MLB News and Notes June - 24

MLB News and Notes June - 24

Morneau to undergo more tests in hospital
June 23, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -Minnesota Twins slugger Justin Morneau is scheduled to undergo another round of X-rays and blood tests as a precaution Sunday before being released from the hospital following treatment for a bruised right lung.

A team spokesman said Morneau is expected to fly home with the team after its weekend series against Florida. He was hurt Friday in a collision with Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo.

The Twins, who said Morneau might rejoin the lineup next week, were relieved the injury wasn't more serious. The collision left him dazed on the ground, and when he reached the dugout he coughed up blood and struggled to breathe.

He left the stadium on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. A CT scan was normal, and X-rays were negative.

``When you see Morneau down on the field, obviously he doesn't stay down very often,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``He's a big, strong hockey guy. So when he was hurting like that and couldn't catch his breath, we were a little concerned.''

Olivo was unhurt.

Morneau, the 2006 American League MVP, is second in the AL with 20 home runs. His consecutive-games streak, the fourth-longest among active players, ended Saturday night against Florida.

``It wasn't the easiest lineup I've tried to figure out, without his name batting fourth or fifth,'' Gardenhire said. ``It's going to be different obviously for a few days.''

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada led active players with 1,152 consecutive games until he was placed on the disabled list Friday with a wrist injury.

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Phillies pitcher out with ruptured tendon in foot
June 23, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -Phillies right-hander Jon Lieber, who left his last start after stumbling off the mound to cover home plate, is out indefinitely with a ruptured tendon in his foot.

Lieber said an MRI exam on Saturday revealed the damage. Team medical personnel will examine Lieber on Monday in Philadelphia and decide whether surgery is required.

The 37-year-old Lieber is 3-6 with a 4.73 ERA in 14 games, 12 of them starts. He was the Phillies' opening-day starter in 2005 and '06.

``I put high expectations on myself to help this ballclub,'' Lieber said. ``I definitely wasn't doing a very good job this past month. I don't know what else to say.''

Lieber was injured while hustling to back up home plate in the sixth inning of Wednesday's start at Cleveland, and ended up limping into the dugout. He doesn't believe the injury is career-threatening.

``It just gave, it popped,'' Lieber said. ``I know the tape doesn't show I rolled it, but it felt like I rolled it.''

Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro said the team would explore a trade to bolster the rotation.

``You can't predict when someone is going to blow out a foot, a tendon,'' Amaro said. ``It is possible someone else will become available in the near future.

``Then again, I know how hard it is to make trades in this day and age.''

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Notes from Saturday's games
June 23, 2007

CHICAGO CUBS: As manager Lou Piniella made his way to the interview area after Saturday's game, he was confronted by several female fans who pleaded with him to pose for a picture. Piniella obliged before finally excusing himself. ``They want to take a picture of me. That's what you really call desperate housewives,'' Piniella said with a laugh. ... RHP Bob Howry replaced RHP Ryan Dempster as the team's closer Saturday because Dempster has a strained oblique muscle. Dempster first felt it when he delivered his first pitch Friday. He plans to get more treatment and then play catch Monday to see how it is. ... 3B Mark DeRosa apparently had a reaction to medication he's been taking for several ailments, including a bout of blurred vision earlier this week in Texas, and was a late scratch Saturday.
   
CHICAGO WHITE SOX: OF Scott Podsednik, on the DL since mid-April with a strained adductor muscle, was activated a couple days ahead of schedule because of injuries to Darin Erstad and Jermaine Dye. In his first game back, Podsednik led off the first with a single, stole a base and scored the White Sox's only run. He went 1-for-4. ... Erstad was put back on the DL after re-injuring his sprained left ankle in the first inning Friday when he made a diving catch. He'd initially been on the DL since June 1. Manager Ozzie Guillen said Erstad was put back on the DL because an MRI of the ankle was not clean. ``I didn't set myself back a long ways. Like I said, it's just not ready,'' Erstad said. ``I felt like it was good enough to play. I still feel that way, I don't second guess myself. For some reason, it was one of those plays where you have to make a play and it happened.'' ... Dye sat out Saturday with a sore quadriceps muscle that has been bothering him and forced him out of a game Monday. He may also be headed to the DL and might have been put on if Erstad had not. ``I can't play,'' Dye said. ``I pulled it again coming out of the box yesterday. I don't want to go out there and risk tearing it again. Then I would be in a real bad situation.''


