PHOENIX -- Trevor Cahill's last four starts have been in Sacramento, Calif.; Reno, Nev.; Tacoma, Wash.; and Albuquerque, N.M. -- all a part of life in the Pacific Coast League, where Cahill has been stationed since the middle of June.
Cahill, a former All-Star, hasn't played a Major League game in more than a month.
But he will look to start his second chance, and the D-backs' second half, on the right foot when he gets the ball against the Cubs on Friday night at Chase Field.
"I wasn't contributing as much as I could, so [I got] a chance to go down there and work out some kinks and hopefully come back up here and contribute," Cahill said.
"I felt more comfortable as it went on. We tried different things. I had some good ones. I had some bad ones."
After getting bombed in a start for Class A Advanced Visalia -- going two innings and giving up four runs -- Cahill was promoted to Reno, where he was inconsistent.
In his first three outings, he gave up two runs twice and three runs once. But then Cahill found a bit of a groove, stretching out and going six innings and 5 1/3 innings without surrendering a run. However, he went only four innings and gave up four runs on five hits in his last Minor League start.
"I think he's just been getting built up," manager Kirk Gibson said. "One game he threw the ball really good and got tired. He's up over 100 pitches, now. … His last start, he didn't have very good control."
Said Cahill: "The last game, I didn't feel all that comfortable. I threw a bullpen and I felt a lot better."
Cahill said he worked on throwing out of the stretch while he was in the Minors. While he was with the D-backs earlier this season, opponents' batting averages jumped from .193 with the bases empty to .390 when there were men on base.
"Out of the windup, I've been feeling pretty good. Just the stretch wasn't very consistent," he said. "I just went back to in-between where I started to go and where I used to be. Hopefully it works out."
Players feeling rejuvenated after the break
PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero spent time in Minneapolis with the National League team in the All-Star Game, but for the rest of the D-backs, the All-Star break was a welcome reprieve from a first half marred by injuries and losing streaks.
"It always does [refresh the team]," manager Kirk Gibson said Thursday. "When you get a chance to go back and take time out and spend time with your family and do what you want, I think it's special.
"Guys grind every day when the season's going. Our season's been tough."
Montero said his time at the All-Star Game -- the second of his career -- was a good time.
"Unfortunately we lost the game," he said. "But I enjoyed it."
Gibson said that the short break has already had a positive effect on the team before they've played their first second-half game.
"They've come in; they're happy; they're relaxed," he said. "You wish we could play relaxed. That's a bonus. We'll start out that way tomorrow."
But for some players, the off-days may have a cooling effect.
Outfielder Mark Trumbo just got back into the lineup after missing nearly three months with a stress fracture in his left foot.
After going 1-for-9 in three games against the Giants before the break, Trumbo got time off and is now trying to get back into the swing of playing nearly every day.
"I was glad to get a few games in before the break, though," Trumbo said. "That was kind of one of the goals I had.
"Three days -- that's enough to throw anybody's timing off. Albeit, I haven't been in there as much as these guys, but a break's a break, so I think everyone's kind of dealing with the same thing."
Adam Lichtenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.