DENVER -- Chris Young is not sure exactly when he will return to the D-backs lineup, but he knows it's not far away.

"It's getting to the point where you can smell it. I don't have an exact date yet, though," Young said. "Believe me I want to be out there so bad."

The next step for Young is a stint with Triple-A Reno. He was flying there Wednesday and hoped to be ready to play Thursday.

The D-backs would like to have Young, who was their best hitter when he injured his shoulder crashing into the wall April 17.

In three games with Class A Visalia, Young went 4-for-13 with three doubles, a grand slam and seven RBIs.

"It's not the results that I've been focused on," Young said. "The main thing is to be swinging pain-free and not to have any pain when I swing and miss."

It is easy to look at his success at the plate and think he is ready to be back in the big leagues immediately, but Young knows different.

"I just want to make sure I'm really ready when I come back," he said. "Hitting has definitely been the fastest to come around, but there's more I have to do. I want to really make sure my shoulder is right so that I'm able to dive, slide and throw without any hesitation. It just takes time to get everything right."

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said it is not out of the question that Young could return to action this weekend in Kansas City.

"It's possible," Gibson said.

Hudson feels good after facing Minor Leaguers

DENVER -- Daniel Hudson saw game action for the first time Wednesday when he tossed 2 1/3 innings in an extended spring game.

Hudson, who has been on the disabled list since April 19 with shoulder impingement, threw 54 pitches, 32 for strikes, and allowed a pair of earned runs against the A's Minor Leaguers.

"My arm feels great," Hudson said. "I don't know what happened to make it feel the way it did after that start in Colorado, but it's good now."

Hudson said as long he continues to feel good he will throw a bullpen session Saturday and then start for Triple-A Reno on Monday as part of an injury-rehab assignment.

Depending on how he comes out of that start, he could be activated for the May 26 or 27 game against the Brewers at Chase Field. To be able to do that, though, Hudson said the team would like him to be able to throw 75-80 pitches Monday.

"I'm just trying to focus on one step at a time," he said. "And right now the next step is a bullpen session and we'll see what happens after that. It's been all good so far."

Worth noting

• Last year the D-backs promoted outfielder Wily Mo Pena in time for Interleague Play to have him serve as the team's designated hitter. This year it does not seem like they will add a player for it.

"We haven't talked about it yet," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said.

• Closer J.J. Putz tossed an impressive ninth inning against the Dodgers on Tuesday after struggling in previous outings with his command.

The difference, according to Gibson, was adjustments Putz made in his mechanics after pitching coach Charles Nagy noticed a flaw on video.

• After a night game Tuesday in Los Angeles, the D-backs arrived in the wee hours of the morning in Denver. It seemed to leave Gibson a little giddy from sleep deprivation.

"It feels good when you don't get any rest," Gibson said. "I think it's exciting when you don't get sleep like that."

Why would that be?

"'Cause you get to be awake longer," he said.