7/10/2013 10:32 P.M. ET
Tucson vet Parker is D-backs' All-Star hero
By Tyler Emerick / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Major League Baseball and People Magazine announced the 30 winners of the "Tribute for Heroes" campaign on Wednesday, with Margo Parker of Tucson, Ariz., selected to represent the D-backs.
All of the winners, who were voted on by fans nationwide, will participate in All-Star Week festivities that includes a private tour of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a VIP reception on the Intrepid, All-Star Red Carpet Show Presented by Chevrolet, Chevrolet Home Run Derby and being honored during the pregame ceremony leading up to the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field, which airs Tuesday on FOX beginning at 4:30 p.m. MST.
Parker was the first woman in California to enlist in the military after Congress passed a law allowing women to sign up for service. Years later, she and her husband each received orders for Desert Storm while they had six children at home in Tucson. Ultimately, Parker was able to serve locally while her husband deployed to the United Arab Emirates.
Today, Parker is retired from the Air Force, but she still works full time for her children and 14 grandchildren.
The "Tribute For Heroes" campaign supports Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of Major League Baseball and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which addresses the needs of veterans after they return from service. Major League Baseball has committed more than $23 million for grants to hospitals and clinics that provide post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment to veterans and their families in a public/private partnership with "Centers of Excellence" at university hospitals throughout the country.
The complete list of "Tribute For Heroes" winners and their full stories can be found at TributeForHeroes.com.
Ailing Chavez to see minimal action before break
PHOENIX - A day after being a late scratch from the D-backs lineup with right hip stiffness, veteran infielder Eric Chavez said Wednesday he is available to play if the club needs him while he treats the injury.
"It's OK, but we're just so close to the All-Star break," Chavez said. "So I'm going to try to be careful."
Chavez initially felt the discomfort after Monday's game, then while warming up to play Tuesday the hip stiffened up on him.
"We'll minimize his activity right now, but he can play," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We'll err on the side of caution, though."
After missing nearly all of June with an oblique injury, Chavez is batting just .226 in 31 at-bats since coming off the disabled list. He was hitting .325 prior to going on the shelf.
Martin Prado started at third base on Wednesday.
Gibson likes Putz's progress
PHOENIX -- D-backs manger Kirk Gibson said J.J. Putz is throwing the ball better every time he pitches, but he isn't ready to insert the veteran back into the closer's role.
"He's a work in progress right now," Gibson said. "His velocity is good; his splitter is really good; he's keeping the ball down. He's coming along; he has worked well."
Putz missed nearly two months with an elbow injury then blew a save in his second appearance off the disabled list on July 1, prompting Gibson to rearrange his bullpen again while the right-hander figured things out. Since then, Putz has worked 2 1/3 scoreless innings while his velocity has ticked back up to around 93 mph.
• Trevor Cahill (right hip) will throw a bullpen session Thursday at the club's Spring Training facility in Scottsdale while Brandon McCarthy (shoulder) will work a simulated game there on Sunday and is scheduled to throw between 60-65 pitches.
• McCarthy, who faced hitters at Chase Field on Tuesday, took batting practice on Wednesday. McCarthy has been out with shoulder inflammation since May 31.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.