SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Newly signed left-hander Oliver Perez should be ready to pitch if needed on March 22, when the D-backs open the regular season against the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia.
Perez, who was signed by the D-backs on Monday, threw in a simulated game Tuesday and will make his Cactus League debut Thursday against the Mariners.
Perez will also throw an inning on Saturday, as well as in a simulated game in Sydney next week.
"I expect he'll be fine," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.
As a reliever who will be used at least initially for very short stints, it should not take Perez a long time to get his arm ready.
Cahill still sore, but on schedule
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When D-backs pitcher Trevor Cahill woke up Wednesday morning, the first thing he did was assess how his right knee felt.
"I got up, and I was like, 'Not bad,'" Cahill said.
During Tuesday's Cactus League game against the Indians, Cahill was late getting over to cover first base, and while reaching for the bag with his right leg, he jammed his knee. He immediately fell to the ground, and his teammates feared the worst.
After a few minutes, though, Cahill was able to walk off the field.
"When it happened, I was like, 'Oh, it's something structural and there goes the season,'" Cahill said. "But after I lay there for a second, I was like, 'All right.'
"It wasn't anything structural, so if anything it will just be a little sore, nothing serious."
Cahill played catch Wednesday, but whether he throws his scheduled between-start bullpen session Thursday is up in the air.
"We'll see how he comes in tomorrow," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said on Wednesday.
As of right now, Cahill is still scheduled to start Sunday against the Brewers and again one week later in the second game of the Opening Series with the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia.
Gibson said the team would have time right up until it leaves Sunday night for Australia to decide whether Cahill will start against the Dodgers.
• Shortstop Cliff Pennington was originally scheduled to be a backup in Thursday night's game against the Rockies, but he asked manager Kirk Gibson if he could start in the day game against the Dodgers instead.
Pennington wound up going 3-for-3 and was a home run away from hitting for the cycle.
"He's a gamer," Gibson said. "He wanted to play."
• The D-backs are hoping to reduce the workload of right-hander Josh Collmenter, who threw 92 innings in relief last year.
"We hope to have a bullpen where he doesn't have to shoulder the load as much," Gibson said. "Pitch a little differently. We have to figure that exact component out, though, what the makeup is."
The team would like to keep at least one other reliever capable of pitching multiple innings, such as Randall Delgado.
• Wade Miley felt good about his start against the Rockies in which he allowed one run on four hits over five innings.
"I'm making progress," Miley said. "I feel like it's easier to get up and down five times, and that's kind of what you're looking for."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.