After a month on the disabled list, third baseman Eric Chavez was activated Friday by the Diamondbacks, who designated veteran Eric Hinske for assignment to make room on the roster.
The 35-year-old Chavez was hitting .325 with seven homers and 25 RBIs when he strained an oblique muscle while batting against the Rangers on May 30, and he had been on the disabled list since. He is expected to return to the cleanup spot behind All-Star candidate Paul Goldschmidt, a role he filled regularly before his trip to the DL. Chavez, who signed with the D-backs as a free agent last winter, also has just one error and a .984 fielding percentage this season, ranking fifth among all third basemen in the majors.
Hinske, also 35, hit .173 (9 for 52) with a homer and six RBIs in 52 games for the D-backs, almost all of them in a pinch-hitting role. He signed with the D-backs just two days after Chavez did in December, but with Chavez, Goldschmidt and Martin Prado taking most of the playing time at the corner-infield spots and some roster decisions necessary with players coming off the DL, Hinske was deemed expendable.
The D-backs have 10 days to trade or release Hinske outright.
After the moves were announced, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said closer J.J. Putz is scheduled to arrive from Triple-A Reno on Saturday. In four rehab appearances at Reno, Putz allowed one run, two hits and three walks while striking out four.
Another roster move will be required in order to activate Putz, who has been on the 15-day DL since May 8 with an strained elbow ligament.