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Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen scratched with right lateral forearm soreness

The severity of remains unknown, but forearm injuries can be quite serious

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ starting rotation has been hit with a serious injury. Right-hander Zac Gallen, who is projected to be the team’s No. 2 starter behind Madison Bumgarner, was scratched from Monday’s Spring Training contest due to right lateral forearm soreness.

This appears to be a lingering injury as Gallen has been receiving treatment for the past 10 days, manager Torey Lovullo told the media.

Arizona’s skipper added that the initial injury occurred while Gallen was swinging a bat rather than pitching, adding further fuel to debates suggesting that MLB would be better off with a universal designated hitter.

Gallen, 25, has spent parts of the last two seasons in the majors. Once a top prospect in the Miami Marlins’ system, he was flipped to Arizona in 2019 as part of a rare prospect-for-prospect trade.

Over 27 career starts, the former third-round pick out of UNC owns a 6-8 record with a 2.78 ERA. In 2020 alone, he made 12 starts (72 innings), pitching to a 2.75 ERA. He allowed 22 earned runs on 55 hits, including nine home runs. He walked 25 batters and struck out 82.

Prior to his injury, the latest ZiPS projections expected him to go 12-8 this season with a 3.74 ERA and 3.0 fWAR over 163.7 innings. Advanced projections saw him finishing with 10.61 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, 1.21 WHIP, and 3.90 FIP.

While full details on the injury remain unknown, it is safe to assume Arizona will be overly cautious with its young hurler. The good news is that Gallen only feels pain when swinging and throwing the curveball, meaning his velocity and ability to throw the rest of his repertoire remain bearable. Still, every forearm injury carries the potential for bad news. With this in mind, Gallen could open the year on the injured list—no matter the severity.