MLB News and Notes June - 21

MLB News and Notes June - 21

Schilling says he's OK, but will be put on DL Friday
June 20th, 2007

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling underwent tests on his ailing right shoulder and said Wednesday there is no structural damage, but the veteran right-hander will be put on the 15-day disabled list on Friday and miss at least two starts.

Schilling earlier on Wednesday had told Boston radio station WEEI-AM that he was given a cortisone shot on Tuesday and wouldn't know until Friday or Saturday if he would be able to take the mound against the Padres.

However, later in the day, the Red Sox web site stated that the 40-year-old will not make his scheduled Sunday start and a little after that said that he will be placed on the DL on Friday, retroactive to Tuesday, and will miss at least two starts.

His injury is listed as shoulder fatigue.

The Red Sox sent Schilling back to Boston for an examination of his throwing shoulder on Tuesday after a miserable outing on Monday night against Atlanta.

Team officials cited concerns over Schilling's velocity in his last two starts as the reason for the move.

"I could not throw the ball," Schilling said during his radio spot about his outing in Atlanta. "I could not get anything on the baseball. I was throwing the ball 82 miles per hour."

Schilling has been knocked around in his last two starts following a one-hit shutout at Oakland on June 7, when he lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning.

In a 12-2 loss to Colorado six days later, he allowed nine hits and six runs over five innings. On Monday in Atlanta, he was torched for 10 hits and six runs over 4 1/3 frames as the Red Sox dropped a 9-4 decision to the Braves.

The crafty veteran is just 6-4 with a 4.20 earned run average in 15 starts this season.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 21

Houston's Qualls suspended
June 20th, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Houston Astros pitcher Chad Qualls was suspended for three games Wednesday and fined an undisclosed amount for his inappropriate actions in the seventh inning of Monday's 10-9 loss to the LA Angels of Anaheim.

Qualls was slated to start the suspension during Wednesday's game against the Angels, but he has filed an appeal, delaying the suspension in abeyance accordingly.

At the end of the seventh inning, Qualls, who had given up three runs in the frame, threw the ball into the stands.

The veteran righty is 5-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 36 appearances this season.

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Notes from Wednesday's games
June 20, 2007

FLORIDA: RHP Anibal Sanchez will undergo exploratory arthroscopic shoulder surgery Thursday. Sanchez, who was 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 2006, made only six starts this year, going 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA, before he was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on May 4. He pitched a no-hitter last September against the Diamondbacks. ... OF Brett Carroll went 0-for-4 but redeemed himself with a two-out diving catch on an eighth-inning line drive by Juan Uribe with the bases loaded and the Marlins up by one. ``It was just pure instinct,'' Carroll said. ``I just got a good jump, saw the ball well and tried to make a catch.'' ... RHP Sergio Mitre pitched 6 1-3 innings while allowing two runs in a no-decision. It was Mitre's sixth quality start this year. Mitre is 1-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four day starts this season. ... Wednesday's come-from-behind 5-4 win was the Marlins' 16th of the season. ... The Marlins have three pinch-hit homers this year.

CHICAGO: C Toby Hall spent the night at a hospital Tuesday night while he received five bags of fluid intravenously. Hall was taken out after playing only four innings during a 7-5 loss to Florida earlier that day. ``I get back from the road trip and (my son has) been sick and I got it,'' Hall said. ``I rarely ever get sick and that happened to be the day I was playing. If I wasn't playing, I can hide out in the bullpen and throw up over there.'' ... DH Jim Thome missed his second straight game with back spasms. Thome said his back was improving and hopes to be ready to play in Friday's series opener against the Cubs. ... OF Darin Erstad, on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle, could be back in the lineup Friday, according to manager Ozzie Guillen. The White Sox sent OF Jerry Owens back to Triple-A Charlotte to open up a roster spot for Erstad. ... 2B Tadahito Iguchi wasn't in the starting lineup, but Guillen, who called out Iguchi after he failed to lay down a sacrifice bunt Tuesday, insisted it was a routine day off and was unrelated to the previous night.


CINCINNATI:
The Reds announced that Bronson Arroyo's concert scheduled for July 1 in Northern Kentucky has been postponed - just like the struggling pitcher's next start, which was pushed back from Saturday to Sunday. For the second year in a row, Arroyo - who plays guitar and sings lead - was going to be the featured performer at a concert to raise money for the team's community fund. ``The timing isn't good right now,'' Arroyo said. ``My body is a little banged-up, and I'm trying to help us win baseball games.'' Fans who bought tickets will get full refunds and tickets to two Reds games this season. Arroyo hasn't won since May 6, going 0-6 with a 7.83 ERA in his last eight starts.

