Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed shut down indefinitely, to visit specialist

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Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed has battled proper shoulder points for nearly two years, and can now seek the advice of with Dr. Neal ElAttrache after continued discomfort in Ahmed’s shoulder led to a shutdown in his rehab course of. D’Backs supervisor Torey Lovullo advised The Arizona Republic’s Jose M. Romero and different reporters on Friday that Ahmed’s shoulder was nonetheless giving him issues throughout a current rehab sport.

Noting that Ahmed bounced a couple of throw to first base throughout the sport, Lovullo mentioned it “felt like he was attempting to intestine issues out and the shoulder simply was not responding. It was just a bit an excessive amount of for him to deal with, the workload.”

A go to to Dr. ElAttrache doesn’t all the time equal surgical procedure, but such a choice is perhaps obligatory provided that Ahmed’s different therapy strategies (together with two cortisone photographs throughout the offseason) apparently haven’t labored. The damage has additionally intermittently lingered for close to two years, although Ahmed didn’t truly go on the IL because of the shoulder downside till late final September.

By no means generally known as an enormous offensive risk, Ahmed’s .235/.293/.365 slash line over 744 plate appearances for the reason that begin of the 2020 season isn’t far off his general profession numbers. Nevertheless, Ahmed’s defensive decline is maybe the better signal that one thing is amiss, as he has +5 Defensive Runs Saved and 0.5 UZR/150 over that very same three-season stretch. Whereas many shortstops can be fairly happy with these numbers, they symbolize a step again from Ahmed’s excellent glovework from 2015-19 (73 DRS, 4.7 UZR/150), a stretch that noticed him win Gold Gloves in each 2018 and 2019.

With solely 17 video games performed in 2022, Ahmed’s season may fairly presumably be over, if surgical procedure is required to lastly appropriate his ailing shoulder. Even in a best-case situation, it looks like Ahmed will nonetheless miss fairly a bit extra time earlier than he’s wholesome sufficient to get again onto the sphere. Till Ahmed returns, Geraldo Perdomo will presumably proceed to get a lot of the reps at shortstop, with Jake Hager additionally getting the occasional taking part in time.

Trying on the longer-term image, Ahmed is within the third season of a four-year, $32.5M contract extension signed previous to the 2020 marketing campaign. The extension appeared like a stable funding for the D’Backs on the time, given Ahmed’s defensive excellence and the truth that he was coming off one in all his higher offensive seasons (a 19-homer, .254/.316/.437 marketing campaign in 2019). Whereas he nonetheless contributed 2.9 whole fWAR over the 2020-21 seasons, his damage issues imply that the contract could possibly be chalked up as one other of many strikes that merely haven’t labored out throughout two tough seasons for Arizona.

Ahmed is owed roughly $4.9M for the remainder of this season after which $10M in 2023. That’s a notable price ticket for a participant who might be 33 on Opening Day and presumably coming off a misplaced season, but Ahmed’s struggles additionally imply that the Diamondbacks wouldn’t have a lot luck in buying and selling him except they eat a lot of that wage or swap him for one more participant on an undesirable contract. The likeliest situation is that the D’Backs simply cling onto Ahmed because the bridge to prime prospect Jordan Lawlar, who’s shredding A-ball pitching however doesn’t flip 20 till July.

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