After being beaned by a pitch during the Colorado series last Friday, the good news is, Didi cleared medical tests for concussion on Tuesday, and has resumed full baseball activities, as of yesterday. Said manager Kirk Gibson, "He'll take ground balls, swing and do everything today except play the game." Interesting to read exactly what the tests entailed: "answering 20 questions correctly, then exercising under light distress and answering the questions again." He is eligible to come off the 7-day concussion DL on Saturday, and there seems little point in leaving him on there. Outfielder Alfredo Marte seems the most likely to be sent down, as we're currently carrying five OFs.
Bloomquist is over at SRF, taking part in extended spring training. He took batting practice for the first time on April 25, and played three innings in a game that same day. He played again at Salt River two days later, but there hasn't been any word since. Willie seems to have been as enthusiastic as ever, according to Gibson last week: "Willie bunted and he asked if he could start slashing. He just started taking batting practice, I think today was the first day." Bloomquist seems to be doing everything else, not hampered by his strained ribcage muscle. "He's playing in games, he's playing in the field, and he's running the bases. He's getting closer but he has a ways to go."
Spanky is also currently in extended spring training, throwing every other day, but hasn't returned to playing the field there - he has been getting reps in as the designated hitter instead. He's still some way off being ready to rejoin the team, with a minor-league rehab stint still necessary - that could start pretty soon, however. Initially, as in extended spring training, he'll be the DH there as well: the current plan says that. "around May 15-20, he'll begin building up innings in the outfield." Once he has proven himself there, he'll be ready to be fully activated, depending on team need. Though the admirable way A.J. Pollock and Gerardo Parra have stood in, there may not be as much of a rush.
There was, however, disappointing news for our Silver Sluggin' second-baseman, as his hand is still in a splint. Hill suffered a surface fracture on his left hand, after being hit by a pitch from James McDonald - the damage wasn't immediately clear, and it was almost week later before he was put on the DL. The estimate in mid-April was 4-6 weeks, and it seems more likely to be the latter at this point: "I think in another week he'll go back," said Gibson on Tuesday. "They did some strength tests and stuff. Next he'll start doing more exercises and stuff like that. I think they look to see how much the bone is regenerating. He's not there yet."
The longest saga continues, but Hudson's progress remains smooth, by all accounts. He is now on the regular cycle for a starting pitcher, throwing every fifth day, with a bullpen session on the side. His last outing was a two inning simulated situation, where he faced eight hitters in total, throwing five pitches to each, for a total of 40 in all. Kirk Gibson was there, and reported, "He was more out of the windup in his first inning (and was) just overthrowing. He came back in the second inning, threw more out of the stretch, more compact and had much better location, kept the ball down. His velocity was good. Overall, it was good." A return before the All-Star break in July seems possible.