OAKLAND:
Ken Griffey Jr.'s first-inning strikeout was No. 500 of Dan Haren's career. ... The A's activated RF Milton Bradley from his third stint on the disabled list this season and he was back in the starting lineup. Oakland made roster room by optioning infielder J.J. Furmaniak to Triple-A Sacramento. ... RHP Rich Harden gave up one hit in one inning of relief for Triple-A Sacramento, clearing the way for his return from the disabled list Friday in New York against the Mets. Out since April 16 with a strained right shoulder, Harden struck out one and looked sharp in the only minor league appearance of his rehab. ``It's just more getting a feel today and throwing my changeup and throwing some off-speed pitches,'' Harden said. ``My fastball was a little bit up today but other than that I got a couple down, made some good pitches and that's what I wanted to do.''


TAMPA BAY: 3B Akinori Iwamura went 5-for-9 with two doubles, two triples and a homer in the last two games at Arizona. He drove in three runs, scored three and also stole a base. ... C Raul Casanova hit his fifth career triple - in 921 at_bats - in the sixth inning. ... The Devil Rays blew a six-run lead in Tuesday's 10-8 loss at Arizona. It was the third time in 12 road games that they gave up a lead of six runs or more, and they lost all three.

ARIZONA: Manager Bob Melvin said the club plans to option RHP Enrique Gonzalez to Triple-A Tucson on Friday. A corresponding move will be announced before the Diamondbacks open a three-game series with Baltimore. ... LHP Randy Johnson, who has a herniated disk, will throw off flat ground on Friday. Johnson is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list June 26, but it's unlikely he'll be ready by then. When Johnson returns, the Diamondbacks might pick a starter at Triple-A Tucson to pitch on the same days as Johnson does, manager Bob Melvin said. The idea is to have a pitcher ready to be called up in an emergency if Johnson's back acts up again. ... The Diamondbacks will be one of PGA Tour rookie Jeff Quinney's sponsors during this week's Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. Quinney, a Scottsdale resident who attended Arizona State, will wear Arizona's logo on his shirt.


PHILADELPHIA: Manager Charlie Manuel will look for more opportunities to use RHP Jose Mesa, who retired Cleveland pinch-hitter Casey Blake with two on in the eighth inning to preserve a one-run lead Tuesday night. ``I like Mesa's stuff,'' Manuel said. ``I'm going to put him in some tight spots.'' The Phillies signed Mesa on June 9 after he was released by Detroit. ... The Phillies are expecting RHPs Tom Gordon (rotator cuff strain) and Brett Myers (shoulder strain) to return in early July. RHP Antonio Alfonseca is 5-for-6 in save chances, but Manuel doesn't think finding enough work for all of them will be a problem. ``I don't think it will be that big a challenge,'' he said. ``Closing a game actually starts in the seventh inning. You need to get big outs from the seventh to the ninth.'' ... Manuel indicated that RHP Kyle Kendrick, who got his first major league win Tuesday night, will get another start. ``He's one of the guys in our rotation,'' Manuel said. ... The Phillies played their last interleague game Wednesday night.

CLEVELAND:
GM Mark Shapiro thinks slumping DH Travis Hafner (5-for-34, .147 in his last eight games) will break out soon. ``I look at it as a dominant hitter struggling, but working his way out of it. When he does, someone's going to pay,'' Shapiro said. ... Manager Eric Wedge said LHP Jason Stanford, after being called up from the minors and making two spot starts, will be used in long relief. ... OF Shin-Soo Choo has been sent to the Indians' complex in Winter Haven, Fla., to rehab a strained left elbow. If healthy, Choo would have been a candidate to be recalled when OF David Dellucci went on the DL with a strained left hamstring. OF Ben Francisco, hitting .329 at Triple-A Buffalo, got the call instead.


DETROIT: RHP Justin Verlander, who has a friend who has a friend who is an adviser to President Bush, got to spend 20 minutes in the Oval Office with Bush on Wednesday. Bush congratulated Verlander on his recent no-hitter and posed for pictures. ``He's a big baseball fan - he pretty much knew everybody on the team,'' Verlander said. ... RHP Zach Miner, on the 15-day DL with a right elbow strain, was assigned to Double-A Erie to begin a rehab assignment.

WASHINGTON: Last year, Brandon Watson didn't even last a month as the Nationals' starting center fielder out of spring training. This year, a 43-game hitting streak at Triple-A Columbus - which broke an International League record - earned him a trip back to the majors. ``You never know when something's going to happen,'' Watson said. ``When you least expect it, that's when it happens. I didn't know when or if I would ever get called back up, so it's an exciting opportunity.'' ... GM Jim Bowden was blunt about Wednesday's flurry of moves, including the decision to designate struggling relievers Winston Abreu and Levale Speigner for assignment. ``We want to use this year to find answers,'' Bowden said. ``Some are going to be positive answers and some are going to be negative answers. We're going to find out about both.''


