Diamondbacks reliever Takashi Saito moved one step closer to returning Thursday night by making his first rehab appearance with Single-A Visalia.
Starting for the Rawhide, Saito faced four batters in one inning of work, allowing a single and a walk before a double play ended the inning.
Saito, 42, has been sidelined with a right calf strain since April 4, when he tweaked the calf stretching before an exhibition game. Saito went through drills at Chase Field on Wednesday, and D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he's not worried about Saito's arm, just his ability to perform fielding tasks like covering first base.
"We signed him because we know what he's capable of doing," Gibson said. "We want to put him in a position to do that consistently. I don't want him short term, I want him long term. That's my goal."