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San Diego Padres put Dinelson Lamet on IL, are hopeful he’ll avoid second Tommy John surgery

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LOS ANGELES — Dinelson Lamet felt “very, very good” on Thursday, a day after exiting his season debut with tightness in his right forearm, San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler said.

Lamet, the Padres’ 28-year-old starting pitcher, was placed on the 10-day injured list, but the team’s hope is that he can return to the rotation right around the time when he is eligible to be reactivated.

Another Tommy John surgery was initially feared for Lamet — who spent all of the 2018 season and half of the 2019 season recovering from his first one, and who underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy in an effort to heal a sore elbow in September — but the Padres are hopeful he can avoid it this time.

“After all the doctors looked at it — they did an ultrasound yesterday, and they didn’t find any inflammation or any type of fluid or anything in there,” Tingler said. “The group of doctors and trainers feel that at this moment, right now, they do not need an MRI. And they’re pretty encouraged with everything they’ve kind of tested right now.”

Lamet broke out during the shortened 2020 season, posting a 2.09 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks in 69 innings. But he suffered a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his final regular-season start and received a PRP injection in hopes of healing it without invasive surgery.

The Padres built Lamet back up methodically, waiting until Wednesday to put him back on the mound in a regular-season game. But he complained of tightness in his forearm after his second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was the first hint of soreness Lamet had experienced since last season, Tingler said. He hopes it was a byproduct of in-game adrenaline — the type that can’t necessarily be replicated during bullpen sessions — and not reinjury.

The Padres will know more Friday, when Lamet resumes his throwing program.

“If everything goes well, we’re gonna shoot for him to make the start after the 10 days are up,” Tingler said. “We kind of went back, we looked, really the only thing that changed, kind of the adrenaline a little bit, the emotion, and then we took very few, very minimum swings, preparing for the at-bat. But those are really the only two things we kind of looked back and have been a little bit different. The trainers, the doctors, certainly Lamet, everybody feels pretty optimistic, in terms of how he’s feeling today.”

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Edwin Rios to have season-ending shoulder surgery

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers backup third baseman Edwin Rios will miss the rest of the season after surgery on his right shoulder.

Right-hander Dustin May also underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, sidelining him until at least the summer of 2022.

The defending World Series champions announced their decision later Wednesday on Rios, who has a partially torn labrum. He will have surgery next week.

The Dodgers also shut down Josiah Gray, their top pitching prospect, due to a right shoulder impingement. Gray, who was scratched from his minor league start at the last minute Tuesday night, will rest for at least a week before re-evaluation.

Rios got off to a rough start this season with the Dodgers, batting .078 with one homer in 25 games while clearly struggling with his swing.

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican prospect made his major league debut in 2019. Rios appeared in seven postseason games last fall, hitting two homers in the NLCS against Atlanta.

He had hoped to land a steady backup role playing third base and first base this year for Los Angeles. Instead, the Dodgers will have to use even more of their depth after the latest setback in their significant early-season injury woes.

Along with losing May from the starting rotation, the Dodgers are still without 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who incurred a hairline fracture in his leg in their first series of the season. There is no timetable for his return to action.

Starting pitchers Tony Gonsolin and David Price are still returning deliberately from injuries to bolster what was probably the deepest rotation in baseball before the season. The staff is already short-handed now, with a bullpen game or a spot start likely necessary Monday against Arizona.

Promising rookie utilityman Zach McKinstry is also still out with strained right oblique, while key right-handed reliever Corey Knebel likely is out for months with a strained back muscle. The bullpen also is missing Brusdar Graterol (forearm) and Scott Alexander (shoulder) with shorter-term injuries.

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Arizona Diamondbacks add Zac Gallen, Christian Walker to a crowded injured list

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks continued to deal with a surge of early-season injuries, putting starting pitcher Zac Gallen and first baseman Christian Walker on the 10-day injured list Wednesday.

Gallen has a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament, which is the ligament replaced in Tommy John surgery. Walker has a sore right oblique; a similar injury put him on the IL earlier this season.

