Owings, Mathis making progress in rehab

Owings, Mathis making progress in rehab

SAN FRANCISCO -- With just 2 1/2 weeks left in the regular season, two injured D-backs are working their way closer to contributing this season.

Before Friday's game in San Francisco, manager Torey Lovullo said the team had received "good news" recently on both shortstop Chris Owings and catcher Jeff Mathis as each work to return from hand injuries.

"We're optimistic that, the longer we play throughout the course of the season, the closer they're going to be able to get back and help us out," Lovullo said.

Mathis is traveling with the team on the road trip, working to recover from his fractured right hand after getting hit by a foul ball in New York on Aug. 21. He's set to visit with hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan when the team returns to Arizona after this road trip for a follow-up.

"He's initiating some gripping and hand strengthening and we're excited about that," Lovullo said. "We want to try and get him back as quickly as we possibly can, and we know things are going in a positive direction."

Mathis is on the 10-day disabled list, meaning he's still on the 40-man roster and could be activated at any time. The veteran had been splitting catching duties with Chris Iannetta and Chris Herrmann and was batting .213 in 183 at-bats before getting hurt.

After fracturing his middle finger when hit by a pitch July 30, Owings has been doing some running and fielding and will start doing grip strengthening drills with a bat.

Owings leaves the game

While he's not ready to swing yet, he's on track to return from the 60-day disabled list when he's first eligible Sept. 29, the Friday of the final weekend of the regular season.

J.D. Martinez was scratched from the starting lineup of Friday's series opener vs. the Giants with left neck stiffness.

• While Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) isn't doing baseball activities yet in his rehab process, Lovullo has relished seeing him around the clubhouse when the D-backs are home.

"It's the positive demeanor, the smiling and the interactions that I'm really enjoying," Lovullo said. "I know that the first month was a frustrating time when he was walking through. To see him come out of the other end with a positive attitude is always nice for me to see."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.