LOS ANGELES: RHP Chin-hui Tsao (strained shoulder) felt no pain after throwing all of his pitches off the bullpen mound Tuesday. ``He'll probably do that another time or two and we'll see how it goes from there,'' manager Grady Little said. ... Olmedo Saenz got the start at designated hitter against Roy Halladay because he was 5-for-12 with two doubles and a home run against the Toronto ace. ... OF Brady Clark, designated for assignment June 10, cleared waivers and was granted his unconditional release.

TORONTO: Seeking a fresh arm for their bullpen, the Blue Jays recalled RHP Brian Wolfe from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned RHP Lee Gronkiewicz to Triple-A. Gronkiewicz made his major league debut in Tuesday's 10-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, allowing one run and two hits over four innings. ... Toronto released RHP John Thomson, who signed a one-year contract in January and went 2-4 with a 4.58 ERA in seven starts at Syracuse. ``We just came to the conclusion that he wasn't going to help us,'' general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. ... Manager John Gibbons said the Blue Jays will monitor RHP A.J. Burnett's pitch counts when he returns from the 15-day disabled list on June 28. Burnett had thrown more than 100 pitches in nine of his past 10 starts before coming up with a sore shoulder.


MINNESOTA: Twins broadcaster and former big league pitcher Bert Blyleven was sporting a new look. While riding the team bus to the ballpark before Tuesday's game, Blyleven challenged LHP Johan Santana to throw a shutout and said he'd shave his own head if the two-time Cy Young Award winner turned the trick. Santana did, and Blyleven paid up before Wednesday night's game, sitting down for a haircut in the middle of the visitor's clubhouse at Shea Stadium. ``So what are we going to do next time,'' a smiling Santana said before he shaved Blyleven's head. Blyleven was a good sport: ``Try to get the gray out,'' he said during the cut. ... The Twins are off Thursday before closing out the first half with 18 games over 17 days in five cities. Manager Ron Gardenhire said the team might add a 12th pitcher to the roster next week because of the schedule. ... 2B Luis Castillo doubled in the first inning to end a career-worst 0-for-21 skid.

NEW YORK: LHP Tom Glavine is winless in his last five starts and stuck on 295 career wins heading into Friday night's start against Oakland. Glavine pitched well enough to win in the first three starts of the skid before getting roughed up in his last two. ``I feel great physically,'' Glavine said. ``My stuff is there.'' Glavine said his struggles in his last two starts had to do with mechanics. ... Special instructor Rickey Henderson joined the team Wednesday and is expected to stay through Sunday.


KANSAS CITY: LHP Jorge de la Rosa, 0-5 in his last six starts, pitches Friday in Milwaukee. ... The bullpen totaled 8 1-3 scoreless innings the first two games of the three-game series against St. Louis, and entered with a string of 11 1-3 scoreless innings dating to Sunday against the Marlins. ... The Royals have converted nine of their last 10 save opportunities after an 11-for-19 start. ... David DeJesus was hit by a pitch twice on Wednesday, giving the Royals a major league-leading 43 on the year, two more than the Indians. ... John Buck batted cleanup Wednesday for the first time this season. He's the sixth player used in that spot.

ST. LOUIS: RHP Chris Carpenter, rehabbing from surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow, threw in the bullpen for the second time on Wednesday. He's scheduled to throw again on Saturday, using all of his pitches for the first time since the operation in May. ... Slumping 2B Adam Kennedy was in the lineup for the first time in five games. One reason: he was 8-for-28 against Royals starter Gil Meche. ... Scott Spiezio, who started the first two games of the series at 2B, started in RF on Wednesday. Spiezio was 3-for-7 the first two games of the series. ... Juan Encarnacion totaled only 21 hits during an 18-game hitting streak that ended with an 0-for-4 night on Wednesday, batting .304 during the team's best run of the year.


CHICAGO: LHP Scott Eyre, who is 35, is six years older than his brother, Rangers RHP Willie Eyre, so they never played on the same teams as kids growing up in California. This is the second time they've competed against each other. Last season Scott and the Cubs played the Twins when Willie was a Minnesota reliever. ``We played catch on the field before the game,'' Scott said. ``It's beyond neat. We were talking about playing whiffle ball together in the front yard and now we're in a major league park playing catch, both in the big leagues, both equal. It's a childhood dream-plus.''. ... Manager Lou Piniella considered moving 2B Mike Fontenot into the second slot in the order, but Piniella decided to bat Fontenot fifth on Wednesday night to take advantage of his hot bat. Fontenot hit safely in eight of his first nine games since his callup from Triple-A Iowa on June 9. ... Piniella said Derrek Lee will DH in Thursday's day game.

TEXAS: RHP Brandon McCarthy, on the disabled list because of a blister on his right middle finger, will throw a bullpen session Thursday. Manager Ron Washington said the next step will be determined by how that session goes. McCarthy played catch Tuesday. ... C Gerald Laird is expected to play Thursday, even though it's a day game after a night game. Saturday is another day game after a night game, and that's when Washington said Adam Melhuse likely will start instead of Laird.


