MLB News and Notes May - 17

MLB News and Notes May - 17

Oakland places Snelling on DL
May 16th, 2007

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics placed newly- acquired outfielder Chris Snelling on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a left knee contusion.

Snelling, who suffered the injury against Kansas City on May 10, was dealt from Washington for outfielder Ryan Langerhans on May 2. He has appeared in six games for the A's so far, batting .350 over that span.

He hit just .204 with seven RBI for the Nationals before the trade.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May - 17

Diamondbacks put Tracy on disabled list
May 16th, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks placed third baseman Chad Tracy on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with left rib cage soreness.

Tracy is hitting .311 with one homer and 14 RBI in 31 games this season.

In a corresponding roster move, Arizona purchased the contract of infielder Mark Reynolds from Double-A Mobile. Reynolds is expected to be in uniform for Wednesday's game at Coors Field against the Rockies.

The Diamondbacks also completed other roster moves on Wednesday, claiming infielder Jason Smith off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays, and designating pitcher Casey Daigle for assignment. The club also transferred outfielder Jeff Davanon to the 60-day disabled list with a shoulder injury.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May - 17

Boston's Beckett to miss start
May 16th, 2007

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett, the major-league leader in wins, will miss his scheduled start on Friday because of an injured middle finger on his throwing hand.

Beckett, a right-hander, suffered a torn flap of skin during his most recent start on Sunday and was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning.

"He's doing very well, very well," said Boston manager Terry Francona before Wednesday's game against Detroit. "It's just not a mistake we want to make. Missing him for a start isn't a lot of fun so you start multiplying that, we don't really want that to happen. So I think being cautious is the right thing to do, I know it is."

Beckett will instead throw a controlled side session on Friday.

"We do not have a roster move," said Francona. "Our starter is going to come from Pawtucket and where we go with Beckett (after) Friday will be determined on Friday."

Beckett is 7-0 with a 2.66 ERA in eight starts this season. He was looking to join the great Babe Ruth as one of four Red Sox pitchers to win their first eight starts of a season.

Wednesday's game against Detroit was postponed.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May - 17

Baseball Today - May 17
Thu, May 17, 2007
By Associated Press


San Francisco at Houston (8:05 p.m. EDT).

Giants rookie Tim Lincecum faces off against Astros ace Roy Oswalt.

STARS

Wednesday

-A.J. Burnett, Blue Jays, pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Toronto beat Baltimore 2-1.

-Brad Hawpe, Rockies, homered twice and drove in four runs in a 5-3 victory over Arizona.

-Hunter Pence, Astros, had four hits, including his second homer in as many games, to help Houston beat San Francisco 2-1.

-Hideki Matsui and Chien-Ming Wang, Yankees. Matsui drove in four runs and Wang pitched seven effective innings to help New York to a 8-1 win and a split of a doubleheader with Chicago.

-Jorge Sosa, Mets, pitched seven-plus innings of one-hit ball, leading New York over Chicago 8-1.

ROOKIE REWARDS

Rookie Hunter Pence homered for the second straight game Wednesday to give Houston a 2-1 victory and its first home series win over San Francisco since 1999. Pence, called up on April 27 to boost the offense, is 7-for-7 in this series and has four homers and 15 RBIs this season.

COLE POWER

Cole Hamels retired his first 18 batters and struck out 11 in eight innings to lead Philadelphia to a 6-2 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday night. Hamels (6-1) allowed two hits and one walk in his 32nd career start. The 23-year-old also singled twice for his first career multihit game.

SALE

Hank Aaron will take on an increased role with the Atlanta Braves following the team''s sale Wednesday from Time Warner Inc. to Liberty Media Corp. The deal, which Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said values the franchise at $450 million, was unanimously approved by baseball owners at a special meeting called to beat a midnight change in tax laws.

STREAKING

Toronto has won five of six since ending its nine-game slide after a 2-1 win over Baltimore on Wednesday. ... Washington won for the fifth time in six games by beating Atlanta 6-4.

SIDELINED

Detroit placed Jeremy Bonderman on the disabled list Wednesday because of a blister. The move made room for Andrew Miller, Detroit''s first-round draft pick last season, to make his major league starting debut. Bonderman (2-0) leads the Tigers with 40 strikeouts in 45 innings but missed his start last Sunday. He has thrown on the side since then and is eligible to come off the disabled list May 24 when Detroit plays the Los Angeles Angels. ... Boston announced that Josh Beckett will miss his next start because of a torn flap of skin that hasn''t healed. Beckett leads the majors in wins with seven.

