Hernandez eyes return from Tommy John

D-backs reliever, out since 2013, set to be activated from DL

Hernandez eyes return from Tommy John

PHOENIX -- Friday felt like the first day of spring training for D-backs reliever David Hernandez.

After spending the last three weeks on a rehab assignment with several Minor League affiliates, Hernandez was back in the D-backs clubhouse. The right-hander is ready to be activated from the disabled list, which D-backs manager Chip Hale said will happen either this weekend or early next week.

"Just seeing all the guys again, it's been so long. I feel good," Hernandez said. "I got some quality games in facing good hitters, just getting back out there and facing competition was just a breath of fresh air really."

Hernandez hasn't pitched since 2013, missing all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is 12-12 with a 3.42 ERA in three seasons as a reliever for the D-backs.

The D-backs reliever pitched at both High Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile on his rehab assignment. Hernandez pitched back-to-back days on Tuesday and Wednesday for Mobile, and has received three days off after pitching consecutive days.

Hale said if Hernandez is not activated during this series against the Mets, he will be during the three-game series against the Dodgers that begins in Los Angeles on Monday.

"We've had him do everything so he can pitch important innings for us," Hale said. "I'm sure when he gets out there on the mound the adrenaline will take over and you'll see a little more excitement out of him hopefully."

In addition to his elation about his return to the D-backs clubhouse, Hernandez was optimistic about how he feels physically as he gets closer to his return to a Major League mound.

"I actually feel really good, better than I did before surgery," Hernandez said.

Worth noting

• Starter Patrick Corbin (Tommy John surgery) will begin his rehab assignment on Monday with High Class A Visalia. Corbin threw a bullpen session on Thursday and is nearing his return to the D-backs after missing all of the 2014 season.

Yasmany Tomas was in the starting lineup in the outfield on Friday for the D-backs for the first time in his career. Tomas, who has played 30 games at third base in the absence of injured Jake Lamb, has played just two innings in left field this season. He batted fourth and started in right, which is the outfield spot Hale said the rookie felt most comfortable in.

• Lamb has played for Triple-A Reno the past two days, going a combined 3-for-8. He is scheduled to play at least two more games there before returning to the Majors.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.