The D-Backs announced last night that Nick Ahmed has been placed on the 60-day injured list. The club announced his diagnosis as right shoulder inflammation.
Ahmed had been on the COVID-19 list for three weeks, so he hadn’t been occupying a spot on the 40-man roster. He’s apparently recovered from the virus, but his shoulder issue will prevent him from playing for at least a couple months. Rather than designate someone for assignment to clear a 40-man spot, the Diamondbacks simply placed Ahmed on the 60-day IL.
The news doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as the veteran shortstop was recently shut down from his rehab process due to shoulder soreness. He’s set to visit noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache next week to gauge his treatment options, writes Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. If he were forced to go under the knife, Ahmed would almost certainly not return this season. Even if he’s able to pursue a non-surgical rehab course, it doesn’t seem there’s much chance he’ll be in game shape in the foreseeable future.
Ahmed’s right shoulder has given him problems dating back to 2020. He played through the issue for most of last season but eventually landed on the IL during the final week of the year. Ahmed was still bothered this spring, receiving a pair of cortisone injections and missing the first 15 days of the regular season. He returned to appear in 17 games before his COVID diagnosis, and the shoulder issues have again arisen during his rehab process.
The physical limitations seemed to take their toll on Ahmed last year, as he struggled through one of the worst seasons of his career. The Massachusetts native hit only .221/.280/.339 across 473 plate appearances, offense that checked in 36 percentage points below league average by measure of wRC+. Ahmed has always been a glove-first player, but that was easily his worst showing at the plate since 2016.
The 32-year-old is under contract through 2023 under the terms of an extension he signed in February 2020. He’s making $7.875MM this season and will receive a $10.375MM salary next year, a lofty enough sum the D-Backs aren’t likely to find a trade partner while he’s battling shoulder problems.
In Ahmed’s absence, the D-Backs have relied primarily on 22-year-old Geraldo Perdomo at shortstop. The switch-hitter has a .223/.337/.302 line across 164 plate appearances. Perdomo has long been regarded as one of the better prospects in the organization, so the club will probably continue to give him regular run for evaluative and developmental purposes so long as Ahmed is out.