SPEAKING

''I got out of running for a couple of days.'''' - Los Angeles starting pitcher John Lackey after getting hit in the ankle with a line drive in the Angels 5-0 win over Seattle on Wednesday. Lackey threw six shutout innings to earn his sixth win of the season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May - 17

Mets put OF Alou on DL
May 16th, 2007

Flushing, NY (Sports Network) - The New York Mets placed outfielder Moises Alou on the 15-day disabled list after Wednesday's 8-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Alou, who suffered a strained left quad last Saturday in a game versus Milwaukee, is hitting .318 with two homers and 13 RBI this season.

The Mets replaced Alou on the roster by calling up Jason Vargas from Triple-A New Orleans to start Thursday against the Cubs.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes left Wednesday's game with tightness in his left hamstring, but that injury isn't believed to be serious.

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Notes from Wednesday's games
May 16, 2007


NEW YORK: With the Yankees struggling to score runs, leadoff hitter Johnny Damon had a rough day in the opener of a doubleheader. He went 1-for-5 and struck out three times. ``I know I definitely didn't do my job. I'm just pretty much guessing where the pitch is going to be,'' Damon said. Alex Rodriguez was 0-for-4 and is in a 2-for-21 skid. Bobby Abreu, who entered the game 1-for-19, did have two hits, including a homer, after being dropped to seventh in the batting order. ``More of us just need to do our parts. We don't think we're pressing, but we do know that we need to start piling up some wins,'' Damon said. ``Normally, at least you'd have a few guys who can stay consistent through and through. But right now, there's probably six guys who aren't doing their job on a nightly basis. That definitely exposes your team.'' ... Jorge Posada continued his strong May with a 2-for-3 performance, giving him 22 hits in 44 at_bats this month. ... RHP Phil Hughes, on the DL with a strained left hamstring, is throwing off flat ground. Even though Hughes felt some pain recently, manager Joe Torre expects the 20-year-old to be throwing off a mound soon. ``A few days ago he felt it a little bit,'' Torre said. ``But he hasn't in the last couple of days. They'll get him up on a half-mound here shortly.''

CHICAGO: The White Sox are still trying to figure out who will pitch the third game of their series with the crosstown Cubs on Sunday. It would have been John Danks - who won Wednesday's opener - but because of Tuesday's rainout, he would have only three days' rest. The same for Wednesday's Game 2 starter, Jose Contreras. ``I'm voting to bring somebody up because I got the youngest one (Danks) and the oldest one (Contreras) throwing today. I don't want to overuse either one,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. Danks said he'd gladly take the ball on short rest. ``I'd love to. I want to pitch that series,'' he said, adding that of course the final decision is not his. ... Guillen emphasized that hitting coach Greg Walker is not to blame for the team's offensive woes. Before Wednesday, the White Sox were near or at the bottom of the AL in several offensive categories, including batting average, runs scored and on-base percentage. Most of the struggles have been from veterans such as Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, Joe Crede and Tadahito Iguchi. All four had a hit in Wednesday's opener, but were still below or just above .200. ... DH Jim Thome, on a rehab assignment, was 0-for-4 in his first game with Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday and won't rejoin the team until after the Cubs series. C Toby Hall is also working his way back from a shoulder injury. Thome had a strained muscle in his rib cage.

CLEVELAND: RHP Fernando Cabrera, who didn't allow a run in 11 2-3 innings to begin the season, is struggling. He has allowed eight runs and 14 hits in his last 6 1-3 innings. Cabrera also has given up four homers to the last 12 batters he's faced, covering 1 1-3 innings. The home run ball was his biggest problem last season. Cabrera allowed 12 homers in 60 2-3 innings. ... 3B Andy Marte's rehab assignment at Triple-A Buffalo ends Friday, but it's uncertain whether he'll be put back on the 25-man roster or optioned to Buffalo. Even if Marte is brought back, there's no guarantee how much playing time he'll see. Casey Blake has played well at third in Marte's absence, which also has opened up time for Ryan Garko at first base and DH. ... RHP Jake Westbrook (left abdominal strain) played catch Wednesday. He was injured May 2 and likely won't return until early June.