COLORADO: OF Matt Holliday went 2-for-5 Saturday and leads the major leagues with 108 hits. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo homer in the second, his third in the past three games. ``I'm feeling good at the plate, recognizing pitches early,'' Tulowitzki said. ... OF/1B Jeff Baker was hit by a pitch Saturday for the first time in his three-year career.

TORONTO: DH Frank Thomas hit his 498th career home run Saturday, a two-run shot in the first inning. Thomas has homered against every major league team except Pittsburgh. ... The Blue Jays are 6-0 when they reach double figures in runs. ... RHP Brian Wolfe has won two games in the past two days despite working just 1 1-3 innings and throwing only 15 pitches. He's the first Toronto pitcher to win in consecutive games since LHP Scott Downs did it against Seattle July 15-16, 2006.


DETROIT: RF Magglio Ordonez, who left Friday night's game in the eighth inning after he was hit on his left hand by a pitch, was back in the lineup and was 1-for-4. X-rays on the hand, which was bruised, were negative. ... CF Curtis Granderson was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, dropping his batting average to .291 and ending his seven-game hitting streak.

ATLANTA: LF Willie Harris was the leadoff hitter for only the second time this season. CF Andruw Jones hit seventh for the first time this season and went 0-for-2 with two walks, dropping his batting average to .198. ... 3B Chipper Jones hit his 13th homer as he moved back into the starting lineup after testing his sore groin in batting practice. Jones missed Friday night's game. ... The Braves have been outscored 14-2 in John Smoltz's four losses, including Friday night's 5-0 loss.


HOUSTON: CF Hunter Pence is playing as a major leaguer for the first time in his hometown of Arlington, but manager Phil Garner said he doesn't detect that the rookie has approached the games against the Texas Rangers with any more urgency. ``I don't notice any difference,'' Garner said. ``He's been fired up since he's been here.'' ... LHP Stephen Randolph was uncharacteristically wild in Friday night's two-inning relief stint against Texas, issuing four walks. ``He's been pitching better than that,'' Garner said.

TEXAS:
RHP Kevin Millwood has won his last two starts after going winless in his previous seven starts dating back to April 13. Millwood gave up three runs in six innings as the Rangers beat the Astros 11-3 Friday night. ``The big thing is he's kept us in games,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``He didn't have his best stuff and he still made the best of it.'' ... RHP Brandon McCarthy is scheduled to make a rehab start Sunday at Triple-A Oklahoma. McCarthy has been on the DL since June 14 with a blister on his right middle finger. He will be on a 65-pitch count.


MINNESOTA: 2B Luis Castillo was honored before Saturday's game in Miami for his role during the Marlins' 1997 World Series championship season. ... Most of the Marlins will get their first look Sunday at LHP Johan Santana. Hitters are usually at a disadvantage in such situations, manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``It's going to be an experience for them, let's put it that way,'' Gardenhire said. ``Johan is pretty special.'' ... Two infield hits Friday gave the Twins 99, most in the majors. ... Jason Kubel's double Friday was the first extra-base hit by a Twins pinch-hitter this season.

FLORIDA: Former leadoff hitter SS Hanley Ramirez remained in the third spot in the batting order Saturday, even with the return of 1B Mike Jacobs from the disabled list. ``I thought about it a lot,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``Hanley has been getting more and more comfortable in that three hole.'' ... LHP Dontrelle Willis, who has been nursing a tight forearm, threw a bullpen session Saturday and is expected to start Tuesday against Pittsburgh. ... On Friday, 2B Dan Uggla became the first player in Marlins history to achieve the hat trick of a homer, sacrifice bunt and sacrifice fly. ... Florida has slipped behind Tampa Bay to last in the majors in home attendance. The Marlins were averaging 16,181 through Friday.


CLEVELAND: Now that Baltimore SS Miguel Tejada's consecutive games streak is over at 1,152, Cleveland CF Grady Sizemore moves up to second on the active list with 269. Los Angeles CF Juan Pierre is the new leader with 346 straight. ... With RHP Jake Westbrook (left abdominal strain) scheduled to return from the DL and start Sunday, the Indians will have to demote a player from the roster. Manager Eric Wedge said it will likely be someone from the bullpen. ... Team representatives spent two hours visiting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Bethesda Naval Hospital on Saturday. ``It's about as real as you get,'' Wedge said. ``They're all heroes.''

