MLB News and Notes July - 14
MLB News and Notes July - 14
Rangers activate Teixeira, option Diaz to Triple-A
July 13, 2007
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Texas Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira was activated from the disabled list on Friday after being sidelined since June 9 because of a strained left quadriceps muscle.
Teixeira is hitting .302 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs in 61 games entering the Rangers' three-game series against the Angels.
``He'll give us more presence in the lineup,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``We all know he's got Gold Glove defense, and he's a gamer, so that's the kind of people you want to have around.
``You always worry about a player who's been out of the lineup for a while and hasn't faced live pitching. But he has a lot of knowledge of what he has to do and what he can do. So we just have to trust that, and we will trust that.''
The injury, which occurred while Teixeira was running out a grounder, ended his franchise-record streak of 507 consecutive games played. At the time, it was the second-longest among active players behind Baltimore shortstop Miguel Tejada, whose streak ended at 1,152 games on June 22 - two days after a pitch from San Diego's Doug Brocail broke his left wrist.
``I'm looking forward to having a good last 2 1/2 months and seeing what this team can do and what we can build upon,'' Teixeira said. ``I think our pitching has definitely come around. And if we can pitch, we have a chance to play with anybody in baseball.''
To make room on the roster for Teixeira, the Rangers optioned outfielder Victor Diaz to Triple-A Oklahoma. Diaz batted .240 in 37 games with 25 RBIs and nine home runs, including a pair of grand slams.
Re: MLB News and Notes July - 14
Angels activate Speier, put Resop on DL
July 13, 2007
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Los Angeles Angels right-hander Justin Speier, sidelined since May 1 because of an intestinal infection, was activated Friday.
The 33-year-old Speier, who signed a four-year, $18 million contract in November, had a 1.69 ERA in 15 appearances spanning 16 innings before he went on the disabled list.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder had lost 12 pounds while he was ill, and also lost some of his strength.
``It's just been an unbelievable road (back), being away from the team for 2 1/2 months,'' Speier said before the Angels' game against Texas. ``I feel like I'm making my debut again. I'm definitely excited about getting back out there and getting that first outing out of the way.''
Manager Mike Scioscia plans to ease Speier back into the picture.
``That was something extraordinary that happened to him, so I think we'll try to give him an inning or two to get his feet on the ground, work him in somewhere and then go from there,'' Scioscia said.
Speier has a career record of 27-20, with 17 saves in 553 innings. He has stranded all 13 of his inherited baserunners.
To make room on the roster, the Angels placed right-hander Chris Resop on the 15-day DL with tendinitis in his right triceps. Resop, 24, has a 4.15 ERA in four games spanning 4 1-3 innings for Los Angeles this season.
Re: MLB News and Notes July - 14
Ledezma stuck in Venezuela; Braves call up Ascanio
July 13, 2007
ATLANTA (AP) -Braves reliever Wilfredo Ledezma was stuck in Venezuela because of visa problems and Atlanta placed him on the restricted list Friday.
Ledezma went home for the All-Star break. Braves general manager John Schuerholz said Ledezma's visa was damaged ``in a washing incident'' and became detached from his passport.
Braves manager Bobby Cox said it is not unusual for foreign players to return home for the All-Star break.
``You would, too, if you could,'' Cox said.
The Braves hope Ledezma can return to the team by the middle of next week.
Atlanta recalled reliever Jose Ascanio from Double-A Mississippi. The right-hander, was expected to join the team for Friday night's game against Pittsburgh.
Ledezma is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in eight games since Detroit traded him June 20 to Atlanta for lefty reliever Macay McBride.
Ascanio appeared in 33 games for Mississippi, where he was 2-0 with a 2.44 ERA and five saves in five chances.
Re: MLB News and Notes July - 14
Notes from Friday's AL games
July 13, 2007
TORONTO: RHP A.J. Burnett threw on flat ground for the second straight day on Friday, this time 50 tosses after making 25 throws on Thursday. Burnett, who has been on the disabled list with pain in his right shoulder since July 1, said both sessions were pain free. ... In his first start since giving up a season-worst eight runs in 3 1-3 innings in Toronto's 9-4 loss to Cleveland on July 7, RHP Shaun Marcum surrendered a two-run homer to Manny Ramirez in the first inning on Friday. ... OF Matt Stairs got a night off Friday, a day after hitting his 14th homer of the season.
BOSTON: RHP Curt Schilling threw a 55-pitch bullpen session before the game. Schilling, who has been on the disabled list since June 19 with tendinitis in his throwing shoulder, is scheduled to throw to batters on Monday. ... After fouling a ball off his right knee on Thursday, DH David Ortiz was back in the lineup. He singled to left in his first at-bat. ... The Red Sox activated RHP Joel Pineiro from the DL and optioned 1B Jeff Bailey to Triple-A Pawtucket. Pineiro was available in the bullpen Friday.