MINNESOTA: RHP Jesse Crain was placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation. He is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA in 18 appearances. Crain gave up six unearned runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday's 15-7 loss to Cleveland. ... RHP Julio DePaula was called up from Triple-A Rochester to take Crain's roster spot. He was 2-3 with a 3.15 ERA and two saves in 15 appearances for the Red Wings this season. ... Manager Ron Gardenhire said RHP Ramon Ortiz, who lasted one inning in Tuesday night's start, might pitch in long relief before his next scheduled start Sunday in Milwaukee. Ortiz threw 34 pitches Tuesday, allowing six runs, seven hits and a walk. ... C Mike Redmond, who had started all nine games since C Joe Mauer (strained left quadriceps) got hurt, wasn't in the lineup even though he had a nine-game hitting streak and was 7-for-14 lifetime against LHP C.C. Sabathia, who started for the Indians. Chris Heintz started behind the plate.

BALTIMORE:
Forty games into the season, manager Sam Perlozzo said he's looking for more consistency from his team. Baltimore (18-22) had lost four straight following a four-game winning streak. ``I see some good things happening,'' Perlozzo said. ``Our starters are getting better.'' ... C Ramon Hernandez got the night off. Paul Bako took over behind the plate and batted ninth, while Aubrey Huff moved into the cleanup spot. ... The Orioles will stay at home and bus to Washington each day for this weekend's three-game interleague series against the Nationals. ... Perlozzo said the Orioles will use five minor league pitchers when they face Toronto in the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Monday. Several minor league position players are also scheduled to play.

TORONTO: The Blue Jays will stick with 13 position players and 12 pitchers for this weekend's three-game interleague series at Philadelphia, but manager John Gibbons said his team could add an extra bat over the weekend if necessary. ... RHP Jesse Litsch, who worked 8 2-3 innings to beat Baltimore on Tuesday in his major league debut, will start again Sunday in Philadelphia. Moving to the bullpen, at least for now, is RHP Tomo Ohka, who is 2-4 with a 5.52 ERA in eight starts. ... Ryan Roberts made his first start in the outfield, taking over for Adam Lind in left.

TEXAS: Manager Ron Washington plans to give CF Kenny Lofton off on Wednesday and Thursday because the Rangers will be facing left-handed starters both days. ... 2B Ian Kinsler, mired in a 2-for-35 slide, was out of the starting lineup. ``Just wanted to give him a day off,'' Washington said. ... Kevin Mahar, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Oklahoma after OF Brad Wilkerson (hamstring) went on the DL, started in center. ... RHP Jamey Wright (right shoulder) is scheduled to throw in a simulated game Thursday and could start a minor league rehab assignment soon after. ... Washington said a decision on who will replace RHP Kevin Millwood (strained left hamstring) Saturday will likely be made Thursday. Millwood, who is not expected to return until next month, will likely pitch in the minors first.

TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon said 2B B.J. Upton might see playing time in center if CF Rocco Baldelli (hamstring) is out for an extended period of time. ``I think I might,'' Maddon said. Elijah Dukes would be the primary center fielder if Baldelli is out. ... 3B Evan Longoria, considered one of the organization's top prospects, might miss a game or two after being hit on the left elbow by a pitch Tuesday while playing for Double-A Montgomery.

LOS ANGELES: OF Garrett Anderson, on the DL since May 4, said he has yet to test the torn flexor tendon in his right hip while running and doesn't know when that will happen. ... INF Howie Kendrick got three plate appearances Tuesday night at Triple-A Salt Lake. Scioscia said Kendrick would play through the weekend, then be re-evaluated about his return to the lineup. Kendrick has been on the DL since April 18 with a fracture in his left middle finger. ... Scioscia is a fan of interleague play, which begins this weekend when the Angels host the Dodgers. But he doesn't support interleague play if it affects playing intra-division rivals. Scioscia noted the Angels play 13 games in September outside the AL West, and wondered if interleague play was the cause. ``The real challenge of the season is the competition in your division,'' Scioscia said. ``You need to be playing your division through the first month, the middle of the season and the end. If interleague play is going to compromise that, then I'm not a fan.''

