MARCH 23: Gallen has a “hairline stress fracture of his right lateral forearm at the radial end,” Zach Buchanan of The Athletic tweets. Gallen can keep playing catch at a low-stress level, but there’s no timeline for his return.
MARCH 22: Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen was scratched from his scheduled Cactus League start today due to right lateral forearm soreness, manager Torey Lovullo told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (Twitter links) and other media.
Gallen is still being evaluated, and he has been receiving treatment on the problem for the last 10 days. This would seem to indicate that Gallen has been dealing with the injury through at least one of his last two spring outings, though it hasn’t seemed to impact his results — the righty has a 2.13 ERA through four games and 12 2/3 innings during Spring Training.
Somewhat unusually, Gallen’s problem emerged while swinging a bat rather than throwing. He told Gilbert and other reporters that his forearm began to feel sore after he was jammed with a pitch while taking swings in a batting cage. (Should Gallen’s injury prove to be serious, he could quite possibly become the face of the dispute over the universal DH not being re-implemented for the 2021 season.) In terms of pitching, Gallen said he was able to throw most of his pitches without issue, only feeling soreness when throwing a curveball.
Needless to say, the D’Backs will be as cautious as possible in monitoring any sort of forearm problem for a pitcher who looks to be the burgeoning ace of the rotation. Gallen has been very impressive over 152 career MLB innings with the Marlins and Diamondbacks, posting a 2.78 ERA/408 SIERA and an above-average 28.5K%. Gallen had some control issues in his 2019 rookie season but reduced his walk rate from 10.8% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020.