5/18/2013 6:45 P.M. ET
Healing D-backs could create crowded roster
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Through the first six weeks of the season, the main challenge for the D-backs was finding a way to overcome injuries to key players.
Over the next six weeks, the challenge for general manager Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson will be how to find room for all those players when they begin to return from the disabled list.
Having too many good players is a situation the D-backs welcome, especially since they entered Saturday night tied for first place in the National League West, despite the injuries.
"No, I'm not really worried about it," Gibson said. "If we have guys, we'll find places for them to play. As we bring back some of these guys, we'll get stronger in areas and it allows guys to go hard and then take a break and it will allow somebody else to go hard. That's the way it is. The team has a good mentality about that. They play hard when they get in there. That's what you want. You want to have great strength and depth."
Outfielder Adam Eaton (elbow) is getting closer to returning. He played in the outfield Friday night for the first time on his rehab stint and could be back by the end of the month.
Right-hander Daniel Hudson faced opposing hitters for the first time Friday and it appears he may be able to return from Tommy John surgery sooner than the original target date of the All-Star break.
Shortstop Willie Bloomquist (intercostal) could also be back by the end of the month, as he is getting ready to join a Minor League affiliate for a rehab stint.
There's no set timetable yet for second baseman Aaron Hill, whose broken left hand is healing slower than hoped, and closer J.J. Putz, who is dealing with a strained right elbow.
Until the players are actually ready to be activated, Gibson and Towers are not going to start thinking about how to make room on the roster.
"Situations can change," Gibson said. "Right now, with all these guys, we want to get to where they're healthy and ready to play at a high pace and well. When we get there, then you consider the other portion of it."
Goldschmidt blocking out newfound praise
MIAMI -- Look at the statistical leaders in Major League Baseball these days and you'll find D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt's name littered at the very top.
Goldschmidt leads the Majors in Wins Above Replacement with a 2.8 mark and is second only to Chris Davis in both OPS (1.077) and slugging percentage (.656).
Suddenly, Goldschmidt is being mentioned among the best players in the game in the media. So what does he think about that?
"I don't hear any of that," Goldschmidt said. "I don't read anything."
Goldschmidt slugged a pair of home runs on Friday as part of a four-hit night. When he returned to his Miami hotel room following the game, he flipped on the TV to watch some baseball highlights before turning in for the night. Well, all but one that is.
"Our highlights came on and I changed the channel," Goldschmidt said. "I don't watch, whether it's me doing good or bad. You don't want anything to get in your head. Some guys probably watch it and it doesn't bother them, but for me there's so much mental stuff going on in this game that I just try to keep as much out of my head as I can."
So while requests for interviews might be rising like his home run total, Goldschmidt takes it all in stride.
"It's just part of the game if your team has success or you have individual success you get more attention for whatever reason," he said. "It's just part of the game. I mean, if you don't do well, people forget about you pretty quickly, so it's just the nature of the game. Always for me, it's about just understanding there's ups and downs during the year. Remember the successes when you're going through the struggles and try to keep some confidence."
Corbin returns to site of first big league win
MIAMI -- For D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin, Marlins Park will always be a special place.
It was there April 30, 2012, that Corbin made his big league debut, a 9-5 win in which he allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
"Your first game in the big leagues is probably one of the most exciting moments in your life," Corbin said. "I just remember my parents being here and being able to watch me throw. I remember getting the win that day, too, so that was awesome."
Corbin had arrived in Miami the day before his start and spent that night sitting in the stands behind home plate with general manager Kevin Towers as Wade Miley pitched.
"Looking back, I was nervous as can be and really excited and happy to be here," Corbin said.
Corbin has certainly come a long way in a little more than a year. Entering Saturday's game, he was near the top of the National League leaders in ERA (1.52) and wins (a perfect 6-0).
"Now, I feel like I belong here and can go out there and be myself and know I can get these guys out," Corbin said. "I'm a lot more comfortable."
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.