SEATTLE: RHP Felix Hernandez felt fine on Wednesday after throwing 78 pitches in his first start in 26 days on Tuesday night against the Angels. Hernandez was pulled after 3 2-3 innings, but will see his pitch count raised by 15-20 pitches when he starts Sunday against San Diego. ``My arm feels good and that's most important,'' he said. ... RHP Julio Mateo, suspended without pay on May 6 following his arrest in New York after a dispute with his wife at a Manhattan hotel, was placed on the Triple-A inactive list. Mateo, who was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma after missing the Mariners' game in New York on May 5, will begin receiving pay again and continues to undergo counseling. GM Bill Bavasi said there is no timeframe for Mateo's return. ... RHP Sean White earned his first major league win with 4 1-3 perfect innings of relief on Tuesday night. His reward: the lineup card, and a shaving gel pie to the face from closer J.J. Putz, who said he used two cans and got White during a postgame interview.

DETROIT: The Tigers are 7-2 in their last nine road games going into Thursday's day-night doubleheader. ... Detroit will be playing its first doubleheader of the season, wrapping up its only visit to Boston this year. ... Magglio Ordonez leads all major leaguers with a .429 on-base percentage and .617 slugging percentage against the Red Sox for his career. He hit a three-run homer against them Tuesday night. ... Detroit's longest homer streak since 2000 will be on the line in Thursday's afternoon game. The Tigers have homered in 10 straight games, one less than their streak from Aug. 7-18, 2000.

BOSTON: Reliever Mike Timlin, on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder, played catch. ``He did just fine,'' manager Terry Francona said, adding that Thursday ``will be a down day in terms of his throwing program, but he has the right to light toss.'' ... Wily Mo Pena was scheduled to make a rare start in place of injured RF J.D. Drew before Wednesday night's game was postponed by rain. ... Kevin Youkilis can stretch his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games with a hit Thursday afternoon. ... Julian Tavarez, whose start was pushed back to Thursday afternoon, has received the poorest run support of Boston's five starters.

KANSAS CITY: 1B Ryan Shealy was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He was in the lineup and batted eighth. Kansas City made room for Shealy by optioning outfielder Billy Butler to Triple-A Omaha so he can play every day. ... 1B Ross Gload went on the DL with a torn right quadriceps and INF Angel Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year, was recalled from Omaha. ... Injured RHP Octavio Dotel (strained muscle) is slated to pitch again in minor league rehab assignments Friday and Saturday - to test his arm on back-to-back days - and could be activated as soon as Tuesday at home against Cleveland. ... Bell said RHP Luke Hudson, on the 15-day DL since May 13 with right biceps tendinitis, will be sidelined for ``a while.'' He was examined by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday in Los Angeles and likely will not be back with the Royals for two months.

OAKLAND: The A's injury-depleted outfield lost another player when the club placed Chris Snelling on the 15-day disabled list with a deep bone bruise in his left knee. The move is retroactive to May 11. Oakland called up outfielder Hiram Bocachica from Triple-A Sacramento and put him in the starting lineup in CF against the Royals. OF Bobby Kielty was transferred to the 60-day DL. Oakland traded for Snelling on May 2 in a swap with the Washington Nationals. ... CF Mark Kotsay, recovering from lower back surgery in early March, played four innings in the field and went 2-for-4 in an extended spring training game Wednesday in Phoenix. ... Injured closer Huston Street was seen by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday in Los Angeles and he determined the pitcher had no structural damage in his right elbow. Street went on the DL on Tuesday with an irritated nerve in that area of his throwing arm. ... Former Cal football star Marshawn Lynch, a running back and the top draft pick of the Buffalo Bills last month, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

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Notes from Wednesday's games
May 16, 2007

FLORIDA: Manager Fredi Gonzalez liked Hanley Ramirez hitting in the third spot so much, he kept him there Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Ramirez, batting third for only the second time this season, went 3-for-5 with a homer and double and reached base five times Tuesday as Miguel Cabrera took a night off. When Cabrera returned Wednesday, he hit cleanup for the second time this season and Ramirez stayed at No. 3. Gonzalez plans to stay with that order for a while, even though Ramirez leads the majors with a .343 average as a leadoff hitter. ... The Marlins' game Friday at Tampa Bay starts at 6:40 p.m. EDT, rather than the previously scheduled 7:15 p.m.

PITTSBURGH: With Ryan Doumit hitting close to .400 and Ronny Paulino showing signs of emerging from a long hitting slump, the Pirates have no plans to recall C Humberto Cota from his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Indianapolis, at least this week. Cota (left shoulder strain) was eligible to come off the DL on May 8. ... RHP Tony Armas' spot in the rotation will be re-evaluated after he starts Thursday night against Florida. Armas (0-3, 8.76 ERA) is the only Pirates starting pitcher without a victory. He is 3-12 with a 5.98 ERA against the Marlins, mostly while with Washington, and was 0-3 with a 9.60 ERA in four starts against them last season.

