March 16: Piecoro tweets that Tomas is still four to six days away from being reevaluated. At this juncture, the team is still hopeful that he can be ready for Opening Day, Piecoro adds.
March 15: Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas has been diagnosed with a strained oblique after an MRI, manager Torey Lovullo tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). The 26-year-old has already missed about a week with what had been described as lower back tightness.
In the immediate aftermath of the issue arising, the new Arizona skipper had suggested it was viewed as “a little bit of aggravation” that would require only “a few days down.” Clearly, though, Tomas didn’t bounce back quite as hoped, leading to the closer look and the new diagnosis.
It’s obviously not possible to know much about the anticipated timeline for return based upon the mere presence of an oblique strain. Even if the severity were apparent, the road back is entirely dependent upon how fast healing occurs and whether the player can avoid aggravation of the injury while regaining strength and working back toward baseball readiness.
Oblique troubles can pose big problems for ballplayers, to be sure, though it’d be unwise to assume at this time that Tomas will be hampered in 2017. He was also off to an 0-for-17 start at the plate this spring, though the bat isn’t much in question after he slashed a robust .272/.313/.508 last year.
For the D-Backs, there could be some interest in an outside addition if Tomas isn’t ready for Opening Day. The club has several veteran corner outfield options in camp, led by David Peralta and also including catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann as well as minor-league free agents Jeremy Hazelbaker, Gregor Blanco, and Oswaldo Arcia. But all of those players hit from the left side; if Tomas is expected to miss anything length of time, then, a righty hitting fourth outfielder might well make a good deal of sense. There are a few free agents left who could hold appeal, or Arizona could wait to see how Tomas progresses and what players shake loose from rival organizations.