PHOENIX -- Cast off from the Blue Jays and Rangers early in his career, former D-backs infielder Ryan Roberts burst onto the scene in the desert and built a strong relationship with Arizona fans during his tenure with the club from 2009-12.
So when the 32-year-old returned to Chase Field with the Rays on Tuesday for the first time since the D-backs traded him to Tampa Bay last July, Roberts got a bit emotional reminiscing about his past.
"It was just different here because they made me who I am, I went from being a nobody to 'Tatman,'" said Roberts, referencing the nickname D-backs fans gave him due to his abundant body art. "Just seeing the fans again and to be on the field where it all started everything for me, it's just cool. I'm very blessed to be able to come back."
Roberts was a big part of the D-backs' 2011 team that came from relative obscurity to win the National League West. He hit .249 that year with a .341 on-base percentage, 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in 143 games.
Following that memorable postseason run, Roberts thought the core of the squad would be together for a while. But in the two seasons since, the D-backs have traded not only Roberts, but also the likes of Justin Upton, Chris Young and, most recently, Ian Kennedy.
"That's how baseball goes, that's why it's such a luxury to be on a team year-in and year-out," Roberts said. "You think it'll last forever but it doesn't. You start thinking about how much you take for granted. It's just crazy, it really is."
Montero taking it slow in recovery from back strain
PHOENIX -- D-backs catcher Miguel Montero had an epidural injection in his lower back Friday and rested through the weekend before returning to the training room Tuesday. While Montero said he hopes to be ready for the club's next road trip beginning Aug. 16, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said that the catcher is "not close."
On the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 29 with a lower back strain, Montero was told by doctors to stay away from baseball activities so the inflammation has a chance to subside.
"It's hard to get it [inflammation] down when I'm swinging a bat and going day to day," Montero said. "So far, so good. It feels better. I did a bunch of core exercises [Tuesday] and I felt really good. Obviously there is still time to go, though. The worst thing I can do is reinjure it."
Montero is hitting .228 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 92 games this season.
Cahill struggles in second Triple-A rehab start
PHOENIX -- Making his second rehab start for Triple-A Reno, right-hander Trevor Cahill struggled Tuesday and will need at least one more outing in the Minors before a potential return to the D-backs rotation.
Cahill, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 1 with a right hip contusion, allowed one run through four innings Tuesday against the Marlins' Triple-A affiliate. He was lit up in the fifth and eventually exited after surrendering six earned runs on six hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old served up two homers, including one to the opposing pitcher. He threw 82 pitches.
"He ran out of gas in the fifth, he didn't throw the ball good after that at all," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He threw OK to that point, then he got tired."
Gibson added that he would like to see improved results from Cahill before the club activates him.
"We want better than that," Gibson said. "He didn't hang in there very good last time."
Before getting hurt, Cahill was 3-10 with a 4.66 ERA.
• Although the D-backs haven't finalized a decision, manager Kirk Gibson said Tuesday the club will likely go with a four-man rotation this week. Due to an off-day on Thursday, the D-backs don't need a fifth starter until Aug. 13 against the Orioles. Arizona will probably skip Zeke Spruill and send Patrick Corbin, Brandon McCarthy and Wade Miley to the hill against the Mets this weekend.
• Rehabbing from a broken left hand, Willie Bloomquist was cleared to take ground balls and play catch Tuesday. The veteran infielder will visit hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Sunday and could begin hitting next week. Bloomquist has been sidelined since June 28.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.