MLB News and Notes June - 25

MLB News and Notes June - 25

Rangers starter Padilla headed to the disabled list

Sun, Jun 24, 2007
By Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers right-hander Vicente Padilla is finally headed to the disabled list.

Padilla admitted Sunday to Texas pitching coach Mark Connor that he was still bothered by the right triceps problem that forced him to miss a start June 5. Padilla had an MRI exam then that showed inflammation but no serious problems, and the Rangers believe that is still the case.

The Rangers didn't make the move immediately, but will put Padilla (3-8, 6.69 ERA) on the 15-day disabled list before his scheduled start Tuesday at Detroit. They don't expect him back until at least after the All-Star break in two weeks.

Manager Ron Washington said he hasn't decided who will start in Padilla's place Tuesday.

Padilla, given a new $33.75 million, three-year contract after winning 15 games for the Rangers last season, has allowed 42 hits and 19 earned runs (10.26 ERA) over 16 2-3 innings his last four starts. Padilla last pitched Thursday against the Chicago Cubs, when he was taken out after allowing six straight hits to start the fifth inning.

When Padilla came to the bullpen Sunday afternoon for his off-day work, Connor sat him down and asked him what was wrong.

''He told me my elbow hurts. It's good for a couple of innings and then it tightens up and he can't get anything to come out of his arm,'' Connor said. ''I told him I'm not watching the same guy as I was last year. Last year, he was a groundball pitcher, he struck people out, and this year he's doing neither. His command is not near what it was, his velocity fluctuates.''

Padilla is the fourth starter from the Rangers' opening-day rotation to go on the DL.

Kevin Millwood (4-6, 7.31) has won consecutive starts since two DL stints for a strained left hamstring. Jamey Wright was lost for two months because of right shoulder inflammation after his first start, and Brandon McCarthy has been on the DL since June 10 because of a blister on his right middle finger.

McCarthy pitched 4 1-3 scoreless innings in a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Oklahoma on Sunday with six strikeouts while throwing 40 of 63 pitches for strikes. The Rangers still expect McCarthy to make another rehab start before rejoining the rotation, despite Padilla's absence.

Willie Eyre or Joaquin Benoit could come out of the bullpen to make a spot start for Texas on Tuesday, or John Koronka could rejoin the Rangers instead of making his scheduled start for Oklahoma that night.

Connor believes that Padilla has been hurting since spring training.

''It's obvious that something's bothering him and he's trying to pitch through it,'' Connor said. ''I don't want any heroes. ... We will give him some time off, continue to get therapy and quiet this thing down. We will get it to where it's not an issue, no matter how long it takes.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 25

SS Guzman, RHP Colome placed on DL
June 24, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) -Nationals shortstop Cristian Guzman and reliever Jesus Colome were placed on the 15-day disabled list following Sunday's 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Washington also acquired Levale Speigner from Minnesota in a trade that reunites the right-hander with his former team, and activated Jason Bergmann from the disabled list.

Guzman sprained his left thumb in the fifth inning while tagging out Cleveland's Josh Barfield at second base on a steal attempt. He did not leave the game.

Guzman has been one of Washington's most productive offensive players this season. The Nationals' leadoff batter is hitting .329 with 31 runs scored.

He spent more than a month on the disabled list earlier this season after straining his left hamstring on opening day. Just as they did during Guzman's first DL stint, Felipe Lopez will shift from second base to shortstop and Ronnie Belliard will start at second.

Colome was diagnosed with a right lower extremity soft-tissue infection. The right-hander has been one of Washington's most effective relievers this season, posting a 4-0 record and 2.76 ERA in 40 appearances.

Bergmann (right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to start at Atlanta on Monday. It will be his first start since May 14 against the Braves.

Right-hander Chris Schroder was optioned to Triple-A Columbus to make room for Bergmann, but was recalled to the Nationals before he had time to leave. He replaced Colome on the roster.

