New papa Peralta expected back today

August 17th, 2017

HOUSTON -- Outfielder , whose wife gave birth to the couple's first child on Monday, is expected to return from paternity leave in time for Thursday's game against the Astros.

Whether he is in the lineup, though, remains to be seen.

"I would like to have him play as soon as possible," manager Torey Lovullo said on Wednesday. "We'll have a discussion. I'm sure I'll talk to him at some point during the day today and see how he's doing physically and emotionally. I know he was a little sleep-deprived. Hopefully, he's caught up in that area. Emotionally, he's probably riding a little high knowing what happened. I think each case is different, so that's why I want to talk to him and see how he's feeling."

The D-backs have been carrying an extra pitcher in Peralta's absence, so it's likely a pitcher will be sent down when Peralta returns.

Banda tabbed for Sunday: Left-hander will make his fifth big league start on Sunday, against the Twins in Minnesota, although Robbie Ray could reclaim that spot in the rotation soon after.

Ray, who is on the disabled list with a concussion after being struck in the head by a line drive on June 30, is scheduled to make his first rehab start on Thursday for Class A Visalia.

Ray threw 50 pitches in an simulated game on Saturday and is expected to pitch five innings or 75 pitches on Thursday. It's possible he could rejoin the rotation after that.

"We're going to see how Robbie throws [on Friday] and come up with an entire game plan," Lovullo said. "We're hoping that it goes well."

In the meantime, the team will need a starter on Sunday, and despite his rough outing on Tuesday against the Astros, in which he allowed eight runs over four innings, Banda will get the nod.

Golden Award: Prior to Wednesday's game, first baseman was presented with the Houston Area Player of the Year Award by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Goldschmidt grew up in The Woodlands, Texas, and attended Astros games as a kid; Jeff Bagwell was his favorite player.

Goldschmidt found himself serving as the designated hitter on Wednesday as Lovullo looked to give him a partial day off.

But that didn't change his routine, as he still took pregame grounders at first. The biggest challenge about being the DH, he said, was making sure to stay engaged in the game in the dugout while his teammates are on defense.