KANSAS CITY: RHP Ramon Colon, acquired from Detroit on Friday for a player to be named, will work out at the Royals' training facility in Surprise, Ariz., then likely join Triple-A Omaha. He has spent all season on the disabled list after offseason neck surgery. Colon was charged with felonious assault after a clubhouse brawl June 12 while on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo. According to a police report, Colon broke several bones in the face of Mud Hens pitcher Jason Karnuth, who was trying to stop the fight. ... OF Reggie Sanders (torn left hamstring) was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day DL. He's been out since May 3, but could be activated soon. ... LHP John Bale (left shoulder tightness) is expected to be activated Saturday. ... Manager Buddy Bell is impressed with INF Jason Smith, claimed off waivers from Arizona on Wednesday. ``We've been talking about him for a long time,'' Bell said. Smith began the season with Toronto, batting .212 with four RBIs in 27 games, and was claimed off waivers by Arizona on May 16. He played two games for the Diamondbacks before going on the DL with a burst appendix.
CLEVELAND: The Indians opened the second half leading the AL with 109 homers while hitting into only 54 double plays - the fewest in the majors. Cleveland's pitching staff also issued the fewest walks in the majors (220) in the first half. ... DH Travis Hafner's 65 walks lead the AL. ... LHP C.C. Sabathia (12-3) and RHP Fausto Carmona (10-4) are the first pair of Cleveland pitchers in 51 years to win 10 or more games by the All-Star break. Hall of Famers Early Wynn (10-4) and Bob Lemon (10-6) did it in 1956. ... LHP Aaron Fultz, out since July 24 with a strained muscle in his right side, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday, followed by an injury rehab assignment in the minors. ``I feel OK, but not 100 percent,'' Fultz said. ... RHP Jensen Lewis was called up from Triple-A Buffalo, where he was 1-0 with one save and a 1.38 ERA in 10 games. The 23-year-old Lewis, who grew up 35 miles from Jacobs Field in Medina before moving to Cincinnati as a teen, scrambled to get enough tickets for several family members.
CHICAGO: Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen is still searching for someone to bridge the gap before he calls on his closer. Speaking less than 24 hours after the White Sox surrendered five ninth-inning runs prior to RHP Bobby Jenks' one-pitch save, Guillen said Friday, ``That's been our problem all year, trying to get to Bobby.'' The bullpen struggled to a 5.88 ERA before the All-Star break. ... Through Thursday, DH Jim Thome was hitting .444 (8-18) with three homers against Baltimore this season. ... Chicago hasn't lost a season series to the Orioles since 1999. The White Sox were 3-2 before Friday's game.
BALTIMORE: An examination of 3B Melvin Mora's ailing left foot Friday revealed a grade one sprain. He will miss at least a week, and could be placed on the disabled list this weekend. The injury occurred on July 1 in a collision at home plate in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. Mora has played in only two games since then. He left after the first inning Thursday. ... SS Luis Hernandez received his first major league start Friday night. The rookie got his first hit in the majors on Thursday during the Orioles' five-run ninth.
NEW YORK: Left-handed hitting 2B Robinson Cano and RF Bobby Abreu were both out of the starting lineup for different reasons against Tampa Bay LHP Scott Kazmir. Manager Joe Torre said Cano has been ``inconsistent swinging the bat,'' but added the infielder would be back in the lineup Saturday. Abreu, meanwhile, had 14 hits in his previous 26 at_bats. ``I like where he is right now,'' Torre said. ``This may not be necessary, but I just feel better doing this. He was fine with it.'' ... RHP Chien-Ming Wang, Saturday's scheduled starter, is 8-1 in his last 11 starts. The loss came on May 26 against the Los Angeles Angels.
TAMPA BAY: 2B-CF B.J. Upton was activated from the 15-day disabled list after missing 29 games with a left quad strain and started in center field, allowing Delmon Young to move back to his regular spot in right field. Upton was the team's regular second baseman and occasionally played in center field before the injury. With OF Rocco Baldelli (left hamstring strain) on the 60-day DL, he'll be the primary center fielder and make an occasional start at second. ... OF Reid Fronk, a seventh-round draft pick from the University of North Carolina, signed and will report to Class-A Hudson Valley.
OAKLAND: Mike Piazza, on the disabled list since May 3 with a right shoulder injury, was scheduled to start a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night. A's manager Bob Geren said Piazza would need about 7-10 days to get comfortable swinging and should return shortly after as a DH. The A's have abandoned an idea to have him do some catching this season. ``He's looking strong,'' Geren said. ``He looks like he's ready to start playing again.'' ... CF Mark Kotsay was out of the lineup on Friday night, with Geren wanting to get him a day off the Metrodome turf. He also said he wanted to get Bobby Kielty some at_bats. ``It wasn't a case where I needed to get Kotsay a day off,'' Geren said. ``I just wanted Kielty to play today.''
