Gallen Sidelined by Injury, But for How Long?
After an extremely disappointing 2020 campaign filled with regression and numerous key players bitten by the injury bug, the Arizona Diamondbacks looked to claw back to competing in the 2021 season. Those hopes took a major hit this past week, when rising star, Zac Gallen was diagnosed with a hairline stress fracture in his right lateral forearm at the radial head.
For those that may not know, forearm discomfort with pitchers is one of the scariest things to read as a fan about any player. They are usually precursors that lead to something much more serious, such as needing Tommy John surgery. Fortunately, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Gallen’s tests did not suggest any of those issues. Gallen had an MRI, CT scan, and X-ray all done on his arm, and had those tests reviewed by two different doctors.
When asked DBacks, manager Torey Lovullo told Gilbert, “To me, that was the best news possible. When we were considering what some of the other options are, obviously, when you [are talking about] an elbow or shoulder and you’re a starting pitcher. We’re just going to get through this first phase, where he’s playing catch, and then reload, and I’ll keep you guys update.”
Gallen will not be completely shut down, but rather will still be allowed to play catch at a low stress level, so his arm will not be in as much need of a long minor league stint before eventually returning to the club. While there is no timetable set up for Gallen, one can assume it will be months rather than weeks before we see Gallen. After the power moves division rivals LA and San Diego have made, there really is no sense in rushing a 25-year old rising star back to the rotation and further damaging his arm while not in a window of contention. Gallen has the potential to eventually become Arizona’s #1 ace and may even surpass Madison Bumgarner as time goes on. For now though, the Diamondbacks may anticipate a call-up of perhaps either Corbin Martin or JB Bukauskas, both of whom are right handed starters who are expected to reach Phoenix this season.