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D-backs exercise caution with Marte (shoulder)

Souza faces Ray in simulated game; Shipley shifts to relief in Triple-A
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

DENVER -- Technically, second baseman Ketel Marte was not out of the D-backs lineup Saturday due to injury -- manager Torey Lovullo called him "100 percent playable" -- but the team wants to be cautious with him after he slid awkwardly into third base last Sunday against the Marlins.

"Maybe created some tenderness in his right shoulder," Lovullo said. "He could play. He's available off the bench. I just want to get him ahead of it instead of playing even. We're trying to nurse him through this situation right now."

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DENVER -- Technically, second baseman Ketel Marte was not out of the D-backs lineup Saturday due to injury -- manager Torey Lovullo called him "100 percent playable" -- but the team wants to be cautious with him after he slid awkwardly into third base last Sunday against the Marlins.

"Maybe created some tenderness in his right shoulder," Lovullo said. "He could play. He's available off the bench. I just want to get him ahead of it instead of playing even. We're trying to nurse him through this situation right now."

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Marte did come off the bench on Saturday, and he helped ignite a 12-7 D-backs win. He went 0-for-2, but he hit a dribbler in front of the mound in the eighth inning that forced Rockies reliever Bryan Shaw to make two errors. Arizona went on to score six in the frame.

Marte has been a force at the plate lately after a slow start to the year. Each of his last nine hits have gone for extra bases, which is one shy of the club record, and he was hitting .344 with a 1.226 OPS in his last 10 games entering Saturday.

Meanwhile in other injury news, left-hander Robbie Ray (oblique strain) threw 32 pitches over two innings of a simulated game. Among those Ray faced was outfielder Steven Souza Jr. (strained pec), and there were conflicting reports as to how that matchup went.

Souza told Lovullo that he hit a homer off Ray. Ray told Lovullo it was a foul ball.

"Steven said he's going to take it as a home run because the wind was blowing so hard from left to right that it carried it foul," Lovullo said.

Souza has yet to throw since being shut back down in the middle of May, but he did initiate some range-of-motion exercises with his shoulder.

Souza will have a follow-up MRI on Monday while outfielder A.J. Pollock (left thumb avulsion fracture) will have a CT scan to check on his healing progress.

Ship in relief
Triple-A Reno right-hander Braden Shipley has been pitching in relief since being activated from the DL on May 18.

Shipley, who has been a starter during his professional career, has made five appearances out of the bullpen. With Ray and Shelby Miller getting closer to returns to the rotation, the bullpen might be a faster track to the Majors for Shipley.

"Just trying to increase his options to impact this team," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said. "We're not ruling out starting. We decided to build him back up in the 'pen, but given where we're at with Robbie and Shelby coming back, I think you will probably see him in the bullpen at least here for the short term. We'll see what we've got with him in the 'pen."

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

Arizona Diamondbacks, Braden Shipley