Drew set for five innings in extended spring

Drew set for five innings in extended spring

Drew set for five innings in extended spring
PHOENIX -- Injured D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew will play five innings Tuesday in an extended spring training game, the longest he's gone since fracturing his right ankle last July 20.

"He's much improved, he's making progress," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He looks good. You can tell he's walking better, swinging the bat really well."

Drew last played in a game Saturday before taking Sunday off and working out Monday at Chase Field.

The 29-year-old still hasn't slid yet, but he said that will come in a week or two.

"It's coming along really well," Drew said. "Hopefully that pace continues. It's still sore, but at the same time it's gotten better. Not like it used to be, I've came a long way. It's good to see some bounce back after working hard."

While in the extended spring training games, Drew has been more reserved at the plate than what he's used to.

"I'm trying to get my at-bats in and get back into routine," he said. "I'm seeing a lot of pitches and I'm taking a lot of pitches I wouldn't normally take. I'm trying to get the release points. I'm not worried about it. When I get closer, I'll be more aggressive."

Like with Drew's teammates on the disabled list, Gibson is taking his time and not rushing the shortstop back.

"As much as you want it to be quicker, it doesn't work that way," Gibson said. "You advance him and see how he reacts. He's responding much better. It's more if he can do it back to back. He's structurally good, the bone is strong and the ligament is strong."