Drew to start rehab assignment on Thursday

PHOENIX — After an extensive rehab period in the

Diamondbacks’ extended spring training, shortstop Stephen Drew is ready to take

an important step with a minor league rehab assignment this week.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said before Monday’s game that Drew, who suffered a

fractured right ankle July 20 of last season, is expected to join triple-A Reno

on Thursday for a series in Tucson against the Padres’ triple-A affiliate.

“We’ll see how he does,” Gibson said. “With extended (spring

training) he’s afforded more latitude in preparing for the game and in the

game. Now he’s going into games. He’s going to play a game. He’s not going to

lead off every inning, he can’t be jogging down to the bases. He’s going to be

playing in a competitive game.”

The length of Drew’s rehab assignment with Reno will depend on how he reacts in

the competitive environment. The maximum allowed number of games on a rehab

assignment is 20, but if both sides agree more time is needed, the assignment

can be extended.

 

“He’ll be there for a while,” Gibson said. “He’s had a

substantial injury.”

Drew was at Chase Field on Monday to take infield practice and hit before the

D-backs opened a series with the Colorado Rockies. He wrapped up his stint with

the team’s extended spring training team over the weekend, playing back-to-back

games, which Gibson said he came out of “fine.”

Reliever Takashi Saito, on the disabled with a strained calf since the end of

spring training, is also expected to begin rehabbing with Reno on Tuesday after

throwing in an inning of extended spring training Saturday.