WASHINGTON:
RHP Shawn Hill's sore right elbow is not healing as hoped, so he will get a second opinion Monday from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Hill felt pain in the elbow May 11 after he altered his mechanics to compensate for a left shoulder injury he suffered while running the bases. Hill missed the 2004 season after having ligament replacement surgery on the elbow. ... LHP Matt Chico opened with a 1-2-3 inning Saturday night, the first time a Nationals pitcher has retired the side without damage in the first inning in 12 games. ... It certainly wasn't like the old days Friday night, when manager Manny Acta used seven pitchers to limit Cleveland to one run in a 4-1 victory. ``That time has gone, the time when Juan Marichal used to throw 30 complete games,'' Acta said. ``We just have to adjust to the times. We have cell phones now.''


OAKLAND:
RHP Rich Harden felt fine after throwing 15 pitches Friday night in his first relief outing following a two-month stint on the disabled list because of a strained right shoulder. Harden struck out two in a perfect eighth inning. The plan is for him to pitch again Monday night at Cleveland, possibly for two innings. The Athletics are using Harden out of the bullpen for now, gradually building up his strength and endurance for a return to the rotation. The team hopes he'll be starting again by the All-Star break. ... Former Mets slugger Mike Piazza brought the lineup card to home plate before the game and received a warm ovation. He tipped his cap several times and blew a kiss to the crowd. Piazza has been on the DL since May 3 with a sprained right shoulder. He is on a throwing program to build up arm strength because the team wants to use him as a catcher when he comes back. He began the season strictly as a DH.

NEW YORK: The Mets need a starting pitcher for a doubleheader Friday at Philadelphia, so RHP Mike Pelfrey could be recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. New York manager Willie Randolph said the team was still thinking about that decision. Pelfrey is 2-2 with a 3.44 ERA at New Orleans since being demoted. He opened the season 0-5 with a 6.53 ERA in six starts with the Mets. Pelfrey pitched Friday for New Orleans, allowing four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-0 loss to Omaha. He struck out five and walked one. ... LHP Dave Williams began a rehab assignment Friday night with Class-A St. Lucie. He allowed three runs and four hits in five innings against Vero Beach. Williams had surgery for a herniated disk in his neck on Jan. 31.


LOS ANGELES: 1B Nomar Garciaparra was taken out of the starting lineup due to flulike symptoms. Manager Grady Little said Garciaparra was sent back to the team hotel. ``It's bad enough we didn't want him around the other players,'' Little said. ``We'll see how he is tomorrow.'' ... The Dodgers signed LHP Michael Watt, their second round pick in this year's amateur draft. Watt, from Capistrano Valley High School (Calif.), is a graduate of the Los Angeles RBI (Reviving Baseball in Innercities) program.

TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon said pitching coach Jim Hickey will undergo surgery Monday for a detached retina and will miss an upcoming road series at Cleveland that starts Friday. Hickey was struck by a golf ball on a just completed road trip. Minor league pitching coordinator Dick Bosman will fill in for Hickey. ... RHP Edwin Jackson (0-8. 7.85 ERA) is not facing a make-or-break start Sunday. ``We knew coming into the season there would be ups and downs,'' Maddon said of the 23-year pitcher.


PITTSBURGH: C/INF Josh Phelps had about 3 hours of sleep Friday night before he hopped a plane in New York and joined his new teammates in Anaheim for the middle game of a three-game set with the Angels. Going from the Yankees to the Pirates may be somewhat of a culture shock for the 29-year-old veteran, who will be playing for his fifth big league club in the last five seasons. But he has a good attitude about it. ``If it's an opportunity to contribute, that's all you look for,'' said Phelps, who was claimed off waivers on Friday after the Yankees designated him for assignment. ``The goal is still the same whether I'm playing for the Yankees or the Pirates. It's my first National League experience, other than interleague, so it'll be a learning one.'' ... RHP Ian Snell didn't have to bat in Saturday night's start against the Angels because of the DH rule in AL ballparks during Interleague play. Snell has nine sacrifice bunts, tying Roy Oswalt for the major league lead - but six of the nine baserunners he has advanced have been stranded.