NEW YORK: OF-DH Johnny Damon is hoping to stay off the DL but manager Joe Torre said if his strained abdominal muscle doesn't get better soon, the team will have to put him on the shelf. ... RHP Mike Mussina refused to sample the fried rattlesnake when an entourage of Yankees had lunch at The Fort, a local wild game restaurant. ``Please,'' Mussina said. ``That's not me.'' ... 1B Andy Phillips, who was brought up from the minor leagues on Tuesday, started at first base. ... The Yankees are just 3-9 in series openers on the road. ... 3B Alex Rodriguez leads all major leaguers in All-Star votes with nearly 2 million. He has never been the leading vote-getter in his career.

COLORADO:
RHP Zach McClellan will have arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Thursday at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in suburban Englewood. ... Manager Clint Hurdle made beating opposing team's No. 1 starter a priority. ``I had it in my daily note planner in spring training,'' Hurdle said. ``We've been doing just that.'' ... Hurdle doesn't mind the overwhelming majority of Yankees fans for the series. ``The Yankees aren't just a national team. They are an international team,'' he said. ... Hurdle said not buckling to the Yankees in a 3-1 game Tuesday was a dividend of beating Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett on successive nights in Boston.


HOUSTON: RHP Chad Qualls was suspended for three games and fined $3,000 for throwing a baseball into the stands at Angel Stadium in frustration Monday night. He asked the players' union to appeal the penalty, meaning he cannot be disciplined until after a hearing is held and the appeal is decided. ... The Astros entered with a .358 batting average (93 of 260) in their previous seven games to raise their season batting average to .261. ``We've been putting some quality at_bats together,'' 2B Craig Biggio said. ``We had a period where it was pretty frustrating for a lot of us.'' ... Biggio entered eight hits shy of 3,000 hits in his career - a milestone reached by only 26 players. ``I'm excited about it,'' he said. ``In my house, we don't get too excited about things. My kids are a little older. The kids make fun of me all the time.'' With that, 14-year-old Conor Biggio told his father: ``You stink.'' The elder Biggio just shrugged his shoulders.

LOS ANGELES: OF Terry Evans started his first big-league game. ``This kid has figured it out the last couple years playing in the minor leagues,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We have every confidence to put him in right field and give him some at_bats.'' Evans struck out Sunday in his only previous big-league at-bat. ... RHP John Lackey (10-4), tied with Boston's John Beckett for the most wins in the majors, might have his next start delayed from Sunday for a day or two because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder. He saw team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday and took some strength tests. ``I'll be fine, no big deal,'' Lackey said. ``It's a lot looser today.'' ... Scioscia hopes 1B Casey Kotchman will be able to return to the lineup Friday or Saturday against Pittsburgh. Kotchman hasn't played since suffering a concussion when hit in the batting helmet last Saturday on an attempted pickoff at second base by Dodgers C Russell Martin. ... The Angels have led the AL West for 57 straight days and 70 of 80 this season.


BOSTON: 3B Mike Lowell sat out his second straight game because of an ailing thumb, which he hurt during a June 3 game against the Yankees. ``I think there's been times where it's affected his swing,'' manager Terry Francona said. ``He'll play every day. But I'd like to give him a chance to be OK.'' ... Francona considered starting Alex Cora at shortstop for the second night in a row, but decided to return to slumping starter Julio Lugo. ``If I said I didn't think about it, I'd probably be lying,'' Francona said. ``But I think that would be making a mistake. I think it's so easy to look at the little picture. Sometimes it's harder to look at the big picture, but I think I have a responsibility to do that.'' ... Boston will have plenty of support at its weekend series in San Diego. The Red Sox offered all full-time employees a chance to make the trip, and 90 took up them up on the offer.

ATLANTA: Manager Bobby Cox was sprawled on his sofa before the game, resting a sore back. The 66-year-old Cox was stricken by spasms that kept him from holding his usual pregame session with the media or coming out to the dugout to watch batting practice. He was on the bench for the game, but didn't follow his normal routine of coming to the mound to make pitching changes. When starter Buddy Carlyle was yanked in the fourth after Boston jumped to a 7-0 lead, pitching coach Roger McDowell handled the duties. ... RHP Joey Devine was recalled from Double-A Mississippi after the Braves traded LHP Macay McBride to Detroit for LHP Wilfredo Ledezma, who won't join the team until Friday. Devine could stay if the Braves decide to move Oscar Villareal into a starting role. Journeyman starter Buddy Carlyle gave up seven runs in 3 2-3 innings, endangering his tenuous spot in the rotation.

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BALTIMORE: Andy MacPhail was hired Wednesday as president of baseball operations, two days after the last-place Orioles fired manager Sam Perlozzo. MacPhail will oversee all baseball operations for the struggling club, which has not had a winning season since 1997. He said he believes owner Peter Angelos will allow him the independence he needs to run the team.

