PHOENIX -- Injured D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew played nine innings on May 15 in an extended spring training game, but when he tried to do it again two days later, soreness returned to his healing ankle.Before his ankle began acting up again, the club was planning Drew's Minor League assignment schedule. Now the 29-year-old is back to building up his innings count and taking things slower. "It was good for six innings, after that it started to feel itself," Drew said of Thursday's game. "It's nothing unusual. It's not a setback or anything, we kind of knew that all along. When that discomfort starts to go away, keep playing more and more. I'm not looking for 100 percent. The only time you're 100 percent is Day 1 in Spring Training." Drew last played in a game Saturday and lasted four innings against the Cubs. He went 1-for-2 with a double. "Overall it's done well; I'm pleased with where it's at," Drew said of his ankle. "It's been a long go at it, but hopefully not much longer. I haven't built up innings. Once I get over that, the next step will be two games back to back then hopefully go on that rehab assignment."
If session goes well, Hudson to start Sunday
PHOENIX -- D-backs pitcher Daniel Hudson returned to Chase Field on Tuesday after starting for Triple-A Reno Monday, and if his bullpen session later this week goes well, he'll likely start on Sunday against the Brewers.
The 25-year-old has been on the disabled list since April 21 with a right shoulder impingement.
"We won't need a starter until Sunday, so we'll see how Huddy comes through the week. If it goes smooth with him, he'd be a likely candidate," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're not sure on that. He'd be a guy that'd push too fast. We want to get in and watch him and make sure [he's OK]."
The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits while throwing 71 pitches in five innings at Reno.
"Everything went well, and I'm ready to go," Hudson said. "I don't feel anything at all, I don't have any pain the next day at all, it feels great."
Since the injury, this is only the second time Hudson has pitched in a game. He threw for the first time at extend spring training against the Athletics last Wednesday, when he struggled with his command over 2 1/3 innings. This time around, he felt all his pitches were working much better.
"It was much better [Monday], got back in a grove," Hudson said. "Being able to get into my workout routine, it probably helped out. [All my pitches] were working pretty good, everything."
The D-backs aren't sure exactly when Hudson's bullpen session will take place, but it'll likely be Thursday or Friday.
"I feel good, ready to go, I just might not be able to go 120 pitches Sunday," Hudson joked. "I'm sure I'll be pretty pumped up on Sunday. It was a slow process, you don't want to push anything. No setbacks, knock on wood, I was pretty fortunate."
Montero out until at least Friday
PHOENIX -- A day after D-backs catcher Miguel Montero strained his left groin in the sixth inning of Monday's 6-1 loss to the Dodgers, the club downplayed the chance of a disabled list stint but admitted he won't start until Friday at the earliest."We don't think it's 15 days, but at the same time, we don't want to push him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We'll see the treatment and the kind of relief he gets. He is a catcher though, he's got to block balls. He's not going to start tomorrow for sure." The D-backs promoted catcher Konrad Schmidt from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday as insurance while veteran Henry Blanco takes over the duties behind home plate for the time being. "We'll bring in some catching depth, take a couple days and see how he progresses," Gibson said of Montero. "He's really not that sore today, it's kind of encouraging." Gibson wouldn't completely rule out using Montero in a pinch-hitting role but said it's not likely. "We'll have to see what the situation is. You try to win a game," Gibson said. "You say I wouldn't use Miggy, and you're probably right, but I don't know about that." Montero is batting .255 on the season with two homers and 21 RBIs. He has thrown out the highest percentage of basestealers in the Majors at a .593 clip.
Corbin sent down; catcher Schmidt called up
PHOENIX -- A day after tossing 5 1/3 strong innings, only allowing two earned runs on seven hits against the Dodgers, the D-backs optioned left-hander Patrick Corbin to Triple-A Reno and recalled catcher Konrad Schmidt on Tuesday.
The move was prompted by Daniel Hudson's expected return to the rotation Sunday and Miguel Montero's left groin strain Monday.
"He's a great competitor, it was a great stay for him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He understands what he needs to work on in his command. Every starting pitcher wants to pitch deeper into games. All in all, he's very good at all aspects of the game. He's got a good future ahead, certainly a guy that gives us great depth if we need him again."
Corbin was 2-3 with a 5.27 ERA in five starts since being recalled on April 30 from Double-A Mobile when Josh Collmenter moved to the bullpen. He won his Major League debut, 9-5, against the Marlins, but his strongest outing came on May 11 vs. the Giants, when he threw seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits.
"Just coming up here was a great experience," Corbin said. "I enjoyed every second of it. I learned so much. I didn't think I'd be up this early, I'm glad they gave me a chance."
Corbin will head to Triple-A for the first time in his career and will be armed with the knowledge of what he needs to improve on.
"How to pitch hitters up here and what to think on the mound, it's a lot different than any Minor League level," Corbin said. "The hitters are a lot smarter, you can't miss your spots. We've faced guys where they don't have the velocity, but they hit their spots and you can see they've had success. That's something I'll continue to improve on."
Schmidt hit .274 with eight doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs in 31 games for the Aces. He boasted a .348 average against lefties. Montero is hitting just .108 against southpaws.
Veteran catcher Henry Blanco batted eighth for the D-backs on Tuesday, with Trevor Cahill on the mound.
Roberts puts team first, embraces utility role
PHOENIX -- Josh Bell unceremoniously took over as the D-backs' everyday third baseman Monday, relegating Ryan Roberts to more of a utility role.Yet, despite losing the starting job at the position he played in 107 games last year, Roberts is remaining upbeat about his new role on the team. "Whatever works, it doesn't really matter. It's whatever it takes to win," Roberts said. "It's better to win at the end of the day than to have personal stats and personal goals. The main objective is to win the game." Roberts batted in the two hole Tuesday against the Dodgers and played second base for the fourth time this season. "I've been taking ground balls everywhere every day," he said. "I'm not trying to do anything but play 100 percent when I get the chance. When the opportunity presents itself, go out and play." The 31-year-old struggled mightily in April, batting .152 in 66 at-bats with 15 strikeouts. He started to come on in May though, hitting .321 with eight RBIs and five runs scored. "Things changed offensively for me, but as a team, it didn't change very much," Roberts said. "We were still losing games. Personal goal was great that it turned around, but as a team it wasn't changing. Whatever changes that needed to be made to help us win, that's the goal." Roberts' fielding at third base was also a problem for the D-backs, as he had the second most errors in the Majors with six.
Note: The Dodgers' Justin Sellers on Tuesday was credited with an infield single in the sixth inning of the D-backs' 6-1 loss on Monday night on a ball originally scored as an error on Bell.