LOS ANGELES: Manager Mike Scioscia is having trouble coming up with fresh ideas for how to tell LHP Joe Saunders he's going back to Triple-A after making a spot start for an injured pitcher. Friday night was the third time that scenario played out this season, and Saunders is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in those outings. ``I think it's gone from explaining it to Joe - which he's come to understand - to last night, where it was just, 'Joe, you know the routine,''' Scioscia said. ``Joe's like any other kid who thinks he's ready for the challenge of pitching in the big leagues, but understands the situation.''


BALTIMORE: The Orioles have won three straight, their longest streak since winning six in a row May 26-31. ... Baltimore starters have worked at least seven innings in 19 of the Orioles' last 36 games after reaching the seven-inning mark only four times in the team's first 27 games. ... The Orioles are second in the AL with 58 stolen bases. ... SS Freddie Bynum started Saturday night after Chris Gomez replaced injured Miguel Tejada on Friday.

ARIZONA: The Diamondbacks have committed 55 errors this season, second most in the National League behind Cincinnati. ... RHP Doug Davis, Sunday's scheduled starter, is 0-2 with an 11.08 ERA in his last three starts. ... SS Augie Ojeda made his second start of the season Saturday in place of Stephen Drew, who was 0-for-4 in Friday's season opener. ... 3B Mark Reynolds has hit safely in 20 of 30 games since his recall from Double-A Mobile on May 16.


BOSTON : RHP Curt Schilling didn't care to share his feelings about going on the DL with the media. ``I have a million things to do,'' he said Saturday night. Schilling was put on the DL because of right shoulder soreness Friday, retroactive to Tuesday. Manager Terry Francona said Schilling had some baseline testing done. ``As when he throws that will be up to the medical staff when it's in his best interest. And I don't know when that is,'' the skipper said. ... In the lineup Saturday night were 3B Mike Lowell, who missed the last three starts with a sprained left thumb, and RF J.D. Drew, who left Wednesday's game at Atlanta because of tightness in his right quad and did not play Friday. Lowell entered Friday night's game for defensive purposes.

SAN DIEGO:
Manager Bud Black said RF Brian Giles, out because of a bone bruise in his right knee is getting closer to returning from the DL. Giles took batting practice, ran the bases and took balls in the outfield on Saturday. Black said Giles probably will go on a rehab assignment with Single-A Lake Elsinore. ... Mike Cameron batted cleanup Saturday night even though he was 2-for-16 lifetime against Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. ``He's due,'' Black said.


NEW YORK: SS Derek Jeter doubled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He has also hit in 25 straight interleague games. He left the game in the eighth inning because of a slight strain of his left him and is day-to-day. ``It's no problem. I wasn't moving around too well but that's it. I just stiffened up,'' he said. ... Roger Clemens, who has not made a relief appearance in the regular season since 1984, was warming up in the bullpen in the 13th inning with the Yankees running out of pitchers. Manager Joe Torre decided to let reliever Scott Proctor bat with a runner on and two outs in the top of the 13th instead of rushing Clemens. ``Roger said he was available, but there was no way I was going to force him to get ready,'' Torre said. ... RHP Phil Hughes could resume throwing off the mound soon. Hughes worked out for the second straight day Saturday at the Yankees' minor league complex without a protective boot on his left ankle, which he sprained May 25 while doing an agility drill during a rehab program for a strained left hamstring.

SAN FRANCISCO:
Robin Williams needed three takes before he finally got the Giants starting lineup right for television, although he did need help from Billy Crystal, asking ``What does SP mean?'' Crystal did his Yankees' lineup on the first take. Omar Vizquel came over to get autographs from the two comedians and pose for pictures with them. Williams originally called Omar ``Pedro Vizquel.'' ... OF Fred Lewis (right oblique strain) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Fresno on Saturday night. ``He swung the bat yesterday and felt great,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``We don't have a target date for him. We'll let him get his timing and everything.''


CINCINNATI:
Lost in the hoopla around Ken Griffey Jr.'s return was another outstanding performance by RHP Aaron Harang on Friday night. Harang won his third straight decision and is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in his last six starts. Manager Jerry Narron thinks Harang is worth of an All-Star selection, but the pitcher isn't counting on anything. ``I can't control that. If it happens, it happens.'' ... Injured CF Ryan Freel has been cleared to begin baseball activity and was scheduled to workout with Triple-A Louisville on Saturday. Narron hopes Freel will go out on a rehab assignment in the next few days. Freel was injured in a collision with Norris Hopper on May 28. ... Sunday's starter, RHP Bronson Arroyo, has given up one earned run in two career starts in Seattle. On July 19, 2004, Arroyo struck out a career-high 12 against Seattle.

