PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson is concerned about his bullpen.
Not the way the relievers have pitched as much as how much they've had to pitch.
With the starters struggling mightily early in the season, the D-backs' bullpen has picked up the slack for the lack of innings, and it has added up particularly for Brad Ziegler, Joe Thatcher and Oliver Perez.
Ziegler appeared in 16 of the team's first 30 games while Perez has seen action in 15 and Thatcher 14.
"They've thrown a ton," Gibson said. "I worry about them. That's why the other day against Philly I pretty much just sat most of those guys down. I worry about their careers and their well being."
So far the workload has not negatively impacted their performance. Ziegler (1.26 ERA), Perez (3.95) and Thatcher (2.53) have all thrown well.
"Those guys have been great, they've been pros, they take the ball," Gibson said. "On my part, though, I get concerned about what their future is and how long we can continue to do this. Because we count on them and if we continue to push them, we're not going to be able to count on them because they're going to break down."
Inciarte up from Triple-A, Kieschnick sent down
PHOENIX -- One night after using him as a pinch-hitter in a crucial situation, the D-backs optioned outfielder Roger Kieschnick to Triple-A Reno and recalled outfielder Ender Inciarte.
Kieschnick was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts after being called up last week. Tuesday night, manager Kirk Gibson used him as a pinch-hitter instead of Cody Ross or Martin Prado with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning. Kieschnick struck out swinging.
"Roger struggled, and [I] felt he was a little overmatched right now," Gibson said. "Just felt like he needed a little relief. Ender gives us a little different perspective defensively. He's a guy with pretty good speed so he gives us another guy like that. Just felt we should switch them out."
Inciarte can play all three outfield positions and has good speed. He was selected by the Phillies in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft and made their Opening Day roster, but was returned to the D-backs on April 4 without having appeared in a big league game.
In 26 games for Reno, Inciarte had an OPS of .807.
"He's a very good defender at all three positions," Gibson said. "He's got speed, handles the bat probably a little better. Initially we went with Roger because we felt he had a little better pop. So Ender's maybe more of a contact guy, a guy that can bunt, maybe move some runners as well. He can definitely steal bases."
Race Against Cancer set for Saturday morning
PHOENIX -- The second annual D-backs Race Against Cancer presented by University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph's Hospital will take place Saturday at 7:30 a.m. MST at Chase Field.
The 5k race will begin and end at Chase Field and will wind through the streets of downtown Phoenix.
There will also be a 1-mile Banana Boat Family Fun Walk that will begin at Chase Field at 9 a.m.
All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and will be distributed to non-profits in the state of Arizona that provide screening, treatment and support for those dealing with cancer. That includes the new Pro-State Foundation, launched earlier this week by D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall.
Fans can still sign up for the race at dbacks.com/race. Registration for the 5k is $50, and it is $30 for adults for the walk and $5 for children 12 and under.
Participants receive a finisher medal, T-shirt, drawstring bag and ticket to a future D-backs home game.
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.