Drew, Saito, Blum continue to make strides

Drew, Saito, Blum continue to make strides

Drew, Saito, Blum continue to make strides
PHOENIX -- Three injured D-backs players performed well and held up during their last rehab games as they make their ways back to the Major League team.

Reliever Takashi Saito threw a perfect eighth inning with one strikeout on Friday night in Tucson while pitching for Triple-A Reno. He is currently rehabbing a nagging calf injury sustained in Spring Training and isn't expected back with the D-backs in the near future.

"He threw the ball well, starting to throw the ball better," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He'll travel with [Reno] and start segueing into a normal role, like somebody in the bullpen."

Also with the Aces, shortstop Stephen Drew, battling back from breaking his ankle last season, went 1-for-4 on Thursday and is expected to start and play nine innings Saturday.

"He made some nice plays," Gibson said. "I heard about it. He looks good, doesn't he? He's getting close, but I don't have a date. He wants to play back-to-back days."

Infielder Geoff Blum, who strained his left oblique during batting practice on April 18 and is currently on the 60-day disabled list, collected two hits on Saturday, including a home run in an extended spring training game at Salt River Fields. The veteran still isn't playing defense.

"He's getting ready to hit full-go both sides," Gibson said. "He's got to play for a while, he'll become an everyday player and get him up to speed."