SEATTLE: Manager Mike Hargrove's ejection on Friday night was his first of the season. He watched the rest of the 16-1 rout from the Mariners video room. ``It wasn't any prettier on video than it was in person,'' he said. ... RHP Ryan Feierabend wasn't bothered by the boos that came his way when he threw to first base twice in the first inning on Friday night, before finally throwing a pitch to Ken Griffey Jr. Feierabend said he threw over twice until getting the pitch he wanted to throw. Griffey promptly grounded a single to right field. ... Hargrove said RHP Mark Lowe and LHP Horacio Ramirez are getting closer to going out on rehab assignments. Lowe has been out all year following elbow surgery. Ramirez went on the 15-day DL on May 25 with left shoulder tendinitis. ... Friday night's 16-1 loss was the largest margin of defeat for the Mariners since Safeco Field opened during the 1999 season.

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KANSAS CITY: Friday's starter, former Brewer Jorge de la Rosa, has now lost six straight decisions, including losses in back-to-back games. ... Brian Bannister came into Saturday night's game having won his last four starts, all in the month of June. ... The Royals wore all-black uniforms with white pinstripes to honor the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. ... Pitcher John Thompson arrived in Milwaukee prior to last night's game after signing a free agent contract. Thompson will wear jersey number 52. The Royals are his fifth major league team. ... The Royals signed their number two pick in this year's First Year Player Draft. Samuel Runion, a right-handed pitcher out of A.C. Reynolds High School in North Carolina was the 66th player selected overall. ... The Royals have been in last place in the American League Central since April 7.

MILWAUKEE:
Security guards and vendors sported T-shirts saying ``Vote Prince'' on the front and ``Vote Brewers'' on the back. First Baseman Prince Fielder is first in National League fan balloting for the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco on July 10. If voted to start, he would be the first Brewers player to be so honored since Paul Molitor in 1988. ... Left-hander Chris Capuano took batting practice before the game. Capuano was placed on the DL on June 14th, but the move was retroactive to June 9th. ... Tomorrow's starter, Yovani Gallardo, will try to win his second career start, after beating the Giants in his debut. Gallardo allowed three runs in 6 1-3 innings on June 18 and the Brewers beat the Giants 5-4. ... The Brewers wore their Milwaukee Bears uniforms, white with black pinstripes, to honor the Negro Leagues. The team also gave away 15,000 replica Milwaukee Bears hats before the game. ... The Brewers have been in first place in the NL Central since April 21st.


PHILADELPHIA: Shane Victorino went 0-for-4, ending a career-best 14-game hitting streak during which he batted .311 (19-for-61) with three homers and seven RBIs. ... LHP Cole Hamels is coming off his worst outing of the year, allowing six runs in five innings, heading into Sunday's start against the Cardinals' Kip Wells. Last August, Hamels gave up two hits and a run in seven innings in his only career start against St. Louis. ... Jimmy Rollins had three hits and an RBI and is batting .458 (11-for-24) in five games at new Busch Stadium. Overall, he's hitting .342 (27-for-79) in his last 18 games. ... RHP Adam Eaton is 1-3 with a 5.93 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals after getting knocked out in the sixth inning.

ST. LOUIS: RHP Chris Carpenter, rehabbing from surgery he had in May to remove bone spurs from his elbow, added breaking balls to his third bullpen session on Saturday. Carpenter expects to meet with team physician Dr. George Paletta on Monday in New York during the team's series against the Mets to map out the next phase in his rehab. He could return to a tattered rotation after the All-Star break. ``I basically did a normal warmup routine, threw all my pitches and everything felt good,'' Carpenter said. ... Aaron Miles had three hits and is 10-for-16 in the last three games, raising his average to .315. ``Sometimes it goes in streaks,'' Miles said. ``I'm not hitting it at guys, that's the main thing.'' ... So Taguchi is batting .393 (22-for-56) during a career-best 15-game hitting streak. ... RHP Russ Springer has a strikeout in each of his last 13 appearances, totaling 17.