The Nationals are expected to call up infielder D'Angelo Jimenez from Columbus on Monday.

In exchange for Speigner, Washington sent minor league outfielder Darnell McDonald to the Twins.

Speigner was 2-3 with an 8.78 ERA in 19 games, including six starts, for the Nationals before he was designated for assignment on June 19.

But because Speigner was a Rule 5 pick, the Nationals had to offer him back to Minnesota - the team from which Washington picked him in the Rule 5 draft - once he cleared waivers. The Twins accepted the offer, then traded Speigner back to Washington.

Speigner will report to Columbus.

McDonald hit .315 with two home runs and 41 RBIs in 73 games for Columbus.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 25

Notes from Sunday's games
June 24, 2007

MINNESOTA:
Manager Ron Gardenhire's ejection was his third of the season and the 31st of his career. ... RHP Pat Neshek allowed a run for the first time since May 26 when he gave up a homer to Florida's Miguel Cabrera in the eighth inning. That hiked Neshek's ERA to 1.26. ... RHP Kevin Slowey will start for the Twins when they open a home series Monday against Toronto. RHP Scott Baker will start Tuesday. ... C Joe Mauer asked not to sit out, then hit two homers, hiking his average in day games to .368.

FLORIDA: RF Jeremy Hermida, a left-handed hitter, had two hits off Minnesota LHP Johan Santana to improve his average against lefties to .350. Against right-handers, Hermida is batting .183. ... By losing two of three games in their weekend series against Minnesota, the Marlins fell to 15-21 at home.


COLORADO: OF Matt Holliday went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, just the second time he's been held hitless in his past 11 games. ... The Rockies fell to 0-6 in Toronto. Colorado also was swept in a three-game series in June 2002. New York's Yankee Stadium and Tampa Bay's Tropicana Field are the only other ballparks where Colorado has never won. ... Manager Clint Hurdle spoke privately with RHP Jason Hirsh about the rookie's inconsistent form during a current four-start winless streak. ``He needs to have a presence,'' Hurdle said. ``He needs to have an identity and just follow through with it.'' Hirsh is 3-6 with a 5.06 ERA in 15 starts.

TORONTO:
DH Frank Thomas hit his 499th home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. He's one away from becoming the 21st player in major league history to hit 500 homers. ... RHP A.J. Burnett (sore shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Monday and remains on track to come off the 15-day disabled list and start Thursday at Minnesota. ... 1B Lyle Overbay (broken hand) has resumed infield practice but won't start taking batting practice until July. Overbay broke his right hand when he was hit by a pitch from Chicago White Sox lefty John Danks on June 3. ... LHP Gustavo Chacin (sore shoulder) threw from 90 feet on flat ground and will throw from the mound sometime during Toronto's 10-game road trip that begins Monday. ``He's basically starting over,'' manager John Gibbons said. ``It's like spring training. He's going to be a while.''


OAKLAND: RHP Justin Duchscherer, on the disabled list since May 22 because of a right hip strain, felt good after throwing Saturday. He has yet to throw off a mound, but manager Bob Geren said he hopes Duchscherer will do so within the next 10 days. ... DH-OF Jack Cust had four homers and 11 RBIs in 16 interleague games. ... The Athletics hit .192 (19-for-99) in the three-game series at New York. ... Kevin Melillo made his major league debut when he pinch hit in the eighth inning and drew a walk. ... LHP Joe Kennedy faced only one lefty, Shawn Green, and held him hitless in two at_bats. On the season, lefties are batting .109 against Kennedy.

