MLB News and Notes July - 28

MLB News and Notes July - 28

Phils acquire 2B Iguchi from White Sox
July 27th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With All-Star second baseman Chase Utley out for at least a month with a broken hand, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired second baseman Tadahito Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Michael Dubee.

Iguchi was hitting .251 with 17 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 31 RBI in 90 games for Chicago this season. The 32-year-old Tokyo, Japan native batted .281 last year with 18 home runs and 67 RBI for the White Sox.

Utley had surgery Friday to repair his broken right hand. The two-time All- Star had a pin inserted in his hand during a 20-minute procedure.

Dubee, the son of current Phillies' pitching coach Rich Dubee, was 4-4 with a 3.88 ERA and one save in 30 relief appearances for Single-A Lakewood.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

Cubs recall outfielder Murton and right-hander Cherry
July 27th, 2007

Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs recalled outfielder Matt Murton and right-handed pitcher Rocky Cherry from Triple-A Iowa on Friday.

Murton began the season in the majors and hit .252 with seven doubles and eight RBI in 49 games for Chicago. He was optioned to Iowa on June 13, and has hit .331 with 16 doubles, six home runs and 27 RBI in 39 games in the minors.

Cherry has gone 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Cubs this season. He was on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right lat from July 1-18 prior to being optioned.

The 27-year-old is 2-0 with four saves and a 5.55 ERA in 30 games (one start) for the I-Cubs this season. He has not allowed a run in six of his last seven outings, holding a 2.00 ERA in that span.

To make room on the roster, the Cubs optioned right-handed pitcher Billy Petrick and catcher/infielder Jake Fox back to Iowa.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

O's activate Tejada
July 27th, 2007

Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Baltimore Orioles activated star shortstop Miguel Tejada from the disabled list Friday.

Tejada was shelved with a non-displaced fracture of the left radius, a move that ended the fifth longest consecutive-game playing streak in major league history at 1,152 games.

Tejada originally suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch on the left wrist in the eighth inning of the Orioles' June 20 game at San Diego.

Tejada tried to gut it out and started the next day before being removed for a pinch-runner after batting in the first inning.

Tejada is hitting .306 with seven homers and 41 RBI this season. His streak went back to the 2000 season when the former MVP played with Oakland.

To make room for Tejada on the roster, the Orioles optioned outfielder Jon Knott to Triple-A Norfolk.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

Cardinals bring up Keisler
July 27th, 2007

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Cardinals recalled left-hander Randy Keisler from Triple-A Memphis on Friday.

It's Keisler's second stint with the team this season. In April, he appeared in three games and had a 5.65 earned-run average with no record. He's 8-7 with a 4.43 ERA in 18 appearances, all but one of which was a start, at Memphis.

To make room for him on the roster, St. Louis optioned infielder Brendan Ryan to Memphis. Ryan is batting .339 with two home runs and five RBIs in 25 games.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

Baseball Today - July 28
By Associated Press
SCOREBOARD Saturday, July 28

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati (7:10 p.m. EDT).

Aaron Harang allowed one run and struck out 10 over 10 innings in his last appearance, a no-decision against Milwaukee.



-Jhonny Peralta, Indians, drove in five runs with a pair of homers in a 10-4 win over Minnesota.

-Tony Clark, Diamondbacks, homered to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning, and Arizona beat Atlanta 8-7.

-Jermaine Dye, White Sox, had three hits, including a home run, to help Chicago beat Toronto 4-3.

-Corey Hart, Brewers, homered, doubled and singled in Milwaukee's 12-2 rout of St. Louis.

-Gary Matthews Jr., Angels, went 3-for-3 with three RBIs in an 11-6 win over Detroit.

-Pat Burrell, Phillies, homered and had three RBIs in a rain-shortened, seven-inning 8-1 victory over Pittsburgh.


Barry Bonds hit his 754th career home run - one shy of Hank Aaron's record - in San Francisco's 12-10 win over Florida on Friday night. Bonds sent a 2-1 pitch from rookie Rick Vanden Hurk over the wall in left-center in the first inning for his 20th homer of the season. He walked in the third, fifth, sixth and eighth innings.