SAN DIEGO: RF Brian Giles, on the disabled list with a bruised right knee, ran the bases and said he felt good. The club wants to send Giles on a rehab assignment to the minors, but Giles would prefer to just rejoin the club. ``I don't blame him,'' manager Bud Black said. But the Padres are inclined to send Giles to Single-A Lake Elsinore or another club, Black said. ... 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff missed his sixth straight start due to a strained lower back but was getting closer to returning, Black said.


PITTSBURGH: CF Chris Duffy was out of the lineup for a fourth consecutive day and was available only for pinch-hitting duty on Wednesday, after he tested his sore hamstring by running before the game. ``He's at about 85 percent,'' manager Jim Tracy said. ``We're obviously not going to push it.'' Nate McLouth made his sixth start of the season in CF. ... Unsolicited, Tracy praised Shawn Chacon, who got his first save since 2004 on Tuesday night with closer Matt Capps suspended until Friday, for his versatility this season. Chacon started four games earlier this season. ``I can't say enough good things about what Shawn Chacon has done for this club,'' Tracy said, acknowledging he's talked a few times with Chacon about the veteran's preference for starting.

SEATTLE: SS Yuniesky Betancourt arrived from Cuba two years ago as a defensive whiz, but he had 17 errors in 66 games entering Wednesday. He had 20 in 157 games last season, his first full one in the major leagues. ``Most have been throwing errors,'' manager Mike Hargrove said. ``That's not a lack of focus.'' Mariners coaches have been trying to get Betancourt to find a consistent arm angle for throwing. ... CF Ichiro Suzuki entered Wednesday with the highest batting average in interleague play this season, .491. He was on pace for 247 hits, which would be his seventh consecutive season with 200 hits. ... Even though starter Horacio Ramirez began throwing bullpen sessions this week for the first time since going on the DL May 25 with left shoulder tendinitis, Hargrove keeps saying Ramirez is a long way off from returning.


SAN FRANCISCO: The Giants starting pitching has failed during the team's seven-game losing streak. Starters have a 10.43 ERA in the last seven games, giving up 39 earned runs in 33 2-3 innings. Only Matt Cain has gone at least six innings during the stretch, giving up one run in seven innings at Boston on Saturday. ``We're giving up big numbers in the first inning,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ... LHP Barry Zito has lost three consecutive starts, giving up 15 earned runs in 13 1-3 innings. ... The Giants have lost 21 of their last 29 on the road.

MILWAUKEE: Bill Hall's grand slam in the first inning Wednesday was the team's fourth this season. Last year, the Brewers were the only team in the majors without a grand slam. ... Hall has only eight homers this year after hitting 35 a year ago. ... SS J.J. Hardy left Wednesday's game with tightness in his lower back. Manager Ned Yost said he pulled him as a precaution, and Hardy is expected to play in the team's next game Friday. ... After Wednesday's 7-5 victory over the Giants, the Brewers are 11-2 in games started by RHP Claudio Vargas.

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Dodgers RHP Jason Schmidt has season-ending surgery
June 20, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -Jason Schmidt had season-ending shoulder surgery on Wednesday and the Los Angeles Dodgers' right-hander is not expected to return until spring training next year.
   
``We knew he hadn't been throwing well,'' general manager Ned Colletti said. ``It's been a concern for a few starts. Obviously it's a disappointment. We'll just have to figure out how to make it better.''

Schmidt, who signed a $47 million, three-year contract as a free agent during the offseason, went 1-4 with a 6.31 ERA in six starts.

``With all due respect, he hasn't thrown well,'' Colletti said. ``It's not as if he was on his way to a Cy Young season and suddenly we lost him. We need to fill the innings and we need to fill them with quality innings.''

Dodgers trainer Stan Conte said Schmidt had surgery to repair an inflamed bursa, a torn labrum and a frayed biceps tendon in his right shoulder. Both the labrum tear and the frayed tendon were unexpected.

Conte said the torn labrum is the most serious aspect of the surgery, performed in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening.

``The rehab has to go slower,'' Conte explained. ``It has to attach back to the bone and that takes some time. The whole process is slowed down.''

The bursa is a pad that decreases friction between a tendon and a bone, Conte said.

``You have a bunch of them in your shoulder,'' he explained. ``There's one that sits on top of your shoulder. When it gets inflamed, it's hard to raise your arm all the way up.''

Schmidt will begin exercises to build up strength and range of motion as soon as he is able.

``We hope that he'll be throwing in spring training,'' Conte said. ``We're about an hour and half out of surgery. We're going to have to see how the rehab process goes and everything else. Based on other guys going through similar procedures, we think he'll be OK in spring training.''

``We probably won't see him actually throwing a ball for three to four months, depending on how the rehab goes,'' Conte added.

Conte said there's no way to tell when Schmidt suffered the injury. Colletti insisted there was no sign of any damage when the Dodgers inspected Schmidt in the offseason before making their contract offer.

``If I had any inkling that this was what was going to be happening in the middle of June, I doubt if we would have gone forward with that,'' Colletti said.

Schmidt was placed on the disabled list in April because of bursitis in his shoulder after going 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in his first three starts.

Following a 45-game absence, Schmidt returned June 5 and threw six shutout innings in San Diego, consistently reaching 89 mph and topping out at 91 mph.

But the 34-year-old didn't perform nearly as well in his last two starts, and his velocity was down. He allowed three runs and five hits in 4 2-3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, walking four and striking out two.

Schmidt acknowledged after Saturday's game that he was still not at full strength.

``I just haven't felt like myself,'' he said.

Conte said Schmidt's labrum tear could have contributed to his lack of velocity.

``When you take your arm back in the cocking position, if the labrum is not stable back there, it prevents you from getting all the way back,'' Conte said. ``We think this is one of the main reasons. The bursa being inflamed and scarred down, too, was another reason. We think this explains why he was having problems and why he couldn't seem to get going.''

This is the second time in his career that Schmidt has undergone season ending shoulder surgery. He was sidelined for the final six weeks of the 2000 season after surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff and a frayed labrum.

Schmidt was placed on the disabled list Monday and utilityman Marlon Anderson was activated from the disabled list to take his place on the roster.

Right-hander Chad Billingsley (4-0) will start in Schmidt's place against Toronto on Thursday.

Even though Billingsley will be on a pitch count, Dodgers manager Grady Little saw no need to add another arm to his bullpen.

``We feel confident with the people we have,'' Little said. ``We didn't use (Mark) Hendrickson out there today and we also have Rudy (Seanez). He's good for a couple. They're all in good shape. Everyone will be available (Thursday) probably except Tomko.''

Colletti said he'll give Billingsley a chance to keep his spot in the rotation before exploring his trade options.

We'll see how the next few weeks go between now and the trade deadline,'' Colletti said. ``We'll see if we need to add a starter or need to add a reliever because we've moved a reliever into the rotation.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 21

Matt Holliday Powers Torrid Rockies Over Yankees, 6-1
Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Things are rocky for the Yankees all right.

The Bronx Bombers got hammered by the National League's leading hitter in the high altitude of Coors Field as the Colorado Rockies claimed a 6-1 victory on Wednesday night.

Matt Holliday homered and drove in three runs to guide the red-hot Rockies, who have won six of seven and taken the first two games of a three-game interleague series in Denver. Holliday upped his NL-leading average to .366 and Colorado paid +115 on the moneyline (meaning a winning wager of $100 would yield a $115 profit).

Kazuo Matsui added a two-run triple while Jeff Francis outdueled Andy Pettitte on the mound. Francis (7-5) allowed just one run on five hits with a career-best nine strikeouts over seven innings. LaTroy Hawkins and Jeremy Affeldt then combined for two hitless innings to preserve the win. Todd Helton recorded his 1,000th hit at Coors Field, and is now one of five active players to post that many hits in a single ballpark. He finished 2-for-4.

Pettitte (4-5) was roughed up for six runs over 6.2 innings for New York, which fell to 10 games back of Boston in the American League East after closing to within 8.5 games over the weekend. Derek Jeter went 2-for-4 to extend his hit streak to 14 games and knocked in his team's lone run.

In other interleague action on Wednesday:

Texas 7, Chicago Cubs 3: Sammy Sosa became the fifth player to reach 600 career homers, hitting the milestone shot against his former team and helping the Rangers to a home win as +110 underdogs. For more on Slammin' Sammy's feat, read this earlier report on the Beat.

Florida 5, Chicago White Sox 4: Jason Wood's pinch-hit three-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Marlins the lead and they held on for an upset in Chicago. Aaron Boone was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored as Florida paid +115.

Oakland 5, Cincinnati 3: Jack Cust hit a two-run home run and Dan Haren pitched seven innings as the Athletics rallied for a home win as -275 favorites. Haren (9-2) gave up three runs on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks to win his ninth-straight decision.

Arizona 7, Tampa Bay 4: Eric Byrnes and Chad Tracy each hit a three-run home run as the Diamondbacks won in Phoenix. Orlando Hudson drove in the other run and Miguel Montero went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Diamondbacks, who have won five of their last six games. They paid even money in this one.

Minnesota 6, New York Mets 2: Torii Hunter hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the fifth inning as the Twins won at Shea Stadium as +174 underdogs. Joe Mauer drove in a pair of runs and Justin Morneau and Mike Redmond each added an RBI. The stumbling Mets have dropped four of five and 13 of 16 overall.

Cleveland 10, Philadelphia 6: Trot Nixon had three hits and knocked in two runs for the Indians, who used an eight-run sixth inning to win at Jacobs Field. Josh Barfield went 2-for-3, scored twice and knocked in a pair of runs for Cleveland, a -220 favorite. Cleveland ace C.C. Sabathia (10-2) hurled six innings, allowing four runs on five hits to become the American League's third 10-game winner this season.

Detroit 8, Washington 4: Carlos Guillen hit a two-run home run and Curtis Granderson knocked in a pair of runs in a five-run sixth inning as the Tigers won as -220 favorites, completing a sweep at RFK Stadium. Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for Detroit.

Toronto 12, Los Angeles Dodgers 1: Frank Thomas clubbed his 497th career homer, a grand slam in the second inning, as the Blue Jays pummeled the Dodgers in Toronto. Gregg Zaun and Matt Stairs also homered for the Blue Jays, who scored eight times in the second inning to win for the fourth time in six games. Roy Halladay (8-2) improved to 4-0 in five starts since his return from the disabled list May 31 following an appendectomy. The Blue Jays were -170 favorites.

Boston 11, Atlanta 0: Julian Tavarez scattered just three hits over seven innings and five batters homered for the Red Sox, who didn't allow Buddy Carlyle (1-2) to get out of the fourth inning. Tavarez (5-4) walked one and struck out four before Joel Pineiro and Mike Timlin finished off the shutout. J.D. Drew, Coco Crisp, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Eric Hinske all homered for Boston, which has won five of its last six games and was a -113 favorite on the road.

St. Louis 7, Kansas City 6: Ryan Ludwick ended a marathon, 14-inning contest with a homer off Jorge De La Rosa at Busch Stadium. De La Rosa (4-8), the listed starter for Friday's game against Milwaukee, served up a 2-and-2 pitch to Ludwick leading off the bottom of the 14th inning. He blasted it over the wall in centerfield, giving the Cardinals their fourth win in five games. They were +106 underdogs.

Los Angeles Angels 8, Houston 4: Vladimir Guerrero belted a three-run home run as the lone hit during a six-run, seventh-inning rally for the host Angels, -194 favorites. Terry Evans homered in his first at- bat as a starter for the Angels, who have won four of their last five. Chone Figgins finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run in the win. Ervin Santana gave up four runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts over 6.2 innings before Hector Carrasco (2-1) got the final out of the seventh.

Seattle 7, Pittsburgh 0: Much-maligned Jeff Weaver twirled a shutout to lead the Mariners to a home win that rewarded their believers with a -139 payout. The outing was a drastic turnaround for Weaver (1-6). He entered without a win and a 10.97 ERA. On Wednesday night, though, he scattered four hits over his dominant performance while striking out five and walking a pair.

Baltimore 7, San Diego 1: Jeremy Guthrie struck out nine batters over eight strong innings as the Orioles snapped a nine-game skid with an upset victory in Southern California. Jay Payton hit a two-run triple for Baltimore, which won for just the third time in 17 games. Guthrie (4-1), whose only loss came April 24 against Oakland, allowed four hits and walked one batter. Earlier Wednesday, the Orioles introduced Andy MacPhail as their president of baseball operations. The Orioles are still trying to replace Sam Perlozzo, who was fired as manager on Monday. Bullpen coach Dave Trembley skippered the team for a second straight night. The Orioles were +126 underdogs.

In the lone National League game on Wednesday:

Milwaukee 7, San Francisco 5: Bill Hall hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high five runs as the Brewers won as -140 favorites and sent the Giants to their seventh loss in a row.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 21

Hernandez cut by Indians
Wed, Jun 20, 2007
By Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians cut right-hander Roberto Hernandez on Wednesday, placed outfielder David Dellucci on the 15-day disabled list and recalled outfielder Ben Francisco and right-hander Edward Mujica from Triple-A Buffalo.

The 42-year-old Hernandez, whose 326 saves are 11th on the career list, was designated for assignment. Cleveland has 10 days to trade him or place him on waivers.

He went 3-1 with 6.23 ERA in 28 games after signing a $3.5 million, one-year contract as a free agent in December. He was hit hard Tuesday night in one inning against Philadelphia, allowing three runs, three hits and two walks.

Hernandez has pitched for nine major league teams since being called up in 1991 by the Chicago White Sox. He has a 67-69 record and a 3.39 ERA.

Cleveland is responsible for the remainder of his $3.3 million salary this year and a $200,000 buyout of a $3.7 million team option for 2008.

Dellucci was hurt running out a ground ball in the fourth inning Tuesday night. Signed to a three-year contract as a free agent on Dec. 6, he is hitting .234 (41-for-175) with four homers and 20 RBIs in 54 games. This is his fifth career stint on the DL, but first since 2003.

The 25-year-old Francisco hit .329 (79-for-240) with six homers, 34 RBIs and 15 stolen bases at Buffalo. He was with the Indians from May 1-3 and made his big league debut May 1 as a defensive replacement, but has not had an at bat in the majors.

