PHOENIX -- It all comes down to location for J.J. Putz.
The D-backs closer struggled with his command while allowing four runs in just two-thirds of an inning Wednesday night against the Cardinals.
"He's not locating," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after that game. "Not throwing the ball where he needed to throw it. He couldn't control it."
Getting consistent work has been an issue for Putz. There was a stretch where he went six games without getting the call, yet warmed up in almost each one of those games.
Putz has two blown saves this year, including one on the team's recent 10-game road trip, when he allowed a two-run walk-off homer to the Nationals' Ian Desmond on May 2.
Gibson said pitching coach Charles Nagy has been working to see if there is something Putz is doing mechanically that is throwing off his command.
"I know Charlie watched [video of] him for a long time after that last game and again today," Gibson said. "We haven't really talked a lot about it right now. We know he's missed his location. You can see where he was trying to throw the ball and it wasn't going there. Charlie's putting a lot of time and thought into it, and we'll kind of rally up together and try to get him back on track to the way we know he's capable of throwing."
Gibson said that Putz has pretty much scrapped the cut fastball he spent the spring working on.
Hudson faces hitters for first time since injury
PHOENIX -- D-backs right-hander Daniel Hudson faced hitters Friday for the first time since going on the disabled list on April 21 with a right shoulder impingement.
Hudson threw 30 pitches to injured teammates Stephen Drew and Chris Young before batting practice.
"It was good," Hudson said. "My command wasn't as good as I would have liked, so it's something to work on."
Of course, considering that he has not faced hitters since April 18, no one expected Hudson to have pinpoint control. Well, almost no one. Hudson said his lack of command might have been acceptable to others, but, "not for me."
"I don't think he was happy, he never is," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said with a smile. "He looked good. The ball came out of his hand well. Obviously, he's not going to be that sharp."
Hudson will throw a bullpen session on Monday, and then will pitch Wednesday in an extended spring game. From there, his schedule will depend on how he feels.
The earliest he could return is May 27.
Young making progress, could return soon
PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder Chris Young continues to make progress in his rehab from a right shoulder injury.
Young played in an extended spring game on Thursday along with injured shortstop Stephen Drew, and then he took batting practice on Friday against injured pitcher Daniel Hudson.
"I'm feeling good," Young said. "I kind of base it on, not so much off results, but what I'm thinking when I'm at the plate. Am I thinking about what pitch I can swing at without hurting myself? Do I be extremely careful with my pitch selection so I don't aggravate anything? That wasn't in my mind at all. It was all just see ball, hit ball. I wasn't thinking about it, I was just swinging. I didn't feel like I was guarding it."
Young is hoping to go on a Minor League rehab assignment as soon as Monday, and if all goes well, he wants to be back in the lineup next weekend.
"Possible, yes," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said when told of Young's thoughts. "We'll see how he does when he goes and plays next week."
Young jammed his right shoulder against the outfield wall while making a catch on April 17 and has been on the disabled list since.
The biggest challenge for Young right now is throwing. On Friday, he threw to second and third base, and he hopes to add throws to home soon.
"Throwing is not 100 percent there, but every day it's getting a lot better," Young said. "A week ago, I couldn't even play catch, all the way to yesterday, when I could long toss."
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.