
Replacing Luke Weaver is who?
Speaking of players in the minor leagues, left-handed pitcher Kyle Nelson was recalled from the Reno Aces to take the place of Weaver on the roster. Since being in Reno Nelson has pitched in two innings throwing 45 total pitches giving up one hit while striking out five batters. Opponents are batting .143 against him with an ERA of 0.00. In describing Nelson, Lovullo said he was "one of the last strong considerations." when they made final spring training roster cuts. On November 24th 2021 he was selected off waivers from the then Cleveland Indians where in parts of three seasons in only 12 and one thirds innings pitched he had an ERA of 10.22 giving up more earned runs (14) than strikeouts (12).
I know Weaver has been injured quite a bit for the Diamondbacks since they acquired him, but also remember, before you get too far down on him he is only making $2.875MM and will not be a free agent until the 2024 season. He has more time to prove himself as a solid contributor to this Dback's club.