ATLANTA: LHP Mike Gonzalez went on the 15-day DL with a strained left elbow and LHP Macay McBride was recalled from Triple-A Richmond. Gonzalez (2-0, 1.59 ERA, two saves) left Tuesday's game after two-thirds of an inning, when his velocity dropped. He's to have an MRI exam Thursday in Atlanta. ... 3B Chipper Jones was back in the starting lineup Wednesday night after missing four games with hand and thumb injuries. He doubled in his first at-bat. ... RHP John Smoltz (5-2) said he'll be able to make his next start against the Boston Red Sox after hurting his throwing hand Monday. He threw a side session before Wednesday's game and said that while he still felt some soreness in his dislocated right pinky, he felt comfortable with all of his pitches.

WASHINGTON: RHP Jerome Williams went back on the disabled list with a tear in his pitching shoulder - a day after he came off the DL, sidelined by an ankle injury. Williams (0-5, 7.20 ERA) had an MRI exam Wednesday and won't throw for 10 to 14 days. ``I woke up this morning and it was sore. Went to the doctor - sore,'' Williams said. ``A real tired feeling and real sore.'' LHP Billy Traber was called up from Triple-A Columbus. ... LHP Micah Bowie will move from the bullpen to the rotation, replacing Williams as the starter Sunday against Baltimore. ... RHP John Patterson (DL for elbow, biceps) tossed balls about 75 feet and ``threw easy,'' team doctor Ben Shaffer said. ``He could start really throwing the end of next week.'' ... RHP Shawn Hill (DL for elbow, left shoulder) could start soft-tossing next week. ... RHP Levale Speigner made his first major league start Wednesday, allowing four runs and eight hits in four innings.

MILWAUKEE: 2B Rickie Weeks has shown noticeable defensive improvement this season after finishing among the league leaders in errors the last two seasons. Weeks made 22 errors last season and 21 in 2005, but has only one this year in 36 games. Last year, he made 13 errors through the first 36 games. ... Brewers starters have 19 quality starts this year and have lost only three times when a member of the rotation had a quality start. ... After finishing the series in Philadelphia, the Brewers return to Miller Park where they are a league-best 16-5.

PHILADELPHIA: Manager Charlie Manuel is a big fan of RF Shane Victorino and 1B Greg Dobbs. Manuel calls Victorino ``The Gnat'' because ``he's all over the place.'' Manuel joked that Victorino can't even keep still in the clubhouse. Dobbs has been a huge surprise this season, and is hitting .615 (8-for-13) on the homestand while filling in for the injured Ryan Howard. Manuel loves the effort Dobbs, who hit .257 in 222 big league at_bats spread over the previous three seasons with Seattle, puts into his hitting. ``I couldn't believe we got him,'' Manuel said. ``He looks to me like he could be a good hitter.'' Manuel said Dobbs has probably earned more playing time once Howard comes off the disabled list.

CHICAGO: 1B Derrek Lee remained in Chicago, missing his third straight game with neck spasms. Manager Lou Piniella said Lee would join the club at Wrigley Field on Friday, when the team hosts the Chicago White Sox. ``Chances are better than 50-50 that he'll be ready then,'' Piniella said. ... In Tuesday night's 10-1 win over the Mets, the Cubs scored nine runs with two outs, including six in the fifth inning. Chicago has scored 77 runs with two outs, fourth most in the National League. ... The Cubs came into Wednesday night with an 8-5 record in May, already more wins than the team had last May (7-22). The biggest difference is offense; the Cubs are averaging 5.0 runs this month, as compared to 3.2 last May. ... The Cubs came into Wednesday hitting .293 with runners in scoring position, best in the NL. Over the last four games, the team is hitting .408 with runners on second or third.

