03/16/2013 8:00 PM ET
D-backs trio set to return from Team USA
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Infielder Willie Bloomquist and pitchers David Hernandez and Heath Bell are expected to rejoin the D-backs in the next two days.
The trio played for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
Bloomquist, who got just two at-bats during his time away from the D-backs, talked to manager Kirk Gibson on Saturday.
"I told him I got you working out on Sunday and playing on Monday," Gibson said. "And he said [he's] been working out for two weeks. He wants to play. We'll see I'll try to get him in a game [Sunday]. He wants to play, needs to play."
Bell and Hernandez each appeared in two games, with Bell throwing two innings and Hernandez 1 2/3 frames. Most of their work has been done in side sessions.
"Those guys are all going to come back and they've been throwing," Gibson said. "Not in games as much as they would have been if they had been here in Spring training, but their arms are in good shape and none of them are hurt, and we'll certainly get them ready for the season from this point forward."
Kennedy pulled from game with leg injury
PEORIA, Ariz. -- D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy was forced to leave his Saturday start earlier than planned after being struck in his left leg by a line drive off the bat of Jedd Gyorko in the fourth inning.
The ball caught Kennedy just below his knee and ricocheted to first, where Paul Goldschmidt stepped on the base for the out.
Rather than have Kennedy test out the leg and throw some practice pitches, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson immediately removed him, not wanting his ace to risk further injury in a Spring Training game.
"That was hit pretty hard," Kennedy said. "It could have been a lot worse. I'm glad I didn't rub it or go down. It got me pretty good. When the ball got to first base, that's when the pain set in. I knew if I stopped walking it would hurt even more. When I got to the dugout and sat for five seconds it started to get stiff."
During his five-minute session with reporters, Kennedy's leg noticeably swelled, but he said he did not think it would prevent him from making his next spring appearance. Kennedy is slated to start Arizona's April 1 opener against the Cardinals.
Kennedy allowed one run to the Padres through his first three innings Saturday and retired the first hitter in the fourth.
That's when things took a turn for the worse. He allowed a walk and then back-to-back homers before getting injured.
"My arm felt good," Kennedy said. "My location wasn't great, especially on the homers. I felt like I was getting ahead and then I couldn't finish off with my pitches. I'm not happy with how my command was. Curveball wasn't that great, didn't throw many changeups, but health-wise overall felt strong."
Except, of course, for the welt on his leg.
Recovery from calf injury coming slowly for Ross
PEORIA, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was not prepared to say Cody Ross would not be ready in time for Opening Day, but it does seem the outfielder's injured left calf is coming along slowly.
The team initially had hoped that Ross would begin weight-bearing activity March 18 or 19, but Gibson said that is not going to happen.
"It's just been slow," Gibson said. "He's done really no full weight-bearing stuff running-wise. He's not ready for it. I think he went in the pool yesterday. I think the next step will be the Ultra G [treadmill], which they can unload some of the weight when he runs."
Ross, who was signed to a three-year, $26 million deal this offseason, has not played since being removed early from a March 3 game against the Giants.
The D-backs still think there's a chance that Ross will not have to start the season on the disabled list.
"I don't know," Gibson said. "I hope so, but if he's not, then I know there's somebody else who wants his spot."
• Tyler Skaggs struggled with his command and walked four in just 2 2/3 innings against the Padres on Saturday. It's been a tough spring for the left-hander, who is trying to win the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he believes Skaggs was thinking too much on the mound Saturday as a result of his struggles this spring.
"He's just not throwing the ball well," Gibson said. "He's very mechanical, he's thinking a lot. He just didn't throw the ball well so I had to get him out of there. He's got a lot on his mind so we've got to try and free his mind up. We try to be positive with him. I know he's being really hard on himself and I know he was trying to correct some stuff out there today.
"You live and you learn. I think he probably feels pretty bad about what's going on right now. I told him when I went out there that this is as bad as it gets, you'll be fine. You'll live and learn. You've got to go through it, nobody enjoys it, but it will make him a better pitcher and probably a better person."
• Wade Miley, who was scratched from his last start with tightness in his bicep, will throw in either a "B" game or a Minor League game rather than a Cactus League game Monday.
• Shortstop Didi Gregorius will start over in Minor League games in six of the next seven days as the D-backs try to get him more at-bats. Gregorius has not been able to play in the field due to an elbow issue. He will likely make his debut in the field in another week or 10 days.
Gibson said Gregorius is on target to be ready to start when the Minor Leagues open the second week in April