PHOENIX -- The D-backs fell to the Rays, 6-1, on Thursday afternoon to drop their second straight series, but it could have been worse for Arizona. Far, far worse.
Outfielder Corbin Carroll, who was named Thursday night as a starter for the National League in next month’s All-Star Game in Seattle on July 11, felt some soreness in his right shoulder during an at-bat in the third inning and had to be removed from the game a half-inning later.
It was the same shoulder that caused Carroll to miss almost all of the 2021 season following surgery to repair a posterior capsular avulsion and labrum tear.
Carroll underwent strength tests after leaving the game, and according to D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, the shoulder was strong and stable.
It was a relief to everyone involved, and Lovullo said Carroll would be day to day.
“Really weird feeling in my shoulder that I hadn't felt since the injury had happened,” said Carroll, referring to the 2021 injury. “So it shook me up pretty good. [I] was pretty concerned and just wanted to make sure that the stability was all there. And they checked it out, and I got the green light there, which was a huge weight off my shoulders. And now it's just kind of, 'Move forward and progress and take it day to day.'”
Carroll felt the shoulder discomfort early in the at-bat, but finished it before walking slowly to the dugout. After playing defense in the top of the fourth, Carroll came in the dugout and immediately walked up the tunnel to the clubhouse with trainer Max Esposito, and Jake McCarthy took over in right field in the fifth.
Losing Carroll would have been a huge blow for the D-backs, as the rookie has been the team’s best offensive player this year and one of the best offensive players in the Majors.
“Look, to be honest with you, you hold your breath, right?” Lovullo said. “You hold your breath and you just hope for the best. And we got great news.”
Carroll does a lot of work on his shoulders to keep them strong after the surgery, and the concern wasn’t so much that he felt a lot of pain, it was where the pain was located.
“I think that if I hadn't had a major surgery on that shoulder, [then] I might have just kind of written it off,” Carroll said. “But again, it was a feeling that I only felt after that [injury].”
The good news on Carroll -- with the injury and the All-Star Game starting nod -- helped brighten what was an otherwise disappointing day for the D-backs.
Rookie Brandon Pfaadt, who was called up from Triple-A Reno to make the start, allowed a first-inning home run, but he seemed to settle in during the second before being chased during a five-run third inning.
It was the second straight disappointing loss for the D-backs, who watched the Rays score three runs in the ninth on Wednesday night to beat them, 3-2.
“It just never worked out for us offensively, and it just wasn't clicking," Lovullo said. “The day was a little bit off. I think there's a little bit of a hangover from last night, which are some of the things we try to avoid here. But it was a grinding loss yesterday with a quick turnaround, and we got pounced on for five runs. And we just couldn’t catch up.”