NEW YORK: 1B Carlos Delgado, who was hit on the left hand by a Carlos Zambrano pitch in the sixth inning Tuesday night and left an inning later, took a few swings in batting practice Wednesday and was in the lineup. ``He said he felt pretty good,'' manager Willie Randolph said. ... The team still hasn't decided what to do with LF Moises Alou, who was not in the lineup for the fourth straight game because of a strained left quadriceps. Randolph said before the game that Alou felt a little better. ``We'll see how he feels tomorrow,'' he said. ... The Mets did not announce a pitcher for Thursday's game, but Randolph offered one possibility - Jason Vargas. ``There's a good possibility he'll be the guy tomorrow,'' Randolph said. Vargas, a lefty, is 2-3 with a 5.30 ERA at Triple-A New Orleans. ... Veteran RHP Orlando Hernandez, on the DL with bursitis in his pitching shoulder, is ``coming along nicely,'' Randolph said. ``I'm not sure when we'll slot him in. Hopefully soon.'' El Duque went on the DL on April 30 and is eligible to return.

SAN FRANCISCO: RHP Russ Ortiz, recovering from neuritis in his right elbow, will make a rehab start with Triple-A Fresno on Thursday. Ortiz (2-2, 6.44 ERA) has been on the 15-day DL since May 2 and he'll be re-evaluated after the game. Giants manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't rule out a second rehab outing, but only as a precaution. ``He may go a second game,'' Bochy said. ``We think he's fine. Knock on wood, but we don't anticipate any setbacks.'' ... C Bengie Molina had an RBI single on Tuesday, his 10th hit in 28 at_bats with runners in scoring position. Molina is hitting .533, third in the NL, with runners in scoring position and two outs, a valued trait he brought with him after playing eight seasons with Vladimir Guerrero in Anaheim. ``He started hitting behind Vladimir,'' Bochy said. ``He uses the whole field. You can tell he wants to be up there with men on base. Some guys are better hitters with guys on base.'' ... A digital counter at Minute Maid Park is keeping track of Astros 2B Craig Biggio's quest for 3,000 hits. Bochy was a minor leaguer in Las Vegas when Biggio was a rookie in the Astros' farm system. Back then, Bochy never thought Biggio would become one of the game's career greats. ``If you'd have asked me at that time, he was a solid looking player, but I never thought this guy would be headed to the Hall of Fame and getting 3,000 hits,'' Bochy said. ``That shows the hard work he's put in, and the effort.''

HOUSTON: RHP Jason Jennings will have his first rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Corpus Christi. His second outing will likely come on Tuesday at Triple-A Round Rock. Jennings has been on the DL since April 9 with tendinitis in his throwing elbow. ... RHP Chris Sampson started Wednesday less than 24 hours after the birth of his first child. Sampson and his wife Heather had a baby boy they named C.J. on Tuesday night. Garner said he had no reservations about starting Sampson on Wednesday. ``You always start a guy the day after he has a baby,'' Garner said. ``That's the rule. He's on a roll. Things are going good.'' ... Maybe it's a bit early, but Lance Berkman thinks teammate Carlos Lee should is definitely be a front-runner for most valuable player. ``I think if you were going to hand out an MVP award, he'd have to be in the top two or three in the discussion,'' Berkman said. ``Him and J.J. Hardy and maybe Prince Fielder.''

ARIZONA: 3B Chad Tracy was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained rib cage. Tracy strained the rib cage Saturday against Houston, missed Sunday's game with the Astros, but played Tuesday against Colorado. ``It is hard,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ``Here is a guy that's been hurt, but wants to be in the lineup.'' ... The Diamondbacks purchased the contract of INF Mark Reynolds from Double-A Mobile and placed him on the 25-man roster. Reynolds made his major league debut Wednesday. ... In other moves, Arizona claimed INF Jason Smith off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays, designated RHP Casey Daigle for assignment and transferred OF Jeff DaVanon (shoulder) from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list. ... 1B Conor Jackson was given the night off. Jackson is 0-for-11 against RHP Aaron Cook.

COLORADO: John Mabry drew the start at third base to rest Garrett Atkins, who hasn't done as well against Arizona starter Brandon Webb. ``Garrett is 3-for-23 against Webb while Mabry is 7-for-13,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We went this way at their place.'' ... Atkins and OF Brad Hawpe both took additional batting practice while Hurdle watched from the outfield. ``We need to get some consistency going from them,'' Hurdle said. ... The Rockies would like to have RHP LaTroy Hawkins (right shoulder inflammation) make back-to-back outings before bringing him back from his rehab assignment.

