Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen has a hairline stress fracture in his right forearm, manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday.
Lovullo said Gallen will be able to continue playing catch at a low stress level and provided no timeline on how long the right-hander’s absence will be for.
As far as there being no timeline, Lovullo said there’s no precedent for the injury since it is a rare one. The manager added that it was never a ligament, muscle or tendon issue for Gallen and that he has to be throwing pain free in order to start.
Gallen on Monday was scratched from his spring training start due to soreness in his right lateral forearm. He underwent an MRI on Sunday, had a CT scan and an X-ray on Monday before getting a second opinion on Tuesday. The right-hander said the soreness began in batting practice a few days before his last start in spring.
Lovullo confirmed that the injury came as a result of Gallen not getting proper contact on a ball with his bat.
Gallen added that he’s only felt the soreness throwing his curveball and that he pitched through the issue.
The 25-year-old has been terrific as a D-back. In the 20 games he’s started for Arizona from 2019-20, Gallen has a 2.80 ERA and a record of 5-5. His WHIP is at 1.167.
Gallen was acquired by Arizona in July of 2019 at the trade deadline in exchange for infield prospect Jazz Chisholm.
The potential absence of Gallen would be a big blow to the D-backs starting rotation, as he was the only Arizona starter in 2020 to pitch at a high level.
Outside of Merrill Kelly’s 2.59 ERA in five starts before a season-ending injury, no other D-backs starter with over five starts had an ERA below 5.00. Luke Weaver (6.58 ERA, 12 GS), Madison Bumgarner (6.48 ERA, 9 GS), Alex Young (5.44 ERA, 7 GS) and the traded Robbie Ray (7.84 ERA, 7 GS) all struggled.
Young and Taylor Clarke are potential candidates to replace Gallen in the rotation if needed.