Mujica, 23, was 0-1 with 11 saves and a 6.35 ERA in 22 relief appearances at Buffalo. In 12 games the past two seasons for Cleveland, he is 0-1 with a 3.22 ERA.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 21

A's designate Bradley for assignment
June 21, 2007

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Oakland Athletics designated outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment Thursday, cutting ties with a player who was expected to play an important role on the team this season.

Bradley had been on the disabled list three times this year and was frustrated that the team waited two extra days to activate him this week because of uncertainty about third baseman Eric Chavez's health.

Asked Tuesday how he was feeling, Bradley curtly responded, ``I'm healthy and on the bench.'' Bradley was activated from the DL the following day and went 0-for-3 with a walk.

The A's have 10 days to trade or release Bradley. Because he has more than three years of major league service time, Bradley can refuse an assignment to the minor leagues.

Phone messages left with A's general manager Billy Beane and manager Bob Geren were not immediately returned Thursday. The team was traveling to New York to prepare for a three-game weekend series against the Mets.

Bradley, who is in a contract year when players hope to put up some of their best numbers, first was shelved from April 23 to May 10 with a strained left hamstring. He went on the DL a second time May 15-29 when the hamstring flared up again, before being sidelined a third time June 3 with a calf injury.

His missed 51 games in all with the injuries and has had five stints on the disabled list in two seasons with Oakland. He was hitting .292 with two homers and seven RBIs in 65 at_bats this season.

The A's were counting on much more out of Bradley, especially he had a strong postseason to cap his first year in Oakland. He hit .276 with 14 homers in 52 RBIs in 96 regular-season games before hitting three homers and driving in seven runs in seven postseason contests.

But Bradley has always been known as much for his volatile behavior as his baseball skills. In 2005, he accused Dodgers teammate Jeff Kent of a lack of leadership and an inability to deal with black players.

Bradley was also suspended for the final five games of the 2004 season when he slammed a plastic bottle at the feet of a fan in the box seats in the right field corner at Dodger Stadium after someone threw it on the field. Nobody was injured.

Bradley had two run-ins with police during traffic stops in Ohio, one that landed him a three-day stay in jail and another that nearly sent him back for a second visit. When he was with the Dodgers, police responded three times to Bradley's home on domestic violence calls, but he wasn't arrested or charged.

Oakland recalled infielder Kevin Melillo from Triple-A Sacramento to take Bradley's place on the roster. Melillo was hitting .267 with seven homers and 40 RBIs for the River Cats.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 21

Girardi turns down O's
June 21st, 2007

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Joe Girardi declined an offer from the Baltimore Orioles to become their next manager on Thursday, according to a report on MLB.com Thursday.

The 42-year-old Girardi, the National League Manager of the Year in 2006 for the Florida Marlins, met with Orioles brass in Chicago on Tuesday and apparently made a good impression.

He was offered the job but decided to remain in the broadcast booth for now.

The Orioles are mired in last place in the American League East, at 30-41 they are 16 games behind first-place Boston, but did snap a nine-game skid on Wenesday. The team fired manager Sam Perlozzo on Monday, and installed former bullpen coach Dave Trembley as interim manager.

The Baltimore upheaval continued Wednesday, when the O's introduced Andy MacPhail as their new president of baseball operations.

Girardi became the first manager to win the NL honor with a losing record after leading the Marlins to a surprising 78-84 mark in his only season as a big league manager.

However, he was fired by the Marlins just two days after the end of the regular season due to differences with team ownership, specifically team owner Jeffrey Loria.

After deciding to retire as a player prior to the 2004 season, Girardi made his coaching debut in 2005 as the bench coach and catching instructor for the New York Yankees. He had no prior managerial experience at any level before being hired by the Marlins.

Girardi spent parts of 15 seasons as a player in the majors, accumulating a .267 batting average, 36 homers and 422 RBI. Girardi also played for the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, and St. Louis Cardinals. He was a member of three World Series championship squads in New York.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 21

Sanchez out for season following shoulder surgery
June 21, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -Florida Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez will miss the rest of the season after undergoing an operation Thursday that repaired a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder.

The injury was discovered during exploratory arthroscopic surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Sanchez will wait three to four months before he can resume throwing, the Marlins said.

As a rookie last season, the Venezuelan pitched the first no-hitter in the major leagues in 2 1/2 years when he beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 on Sept. 6. He went 10-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 2006, including a 5-1 record in September.

But Sanchez nursed a sore shoulder during the offseason and made only six starts this year, going 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA while allowing 43 hits and 19 walks in 30 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on May 4 and then said his shoulder had been bothering him.

He hasn't pitched since.

The Marlins' vaunted young rotation has been plagued by injuries this season. Elbow trouble has limited right-handers Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco to five starts between them. Right-hander Sergio Mitre spent time on the disabled list because of a blister, and left-hander Dontrelle Willis left his start Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox after one inning because of a tight left forearm.

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