The Arizona Diamondbacks might be missing their best pitcher on opening day.
Zac Gallen is being evaluated for soreness in his right forearm and his status is uncertain to begin the season on April 1.
The 25-year-old Gallen was scratched from his scheduled exhibition start on Monday. He said he first felt the injury when he was jammed during batting practice about 10 days ago.
Gallen went 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA during the pandemic-shortened season, striking out 82 in 72 innings.
Gallen said it was frustrating to get hurt while swinging the bat instead of throwing on the mound. He’s in favor of the designated hitter in both leagues, which was the rule across Major League Baseball in 2020 for the 60-game season.
The National League switched back to pitchers hitting for the 2021 season.
“It’s definitely frustrating considering I’m kind of an advocate for the DH,” Gallen said. “I get paid to pitch, that’s kind of how I look at it. It comes along with the job. I play in the National League, you have to hit, you have to bunt, you have to do those certain things.”
The Diamondbacks have had multiple injuries to key players during spring training.
Starting right fielder Kole Calhoun had knee surgery earlier this month and is expected to miss at least the first few weeks of the season. Relief pitcher Tyler Clippard is battling shoulder soreness and has been shut down from throwing for at least six weeks.
SETBACK IN THE BULLPEN
Blue Jays right-hander Kirby Yates will miss several weeks because of a strained muscle in his forearm.
Yates was expected to be Toronto’s closer after signing a $5.5 million, one-year deal in the offseason.
Yates last pitched Saturday against Philadelphia, striking out two in one scoreless inning. It was his second outing of the spring and his first since March 11.
Yates was an All-Star with San Diego in 2019, when he posted a 1.19 ERA and led the NL with 41 saves. He pitched in six games for the Padres last season before surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said he’ll use different pitchers to finish games while Yates is sidelined. Right-handers Jordan Romano and Rafael Dolis both saved games for Toronto last season, filling in when closer Ken Giles was injured.
“I don’t see the need to have just one closer,” Montoyo said.
Mike Piazza, at spring training with the New York Mets as a guest instructor, spoke with All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor, who has started discussions about a long-term contract.
Lindor was acquired from Cleveland in January. He’s eligible for free agency after the season.
“I was fortunate to have a nice conversation with him today,” the Hall of Fame catcher said. “If he is going to be here long term, I just think there’s a spiritual component to it. I think he’s got to go out and get comfortable. And the fact that he has such a good team around him to support him, as well.”
His advice to Lindor: “Just go out and play, go and play, put your numbers up. And if it’s meant to be, he’s going to be here.”
MARINERS 7, DODGERS 3
Free-agent prize Trevor Bauer sailed through four scoreless innings for Los Angeles before giving up homers to Evan White, Jose Marmolejos and Mitch Haniger in a five-run fifth. Last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner was charged with five runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, with five strikeouts and no walks.
Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer off Sheffield, giving him 12 RBIs to go with a .419 batting average and 1.453 OPS this spring. Justin Turner was 2 for 2 with a walk for the World Series champion Dodgers, and Max Muncy also had two hits.
PHILLIES 4, YANKEES 0
Aaron Nola struck out nine in six splendid innings of one-hit ball, and Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer against his former team. Rhys Hoskins was 3 for 3 with an RBI single and a walk. He also doubled and stole third base.
New York starter Jameson Taillon threw 44 of 60 pitches for strikes over 2 2/3 innings. He allowed one run and five hits, striking out five without a walk. The right-hander, acquired from Pittsburgh this offseason, has a 1.08 ERA during spring training in his return from a second Tommy John surgery. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 2019.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman fanned two in a hitless inning.
Gregorius connected off Justin Wilson, who became the second Yankees left-handed reliever to get hurt this spring when he exited due to tightness in his pitching shoulder. New York said Wilson will have an MRI on Tuesday.
“The way he kind of described is just having a hard time getting loose out there,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I think there’s a chance that it might not be that big a deal.”
Yankees lefty Zack Britton had surgery March 15 to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow and is likely out until at least May and perhaps the summer.
BLUE JAYS 4, TIGERS 3
Ross Stripling struck out seven and walked none in 3 2/3 innings, but gave up three runs and five hits.
Tigers starter Julio Teheran left as a precaution after two innings because of back tightness, the team said. He struck out three and walked none.
Erasmo Ramirez followed with three shutout innings of one-hit ball.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, ATHLETICS 4 (9 INNINGS)
ASTROS 5, METS 4
Houston star Jose Altuve lined into a bases-loaded triple play. Bryan Abreu, a top Astros pitching prospect who turns 24 next month, started and pitched three perfect innings, striking out four. Kent Emanuel did not give up an earned run over 2 1/3 innings of relief.
Acquired from San Diego as part of a three-team trade in January, left-hander Joey Lucchesi made his second start for New York, working 3 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Mike Montgomery pitched two innings of two-hit relief. Albert Almora Jr. hit a three-run homer.
ANGELS 15, CUBS 7
Mike Trout had a two-run double and RBI grounder during a 10-run second inning. It was the biggest spring training inning for Los Angeles since 2014, when Trout hit a grand slam during a nine-run burst.
Keegan Thompson was roughed up in his first start for the Cubs, giving up four earned runs on five hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Juan Gamez did not retire a batter in the second inning and was charged with five runs. Ian Happ led off the game with a home run.
PIRATES 6, ORIOLES 5 (8 INNINGS)
RED SOX 10, RAYS 4
Eduardo Rodriguez, set to start on opening day for Boston, pitched two innings and gave up and earned run on three hits and a pair of walks. Michael Chavis and Bobby Dalbec both hit their sixth home runs of the spring and Christian Arroyo hit his third.
Manuel Margot doubled and drove in two runs for Tampa Bay. Chris Ellis worked two innings in relief and gave up six runs on four hits, two of them home runs, and walked three.
TWINS 4, BRAVES 2
Kyle Wright struck out five over five innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits, walking three. Touki Toussaint fanned two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.
MARLINS 7, CARDINALS 2
Miami opening day starter Sandy Alcantara gave up two runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out five. Peyton Burdick had a pinch-hit home run.
St. Louis starter Jack Flaherty allowed three runs on five hits and three walks, fanning five before leaving after 5 1/3 innings. Dylan Carlson homered. Matt Carpenter‘s struggles at the plate continued with two strikeouts in four at-bats – he is 1 for 29 with 13 strikeouts this spring.
PADRES 9, RANGERS 9 (9 INNINGS)
Texas starter Mike Minor went five innings, yielding three runs and five hits while striking out four. Hunter Dozier hit a three-run homer. Emmanuel Rivera hit a two-run double to tie, but was thrown out trying for a triple to end the game.
WHITE SOX 7, GIANTS 2
BREWERS 6, INDIANS 3
Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff gave up five hits over six innings, giving up two runs and striking out four. Brent Suter struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh and Josh Hader gave up a hit and struck out two in the eighth. Tyrone Taylor, Daniel Vogelbach and Avisail Garcia each homered.
Cleveland starter Triston McKenzie allowed six runs on six hits, three of them home runs, walked four and struck out three over 4 2/3 innings. Franmil Reyes hit his fourth home run. Josh Naylor sat out two weekend games with wrist soreness and returned to the lineup.
ROCKIES 5, RANGERS 4
Colorado starter German Marquez allowed three runs on six hits in five innings. Daniel Bard gave up a hit and walked one while striking out two in the eighth. Ryan McMahon, C.J. Cron and Chris Owings homered.
Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc has returned to Texas after experiencing elbow soreness and is expected to miss significant time. He missed most of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury.