The Arizona Diamondbacks held a two and a half game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West to begin the month of June. Almost hard to believe considering how much the injury bug has plagued the team. Cody Ross and Jason Kubel have made their way back into the dugout since battling injuries to start the season and Didi Gregorious has been special despite two different disabled list stints.
However there are still substantial players the are sidelined with injury but are starting to progress in the healing and rehab process.
Everyone was looking forward to the first full season of one of the top Diamondbacks prospects, Adam Eaton. But his spring training ended early with a UCL sprain in his left elbow. Eaton made it to the rehab assignment stage for his elbow but experienced a set back after playing 16 games with AAA Reno and A+ Visalia hitting .190 (11-for-58) with 3 doubles, 6 RBI, 5 walks. Eaton felt irritation in his elbow which sent him back to Phoenix but there is no structural damage. He will have two to three weeks of strengthening exercises, then throwing program
One of the biggest blows to the team was losing Aaron Hill early in the season to a broken left hand. On Saturday in Chicago, Hill took 40 swings off a tee and is could take live swings as early as next week. On May 28, had CT scan, that mildly improved after review after full 6 weeks of healing time. He is going to proceed with strengthening followed by swinging and see how it responds in the next two weeks.Hill has only played in 10 games in 2013 and hit .306 (11-for-36) with two home runs and six RBI.
The Tommy John surgery process for Daniel Hudson will take it’s next giant step this week. After three extended spring training starts including his last one that saw him throw 74 pitches in six full innings of work, he will now hit the road and join the AA Mobile BayBears. He is slated to make his first start on June 4th against Jacksonville and on June 10th against Tennessee. He joins the rotation with one of the Diamondbacks top prospects, RHP Archie Bradley who if you haven’t seen, has been unbelievable so far this season. Hudson is progressing well and it approaching the one year anniversary of the surgery coming up in July. It is still expected he will be back after the All-Star break.
Not that the Diamondbacks have closer issues of late with how well Heath Bell has performed. He has only blow one save since taking over the gig in the 9th. But J.J. Putz and his strained right elbow is improving and is scheduled to throw off mound June 9th or 10th and have two to three sessions before live games. When he does return to the team, it will be interesting to see how manager Kirk Gibson handles the closer situation considering the success of Bell and the struggles of Putz before he was placed on the DL.
All good news as it pertains to those players. The injuries blows have continued with a hot Eric Chavez (oblique) and also Brandon McCarthy (right shoulder inflamation) landing on the 15-day DL this week.
But again with all this said with these important names, the Diamondbacks still stand in first more than two months into the season.