PHOENIX -- The text messages from catcher Miguel Montero come with more and more frequency to D-backs' manager A.J. Hinch and others in the organizational hierarchy.
"He's making sure that I know and everybody knows he's ready to come back," Hinch said with a smile.
Montero is itching to return to action after being on the disabled list since injuring his right knee on April 11.
"His knee feels great," Hinch said. "His back, his legs, the baseball soreness of Spring Training has set in a little bit, but he feels great."
Following a stint in extended spring training, Montero has played two games for Triple-A Reno going 3-for-7.
"He can hit in his sleep," Hinch said.
The key then for Montero is to be able to catch a full game. Tuesday he caught seven innings, Wednesday was an off-day for Reno and it's possible Montero could catch nine innings Thursday. If he's able to do that it is not out of the realm of possibility that he could be back by the end of the homestand Sunday.
"He needs to do that before we even consider bringing him back," Hinch said of Montero catching nine innings. "We do need him to be ready to go and not be unavailable for any days after he comes back. When he comes back he needs to be able to answer the bell every day. Maybe not catch nine innings every single day, but be available."
Gutierrez working on mound delivery
PHOENIX -- Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. continues to try and find ways to get D-backs' reliever Juan Gutierrez straightened out.
The right-hander has been a huge disappointment this year. After an outstanding finish to last season and a scoreless Spring Training, Gutierrez entered Wednesday's game with an 0-5 record and a 10.24 ERA in 22 games.
The latest idea from Stottlemyre is to have Gutierrez pitch strictly out of the stretch even when there are no runners on base. It was something he tried for the first time Tuesday night.
"In a windup sometimes it gives guys too much time to think," Stottlemyre said.
Gutierrez allowed a run on two hits in his one inning of work Wednesday, but Stottlemyre is hoping to build on the fact that he was not flying open with his front shoulder as much.
"I'm looking for every little sign of him coming out of this funk he has been in," Stottlemyre said. "We're going to keep working."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.