The Arizona Diamondbacks face a tall task in their quest to get a much-needed home series win. The defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals are 17-11 and showing no signs of slowing down after letting Albert Pujols walks.
For the D-backs, the watch word right now is to "keep pushing" according to manager Kirk Gibson and to keep an eye firmly planted on the training room calendar to see what four key players might be available to return to the field. Here's an update on the injury status of the walking wounded.
-- Daniel Hudson (shoulder) is feeling feeling good and will throw a bullpen session on Tuesday. From there he is scheduled to go on a rotation that includes simulated games every five days starting at 50 pitches and then progressing to 75 with bullpen sessions in between. If all goes well, he could be back at the end of the month of May.
-- Chris Young (shoulder) is hitting and throwing but according to Gibby, he's "come a long way, but has a long way to go." If everything goes well with him, he might start playing in rehab games next week. So at best, if seems like he's two weeks away barring setbacks.
-- Stephen Drew is slowing progressing and "making progress" with his games in extended spring training. He's up to four innings but he's yet to slide (despite previous reports) and is experiencing stiffness and soreness in his repaired ankle. He's working on his defense and hitting so he can start seeing the release point on the ball after having not played for 10 months.
"I've came a long way, I've worked hard at it. It's good just to see, finally, some bounce back out there working hard and seeing some payback for it," Drew said.
There was no timeline given for his return, but it's hard to think he's closer than a month away. He'll need to progress to full games on a daily basis with all baseball activities (including sliding) before he would start a process of rehab games to get up to game speed.
-- Takashi Saito (calf) is still only throwing from flat ground. No timetable was given but there certainly doesn't seem to be any rush to bring him back. It's almost as if at his age, 42, the team is "saving" him for late in the season and the playoffs.
The D-backs used the opportunity of being back home to refresh on a five-man infield defensive alignment that could be used in some late-game bunt, or running on third situations.
Paul Goldschmidt is hitting better and has seen his bat speed increase during the run. He's out of the lineup Monday due to a "bad head cold".
Cody Ranson will continue to get playing time since the team needs his bat right now and he's hitting well. Ryan Roberts will play, but Gibby wouldn't say how much. They are trying to get Roberts back to where he's been in the past.
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