Calhoun progressing; Marte, Ahmed on track

March 18th, 2021

D-backs outfielder Kole Calhoun participated in baseball activities on a back field Wednesday morning at Salt River Fields, the first time he's been on the field since undergoing right knee surgery March 3.

"Today was a great day for him," manager Torey Lovullo said. "He was able to do some functional baseball activity outdoors."

Calhoun played catch for about 10 minutes, then took 30 swings in the batting cage.

"And he was smiling and felt very, very good," Lovullo said. "And the medical team was very pleased with where he's at."

Calhoun will not be ready for Opening Day, and Lovullo said there is not yet a timeline for the outfielder's return.

"Everybody wants to know when it will happen," Lovullo said. "When is he going to be back in the lineup? When is he going to be cleared for all baseball activities? I can't give you those answers right now. I can just give you the answer that today was a very, very positive day, one that we were all hoping for, and we got great news from Kole that he felt great. So we'll continue to press on, and as we get closer, I could probably give you a little bit more of a timeline."

Speaking of injuries
Center fielder Ketel Marte, who was removed from Tuesday's game after tweaking his left ankle pulling into third base, is day to day, Lovullo said. Lovullo met with Marte on Wednesday, and the team wants to be cautious to make sure that he's ready for Opening Day.

Shortstop Nick Ahmed, who missed a week with soreness in his right knee, was at camp and went through defensive drills and took batting practice. He was expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday, but Lovullo said Ahmed was dealing with a "personal issue" and would not play.

"It's a very minor personal situation," Lovullo said. "I'll go as far as that."

Both Marte and Ahmed are still expected to be ready for the April 1 opener against the Padres at Petco Park.

"They're both swing-ready," Lovullo said. "They're both very close to being ready for the season. We're going to fine-tune a couple things, and we still have time for that whenever they land back in the lineup."

Gallen's outing
Right-hander Zac Gallen pitched into the fifth inning for the first time this spring, as he went 4 1/3 frames in a 3-0 loss to the Rangers at Surprise Stadium on Wednesday night. Gallen allowed three runs on six hits while striking out three.

"I felt fine, just a tick off on some command things," Gallen said. "Like I was just rushing a little bit. But the changeup felt good. The cutter was just OK, but I think I was just rushing with my delivery a little bit and my command suffered."

Up next
Right-hander Merrill Kelly will start for the D-backs on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. MST against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields, live on MLB.TV. Carlos Navas and Joe Mantiply are also scheduled to pitch for Arizona, while David Price will start for Los Angeles.

The D-backs will host the Angels in a "B" game Thursday morning, which will not be open to the public. Right-hander Riley Smith will start for Arizona.