PHOENIX -- First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was out of the D-backs' starting lineup against the Padres on Friday, marking the fifth straight game he has missed since suffering a right elbow injury earlier in the week.Goldschmidt, who said his elbow is feeling better and has progressed each day, took part
PHOENIX -- First baseman Paul Goldschmidt was out of the D-backs' starting lineup against the Padres on Friday, marking the fifth straight game he has missed since suffering a right elbow injury earlier in the week.
Goldschmidt, who said his elbow is feeling better and has progressed each day, took part in full pregame activities ahead of Friday's contest, including batting practice, throwing and fielding.
"I wanted to do that a little bit earlier so I could give them a rundown of how I felt," Goldschmidt said. "Felt good, just because I hadn't done anything for five days. ... So as far as swinging or throwing or grounders, I hadn't done that, so I wanted to at least get a baseline there."
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said if Goldschmidt felt well after pregame warmups, he could be available to pinch-hit Friday.
"If he comes back to me and says, 'I feel great,' and the game's on the line at the right situation and he's available, I will definitely use him tonight," Lovullo said.
While Goldschmidt has said he's been ready to return to the lineup since Wednesday, Arizona's protocol requires players to get at least five days of rest and undergo functionality tests of injured areas via intense pregame workouts before a return is permitted.
"He's going to go through some testing, although today's different than it has been the past couple days," Lovullo said. "It had been in the batting cage where he just was feeling it out, letting me know how he feels right before the game. This one will have more of a snapshot, more color to the picture, get the feedback about his availability today, and how he feels when he wakes up tomorrow morning and perhaps getting him back in the lineup as soon as possible."
Goldschmidt received a cortisone injection for the injury earlier this week after an MRI revealed no structural damage to his elbow. He is no longer experiencing stiffness around the injured area.
Goldschmidt entered Friday slashing .314/.424/.597, in a tie for third in the the National League in RBIs (109), fourth in runs scored (102), and fifth in slugging (.597) and OPS (1.022).
Arizona opened its weekend series with the Padres riding a franchise-record 13-game winning streak. The run staked Arizona a seven-game lead over the Rockies for the National League Wild Card spot, and trimmed the Dodgers' National League West division lead to 10 games.
Lovullo admitted his club's grip on the Wild Card spot allowed him to be more cautious in managing Goldschmidt's injury.
"If it fell on me -- based on what I know and what he's telling me -- if it was a one-game lead, and you had to do things a little differently, different pace, with different intensity, he'd probably go in," Lovullo said.
Goldschmidt said he understands it's in the best interest of his team to play it safe, even if it means missing a sixth game Saturday.
"I don't want to be selfish, and just say, 'Yeah, I need to play. I have to play today,'" Goldschmidt said. "I mean, I want to, of course, but I think it's what's best for the team."
Said Lovullo: "We're taking everything that he says to heart and making the best decision moving forward."
• Right-hander Randall Delgado woke up feeling a "little stiff" and underwent an MRI on Friday morning before meeting with doctors to decide the next step in his rehab from a right flexor strain he sustained July 18.
Delgado experienced irritation in the injured area after pitching one scoreless inning during a rehab outing for Class A Short Hillsboro on Wednesday. Luvollo said he's "not sure yet" if it's a setback.
Kaelen Jones is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix.