The D-backs may have enjoyed a comfortable win this afternoon, but it’s quickly become a stressful day for the club and its fans due to a series of injuries. Zack Greinke and David Peralta both exited today’s game early, and The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan tweets that right-hander Taijuan Walker is slated to undergo an MRI after experiencing shoulder soreness in a rehab appearance in extended Spring Training.
The team announced during the game that Peralta departed due to tightness in his right trapezius muscle, while manager Torey Lovullo revealed postgame that Greinke will undergo an MRI on Friday after experiencing abdominal tightness. Greinke had cruised through 7 2/3 shutout innings before grimacing after a pitch in the eighth inning and calling a trainer out to the mound. He departed before throwing another pitch.
Any absence for Greinke would be significant for a D-backs club that is four games over .500, firmly in the NL Wild Card mix and still within four games of the NL West lead. His near shutout Wednesday dropped his season ERA to 2.78, and he’s complemented that mark with averages of 8.6 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9. And although his velocity has continued to dwindle as he pitches into his mid 30s, Greinke has adjusted and served as a high-quality starter and workhorse in recent seasons; the 35-year-old tossed 410 innings between the 2017-18 regular seasons with near-identical ERAs of 3.20 and 3.21.
Fortunately, with regard to Peralta, Lovullo suggested that his outfielder will be okay with some treatment (Twitter link via Buchanan). The D-backs have an off day tomorrow, and to this point there’s been no mention of a possible IL trip for Peralta. Through 192 plate appearances, the 31-year-old is hitting .318/.359/.531 with six home runs, 16 doubles and a pair of triples — a strong followup to last year’s breakout 30-homer, .293/.352/.516 showing.
As for Walker, the setback is unsettling for an organization that hoped he’d eventually return to the rotation this summer. The 26-year-old right-hander is working back from 2018 Tommy John surgery and had progressed to pitching in a game setting. The fact that his shoulder is the problematic area suggests that there’s no immediate cause for concern in his surgically repaired elbow, though that’s not really any kind of consolation — particularly given that Walker has previously dealt with shoulder issues in his career.