Gallen has emerged as one of baseball’s top young pitchers. He finished ninth in the NL Cy Young Award voting last season and had a 3.04 ERA through five starts this year.

Manager Torey Lovullo was confident the D-backs’ medical team caught Gallen’s injury early, saying the elbow sprain was “minor” and that he was hopeful the 25-year-old would be able to avoid having the Tommy John procedure.

“We have multiple opinions that are coming in and as of right now, it looks like we’re going to reassess in a couple weeks,” Lovullo said.

Gallen missed his first start of the season with a hairline fracture in his right forearm that happened when he was taking batting practice during spring training. Lovullo said the two injuries aren’t related.

Matt Peacock was to make his first career start in Gallen’s place on Wednesday against Miami. The Marlins, a bit squeezed in their rotation as well, planned to start Cody Poteet.

Walker has already missed three weeks this season because of oblique soreness. The 30-year-old returned on May 4 and played in seven games before getting hurt again on Monday. Lovullo said Walker’s injury is in the same general area.

“These are challenging times,” Lovullo said. “It’s stuff we talk about, stuff we budget for and what I’ll say is every team walks through very challenging situations. It’s how we respond to those situations that’s going to separate us.”

Gallen and Walker join a host of other D-backs who have made trips to the injured list this season. Outfielders Ketel Marte, Kole Calhoun and Tim Locastro, shortstop Nick Ahmed and pitchers Joakim Soria, Tyler Clippard and Taylor Widener have all missed time with injuries.

The Diamondbacks called up pitcher Seth Frankoff and utility player Andy Young to take the place of Gallen and Walker on the active roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes says he had COVID-19, but was asymptomatic

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MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes says he tested positive for the coronavirus last month but remained asymptomatic throughout his stint on the injured list.

Burnes is expected to start Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals in his first appearance since April 26. He is 2-2 with a 1.53 ERA, 49 strikeouts and no walks in 29 1/3 innings.

Although the Brewers are among the major league teams that had some protocols relaxed after reaching an 85% vaccination rate, Burnes said Wednesday he opted against getting vaccinated for personal reasons.

Burnes said he had “no clue” how he might have gotten the virus and initially believed it was a false positive.

“So we did all the subsequent testing after, and it came back that it was an actual positive,” Burnes said. “We were fortunate enough that throughout the contact tracing and everything else that no one else was forced to miss time and no one else tested positive. So as far as that front goes, it was successful.”

The Brewers hadn’t specified the reason they placed Burnes on the injured list. Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns simply said at the time that “we’re following Major League Baseball health and safety protocols.”

Burnes said he has no concern about whether he could pick up where he left off after missing a couple of starts.

He has an opportunity on Thursday to break the Major League Baseball record for most strikeouts to start a season without allowing a walk. Los Angeles Dodgers reliver Kenley Jansen punched out 51 batters in 2017 before issuing his first free pass.

“My goal always as a pitcher is to go out there and to minimize how many guys you put on base,” Burnes said. “For me this year, I’ve done a really good job of making guys earn it, to try to hit good pitches to get on base and earn their way on, and obviously I’m not going to be able to not walk anybody all year.

“At some point, it’s going to happen. But for me, it’s just going out there and trying to minimize the number of unexecuted pitches and make guys earn it to get on base.”

Burnes allowed just one run in his first four appearances before giving up five runs – four earned – over five innings in an 8-0 loss to Miami on April 26. Opponents are batting .152 against him.

Although he had to be away from the team for 10 days due to his positive test, Burnes said he was able to continue his own workouts since he was asymptomatic.

“I had some weights at the apartment, so I was able to do some workouts on the floor of the apartment,” Burnes said. “And I had my wife’s Peloton here, so I was able to do some big conditioning workouts and keep the cardio in shape.

“There’s a little grass field right outside our apartment complex and I had a net. I was fortunate to have some balls and stuff with me from the offseason, so I was able to throw into a net every day and do everything in my power to keep the arm, to keep the body ready.”

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