MINNESOTA: After getting two hits in his first game back from Triple-A, Garrett Jones sat out Friday night against lefty Lenny DiNardo. Manager Ron Gardenhire likes to use Jeff Cirillo at DH against lefties, but said Jones could see some action in the outfield soon. Jones is a natural 1B, but has been working in LF and RF at Triple-A to give the Twins some versatility with Justin Morneau at 1B. ``It's going to take some work,'' Gardenhire said of Jones getting used to the Metrodome's white roof. ``We're going to hit him some fly balls after the game and eventually work him into it.'' ... Gardenhire said OF Rondell White continues to be bothered by sore hamstrings and is no closer to returning from the disabled list.
Notes from Friday's NL games
HOUSTON: Reliever Brad Lidge, who came off the DL on Thursday, pitched a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts. Lidge lost his closer's job earlier this season and then got it back before he was sidelined by an oblique strain. ``Everything feels real good,'' Lidge said. ``I worked (Eric) Munson with some sliders in the dirt, but I was able for the most part put it where I wanted.'' Manager Phil Garner seemed satisfied. ``He was OK. I would like to see him throw a few more strikes. ... He was good,'' Garner said. ... The Astros were shut out for the fourth time this season on a day when they also committed a season-high four errors - two by shortstop Mark Loretta, tying a career high. The errors weren't as crucial, perhaps, as the Astros inability to get a big hit against Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs' bullpen. Houston hasn't beaten Zambrano since Sept. 24, 2005. ``You're facing probably the guy with the best stuff in the National League on a day when the wind is blowing straight in at Wrigley Field,'' 1B Lance Berkman said. ... OF Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to nine games and is batting .391 (18-for-46) during that stretch. ... RHP Roy Oswalt, who was given an extra day off after traveling to the All-Star game, will start Saturday's game.
CHICAGO: Closer Ryan Dempster said he felt fine after throwing off flat ground Friday to test his strained oblique muscle. Dempster could do some throwing off a modified mound Saturday and a full mound Sunday. If he's better, he could pitch one rehab game before rejoining the team in the middle of next week. ... The Cubs have now gone 10 games without a homer, their longest drought without a long ball since going 10 games from July 14-21 in 1988. Derrek Lee, who hit 46 homers two years ago, has just six this season. No. 5 hitter Cliff Floyd has four. Lee says the wrist injury that caused him to miss most of last season is not the reason. He did have a double to the warning track in the eighth inning Friday. ``Sooner of later they got to come,'' manager Lou Piniella said of his team's homer scarcity. And he's not worried about Lee. ``He's a gap hitter and home runs will come. I hope he doesn't go up there and try to force the issue.'' ... RHP Carlos Zambrano helped his own cause with two singles, an RBI and a run scored and said he didn't tire out running the bases on a 68-degree day.
WASHINGTON: Washington manager Manny Acta is hoping his club's offensive surge just before the All-Star break will continue. In their last five games before the break, the Nationals - who have been one of baseball's worst offensive team's this season - batted .288 with five homers. ``Those guys who have been underachieving, they have a track record that they can hit,'' Acta said. ``We need to continue that over the rest of the season.'' ... Neither the Nationals nor the Montreal Expos, where the franchise moved from, has won a season series against the Marlins since 1998, when the Expos went 7-5. Washington entered Friday 5-4 this year against Florida. The Nationals began a three-game series at Florida on Friday, and play another six games against the Marlins this year.
FLORIDA: INF Aaron Boone stopped his rehab assignment due to left knee discomfort Thursday. Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said Boone was fielding balls when the injury flared up. ``It did scare him,'' Gonzalez said. ``It scared everybody.'' The 34-year-old Boone injured his knee during a cutoff play and was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 27. In his first year with the Marlins, Boone is batting .286 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 69 games. ... The injury-plagued Marlins are seeking a fifth starter heading out of the All-Star break. The team will be forced to make a roster move Tuesday to fill the void, Gonzalez said. ... RHP Josh Johnson threw for the first time Friday since being placed on the 15-day DL July 4 because of stiffness in his right forearm.
ST. LOUIS: SS David Eckstein, just activated off the disabled list, was not in the starting lineup. Manager Tony La Russa said Eckstein was available to pinch hit and would start the final two games of the three-game series. Eckstein had been on the DL since June 14 because of a knot in the middle of his back. ... Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard were a combined a 3-for-36 against Cardinals RHP Kip Wells entering the game, and all three had hits in the first inning. Wells allowed seven first-inning hits.