NEW YORK: Mets 1B Carlos Delgado asked for the day off and manager Willie Randolph gave it to him. ``His numbers against Kennedy were atrocious anyway,'' Randolph said. Shawn Green started at first base because Julio Franco's knee was bothering him. ``His knee was barking a bit, he couldn't really move laterally,'' Randolph said. Franco pinch hit in the eighth and drew a walk. ... Green last started at first on Aug. 16, with Arizona at Colorado. ... Damion Easley made his sixth career start in right field, and his first since last April 14, for Arizona. ... It was Family Day at Shea Stadium, and many of the players brought their families to the ballpark. Delgado's 3-month-old son, Carlos Antonio, wore a Delgado jersey and looked startled by all the activity as his father carried him through the clubhouse. ``He's doing good,'' the proud father said, smiling. ``He doesn't talk back yet, so I don't know.'' ... RHP John Maine is 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in his last two starts.


CLEVELAND: The Indians scored a season-low five runs in their three-game series against Washington. The top three hitters in the lineup - OF Grady Sizemore, 3B Casey Blake and C Victor Martinez - were 0-for-11 with a walk in a 3-1 loss. ... OF Franklin Gutierrez hit his third homer and is batting .477 (10-for-21) in his last eight games. ... To make room for RHP Jake Westbrook, who started Sunday, the Indians optioned RHP Edward Mujica to Triple-A Buffalo. Mujica was sent down for the second time this season, after just four days with the Indians. He was 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two relief appearances.

WASHINGTON:
SS Cristian Guzman was placed on the 15-day disabled list following a 3-1 win over Cleveland. He sprained his left thumb in the fifth inning while tagging out Josh Barfield at second base on a steal attempt. Guzman, who is hitting .329, did not leave the game. ... RHP Jesus Colome (4-0, 2.76 ERA in 40 games) was placed on the 15-day DL with an infection. ... RHP Chris Schroder (0-0, 0.00 ERA in one game) was optioned to Triple-A Columbus but recalled to Washington before he had time to leave. He was demoted to make room for RHP Jason Bergmann (1-3, 2.76 ERA), who was reinstated from the 15-day DL to start Monday's game at Atlanta, but recalled once Colome was put on the DL. Washington is expected to purchase the contract of infielder D'Angelo Jimenez from Columbus on Monday.


LOS ANGELES: 1B Nomar Garciaparra was available off the bench after missing Saturday's game with flulike symptoms. ... RHP Brad Penny (9-1), who was pushed back one day, will face RHP Micah Owings (5-1) in Monday's opener of a four-game series at Arizona. Penny is 6-2 with a 1.88 ERA in 13 career starts against the Diamondbacks. ... The Dodgers signed Cal State Fullerton C Matt Wallach, their 22nd-round pick in this year's amateur draft. He is the son of former big league 3B Tim Wallach.

TAMPA BAY: Manager Joe Maddon still expects 2B-CF B.J. Upton (strained left quadriceps) to start a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday for Class-A Vero Beach. The stint could last two to four days. ... LF Carl Crawford is the best triples threat Maddon has seen. Crawford has 73 career triples, including a major league-best 67 since the start of the 2003 season. ``He's thinking triple out of the box and has the speed to do it,'' Maddon said. ``He's a strong runner. Strong and fast. He's exceptional.''


NEW YORK: Derek Jeter talked his way into the lineup after leaving the previous game with a strained left hip, but went 0-for-3 to snap his 17-game hitting streak. Manager Joe Torre considered resting his shortstop before next week's series in Baltimore, but Jeter was persuasive. ``I made a deal with him: If it really bothers you, just tell us and we'll come and get you,'' Torre said. ... The Yankees made three errors after committing just three in their previous 17 games. C Wil Nieves' throwing error in the fourth was New York's first error of the season while RHP Mike Mussina was on the mound, a stretch of 63 innings. Only San Francisco's Matt Cain (96 1-3) has pitched more innings without his teammates making an error. ... Torre rested C Jorge Posada and OF Bobby Abreu after both played extensively in the Yankees' 13-inning loss Saturday. Both players appeared as pinch hitters in the seventh, and both should be back in the lineup in Baltimore.

