9/17/2013 9:38 P.M. ET
Closer Ziegler trying to fight off sinus infection
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- When he got back to his locker Monday night after recording his 11th save of the year, the exhaustion hit D-backs closer Brad Ziegler.
An upper respiratory virus has done what opposing batters have not been able to do all year -- hit him hard.
The illness has been circulating in the clubhouse for the better part of a month, knocking Martin Prado out of the lineup for a time in San Francisco.
"That's the good thing about throwing only one inning," Ziegler said. "I just have to muster up enough energy for 10-15 minutes of going at it hard. If I was a starter, it would be way tougher."
Ziegler, who likely would be available for Tuesday's game, is taking antibiotics for the sinus infection and is hoping it doesn't get any worse.
"Knowing my history it will get into my chest and turn into bronchitis," Ziegler said. "But it hasn't gotten there yet and we're trying to keep it from getting there."
With the close contact of the clubhouse, not to mention the recirculated air on the planes and buses they share, viruses tend so spread rapidly within a team.
"When somebody gets something in there, we share it pretty good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're very charitable."
For Reynolds, elbow rehab was 'worth the try'
PHOENIX -- When his elbow strain was first diagnosed in June, D-backs reliever Matt Reynolds thought he had a good chance of avoiding Tommy John surgery.
And for a few months, rehab seemed to have been a good decision as the left-hander was pain free and working his way back. Then last Thursday while throwing live batting practice, Reynolds felt a sharp pain in his elbow.
"Even the first half of that live batting practice session, my arm was feeling good," Reynolds said. "I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well, so it's kind of a bummer."
Reynolds underwent more tests, which revealed that he had almost a complete tear in the posterior bundle of ligaments and his anterior bundle was stretched and strained.
Dr. James Andrews will perform Tommy John surgery next Tuesday, and Reynolds will all but certainly miss the entire 2014 season.
"It's one of those things where potentially if everything goes well like we hoped it would have, then I could have totally avoided the surgery," Reynolds said. "We knew that it was a possibility, that we could still have this happen, but both the doctors and I came to the conclusion that it was worth the try not to have surgery right away."
Reynolds, whom the D-backs acquired during the offseason, was having an outstanding year at the time of the injury. In 30 games he had a 1.98 ERA and was playing a big role in the bullpen.
"To an extent, you feel a little bit invincible when you're young and then all of a sudden this comes up and you're like, 'Whoa,'" D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's a wake-up call. He's going to Andrews, and if you're going to go have anybody do it, he's going to be the best guy."
• Since returning from Triple-A Reno earlier this month, D-backs reliever David Hernandez has not allowed a run in seven appearances.
Gibson has noticed a big difference in Hernandez, who had a 5.59 ERA in 48 appearances before his demotion in early August.
"I don't think he had his mechanics, he wasn't throwing the ball as good, didn't have the conviction in his pitches," Gibson said. "He's got a lot more velocity coming out of his arm right now, able to locate it much better. His breaking ball is better as well."
• With the D-backs trying to get a long look at young shortstops Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings, there has not been much playing time for veteran Cliff Pennington.
"He's handled it well, as good as you could expect anybody or ask anybody to handle it," Gibson said. "We've talked about it, he knows what's going on and he knows we're going to play the young guys. Willie Bloomquist hasn't seen much shortstop lately either. We've got a lot of guys, a lot to figure out. It's not to say that he won't get another start, but for the most part it's going to be those young kids."
• The D-backs Double-A Mobile affiliate rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit to force a decisive Game 5 in the Southern League Championship Series. The BayBears dropped the finale, however, ending their hopes of a recording three straight titles.
Class A South Bend, meanwhile, fell in the Midwest League Championship Series.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.