ATLANTA -- D-backs infielder Willie Bloomquist was pleasantly surprised when he woke up in his Atlanta hotel room Friday.
Bloomquist's ailing left hand had made considerable progress. Bloomquist was hit in the hand by a pitch Wednesday night, and even though X-rays were negative, he woke up Thursday to more swelling and pain than he expected.
Friday was a different story.
Bloomquist played catch Friday and gripped, but did not swing, a bat as well.
"A lot closer," he said of being able to swing. "I would have said yesterday there was no chance of anything yesterday, but today I put a glove on and grabbed a bat. I don't know if I can swing yet."
The D-backs must be convinced, because instead of putting Bloomquist on the disabled list to make room for Eric Chavez, they designated Eric Hinske for assignment.
D-backs activate Chavez, designate Hinske
ATLANTA -- After watching third baseman Eric Chavez play for Triple-A Reno on Thursday, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers sent manager Kirk Gibson a text message.
"He said he watched him, he's swinging the bat good, he feels nothing and he kind of wanted to push that [move] through," Gibson said. "All these games are important, he's a very good player for us when he was healthy and we thought it was important that he was on this team if he was ready to play."
So Chavez was activated from the disabled list, and infielder Eric Hinske was designated for assignment, which means the D-backs have 10 days to trade or release him.
Chavez was a key contributor offensively for Arizona before injuring his oblique muscle while taking a swing May 30. At the time of the injury, Chavez was hitting .325 with seven homers and 25 RBIs in 114 at-bats.
Hinske, meanwhile, played sparingly. He made just three starts all year, two at first base and one as designated hitter. Of his 58 plate appearances, 48 were as a pinch-hitter, and he batted .173 overall.
The addition of Chavez -- just days after the return of second baseman Aaron Hill -- gives the D-backs more pop in their lineup.
"I think we're going to have more offense," Gibson said. "You add two guys like Chavez and Hill that can hit the ball out of the park, so it adds another element, maybe takes a little pressure off us. Before, it was always manufacture, manufacture and maybe the occasional home run."
To get Chavez playing time at third, Gibson will likely give Martin Prado some time at second, which would allow him to give Hill more rest.
"I'll figure it out," Gibson said. "I told you guys I like to rotate guys."
Putz likely coming back to D-backs Saturday
ATLANTA -- The D-backs expect to activate closer J.J. Putz from the disabled list Saturday.
Putz pitched in back-to-back games for Triple-A Reno on Monday and Tuesday. The right-hander was placed on the DL May 8 with a strained elbow.
Heath Bell has closed in Putz's absence and is 13-for-15 in save opportunities over that stretch.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson was asked Friday if Putz would immediately reclaim his closer's job.
"I haven't said that," Gibson said. "I've got to talk to J.J. about it."
Gibson did say that he would probably stay away from using Putz on back-to-back days initially.
Consistency key to Cahill rebounding
ATLANTA -- Maybe there is not a mechanical issue with D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill after all.
Cahill met with manager Kirk Gibson and pitching coach Charles Nagy following another rough outing in Washington on Tuesday.
"We were talking, and it's just like I know what I have to do," Cahill said. "Just kind of thinking too much. Just do what's comfortable. Just find something that feels comfortable and go with it."
Both Cahill and catcher Miguel Montero said that Cahill's arm slot seemed to change during his loss to the Nationals.
Cahill is 0-4 with a 9.30 ERA in June, and he has one more start left in the month. That's Sunday against the Braves.
Avoiding the temptation to tinker with his mechanics is a constant battle for Cahill.
"It's tough, because I'm always trying to get better and more consistent," Cahill said. "Because even when I'm going good, I'm trying to cut down on the walks, which usually is a consistent thing. Sometimes it just comes down to the simple fact that I need to make better pitches."
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.