Let's get the "good" out of the way first. Bloomquist is nearing a return, and is currently rehabbing with the Reno Aces as he comes back from a strained oblique which has kept him out of action for the entire season to date. He's looking pretty ready, having gone 5-for-11 in three games, with seven runs driven in. With one walk and no strikeouts, he has reached base safely twice in each contest. Perhaps giving some kind of indication where he'll be playing when he returns, Bloomquist has been at second-base in all three games. However, as John noted the other day, the long-term situation, once Aaron Hill returns, is considerably murkier for Willie.
And now, the "not so good", though perhaps this also deserves to be labeled "could have been worse", considering there were real fears after the setback last week, that Eaton would require Tommy John surgery and be lost for the rest of the season. That does not appear to be the case at this point: he had another MRI last Wednesday, and there did not appear to be any additional damage, with the discomfort due to fluid bulid-up. A team statement the following day said, "It was determined he has irritation to the UCL but no structural damage was found. He is expected to go through two to three weeks of strengthening exercises, then begin a throwing program."
In other words: basically, a reset for his recovery. Eaton said he was going to get a second opinion from the renowned Dr. James Andrews early this week, which is kinda concerning: just as, whatever you ask WebMD.com about, you've got cancer, it seems that any time anyone sees Dr. Andrews, the result is Tommy John surgery. Manager Kirk Gibson was his usual phlegmatic self: "You don't get disappointed -- it's just what it is. When guys are ready to play, you make decisions how they fit into the schematic of trying to win ballgames. "Until they are, you don't put the cart ahead of the horse." Eaton, of course, was upbeat as normal:
We will be back stronger than ever. Minor "speed" bump. Thank you for all of the positive thoughts! #GoDbacks— Adam Eaton (@AdamSpankyEaton) May 22, 2013
Hill's attempt on the record for Slowest Healing Fracture Not Initially Detected continues. and I'm tempted just to copy-paste last update. He's due to see the doctor again at the start of this week, but there has been little change. Said Hill, "Same old stuff. Yeah it's frustrating, because I want to play. It's what I'm supposed to do. It's what I love to do... As I've gotten older, I always try to find the positive in things. I'm getting to see my little girl grow up every day, which is awesome for me, but at the same time, I want to be on the field. I see these guys having a blast, and I'm like, 'Man, I want to be out there.'" He's at Chase when the team is here, and rehabs at Salt River when they're not.
At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if we might see Hudson take the field for the Diamondbacks before Hill: it seems that all Aaron's progress has been diverted by the baseball gods (injury department) to Hudson. He is working on a regular rotation schedule, which means he pitched last Thursday in extended spring training, and will do so again tomorrow. If that goes well, it's possible he could then be looking at beginning a rehab assignment in the minor-leagues, which could then last up to 30 days, possibly leading to a return to the roster before the All-Star Game in mid-July.
Hudson, however, is being his usual cautious self: "It's just day by day at this point. Just see how I feel and go from there. There's really no set schedule, except for when I'm supposed to throw. And if need an extra day, we'll take an extra day, or if I need an extra five days, we'll take an extra five days... I just try not to look at it too much and just concentrate on getting better and hopefully getting my command up to par to where I need it to be to be competitive up here and get my arm strength and stamina up." Interestingly, the piece also says he has tweaked his delivery mechanics, with the aim of reducing the stress on his shoulder and elbow.
Our closer appears to have begun the process or rehabilitation from his sprained UCL, after a couple of weeks of pure rest. Gibson told reporters that JJ is now playing catch at 90 feet and down strengthening exercises, but is appears there has been absolutely no timetable placed on his return to this point. The reliever said, "It's still too far out to even like figure out games and stuff. But we're definitely progressing in the right direction." With it currently approaching three weeks since he was hit the Disabled List on May 8, it does appear this one will run a little longer than the similar issue last season, when Putz missed exactly four weeks.
And an honorable mention to Ian Kennedy, who became the first member of the Diamondbacks rotation to miss a start in 2013, after cutting his hand on a knife while washing dishes. He should be good to make his next start against the Cubs in Chicago. Apparently, he was already barred from doing any work on cars, and one wonders if this was a cunning move to avoid further household chores! It appears he's not the only D-back to have encountered a knife, with Wade Miley bearing a scar on his hand from a similar incident a few years ago. However, Wade got his in typically Miley-esque fashion, while carving his name into a tree...