SAN FRANCISCO: OF Dave Roberts was scratched from the lineup with a case of food poisoning. ... The San Francisco clubhouse was saddened by news of reliever Rod Beck's death in suburban Phoenix. Beck spent the first seven of his 13 major league seasons with San Francisco, playing with Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds. He later played with Ryan Klesko in San Diego. ``He left an impression on everybody he played with,'' Aurilia said. ``You talk to everybody, they'll have nothing but good things to say.'' ... The Giants hosted a reunion of players from the 1962 World Series against the Yankees, holding a ceremony on the field. Felipe Alou, Juan Marichal and Willie McCovey were among the San Francisco contingent, which received a spirited ovation from the sellout crowd.


KANSAS CITY:
Manager Buddy Bell said he was still pleased with RHP Octavio Dotel even though the closer blew his second consecutive save chance. Dotel gave up a solo home run to Milwaukee's Corey Hart in the ninth. ``Octavio just got a ball up to Hart,'' Bell said. ... Hart's home run hit off the glove of CF David DeJesus at the wall. ``It was in my glove,'' DeJesus said. ... The Royals beat the Brewers despite going 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. ``You get the opportunities and we finally got it done,'' Bell said. ... RHP John Thomson will make his season debut Monday night at the Los Angeles Angels. He was signed on Friday after being released by the Blue Jays.

MILWAUKEE: 1B Prince Fielder was not in the lineup for just the second game this season. He came in as a pinch hitter in the ninth but stuck out swinging, and ended the game with a strikeout in the 11th. ... RHP Ben Sheets, who starts Monday night against Houston, has a 7-1 record with a 2.49 ERA in his last eight starts and leads the Brewers' staff with 11 quality starts this season. ... Corey Hart's ninth-inning home run tied the score and extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a career high. ... Derrick Turnbow snapped an eight-game scoreless streak when gave up the go-ahead runs in the eighth.


DETROIT: LHP Nate Robertson, who did not allow a hit in six innings of a rehab start for Double-A Erie on Thursday, is scheduled to start Tuesday against Texas. The team will have to clear a roster spot when Robertson comes off the DL. RHP Chad Durbin is moving to the bullpen, so it's possible a relief pitcher will be sent to the minors. Robertson was placed on the DL on June 6 with a tired arm. LHP Macay McBride, who was acquired on Wednesday from Atlanta in a trade for Wilfredo Ledezma, may be sent down. ... The Tigers opens a 13-game homestand on Monday against Texas.

ATLANTA: Manager Bobby Cox tweaked his starting lineup for the second straight day. Rookie Yunel Escobar received his first start at 2B and Chris Woodward made his second start at 1B. Cox said he needed to give Kelly Johnson, the normal starter at 2B, a day off, and he wanted to give Woodward a start. Escobar, who has made 16 starts at 3B, said he played about 10 games at second in the Arizona Fall League. ... RHP Kyle Davies, who left Saturday's game with a strained left oblique, said he does not expect to miss a start. Davies plans to throw on Monday or Tuesday and said his side wasn't sore.


CHICAGO CUBS:
Closer Ryan Dempster was unavailable to pitch Sunday and likely will not be used Monday against the Rockies because of a strained oblique. Manager Lou Piniella said he will use RHP Bob Howry in Dempster's role. Howry pitched a scoreless ninth in Saturday and Sunday's games for his first two saves of the season. ... Piniella wanted to give rookie OF Felix Pie some rest so he didn't start him on Sunday. Pie is 6-for-43 in his last 13 games. ... The Cubs were able to use a DH in interleague games, but after carrying only 10 pitchers in six straight games in AL ballparks and getting back to National League play, they will likely make a roster move on Monday adding another pitcher. ``I really don't think we can stay the way we are long at all,'' Piniella said.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX:
OF Jermaine Dye will be given a couple of days off to see if his injured right quad muscle improves. If it doesn't, Dye will be placed on the DL. ... The White Sox have lost 22 of their last 27 and are 14 games behind AL Central-leading Detroit. Guillen acknowledged that Chicago has put itself into a deep hole, making a turnaround increasingly difficult. ``We always think we're going to turn the corner,'' he said. ``But all of a sudden the corner is a U-turn now.'' ... C Toby Hall is scheduled to get the start Monday when the White Sox face LHP J.P. Howell in the opener of a four-game series in Tampa Bay. ... The White Sox have been shut out now six times this season. ... Doug Laumann was named director of amateur scouting, replacing Duane Shaffer. Shaffer was fired Friday in his 35th season with the team.


