PHOENIX -- Out of the four D-backs position players on the disabled list, Jason Kubel is the closest to returning to action, according to manager Kirk Gibson.
The outfielder, who went on the disabled list on April 13 with a strained left quad, played Thursday in an in-camp game as the designated hitter at the club's Spring Training facility in Scottsdale. Kubel is scheduled to play again Saturday, perhaps in the field, and then the D-backs will evaluate the next step to take with him.
"Maybe by the end of the weekend, maybe by early next week, we'll think about sending him out somewhere," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Thursday, referring to an official Minor League rehab assignment. "He's getting close to that."
Kubel, eligible to come off the DL on April 28th, was batting .333 with two homers and six RBIs before being sidelined.
As for the other three injured D-backs (Adam Eaton, Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill), they all are making strides as well, but are still a ways off from rejoining the active Major League roster.
Like Kubel, Eaton (elbow) and Bloomquist (oblique) are also playing in games at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. While Eaton is only serving as a DH, Bloomquist is playing in the field and running the bases.
"He's getting closer," Gibson said of Bloomquist. "But he has a ways to go."
Hill, who suffered a broken hand on April 9, is the least active of the bunch, still not swinging a bat or playing catch right now to let the injury heal.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less