CINCINNATI: Cincinnati starts interleague play Friday at Cleveland. CF Ken Griffey Jr. has 41 home runs in interleague play, tied with Rafael Palmeiro for fourth on the career list. Jim Thome leads with 52, and Carlos Delgado and Manny Ramirez have 43 each. ... 2B Brandon Phillips entered Wednesday with an 18-game hitting streak, longest by a Reds player since Sean Casey went 21 straight from July 4-30, 2000. ... Griffey's 12th-inning home run Tuesday was his 571st. Harmon Killebrew is eighth on the career list with 573. The homer came off San Diego's Heath Bell, the 363rd pitcher to surrender a Griffey homer.

SAN DIEGO: Team CEO Sandy Alderson said the club again is considering bringing in the fences at spacious Petco Park. The power alleys measure 401 feet in left-center and 400 in right-center. ``I'd be less than forthcoming if I didn't say I've been thinking about it, and recently,'' Alderson said on radio station XPRS. The Padres moved the right-center fence in from 411 feet after the 2005 season. ... RHP Clay Hensley (groin strain) threw a 40-pitch simulated game and was cleared for a rehabilitation start Sunday with Triple-APortland. ... Manager Bud Black plans to juggle the Padres' pitching rotation, taking advantage of off days Thursday and Monday. RHP Jake Peavy will stay on schedule, which means LHP David Wells will be pushed back. He might not start again until Wednesday, Black said, which would give him eight days' rest.

ST. LOUIS: After scoring 33 runs in a 14-game span, the Cardinals scored 15 in the first two games of their three-game series against the Dodgers, winning 8-4 and losing 9-7. ... The Cardinals entered the series finale with a 15-4 record when scoring three or more runs and 1-17 when scoring two or fewer. They've been shut out six times - most in the majors. ... Adam Wainwright, outstanding as the Cardinals' closer in their run to the World Series championship last fall, has struggled as a starter this season, going 3-3 with a 6.34 ERA. He gave up eight earned runs in 2 2-3 innings Tuesday night. Manager Tony La Russa said it was a matter of mechanics. ``There isn't anything wrong with his stuff, he's just jumping and falling out of his delivery,'' La Russa said. ... The Cardinals begin interleague play Friday night at Detroit in their first meeting since the World Series. They were just 5-10 against AL teams last season, but have an overall record of 78-67 in interleague play.

LOS ANGELES: Manager Grady Little said he won't hesitate to use LHP Hong-Chih Kuo in relief despite Kuo's difficult outing Tuesday night, when he allowed three runs in one-third of an inning. ``I saw a kid who came in there, the world was spinning a little too fast,'' Little said. ``He'll be just fine.'' Kuo was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday and arrived at Dodger Stadium about the time the game began. ... RHP Jason Schmidt threw about 50 pitches in a bullpen session, and said afterward it went well. ``He threw all of his pitches,'' Little said. ``He threw pain-free, he's progressing. He's got a ways to go. You can tell the stamina isn't there yet.'' Schmidt, 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA, hasn't pitched since April 14 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. ... The Dodgers begin interleague play Friday night in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels. ``Our intentions this year are to try and do better than we did last year in interleague play,'' Little said, referring to the Dodgers' 5-10 record against AL teams. The Dodgers are 80-81 in interleague play.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May - 17

Injured Howard set for rehab assignment; Gordon to resume workouts
Wed, May 16, 2007
By Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, on the 15-day disabled list with a left quadriceps strain, started running Wednesday and could begin a rehab assignment next week.

All-Star closer Tom Gordon, who is out with inflammation in the rotator cuff, should start an intensive program next week that would include throwing. Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday he doesn't know when Gordon would be able to pitch competitively.

Howard, the NL MVP last season, slumped this year after hitting .313 with 58 homers and 149 RBIs in one of the best seasons ever for a second-year player. He's batting .204 with six homers and 23 RBIs, and has struck out 39 times in 98 at-bats.

Barring any setbacks, Howard is scheduled to serve a rehab assignment as a designated hitter at Class A Lakewood on May 23-24. He is eligible to be activated May 25.

Gordon will go to Clearwater, Fla. early next week for his program.

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Royals activate Shealy from disabled list
By Associated Press
May 16, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals activated first baseman Ryan Shealy from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, making the move sooner than expected because they needed some reinforcement.

Shealy was in the lineup and batting eighth for the third game of a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics. While getting him some more at-bats in a minor league rehab assignment would have been ideal as he recovered from a left hamstring strain that had sidelined him since May 1, the Royals lost first baseman Ross Gload to injury Monday. That made bringing up Shealy more urgent. He played in two minor league games, going 1-for-7 with a double and two RBIs.

