NEW YORK -- It's never all about one player, but it's not a total coincidence that the D-backs had the second-best record in the National League before shortstop Nick Ahmed got injured and now have one of the worst records in the NL during the almost two months Ahmed has
NEW YORK -- It's never all about one player, but it's not a total coincidence that the D-backs had the second-best record in the National League before shortstop Nick Ahmed got injured and now have one of the worst records in the NL during the almost two months Ahmed has missed.
It's true. They were 50-28 through June 27, the day a Trevor Rosenthal pitch fractured Ahmed's right hand. They entered play Thursday night with a 19-30 record since then.
So, yeah, the D-backs are looking forward to Ahmed's return, which could come fairly soon now that he's playing rehab games in the Arizona Rookie League. Ahmed has played three games, and D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Thursday that he'll play one more game in Arizona before likely making his way to Triple-A Reno.
"He feels good, and all the reports have been really good," Lovullo said Wednesday. "He's made some backhand plays and some plays up the middle. It looks like he picked up right where he left off."
Lovullo said he was in touch with Ahmed via text message Wednesday morning, and hopes to speak with him when the D-backs get home after Thursday's day game against the Mets at Citi Field. Lovullo wouldn't say how many more at-bats Ahmed will need before coming back to the D-backs.
"He just has to be honest with how he's feeling," Lovullo said. "He knows his comfort level."
Not that the numbers matter much, but Ahmed was hitless in his first three games in the rookie league, going 0-for-7 with two walks and three strikeouts.
Ahmed was a .251 hitter with a .717 OPS when he got hurt, but as Lovullo said, those numbers don't tell his entire story. And the fact that Ketel Marte has similar offensive numbers as Ahmed's primary replacement doesn't mean the D-backs have been the same team without him.
"We all know the value that [Ahmed] brings," Lovullo said. "He's a great leader and a great teammate. He has some incredible skills we definitely miss."
Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.