Diamondbacks right-hander Luke Weaver has been diagnosed with a forearm strain, manager Torey Lovullo tells reporters including Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter links). He’s set to receive a second medical opinion.
Lovullo says the organization is “very hopeful” that surgery will not ultimately be necessary. That statement could be read as an optimistic stance on the matter. But it’s obviously concerning that the injury is bad enough that surgery is being weighed on the spectrum of possibilities.
At this time, then, the outlook remains unclear. It’s unfortunate to see this malady crop up for the 25-year-old, who had been on an excellent run in Arizona since coming over in one of the most consequential trades in the organization’s history.
Weaver, 25, has thrown 62 1/3 innings over eleven starts, including the recent outing from which he was pulled with forearm tightness. He owns a 3.03 ERA with 9.8 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9.
Ramped-up usage of his cut fastball has helped Weaver get more from his arsenal. In addition to boosting his swinging-strike rate a bit (10.6%), he’s getting more first-pitch strikes and chases on pitches out of the zone.
There are certainly some questions as to whether Weaver can maintain this level of output, but he and the D-Backs would love to have the chance to find out. Hopefully, he’ll be able to rehab through the injury without requiring an exceedingly lengthy absence.
It was already rather clear that the Snakes would need to fill in for Weaver for at least some time. With today’s diagnosis, though, there’s little question the club will need more than a spot start. Zack Godley could fill in, though he failed to hold onto his rotation slot to open the year. Perhaps the club will give Jon Duplantier his first crack at starting in the majors after giving him some relief work earlier this season, though the young righty has been walk-prone at Triple-A (6.9 BB/9) and isn’t being asked to handle a full starter’s workload (17 innings in six starts).