PHILADELPHIA: RHP Tom Gordon pitched two innings in a rookie-level Gulf Coast League game on Friday. Gordon, out since May 1 because of a right rotator cuff strain, has a bullpen session scheduled for Sunday and manager Charlie Manager said the former closer could travel with the Phillies next week on their West Coast trip. ... CF Aaron Rowand made the final out in the All-Star game, though he said he just missed out on the winning hit. ``When I hit it, I thought it might have gone off the wall,'' he said. ``I just missed it. I was an eighth of an inch off from being the hero instead of the goat.'' ... Injured closer Brett Myers will throw in a bullpen session on Saturday. ... Manuel said the Phillies the injury-ravaged rotation and bullpen need another arm or two if they're going to compete for an NL East title. ``We need somebody that can really help us,'' he said. ``Whether we can get that or not, I don't know.''
PITTSBURGH: RHP Salomon Torres, on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his right elbow, is continuing his minor league rehab at Triple-A Indianapolis. Manager Jim Tracy said he was ``very encouraged'' by Torres' bullpen session Wednesday in Pittsburgh. ... Tracy said he is monitoring 1B Adam LaRoche's ongoing problems with a sore left knee. ``This is something that could rear it's head again,'' Tracy said. ``It's a day-to-day thing that we're going to manage and monitor.'' LaRoche started in the series opener against the Braves and was wary of any special greeting from his former teammates. He didn't have to wait long, as Braves starter Tim Hudson lobbed a ball over LaRoche's head in the first inning as Hudson was throwing the ball back to the umpire. LaRoche ducked, grinned, and then hit a single up the middle.
ATLANTA: RHP John Smoltz said he's confident he'll be ready to move back into Atlanta's rotation when he comes off the disabled list next week. Smoltz went on the 15-day disabled list on July 6, retroactive to July 3, because of inflammation in his right shoulder. Smoltz is listed as the Braves' probable starter on Wednesday against Cincinnati. ``If Wednesday's not the day, it's not the end of the world,'' Smoltz said. ... RHP Wilfredo Ledezma, who returned to his home in Venezuela for the All-Star break, was placed on the restricted list when visa problems blocked his return to Atlanta. The Braves recalled RHP Jose Ascanio from Double-A Mississippi. General manager John Schuerholz said Ledezma's visa was damaged ``in a washing incident'' during his trip and became detached from his passport.
COLORADO: With left-handed closer Brian Fuentes on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 4 because of a mild back strain, manager Clint Hurdle may turn to RHP Manuel Corpas. He earned his first save striking out the side in the 9th inning against Philadelphia last Saturday. ``It's a good first step,'' Hurdle said of Corpas' effort. ``He can be very, very nasty.'' ... Colorado called up INF Omar Quintanilla from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Fuentes' place. ... RHP Rodrigo Lopez (5-2, 4.83 ERA) will seek his third straight victory over the Brewers as he makes his first ever start in Milwaukee on Saturday. His two wins came with San Diego and Baltimore, respectively.
MILWAUKEE: Manager Ned Yost will not use his bullpen just for the sake of getting some rust off after the All-Star break. ``That need always finds a way of taking care of itself,'' he said. ... CF Bill Hall, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 6 because of a sprained right ankle, can play catch but nothing more. ``He's feeling much better,'' Yost said. ``It's not going to be six weeks'' before he returns to action. ... RHP Elmer Dessens worked three innings in a simulated game in Arizona during the All-Star break. He's been on the 15-day DL since May 24, retroactive to May 19, because of a strained right shoulder.
SAN DIEGO: RHP Jake Peavy, who started the All-Star Game, has a ``weary'' arm and will be given an extra two days' rest before his next start, manager Bud Black said. Peavy will face the New York Mets Tuesday in San Diego. Asked if he was concerned about Peavy's arm, Black said, ``Not concerned at all. He's had this from time to time over the course of his career here and it's never been an issue for him.'' ... OF Terrmel Sledge, who is on the disabled list because of a thumb injury, was scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Portland Saturday. ... The Padres led their division at the All-Star break for the sixth time in franchise history. The club made the playoffs the other five times -- 1984, 1996, 1998, 2005 and 2006.
ARIZONA: LHP Randy Johnson threw in the outfield Friday but isn't close to returning to the rotation, manager Bob Melvin said. Johnson, who has a herniated disk in his back, is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday. This is his third stint on the disabled list this year. RHP Yusmeiro Petit is likely to remain in Johnson's spot in the rotation and will probably start Tuesday at Milwaukee. ... OF Jeff DaVanon, who has missed the entire season because of shoulder and ankle injuries, made his first start in the outfield for Triple-A Tucson Friday night. His return to Arizona is uncertain. ... Friday marked the debut of new hitting coach Rick Schu, who replaced the fired Kevin Seitzer on Wednesday. The Diamondbacks entered play a .248 team batting average, 15th in the NL.