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Phillies pitcher out with ruptured tendon in foot

Lieber likely to miss rest of season
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Jon Lieber's season and Phillies career have likely ended with one significant freak misstep.

Results from a MRI exam taken Saturday unveiled a ruptured tendon in the bottom of Lieber's right foot, the team announced after an 8-3 loss to the Cardinals. Lieber will see team physician Michael Ciccotti and foot specialist Dr. Steven M. Raikin at the Thomas Jefferson Institute on Monday.

Lieber's season remains in serious jeopardy even if he avoids surgery, as the right-hander said he was told Sunday that he would need "at least six to eight weeks" of recovery time before he could start throwing, which then would add another four weeks.

If everything goes perfectly, Lieber could return in mid-to-late September, but that's a long shot.

"It's going to be a while, no matter how you look at it," said Lieber, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. "I have no clue. I knew it was a little bit more than a tweak, but I didn't think it would be this bad."

No one thought that on June 20, when Lieber stood in the bowels of Jacobs Field and spoke of not missing a start. He said he felt a pop when, after giving up a single to Casey Blake, he moved to back up home plate, but hoped for the best.

To be safe, the Phillies pushed him back to June 27, and he was to test the foot on Sunday. Still sore on Saturday, the team scheduled a precautionary MRI for Sunday morning.

The medical diagnosis of avulsion to the peroneus longus tendon translates to a season-ending injury, and it is significantly different than the previously-thought right ankle strain.

Lieber's injury devastates an already decimated pitching staff that has lost Freddy Garcia, Tom Gordon, Brett Myers and Francisco Rosario this season. A rotation that was six deep coming out of Spring Training is down to three. The big four of Myers, Lieber, Gordon and Garcia represent a combined $29.5 million in salary, or roughly 31 percent of the payroll.

"I've been on a team in Seattle where our rotation's five guys made every start," Jamie Moyer said. "You don't see that happen too often. It's unfortunate that we have to deal with this. Hopefully, we can keep it together."

The how is the problem. After Cole Hamels starts on Sunday, the Phillies will go with Kyle Kendrick, Moyer and Adam Eaton in the Tuesday-through-Thursday series against the Reds, then Hamels for one game of Friday's doubleheader against the Mets.

The Phillies will need a starter for the other game of that twin bill, as well as one for Saturday. Candidates include 20-year-old Carlos Carrasco (recently called up to Double-A), J.A. Happ (recently activated from a two-week stint on the disabled list) and J.D. Durbin. Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro ruled out Clay Condrey, who was recalled to take Lieber's spot on the roster.

Though a trade is possible, Amaro said the starters in the short term will likely be filled internally. A four-man rotation is likely out, too, though Moyer volunteered. Also out is reliever Antonio Alfonseca, who jokingly offered to return to his Minor League roots.

Beyond this week, Amaro said Myers will remain in the bullpen once he returns from the disabled list.

"I don't know what our plans are," Moyer said. "With that doubleheader in there, it really throws a wrench into the works. I'm glad I'm not involved in those decisions. They're going to do what's best for the team. We'll have to get through it."

So will Lieber, who began the season in the bullpen and on the disabled list with an oblique strain, then moved back into the rotation. He said he wasn't yet braced for his season's abrupt ending. He was already having a rough month, going 1-3 with a 6.66 ERA in June, and allowing seven runs in 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday was his worst effort of the year.

"I don't want to think along those lines," said Lieber, a free agent after the season. "I just want to wait and see what's going to be said Monday. I've never had any problems or anything of this magnitude."

"Unfortunately, it's part of the game," Amaro said. "You can't predict injury. Everybody goes through it, and we'll deal with it. Hopefully, we'll have guys step up and do a job like Kendrick has done."

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Indians activate Westbrook for start against Nationals
June 24, 2007

CLEVELAND (AP) -The Cleveland Indians recalled right-hander Jake Westbrook from the disabled list to start Sunday against the Washington Nationals.

To make room for Westbrook, Cleveland optioned right-hander Edward Mujica to Triple-A Buffalo.

Westbrook left a May 2 game against Toronto with a left abdominal pull. He is 1-2 with a 7.90 ERA in six starts with the Indians this season.

Westbrook allowed two runs and two hits in four innings for Buffalo in his last rehabilitation assignment on June 18. He walked four and struck out three.

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