Parra progressing but no timetable for return

Parra progressing but no timetable for return

ATLANTA -- Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra did running drills on Thursday and fielding work on Friday in his effort to return to the lineup after sustaining a left high-ankle sprain on June 14.

"He was running around, ran the bases yesterday and looked good," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I don't have anything as far as a rehab assignment, but he's progressing nicely."

Parra, 29, joined the Rockies over the offseason on a three-year, $27.5 million contract. He batted .263 with five home runs, 27 RBIs and 29 extra-base hits, but he had just a .274 on-base percentage. The Rockies are expecting him to find his form and give the offense a lift.

Resplendent in brown: The 80s Padres-themed brown, gold and orange All-Star motif either drew smiles or guffaws, depending on the beholder. But Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who was seen on the television for a bit during the Home Run Derby, gave the look a thumbs up.

Gonzalez said it looks "strange" to wear something other than Rockies black, purple and silver, but he thought the Pads' look was the best of his three All-Star Games.

"I kind of liked the idea of the brown one, looking back to the old days," Gonzalez said. "They did a great job matching everything -- the high pants. Some players like me never wear pants up, but doing something different that day was a great idea by MLB.

"I would say the Mets, the orange one that we used in 2013 was cool. That's one and two, and No. 3 was the Royals' [2012]. That's the only one left."

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An upward cycle: Weiss said the plan with catching prospect Tom Murphy, at Triple-A Albuquerque, is to work on his defense and to loosen up. The latter advice is in more ways than one. He has a tall, tightly muscled frame that creates some challenges with handling low pitches, and Weiss said "he beats himself up pretty good, is hard on himself; getting him to the point where he can relax through some of the struggles is easier said than done."

Murphy, who went into Friday night on a 15-for-20 hot streak, hit for the cycle on Thursday night against Memphis.

"That'll loosen you up a little bit," Weiss said.

Progress slow with Castro: The Rockies continue to be careful with righty reliever Miguel Castro, who had a strong beginning but has struggled since sustaining a right shoulder injury in mid-April.

Castro, 21, has made just two appearances since being sent to Albuquerque on June 25. The second was on Thursday, when he gave up a run on two hits in one inning.

"He's a guy we're trying to get back to form," Weiss said. "He was inactive for a little bit when he went down to Triple-A, and he's working his way back. It's a process with him. We've been pretty careful with him and erred on the side of caution with him, and he's pitching again."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.