SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs outfield prospect Alfredo Marte may not be swinging the bat in Spring Training the way he'd like to, but his development in camp has caught the eye of manager Kirk Gibson, who can see him gaining poise on a daily basis.
"He's moving around more now, feeling more comfortable, not worried about making a mistake," said Gibson. "He's relaxing and just starting to play. You can tell he's getting a lot more confidence."
In 14 spring at-bats entering play Sunday, Marte has collected just three hits. Last year with Double-A Mobile, however, the 23-year-old posted a .363 on-base percentage and drove in 75 runs.
Gibson added that the language barrier between some of the coaches and the Dominican Republic native has caused some issues at times, but that Marte has been eager to listen, regardless.
"He's picking up some things," Gibson said. "You have to make it a point to communicate with him, but he's right there."
Sore calf limits Ross to one at-bat vs. Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs right fielder Cody Ross returned to the lineup Sunday against the Giants after missing two days with a sore left calf, but left the game after three innings, saying he still felt some tightness in the area.
"It's all right, I felt it a little bit," he said. "I didn't want to push it since it's only March 3. Nothing to panic over, just stuff happens in Spring Training."
The 32-year-old, who signed a three-year deal with the D-backs in the winter, said he might need a couple more days before he's able to try out the calf in a game again.
"Possibly," he said. "We'll see, we'll go evaluate it."
The outfielder doesn't recall a certain moment when the injury originally happened, just that it gradually started to bother him. He added that he didn't remove himself from the game on Sunday, instead it was manager Kirk Gibson who made the decision.
In facing his old team for the first time since leaving the Giants at the end of the 2011 season, Ross struck out against Barry Zito in his only at-bat. With the game being played at a sold-out Scottsdale Stadium in front of thousands of Giants fans, Ross received healthy applause when he came to the plate.
"It was nice, they were welcoming," he said. "I got a warm ovation when I came out, it's a good feeling."
Hill rests for second straight day
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The D-backs gave second baseman Aaron Hill another day off on Sunday after the club scratched him from the lineup on Saturday with left quad tightness.
"There is some discoloration there," manager Kirk Gibson said. "I talked to [managing general partner] Ken [Kendrick], and at this point in the spring, we just decided to not have him play."
Hill, who signed a 3-year, $35 million deal in the offseason, is 4-for-13 so far this spring with three doubles.
"If it was in the season, he'd be playing," said Gibson. "That's how serious it is."
• It's no secret the D-backs experienced their fair share of issues on the basepaths last season, as well as this spring. Predictably, the club has worked to fix that issue during camp, but manager Kirk Gibson said it's up to the players to decide how much better they want to get.
"It's up to them if they want to focus on that and make us a better team," he said. "We've worked on a lot of things and they really only help a few inches or maybe a foot if you're really good at it, but we've seen plenty of plays where it's been that close."
• Like many of the other new players on the roster this year, reliever Tony Sipp and the Arizona coaching staff are still adjusting to each other during camp.
"We're just trying to learn him, watch how he pitches," Gibson said. "You can tell he's open-minded, he wants to get better. By the time we get to the end of Spring Training, hopefully we'll have a good idea of each other."
Sipp has tossed two scoreless innings this spring, allowing three hits and striking out two in the process.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.