03/27/2013 6:17 PM ET
Kubel's ankle fine in Minor League test
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs outfielder Jason Kubel played in a Minor League game Wednesday and pronounced his left ankle good to go.
Fellow outfielder Cody Ross, who is expected to begin the year on the disabled list with a lower leg strain, also hit in the game, but did not run the bases.
Kubel twisted his ankle coming out of the batter's box in Tuesday night's game and had to be removed.
Kubel went 4-for-7 in the Minor League game with a pair of home runs and he ran the bases to test the ankle.
"I ran them a little easy and then realized it was feeling pretty good and started running more and felt pretty good," Kubel said.
The spring has been a struggle for Kubel, who is hitting just .150 and has had to deal with a sore knee and then the ankle.
"It felt good to hit some balls," Kubel said Wednesday. "It definitely helps to get as many at-bats as you can. I think today helps with confidence a little bit. I'm just hopefully looking forward to getting the next couple of days out of here healthy. I've been battling things all spring so hopefully everything starts feeling good and stays that way."
Bloomquist headed for DL with oblique strain
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of his right oblique muscle and will start the season on the 15-day disabled list.
"Kind of what I was expecting," Bloomquist said. "It's unfortunate, it's not good news, but it's a speed bump and I'll have to work around it and get healthy and hopefully it won't be too long."
Bloomquist said he does not know how long the injury will keep him out. When he had a more significant oblique injury in the past, it took a month and he said he hopes this one won't take as long.
Bloomquist injured his oblique when he swung and missed at a pitch in Tuesday night's game. He was immediately removed following the pitch and had an MRI performed Wednesday that showed the strain.
"It stinks, frustrating, but there's not much I can do about it," Bloomquist said Tuesday night.
Bloomquist's absence makes it likely that veteran utility man Josh Wilson could make the Opening Day roster.
• With outfielder Adam Eaton starting the year on the disabled list and Ross seemingly a lock to do the same, that opens the door for outfielder A.J. Pollock to make the team. It also means that the D-backs will likely choose between Alfredo Marte and Tony Campana for the final outfield spot.
Campana has the big league experience, but the D-backs like what they've seen of Marte, who had an .886 on-base plus slugging mark last year at Double-A Mobile.
"He swings the bat, he's got real good hands," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's really improved a ton; he's improved his outfield play. I just see kind of a pure hitter. He's got a great attitude -- what's not to like? He's certainly a prospect for us."
• One aspect of the team that appeared set was the bullpen, but Gibson hedged just a bit there Wednesday.
Gibson said J.J. Putz, David Hernandez, Heath Bell, Brad Ziegler and Josh Collmenter were set. However, while it's been assumed that Tony Sipp and Matt Reynolds would be the two lefties in the bullpen, Joe Paterson is still hanging around.
"I don't think it's totally set," Gibson said. "We still have three lefties in camp and there's a question how we go from there."
It's hard to imagine that Sipp would not make the team given his 2.70 ERA this spring and big league track record. Reynolds has struggled this spring with a 9.64 ERA, but he, too, has a solid Major League performance history.
• Gibson said pitching and defense will win the National League West.
"We have to pitch good, we have to defend good," Gibson said. "I think we will score our share of runs. We'll be able to manufacture more runs than we have in the past. We probably won't hit as many home runs. If we don't pitch, we're going to be just like everybody else that doesn't pitch, we're not going to have a good shot at all."