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Kansas City made room for Shealy by optioning outfielder Billy Butler to Triple-A Omaha so he can play every day. Butler batted .243 with two doubles in 10 games for the Royals.

"We wanted Ryan to go down and have a few more at-bats than he did," manager Buddy Bell said. "Because Ross went down Sunday, it was out of necessity. Billy needs to play every day. It was a logical move. Billy needs to get comfortable at a position, whether outfield or first base. He's going to play both."

Gload went on the DL with a torn right quadriceps and infielder Angel Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

Injured right-hander Octavio Dotel, who hasn't pitched this season because of a strained muscle in his left side, is slated to pitch again in minor league rehab assignments Friday and Saturday -- to test his arm on back-to-back days -- and could join the Royals and be activated as soon as Tuesday at home against Cleveland.

Dotel allowed one earned run and two hits in one inning, with no walks or strikeouts during a rehab outing for Triple-A Wichita at Tulsa on Tuesday.

Bell plans to use Dotel as the closer as long as his body will hold up enough to handle the demands of ninth-inning work.

"We're pretty sure Dotel will close," Bell said. "We have to see how durable he is. If you have a closer, you like to know when he's available."

Bell said right-hander Luke Hudson, on the 15-day DL since May 13 with right biceps tendinitis, will be sidelined for "a while." He was examined by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday in Los Angeles and will begin an extensive physical therapy program for the next month or so and likely not be back with the Royals for two months.

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Twins: Mauer likely out another week

Manager Ron Gardenhire admitted Wednesday that catcher Joe Mauer will not return to action on Sunday, when he is officially eligible to return from the disabled list. According to the team's official website, the swelling in his injured quadriceps muscle has decreased and he has resumed some baseball activities, but it's likely that Mauer will not return to action until late next week.

Braves: Smoltz cleared for Saturday turn

John Smoltz had a pain-free side session Wednesday and is fine to start Saturday at Boston, the Braves official site reports. Smoltz is coming back from a dislocated pinky finger. "I'm not going to throw again now until I pitch," Smoltz said. "I'm going to continue to ice it and try to continue to get the fluid and inflammation out."

Devil Rays: Baldelli likely to go on DL

Rocco Baldelli will have an MRI on his hamstring Thursday and a DL trip is likely, the Associated Press reports.

White Sox: Hall expected back Thursday

Toby Hall is expected to come off the disabled list Thursday, the Associated Press reports. He's returning from a torn right labrum.

White Sox: Molina back to minors

Gustavo Molina was optioned to Triple-A after Wednesday's doubleheader, the Associated Press reports. The White Sox are expected to activate Toby Hall off the disabled list Thursday.

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Red Sox RF JD Drew (back) is doubtful.

Nationals 1B Dmitri Young (foot) is doubtful

Marlins 1B Mike Jacobs (thumb) is doubtful.

Cubs 1B Derrek Lee neck) is questionable and 2B Mark DeRosa (finger) is doubtful.

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White Sox: Hall expected back Thursday

Toby Hall is expected to come off the disabled list Thursday, the Associated Press reports. He's returning from a torn right labrum.

White Sox activate Hall from DL
May 17th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox activated catcher Toby Hall from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday.

Hall, who signed a two-year $3.65 million contract with Chicago in the offseason, had been out with a dislocated right shoulder.

He spent last season with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers and hit a combined .259 with eight home runs and 31 runs batted in over 85 games.

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Re: MLB News and Notes May - 17

Braves release 1B Wilson to make room for C Pena
Thu, May 17, 2007
By Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Atlanta Braves released first baseman Craig Wilson to make room for catcher Brayan Pena's return from the 15-day disabled list before Thursday's game against the Washington Nationals.

Wilson batted .172 (10-for-58) with one homer and two RBIs in 24 games. He started 17 games at first base and also played some outfield. He is in his seventh major league season, after stints with Pittsburgh and the New York Yankees.

''He just never got going,'' manager Bobby Cox said. ''We sure thought he would.''

Wilson hit .264 with 29 homers and 82 RBIs with Pittsburgh in 2004, his best major league season.

Scott Thorman has started at first base for the majority of Atlanta's games and will continue to start against left-handed pitchers, Cox said. Thorman entered Thursday's game batting .271 with 5 homers and 21 RBIs.

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a 2003 first-round pick who hasn't played first base since high school, and Chris Woodward will also share playing time there, Cox said.

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