Ahmed to undergo MRI on right shoulder
Perdomo could get opportunity at short; Bumgarner locked in after 2 starts
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs shortstop Nick Ahmed is still battling soreness in his right shoulder and is set to have an MRI taken to determine the exact issue.
Ahmed missed the final two weeks of the 2021 season due to discomfort in the same shoulder, and he has since had a platelet-rich plasma injection, as well as a cortisone injection. Ahmed last appeared in a Cactus League game last Monday, but he's had some action in live batting-practice sessions on the backfields.
"I thought we'd get him over the hump," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Unfortunately, that didn't happen. We're still evaluating and we're still trying to figure out exactly where he's at."
If Ahmed is not available at the start of the season, it will likely open the door for Geraldo Perdomo, who is Arizona's No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline.
The 22-year-old Perdomo, who is an excellent defender, made his big league debut last April and was in the Majors again near the end of the '21 season. He hit .258/.378/.419 in 37 plate appearances for the D-backs, and Lovullo has liked what he's seen from the youngster this spring.
"He is playing at the right pace," Lovullo said. "He's picking up the ball and using his feet. When he makes a mistake, he knows exactly what he's done wrong and he can self-correct. The at-bats have been very good, so he's in a really good spot. He has a very high baseball IQ and the heartbeat is right. And you can see that there's a number of hard-hit balls, and the tough plays that he made look fairly routine."
Among the other players in camp who could help fill in at shortstop is Josh Rojas, who has played there some the past two seasons but right now is slated to start at third base. Jake Hager is another option. The non-roster invitee can play second, short and third, as well as some outfield.
The D-backs also added depth at shortstop on Sunday, acquiring Sergio Alcántara in a trade with the Cubs. Alcántara can play numerous infield positions, but he spent the most time at short in 2021, playing 55 games there for Chicago.
Lovullo made it clear, though, that he was in no way ready to count Ahmed out for Opening Day.
"We've got some good internal candidates here," Lovullo said. "I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. But we have a very competitive situation with a lot of young infielders, and there's depth here."
Bumgarner locked in
Madison Bumgarner threw 3 2/3 innings in the D-backs' 5-2 split-squad win over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Salt River Fields. The left-hander is pleased about where he's at with one spring start to go before the regular season begins.
"Command was really good, I thought," Bumgarner said. "That was a big, big step forward for a second start of spring, I thought. So long as it sticks and I can do that again, I'll feel pretty good about where we're at."
The Rockies worked Bumgarner for some long at-bats in the second, so he was removed and then reinserted in the third in order to get through some more innings. That is allowed per Cactus League rules.
"I thought Bum was more than effective," Lovullo said. "He was landing pitches and pitching on both sides of the plate."
After the outing, Bumgarner had praise for new D-backs pitching coach Brent Strom, who is known for blending an old-school baseball feel with new-school analytics and training methods.
"He's probably the first mixture I've seen of the old school and new school," Bumgarner said. "Everybody claims to be, but I haven't run into anyone that I thought was an actual mixture until now."
The Dodgers will visit Salt River Fields on Monday afternoon with Corbin Martin starting for the D-backs against Clayton Kershaw.