DENVER -- The biggest battle for Jarrod Parker these days is not with the work associated with coming back from Tommy John surgery, but rather having the patience to deal with the process.
The D-backs' top prospect threw off a mound last Monday for the first time since last October's surgery.
Parker, the club's first-round pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, threw 25 pitches, all fastballs, with the catcher crouched 55 feet away.
"It felt great," he said. "I have to tell myself to take it easy because it feels so good."
For right now, the plan is for Parker to throw similar sessions Monday and Friday each week, long toss Wednesdays and work in the weight room Tuesday and Thursday. He is rehabbing at the team's training facility in Tucson where he has spent most of the past eight to 10 months.
"We're starting to bump things up," the 21-year-old said. "I'm just trying to stay patient."
Struggling Gutierrez getting break
DENVER -- What do you do about Juan Gutierrez?
That was the first question D-backs manager A.J. Hinch was asked during his pregame meeting with the media Thursday afternoon.
"I am going to give him a little bit of a break," Hinch said. "It's a little perplexing to watch a guy with that kind of stuff have this kind of start to the season."
Gutierrez, who allowed homers to the first two hitters he faced Wednesday, has a 10.00 ERA in 20 games. In 18 innings he has allowed nine home runs.
"You try to nurse confidence back in him," Hinch said. "Sometimes you do that by continuing to throw him out there and other times you do it by backing off and letting him take a breather. It's important to get him back on track."
Hinch said he is talking about a couple of days not a prolonged period of time.
One option that does not even seem to be under consideration right now is trying to send Gutierrez to the Minors. Because he is out of Minor League options, any attempt to send him down would involve exposing him to waivers where he could be claimed by any club.
"Yeah, he's got too much upside to think that we'd give up on him," Hinch said. "I don't even want to speculate on that process because I don't think it's an option."
Sore thigh hurting Reynolds again
DENVER -- Mark Reynolds is experiencing soreness in his right thigh again.
The D-backs third baseman was bothered by a similar problem earlier this season when he injured the thigh running into a railing while chasing a foul ball. Reynolds took a day off April 21 and had a team off day April 22 as well which seemed to help the injury heal.
Reynolds said he felt the injury again over the past week when he took a swing. It does not affect him in the field, but does at the plate. He has been icing it after games.
"It bothers me when I swing and [run]," Reynolds said. "It feels about how it did when I hurt it earlier."
Although Reynolds came into Thursday's game hitting just .232, he has been very productive. He is tied for the National League lead in homers with 12 and is getting on base at a .340 clip.
D-backs' offense struggles vs. Rockies
DENVER -- Sure, the bullpen struggled in one of the games against the Rockies and Dan Haren did not turn in a good outing Sunday.
But the D-backs' offense deserves some of the blame for the three-game sweep at the hands of the Rockies.
The D-backs scored just seven runs in the series and were 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
"We don't need to pin this loss on Dan Haren," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said after Thursday's defeat. "We didn't do a very good job against [Jason] Hammel today."
Hammel fanned eight in just 5 1/3 innings to match his career high, and the D-backs wound up striking out 14 times in the game and 23 times in the series.
"That's not a productive offense for us, and we're better than that," Hinch said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.