PHOENIX -- Not willing to play shorthanded while he recovers, the D-backs placed infielder Willie Bloomquist on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a strained lower back and promoted infielder Jake Elmore from Triple-A Reno.

Bloomquist missed six consecutive games last week with the same injury before playing two games in Pittsburgh. The 34-year-old was penciled in the lineup Thursday but was a late scratch when the injury flared up again.

On Friday, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said the team would keep Bloomquist active and evaluate him day to day, but the club went in the opposite direction. The move is retroactive to Thursday.

"We can't play short," Gibson said. "I can't wait another four or five days and not play him. It just wasn't healed. Now he can take time and calm it down."

Before the injury, Bloomquist was having a career season, batting .300 and scoring 46 runs.

The veteran infielder became the first Arizona State alum to play for the D-backs last season. Coincidentally, Elmore will become the second Sun Devil to play for the club when he makes his debut.

The 25-year-old was selected by the D-backs in the 34th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

In 108 games with Reno this season, Elmore hit .344 with 73 RBIs, 95 runs and 32 stolen bases.

"He's had a great year down there, and he can play all the positions," Gibson said. "He can put the bat on the ball, we kind of live and die by the home run too much, so to have a guy who can put the bat on the ball and do some things is good."

Gibson said Reno manager Brett Butler called Elmore the best two-hole hitter he's ever coached. The two shared a special moment when the manager told Elmore of his promotion on Friday.

"He called me in, he had a mad look on his face and he was telling me about some mistakes I made, but then he told me I can work on it in the big leagues tomorrow," Elmore said. "He started tearing up and I let out a shout."

In the D-backs clubhouse before Saturday night's game, Elmore admitted the feeling still hasn't sunk in, but he's trying to enjoy the moment.

"I think I was floating above my body for a while," he said. "Everything I've heard, this is a great clubhouse and a great group of guys. They're in the chase, just a few games back. I'm going to do anything I can do to tell help and get them there."

D-backs bring back Shaw, designate Zagurski

PHOENIX -- A day after allowing four earned runs in the ninth inning, relief pitcher Mike Zagurski was designated for assignment on Saturday and the D-backs recalled Bryan Shaw from Triple-A Reno.

The move leaves the D-backs without any left-handers in the bullpen.

"I know [general manager Kevin Towers] has been doing this a long time," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have righties that get lefties out. We just have to approach it differently. There have been bullpens without lefties that have done well."

Shaw appeared in 43 games with the club to begin the season, but the D-backs sent him to Reno on July 22 after he allowed 10 runs (eight earned) over a 4 1/3-inning stretch.

The 24-year-old is 1-4 with a 4.26 ERA on the season.

At the time of his demotion, the D-backs told Shaw they wanted him to work on throwing his cutter less because he was becoming predictable to hitters. The righty said he did just that and feels much more confident attacking the plate.

"I tried to mix up my pitches so I could keep the hitters off balance," he said. "I worked on my splitter more. Hopefully all those tools will help."

In eight relief appearances with Reno, Shaw surrendered two runs in eight innings while striking out 10.

"Giving up 10 runs like I did kicks you in the butt a bit, so going down and having good results definitely helped my confidence," Shaw said. "It's always good to be back here."

Zagurski had a 6.18 ERA in 32 games this season. He was claimed by the D-backs off waivers from the Phillies on Sept. 22, 2011.

Johnson glad to finally arrive at new home

PHOENIX -- Traded on July 29 from Houston, D-backs third baseman Chris Johnson played his first 10 games for the club on the road.

The 27-year-old lit up box scores during the span, collecting four homers and 16 RBIs. But even though he thrived away from Chase Field, Johnson was more than happy to play his first game at his new home park Friday.

"I was pretty pumped up. It was kind of like my first game with the team again," Johnson said. "I was excited and I had the nerves going, but I settled down a little bit."

Johnson had the D-backs' only hit off Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg, a single that drove home a run and tied the game.

Earlier on Friday, clubhouse attendants gave the third baseman a tour of the D-backs' facilities for the first time, causing a few teammates to do a double-take.

"It was strange, a lot of guys were coming in saw me seeing everything and they were like, 'You haven't been here yet?'" Johnson said. "It feels like I've been with the team for a little while now, but I haven't been here, so I'm glad to be home."

Worth noting

• D-backs pitcher Josh Collmenter, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with ulcers on Friday, remained away from the team on Saturday.

Gibson said Friday that Collmenter became ill shortly after the team returned home from Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"I can't comment on it anymore," Gibson said. "It's a personal matter."