Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed shut down indefinitely due to continuing shoulder problem

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 14: Infielder Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws to first base during the sixth inning of the MLB game against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on May 14, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 14: Infielder Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws to first base during the sixth inning of the MLB game against the Chicago Cubs at Chase Field on May 14, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
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PITTSBURGH —On top of COVID-19 symptoms, Diamondbacks infielder Nick Ahmed was also working his way back from a recurring right shoulder injury. With his stamina and energy starting to come around, Ahmed had started playing rehab games at Salt River Fields.

Then manager Torey Lovullo noticed that Ahmed bounced some throws to first base in between innings of a recent game. After speaking with Ahmed on Thursday, the decision was made to pull him from his rehabilitation and shut him down indefinitely due to shoulder soreness.

Lovullo said Ahmed will see noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache on a date to be determined, who has performed operations on several top professional athletes.

"He just felt like he was trying to gut things out and the shoulder just was not responding," Lovullo said prior to Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. "It was just a little too much for him to handle, the workload."

With Ahmed out for an extended period of time, Geraldo Perdomo will continue on as the primary shortstop.

"Sad, tough, tough conversation for me and him (Thursday)," Lovullo said of his talk with Ahmed. "You know, he means a lot to this lineup and especially on the defensive side of it."

Ahmed received cortisone injections for his shoulder back in spring training and saw another specialist, hoping to avoid surgery. He didn't play in a game until April 22 and his last game was May 15 before he was placed on the injured list due to illness.

"I know that he wants to be on the field. He's got a great mentality. He wants to help the team win baseball games and go out and perform," Lovullo said. "And I know that's frustrating for him, that he can't do it at the high level that you expect. So I think that's what we walked through a little bit yesterday, just step out and when you're 100 percent, you give this team everything you possibly can."

Canine visitor

Diamondbacks closer Mark Melancon is always happy to return to Pittsburgh, where the four-time All-Star earned two such designations in 2013 and 2015. He earned 130 saves with the Pirates in his 3 ½ seasons there.

"This was great. Great for my career. You know, we had great teams every year I was here," Melancon said Friday.

This trip, Melancon brought a friend into the clubhouse Friday, the family dog Lou. The pet is named after former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz.

Lou made the rounds with the Diamondbacks players and coaches, getting plenty of extra attention.

"Having that dog come in there was good for all of us. It took us away from what we had to grind through to get ready," Lovullo said. "But he's a great, great dog, they seem to come like their owner, right? Very calm demeanor. really easygoing. And that's certainly Mark."

Widener returns, pitcher moves

The Diamondbacks recalled RHP Taylor Widener from the taxi squad, and optioned pitcher Paul Fry to Triple-A Reno on Friday. Fry will remain with the team on the taxi squad.

RHP Keynan Middleton was reinstated from  the 15-day injured list optioned to Reno. He pitched an inning Thursday night there.

"I definitely feel like I've been throwing the ball well," Widener said. He appeared in three games for the Diamondbacks earlier this season. "I've been feeling really good recently and I'm just going to try and keep that confidence from Reno and just bring it over here, and just stick to my game plan and keep doing what I'm doing."

Short hops

*RHP J.B. Bukauskas (strained right shoulder) threw 25 pitches in an inning on Friday.

*RHP Luke Weaver (right elbow inflammation) threw two innings with 43 pitches at Reno Thursday, and his next outing is set for Tuesday.

*C Carson Kelly (strained oblique) took live batting practice Thursday and was to fly to Reno and play as designated hitter Saturday.

Get in touch with Jose Romero at Jose.Romero@gannett.com. Find him on Twitter at @RomeroJoseM. 

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed shut down due to shoulder problem