PITTSBURGH: RHP Jonah Bayliss, the loser in Friday's 11-inning loss, was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis following Sunday's 10-inning, 4-3 defeat. A corresponding roster move won't be made until Tuesday. ... The Pirates finished their interleague slate 5-10, compared to 3-12 in 2006. The only year they had a winning record against the other league was 2001 (8-7). They have lost 12 of their last 13 games in AL ballparks. ... In the nine games Pittsburgh has played in AL parks this year, their designated hitters were a combined 8-for-36. Josh Phelps, claimed off waivers from the Yankees on Friday, made his Pirates debut as a DH. He singled his first two times up and struck out in his next three - including the seventh inning with the bases loaded. ... Freddy Sanchez, last season's NL batting champ, laid down his second sacrifice bunt of the season in an attempt to help the offensively challenged Pirates score in the third inning. But Chris Duffy was stranded when Jason Bay grounded out. The Pirates are now 0-6 when Sanchez bats second in the lineup.

LOS ANGELES: Bartolo Colon's 300th career start resulted in a no-decision. But the 2005 Cy Young winner, who went 1-3 with a 9.79 ERA over his previous five starts, came to the ballpark feeling much better about himself after a telephone chat with former Cleveland teammate Manny Ramirez. ``You can lose confidence, but you cannot take it onto the mound because you're responsible for your team for that day,'' Colon said through a translator. ``Manny called me at 8 o'clock this morning and we had about a 15-minute talk. He's such a confident hitter, and I think he rubbed some of that off on me today.'' ... The Angels completed their interleague schedule 14-4, their best record since the format began in 1997. They were 7-11 last season against NL teams. ... The blown save by RHP Francisco Rodriguez on Sunday was just his 11th in 139 career attempts and second this season. His other one was April 24 against Detroit, when he surrendered a two-run homer to Magglio Ordonez in the ninth inning before the Angels pulled out a 9-8 victory in the 10th. K-Rod still leads the AL with 22 saves. ... The three-game sweep of Pittsburgh was the Angels' ninth straight series win, tying a franchise record.


BOSTON: The Red Sox scored seven runs in three games against the Padres' pitching staff, which came into Sunday's game with a 3.01 ERA, best in the majors. ... With RHP Curt Schilling on the DL, LHP Kason Gabbard will be called up to start for the Red Sox on Tuesday at Seattle. Gabbard is 7-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Pawtucket. He beat Atlanta 6-3 in a spot start May 20 in Boston.

SAN DIEGO: The Padres drew 133,311 fans for the Red Sox series, a record for a three-game series at Petco Park. The previous record was 130,448 for a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in April. ... RF Brian Giles, on the DL since May 20 with a bone bruise in his right knee, will begin a three-game rehab assignment Monday with Class-A Lake Elsinore. If the medical staff clears him, Giles could be activated in time for a weekend series at Dodger Stadium.


CINCINNATI: Ken Griffey Jr. hit his first two home runs at Safeco Field since Sept. 22, 1999, in his final full season with the Mariners before they traded him to the Reds the following February. It was his 55th multihomer game. ... Seattle became the 29th team Griffey has homered against. The Reds are the only one he hasn't hit one against. ... OF Ryan Freel, on the DL since he was injured in a collision with Norris Hopper on May 28, was to start for Triple-A Louisville as the DH on Sunday. If that went well, manager Jerry Narron said Freel may begin playing in the field on Monday. ... Griffey finished his homecoming series in Seattle 5-for-13 (.385) with six strikeouts. ... Adam Dunn had a single in the eighth inning and is 18-for-51 (.353) in his last 13 games.

