The Arizona Diamondbacks again started without shortstop Stephen Drew today against the Chicago Cubs (in progress), but they plan to have him back soon. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports Drew is "hopeful" he can play Friday in the Diamondbacks’ home opener versus the Cincinnati Reds.
A strained abdomen has limited Drew, whom D-backs manager Kirk Gibson called "one of our better players," to one pinch-hit appearance this season; he drew a walk. Abdominal injuries are tough to forecast, which is why Arizona has declined to put Drew on the Disabled List. This decision keeps him eligible, but also makes the Diamondbacks short a bench player.
Drew hit .278 with 15 homers and 61 RBI last season, his fifth in the majors. As SB Nation colleague Scott Schroeder pointed out, Willie Bloomquist has played well filling in for Drew. Bloomquist, the leadoff hitter, homered in the first inning today against the Cubs. His 1-for-4 performance so far brought his average down to a still-hot .357.