Owings hopes to help D-backs come October

Owings hopes to help D-backs come October

PHOENIX -- Watching his teammates position themselves for the postseason has been a joy for D-backs shortstop Chris Owings.

Not being able to contribute since fracturing his right middle finger on July 30, however, has been agony.

Owings is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list Sept. 29, and his rehab progress suggests that he'll likely be ready to return. He is scheduled to visit hand specialist Don Sheridan on Monday.

For now, he continues to do his work. He's been able to run the bases and take grounders at short. The final piece will come when he's cleared to hit.

"Just a lot of grip stuff, trying to get that strength up for when I do start hitting," Owings said. "Hopefully I start incorporating in some baseball activities, like hitting off the tee, and hopefully it's a pretty good progression from then on."

The D-backs entered Wednesday's matchup against the Rockies with a three-game lead for the first National League Wild Card spot. Should they hold on and make the postseason, the biggest hurdle for Owings will be to try to find a way to get enough at-bats to be sharp. The Minor League seasons will have ended, and the D-backs' Instructional League doesn't get underway until Sept. 25.

"Who knows, go to a high school or travel-ball league?" Owings joked about potential other options. "Wherever I can get at-bats, I'm just happy to be getting close. It's tough going from playing from February and then everything just kind of stops all of a sudden right before August. Just trying to help the team as much as I can from the bench and hopefully they can keep it going. It's been fun to watch."

Coming close
In the first two games of their series with the Rockies, D-backs jack-of-all trades Daniel Descalso came up to bat twice late in the game, and both times he flied out to center.

On Monday, just before flying out in the eighth, Descalso hit a ball down the line that would have been a homer had it not hooked foul.

"I knew I hooked it, but it was staying fair longer than I thought, and then as it got towards the foul pole, it kept hooking," Descalso said.

Then Tuesday night, Descalso pinch-hit in the ninth and flied out to deep center.

"I just caught it a little bit out front so I didn't quite have that stay through on it," Descalso said. "I hit it good, but not as good as I would have hoped."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.