D-backs mindful of Saito's workload

D-backs mindful of Saito's workload

D-backs mindful of Saito's workload
PHOENIX -- Three appearances into his season, D-backs reliever Takashi Saito is performing well at the ripe age of 42, but the club is still working to make sure it doesn't wear him down with too many innings.

"With Saito, we're worried about his durability because he's older," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's something we've talked to him about."

Since coming off the disabled list on Saturday, Saito has tossed three innings and allowed just one hit and one unearned run.

Last season with the Brewers, Saito pitched on consecutive days just once. The D-backs are hoping to continue that trend, but the pitcher made it known to Gibson he can pull off double duty if the team needs him.

"He said he could do it," Gibson said. "But he's just coming back so I'm trying to stay clear of it right now. But if we get into an extra-inning game and we run out of pitchers, he's going to pitch."

On normal rest, Saito's role with the D-backs is equally up in the air. Gibson said the team might use him anywhere between the sixth and ninth innings.

"It just depends how he feels," Gibson said.