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Diaz nearing a return from disabled list

Hard-throwing righty has been sidelined since June
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have a rotation's worth of starters on the disabled list, but one of them is nearing a return.

Right-hander Miguel Diaz pitched in the Arizona Rookie League on Tuesday night, making his first rehab appearance after exiting his June 21 start against the Cubs with a right forearm strain. He tossed two scoreless innings.

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SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have a rotation's worth of starters on the disabled list, but one of them is nearing a return.

Right-hander Miguel Diaz pitched in the Arizona Rookie League on Tuesday night, making his first rehab appearance after exiting his June 21 start against the Cubs with a right forearm strain. He tossed two scoreless innings.

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Diaz, a Rule 5 draftee, had a 6.82 ERA in 31 2/3 innings before the injury.

Manager Andy Green said Diaz's next step would be an outing with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore, after which a return to San Diego would soon follow.

"I don't imagine he's too far off," Green said, "but he's got to get some outings under his belt."

Diaz began the season in San Diego's bullpen, delivering high 90s fastballs as a reliever. After Jarred Cosart suffered an elbow injury that proved to end his season, Diaz moved into the rotation, but his stay was brief. He was placed on the disabled list after his third start.

Video: SD@CHC: Diaz exits game with injury in 3rd inning

Despite Diaz's high-velocity dealings, the Padres were concerned by how little he used his lower half in his delivery. Part of Diaz's recovery involved exercises that Green said "engage the lower half."

Green also gave no guarantee Diaz returns to the rotation. With San Diego having five healthy starters, Diaz could initially pitch out of the bullpen when he comes back. Green said the Padres have yet to discuss using a six-man rotation in September.

"I wouldn't rule anything out," Green said. "... I expect to see him pitch, and we'll see how he comes back from these extended outings he has on rehab. If he comes back well and strong, there's a very good possibility he slides in and starts some games, but right now, it's about being healthy and being on the mound today and making sure he's in a good position to be successful for the future."

Friedrich done for season

As had become expected, Christian Friedrich will not pitch for the Padres in 2017.

Dr. Keith Meister will perform arthroscopic surgery to clean up Friedrich's left elbow in Arlington, Texas. Meister also performed Cosart's season-ending surgery.

Friedrich dealt with a shoulder ailment during Spring Training and felt elbow tightness while recovering. The Padres twice shut down his rehab assignments after he continued to experience elbow soreness.

"Been a rough year for him," Green said.

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego.

San Diego Padres, Miguel Diaz