Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly throws against the Chicago...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Phoenix. Credit: AP/Matt York

SAN FRANCISCO — Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly, a standout performer during the 2023 postseason, was scratched from his scheduled start against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday with an injury to his pitching shoulder.

Kelly underwent an MRI in San Francisco but is expected to have another on Monday in Phoenix. Kelly said he has a strain of the teres major.

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said the team has not decided on Kelly's immediate future, including a potential trip to the injured list.

Kelly said he felt discomfort on “four or five throws” while playing catch Saturday and immediately told team athletic trainers.

“It’s a really light sensation, but in my mind I feel like I can just tell it was different than something usual,” Kelly said. “Obviously during the course of the season, during the course of our lives, we’ve all felt things in our arm when we’ve let go of a baseball. I think at this point in my career I’m pretty decent at being able to tell the difference on what’s OK to keep going through and then what’s not.”

Kelly's injury comes two days after the Diamondbacks placed starter Ryne Nelson on the injured list with a bruised pitching elbow. Nelson was hit by a line drive off the bat of the Giants' Mike Yastrzemski in the series opener Thursday night.

Kelly is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA in four starts this season. He was the Diamondbacks’ No. 2 starter and played a big role in the club's successful pennant run last October. He contributed one win each in the NL Division Series against the Dodgers, the NL Championship Series against the Phillies and the World Series against the eventual champion Texas Rangers.

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly works against the Colorado...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly works against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Denver. Credit: AP/David Zalubowski

The 35-year-old has been one of Arizona's best starters since debuting in 2019 after spending four seasons in Korea.

Diamondbacks rookie Slade Cecconi started in place of Kelly on Sunday and earned the win after allowing two runs over six innings in a 5-3 victory.

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