D-backs to take it easy upon return home

D-backs to take it easy upon return home

SYDNEY -- The D-backs are expected to arrive in Phoenix sometime in the late afternoon Sunday, and they will be told to stay away from the Salt River Fields facility and take Monday completely off.

On Tuesday, the team will hold a light workout before resuming its Cactus League schedule against the Cubs at home at 1:10 MST on Wednesday afternoon.

The D-backs will have a total of five exhibition games before the regular season reopens on March 31 at 6:40 p.m. MST against the Giants at Chase Field.

"We'll play everybody, just try to rotate them," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of the exhibitions. "Won't play them very long."

The team's medical staff measures each player's variable heart rate and compares it to a baseline mark to gauge how they are responding to the stress.

"We'll be totally focused on recovery," Gibson said. "We've been taking their readings here, and when we came here they were really abnormally low. It's just hard on your system, so we probably won't push them as hard while we're in recovery from the trip. I think one of theories is you're more susceptible to injury when you tax your body like that. Hopefully by the time we get to the game Monday [March 31] we'll be ready to go."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.