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McFarland to rest ailing throwing shoulder

@SteveGilbertMLB
March 3, 2019

PEORIA, Ariz. -- D-backs left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland will be shut down for a short period due to inflammation in his left shoulder.

PEORIA, Ariz. -- D-backs left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland will be shut down for a short period due to inflammation in his left shoulder.

“He’s going to step out and spend some time in the training room,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “We don’t think it’s anything that’s going to be terribly serious. He probably just needs a little bit of a rest and then he’ll get back on his program as soon as possible.”

No tests have been scheduled on McFarland, and Lovullo estimated five to six days before he gets back on a throwing program. If he’s out for that length of time it should not impact his readiness for the season, as relievers do not need as many innings as starters to be ready.

McFarland was shut down in September last year due to a bone spur in his elbow. That condition healed over the winter and is no longer an issue.

“This is in a different spot,” Lovullo said. “Like I said each time these guys have been injured [this spring], we don’t need to put our foot on the gas, but we need to pull them back. Knowing T.J. the way I do, I feel like if it’s the end of the season he’d pitch through it, but for right now we’re going to pull back, get him strong and then get him back out there as soon as possible.”

McFarland was an underrated part of the D-backs' bullpen last year.

After beginning the year as the team’s long man, he pitched his way into more high-leverage situations.

“We’re counting on him in a very useful way, and we want him to get back to normal as soon as possible,” Lovullo said.

Making improvements
Zack Godley rebounded from a rough first start to toss three scoreless innings in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Mariners.

After allowing four runs (three earned) and lasting just one-third of an inning against the Cubs in his first outing of the spring, Godley seemed to be in command against the Mariners. He allowed one walk (he walked three Cubs) while striking out three.

“He worked hard during these four days [between starts] to make good things happen today,” Lovullo said. “He was executing pitches and had a great game plan and got through pretty easily.”

Only two balls were put in the air against Godley -- a popout to third base by Tim Beckham and a double by Shed Long.

“It’s always nice to go out there and be able to get ground balls,” Godley said. “Really I think I had everything in the zone. Everything from fastball, cutter, changeup and curveball. I think I threw all of them for strikes when I wanted to and bury them when I needed to as well."

Can’t beat live action
Jake Lamb, who is working this spring on making the transition from third to first, had a pair of grounders hit to him in the first inning with a runner on first.

Both times, Lamb was able to get the lead runner out, but he said he thought he could have turned at least one of them into a double play had he been smoother.

“Seriously, we worked on that play today in early work for 20 or 25 minutes,” Lamb said. “But it’s obviously not the same. I’m not afraid to admit the game is still going a little quick over there at first. But I was happy that I still went to second because at third when you bobble a ball it’s, ‘Alright get the out at first.’”

Lamb didn’t actually bobble that first ball, but he didn’t have his feet the way he wanted them.

“It caught me off guard, didn’t move my feet properly,” he said. “I didn’t get around [the ball]. I want to have my feet going towards second base. It’s definitely nice getting some plays over there. That’s how you learn. You can only learn so much in a controlled setting with fungos from a coach. Just got to learn from it and continue to get better.”

Bracho leaves game
Right-hander Silvino Bracho was forced to leave the game in the sixth inning after experiencing discomfort in his elbow. He was scheduled to be examined by team physician Gary Waslewski on Sunday night.

“We don’t know exactly what it is,” Lovullo said. “Once the doctor gets his hands on him, we’ll be able to finalize some of our thoughts.”

Up next
Right-hander Luke Weaver will make his second appearance of the spring Monday afternoon when the D-backs play host to the Reds at Salt River Fields at 1:10 p.m. MST. Weaver’s first appearance came in a “B” game against a team from Korea. Greg Holland, who is competing for the closer’s role, is also scheduled to pitch.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.