Zac Gallen's Timeline Pushed Out Beyond Eligible Return Date

D-backs Manager Torey Lovullo gave details about Gallen's progression that indicate he won't return June 15th when eligible to come off the injured list.
May 30, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen (23) pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
May 30, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen (23) pitches in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Five pitches into his start against the Mets on May 30th, Zac Gallen had to come out of the game due to a right hamstring strain. It was the same hamstring that caused him to miss a start in early May. This time around he wasn't able to avoid an injured list stint.

Already missing Merrill Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez the team could ill afford to lose their ace starter. In their last 10 games since Gallen's injury, D-backs starters have combined to throw just 42.1 innings and pitched to a 7.87 ERA while allowing a .326 Batting Average Against.

Gallen is eligible to come off the IL on June 15th, but from what we learned today from Torey Lovullo it definitely won't be that soon. Gallen threw a 31-pitch bullpen this afternoon. He will throw another bullpen on Friday. After that, Lovullo said he would need to throw at least one, maybe two simulation games.

"He's going to need to get out there and really test it and get after it. " the manager said.

A sim game entails throwing to live batters and also getting in "up-downs" to simulate being in a game. So the pitcher will throw 15 pitches, for example, then sit down for 10 minutes or so, and then get up and throw another "inning".

When pressed on how many target up-downs he had in mind for Gallen, Lovullo said that he would expect him to throw about 45-50 pitches, with 3 or 4 up-downs in the first live session. That could be followed by a second live session of 55-60 pitches and four or five up-downs.

The timing for the first live session would be no sooner than Monday, June 17th. Whether or not he will ultimately need that second sim game or when it will occur depends on how Gallen feels. "Let's get through that next bullpen Friday, and figure out what's going to happen next," Lovullo said.

The way this all lines out is the absolute soonest Gallen could return would be June 22nd in Philadelphia. If he requires the second live session however then his return would be pushed out to sometime the following week against the Twins on June 27th or thereabouts.

In summary, the D-backs will be without Gallen for at least 10 more games, and possibly upwards of 14 before he returns.

OTHER HEALTH UPDATES

Alek Thomas (hamstring) will be at Chase Field on Wednesday to take batting practice and get in his outfield work. He is scheduled to play in a game in the Arizona Complex League as the DH on Thursday.

Miguel Castro (shoulder) threw a 21-pitch bullpen on Tuesday and will throw another bullpen on Friday.

Merrill Kelly (shoulder) is still just playing catch out to 75 feet.

Euduardo Rodriguez (shoulder) is out to 105 feet. Rodriguez will receive more imaging to continue to monitor the healing in his left lat muscle.

In previous updates Lovullo indicated that Rodriguez's return would be "around the All-Star Break", and there is nothing to suggest it will be sooner than that at the moment.


Published
Jack Sommers

JACK SOMMERS

Jack Sommers is the Publisher for FanNation Inside the Diamondbacks, part of the Sports Illustrated network. Formerly a baseball operations department analyst for the D-backs, Jack also covered the team as a credentialed beat writer for SB Nation and has written for MLB.com and The  Associated Press. Follow Jack on Twitter @shoewizard59