SEATTLE: CF Ichiro Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 19 games, the longest current streak in the major leagues, with two more hits. He is batting .468 (37-for-79) during the streak. ... Manager Mike Hargrove moved 1B Richie Sexson back to the middle of the batting order, to cleanup, after the slugger had spent four games batting seventh. He hit three home runs in those four games. ``Sometimes you move a guy down in the order and it takes a little pressure off him to justify his place in the lineup,'' Hargrove said. ... RHP Miguel Batista became the 370th pitcher to allow a home run by Ken Griffey Jr. ... J.J. Putz has converted 23 consecutive save chances, the longest such streak in the major leagues.


BALTIMORE: LHP Erik Bedard, who has a strained left hamstring, threw another side session Sunday with no problems. He's scheduled to start against Roger Clemens and the New York Yankees on Wednesday. ... The Orioles finished 6-12 in interleague play. They're 79-114 all-time. ... 2B Brian Roberts went 14-for-26 on the Orioles' six-game trip to San Diego and Arizona, with two doubles, two triples, two homers and five RBIs. ... Nick Markakis has played in 75 of 76 games, tied with Kansas City's David DeJesus for most in the AL.

ARIZONA: LHP Randy Johnson, on the 15-day DL with a herniated disk, threw off flat ground Sunday. He may throw a simulated game on Monday, manager Bob Melvin said. ... With a save in Saturday night's 7-4 victory over Baltimore, RHP Jose Valverde became the franchise's career saves leader with 75. Valverde has converted 24 of 27 chances this season, and Melvin said he thinks Valverde belongs on the NL All-Star team. ... In his last three starts, RHP Livan Hernandez has pitched a combined 14 innings and allowed 17 earned runs, 30 hits and 10 walks. His ERA has climbed more than a run in that stretch, to 4.68.

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Re: MLB News and Notes June - 25

HOUSTON: Manager Phil Garner refused to second-guess rookie CF Hunter Pence for a double-play grounder in the first inning Saturday after Rangers starter Jamey Wright had walked the game's first two batters. Pence swung at the first pitch and short-circuited a potential big inning. Garner said he never considered giving Pence the take sign on the first pitch. ``I'm leaving him alone,'' Garner said. ``I'm not going to mess with him. He's one of our bright spots.'' ... 1B Lance Berkman was back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a bruised left hand. Before missing Saturday, Berkman was the only player who had played in every Lone Star Series game against the Rangers, 40 in a row.

TEXAS: OF Marlon Byrd, hitting .371 in 26 games since getting recalled May 26, wasn't in the starting lineup Sunday night. ``It's not anything health-wise. I just wanted to give him a day,'' manager Ron Washington said of Byrd, who hadn't missed a game since joining the team. ``We're in a stretch of 20 days in a row. I want to make sure we get out of the first half healthy and get everybody through it.'' ... RHP Kameron Loe (3-6), who has won consecutive starts, traveled ahead of the team Sunday and was already in Detroit, where he pitches the opener in that series Monday night.


PHILADELHIA: 3B Greg Dobbs struck out three times Sunday before being lifted in the eighth. He also struck out three times May 13 against Milwaukee and has 25 for the season in 135 at_bats. ... 1B Ryan Howard has a hit in all 10 games against the Cardinals in his career. He went 1-for-4 with a single on Sunday.

ST. LOUIS: Brad Thompson's status as a starter is in flux after throwing 31 pitches in 1 2-3 innings Sunday in taking the loss to Philadelphia. Recently acquired Mike Maroth took what would normally be Thompson's spot in the rotation Monday at New York and Thompson is not listed as a probable starter for any of the four games against the Mets. ... So Taguchi went 1-for-5 with a double against Philadelphia to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. He's 23-for-61 (.377) during the streak and has raised his batting average from .247 to .300. He has a hit in 19 of his past 20 games.

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