The Arizona Diamondbacks are now 3 ½ weeks into the season, and they’re looking forward to getting some players back from the disabled list sometime in the near future. On Thursday, manager Kirk Gibson gave an injury update on several key players, including second baseman Aaron Hill, outfielder Jason Kubel and infielder Willie Bloomquist.
Hill was put on the 15-day DL with a broken left hand that he originally injured when he was hit by a pitch on April 9 against Pittsburgh. Gibson said Hill is doing as much as allowed at this point in time.
“He’s got a broken hand. He’s working out and done what he can do. He’s played catch, turned double plays, run the bases, but he can’t swing a bat or really catch a ball right now,” said Gibson Thursday. “I mean he could, but we don’t want him to be out any longer than he needs to be out.”
Hill last played in a game April 14 against the Dodgers.
Veteran infielder in Willie Bloomquist is a different story. The 35-year-old started the 2013 season on 15-day DL with a strained right intercostal muscle, which is near his oblique. He suffered the injury in spring training at the end of March.
“Willie bunted and he asked if he could start slashing. He just started taking batting practice, I think today was the first day,” said the skipper. “He’s playing in games, he’s playing in the field, and he’s running the bases. He’s getting closer but he has a ways to go.”
Outfielder Jason Kubel is also making his way back from injury and he could be the player who comes off the DL the earliest. Kubel has been sidelined with a strained left quadriceps. He suffered the injury April 5 against the Brewers in Milwaukee, but was not put on the 15-day DL until April 13.
“He’ll play the field pretty soon. He’s swinging the bat, he played this morning. Maybe by the end of the weekend or maybe by early next week we think about maybe sending him out somewhere. What’s the next step to prepare him to come back here? It’s getting close to that, he’s the closest,” said Gibson.
Kubel was the designated hitter in an in-camp game today (Thursday) at Salt River Fields, and he’s expected to play again on Saturday.
Last but not least, the D-backs are anxiously awaiting the return of center fielder Adam Eaton. Gibson did not give an update on Eaton, who has been on the DL with a strained left elbow since spring training. He started a throwing program last week and throws every other day. He also began hitting back on April 4, and has been serving as a DH in extended camp.