PHOENIX -- The D-backs are still not sure when closer J.J. Putz will be able to return from the back stiffness that shut him down Friday, but the team did get a boost when shortstop Stephen Drew returned to the lineup on Sunday against the A's and third baseman Geoff Blum should be back in the next few days.
2010 Spring Training - Arizona Diamondbacks
News & Features
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Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Putz was scratched from his appearance on Friday when he suffered back stiffness while warming up.
"He's improved," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Putz. "Possibly thinking about letting him play catch [Monday]. That's kind of where we're at right now."
So is he encouraged by that?
"Could be worse, yeah," Gibson said. "Doesn't mean he will [play catch]. But our guys are pretty good and they wouldn't even be thinking about that if they thought it was something in a bad area. That's not to say it couldn't be something worse than they think."
Drew, who left Wednesday's game with abdominal tightness, played four innings and got a pair of at-bats on Sunday.
"It felt all right," Drew said. "I still feel it, not as bad. Just going day-by-day and doing a lot of work on it. Hopefully in the next day or two it will start to go away."
Drew said he was hopeful he would play again on Monday.
"I'd like to just to keep seeing the pitches and keeping track of everything," Drew said. "I feel really good so I don't want to lose that feeling at the plate."
Blum was going to have his right knee re-examined on Monday. The veteran experienced some swelling in the knee last week and the team has been cautious with him since.
"I've been doing hitting and throwing and stuff, but the doc said that running and ground balls might irritate it a little more so I'm trying to hold off on that for a little bit until I see him again [Monday] and get the OK," Blum said.
Upton suffers jammed knee against A's
PHOENIX -- D-backs right fielder Justin Upton left Sunday's 4-2 split-squad win over the A's in the fifth inning after jamming his right knee, but said he does not believe the injury is anything serious.
"It's going to be sore, but I don't think it's anything that's going to be too crazy," Upton said. "I didn't hear any cracks, pops or anything like that."
The injury occurred when Upton raced into the right-field corner to field Eric Sogard's triple in the bottom of the fifth.
"I was trying to cut the ball off, slipped a little and jammed my knee," Upton said.
Upton will be re-examined by the team's training staff on Monday.
"It's a scary thing," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of seeing his best offensive player limp off the field. "We don't want to lose him by any means."
Enright spinning towards rotation spot
PHOENIX -- After a little encouragement from his second baseman, D-backs right-hander Barry Enright settled in after a lackluster first inning on Sunday against the A's, to once again put together a good outing in his bid to win one of the final two spots in the rotation.
In the first Enright allowed a run on a pair of hits and a walk and when he left the field after the third out Kelly Johnson told him to pick it up.
"A little lethargic, I came out with bad tempo in the first inning," Enright said. "It got better from there. Obviously, you're not going to have your best stuff at least 50 percent of the time during the year, so you have to learn to throw when you don't have your best stuff."
Enright, who allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts in five innings on Sunday, is battling with Armando Galarraga and Aaron Heilman for the final two spots in the rotation.
"No question about it," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said when asked if Enright was putting together a strong case to win a spot.
In five starts this spring he has yet to allow more than two runs in a game, the only D-backs starter that can say that.
"It's not something I'm not trying to worry about right now," Enright said. "Just like I've said the whole time, that word compete, I'm just going to keep doing it until they take the ball out of my hand. I feel confident that I'm going to be here, I want to be here, I think we have something special here. I like being the underdog and being able to sneak up on people."