PHOENIX -- D-backs left-hander Joe Saunders threw 51 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday and pronounced himself ready to return to the rotation.
The D-backs, however, might choose to have him make a Minor League rehab start.
Saunders threw 17 pitches and sat down to simulate an inning break and then did the same thing two more times.
"He threw the ball good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "A lot of life in his arm a lot of arm speed. We'll see how he feels tomorrow and see from there."
Teammates Henry Blanco, Lyle Overbay and Ryan Roberts stood in against Saunders.
"It felt great," Saunders said. "It felt great to get back on the mound. It was a little weird throwing to my own hitters, but they said it was coming out good. My arm felt amazing so hopefully I can get back out there ASAP."
Saunders was scratched from his start June 22 against the Cubs when he was unable to get his shoulder loose while warming up in the bullpen.
"I want to just be sure, that's all," Gibson said about his reasoning for wanting Saunders to make a possible rehab start on Sunday.
"I want to come here and pitch for the club and start contributing again," Saunders said. "I don't know what the plan is, but we'll talk about that. I feel like I'm ready. I feel like I can pitch soon like even this week so we'll cross that bridge when we have to."
Hill collects two more hits in bid for Final Vote
PHOENIX -- Aaron Hill certainly didn't do anything Tuesday night to hurt his case for winning the MLB.com Final Vote presented by Firestone.
Hill went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored in the D-backs' 9-5 loss to the Padres at Chase Field.
Teammates wore T-shirts emblazoned with #FinHillVote during batting practice as a way of showing their support.
At the end of the third inning there was an announcement made in the ballpark asking fans to take out their mobile phones and text in votes for Hill.
MRI reveals slight oblique strain for McDonald
PHOENIX -- D-backs infielder John McDonald said an MRI taken Monday showed a slight strain of his left oblique.
"It's not very severe, but still you don't know how long it takes so we'll just have to wait and see," McDonald said. "Until I swing pain free, it does me no good to rush a time frame."
The D-backs did not waste any time. They placed McDonald on the 15-day disabled list.
It turns out the injury was not recent. McDonald said he thought it happened when he tried to break up a double play while the team was in Kansas City in mid-May.
"It's just been nagging ever since," McDonald said. "It finally got a little worse and I couldn't get it out of there."