Mike Maroth surrendered seven runs and 11 hits in St. Louis' 12-2 loss to Milwaukee on Friday night, exiting after facing one batter in the fifth. Maroth (0-4) has a 9.20 ERA in six starts with the Cardinals, and in his last three has been awful, allowing 23 earned runs and 31 hits in only 14 innings.


Kenny Lofton began his third go-round with Cleveland on Friday night, getting three hits and playing left field for the first time in a 10-4 victory over Minnesota. Lofton, acquired earlier in the day from Texas, last played for the Indians when they were eliminated in the 2001 playoffs.


Jake Peavy recorded his first win since June 19 with San Diego's 9-4 win over Houston on Friday night. Peavy (10-5), who was 0-4 in his previous five starts, allowed one run and four hits and struck out eight in seven innings for the Padres. His 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings leads the NL.


Baltimore won its fifth straight with a 4-2 win over the Yankees on Friday night. Earlier, New York defeated the Orioles 8-7 in the completion of a game suspended on June 28 by rain. That game officially occurred last month, so after it was over, Baltimore could resume its quest to win a seventh straight at home. ... Tampa Bay dropped its seventh in a row with a 7-1 loss to Boston. The Devil Rays, who have been outscored 71-21 during the skid, are 5-24 since June 25. ... Tony Clark's 11th-inning homer helped Arizona beat Atlanta 8-7 and win its seven straight to move within one game of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. The Braves have lost three straight and remain four games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.


''I felt like I was pitching to Barry Bonds.'' - Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie, on pitching to Alex Rodriguez in Baltimore's 4-2 win over the Yankees on Friday night. Flashbulbs popped from within the crowd every time Rodriguez, looking for his 500th career homer, stepped to the plate.

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Notes from Friday's games
July 27, 2007

MINNESOTA: Manager Ron Gardenhire believes a day off Thursday helped the Twins get over the frustration of a four-game losing streak in which they were outscored 33-7. ``Now we'll go out and see if it did,'' he said before the series opener. ``This is an important series for our general manager to get a handle on things. We win some games, we feel like we've got a chance to get back into it.'' ... Gardenhire said it is natural for players to be a little anxious as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. ``My job is to stay in touch with guys, have a conversation here or there and let them know that if a trade is going to happen, it's going to happen and there's nothing he or I can do,'' Gardenhire said. OF Torii Hunter, who is eligible for free agency after this season and who has been rumored in trade talks, spoke to Gardenhire recently. ``We just had a conversation, nothing other than me chatting with him as a friend, really,'' the manager said. ... Nick Punto started Friday in place of Jason Bartlett at shortstop against Cleveland's Paul Byrd. Bartlett was 1-for-15 (.067) against the right-hander, while Punto was 5-for-18 (.278).

CLEVELAND: LHP C.C. Sabathia was the first to greet Kenny Lofton when the outfielder arrived in Cleveland's clubhouse to begin his third stint with the Indians. Sabathia was thrilled to have Lofton back. ``He's exactly the same,'' Sabathia said. ``He plays the game hard. He steals a lot of bags, takes a lot of pitches. He's the same Kenny.'' Sabathia was a rookie the last time Lofton was with Cleveland. Now, he's one of just two players - Jake Westbrook is the other - still with the Indians, whose roster has undergone massive changes since 2001. The Indians haven't been to the playoffs since Lofton left, and Sabathia is hoping the five-time All-Star can help get them back. ``He's been there more than a few times,'' Sabathia said. ``He can teach us a few things about how to finish off.'' ... 1B Ryan Garko entered the weekend with the highest batting average in majors since the All-Star break. He's batting .463 (19-for-41).

NEW YORK: The Yankees won the suspended June 28 game against Baltimore 8-7 before the teams' regularly scheduled game Friday night. The first game was halted with New York up 8-6 in the eighth inning. ``It's different. I've done this before but not for a long, long time,'' New York manager Joe Torre said. ... Starting pitcher Kei Igawa was optioned to Triple-A Scranton Friday and INF Chris Basak was recalled from the same club. Igawa, who was 2-3 with a 6.79 ERA in 12 games, took the loss Thursday at Kansas City, allowing seven hits and five runs in 5 2-3 innings.

BALTIMORE: The Orioles activated SS Miguel Tejada from the disabled list and optioned OF Jon Knott to Triple-A Norfolk. Tejada, who broke a bone near his left wrist on June 20, was originally not expected to return until next month. ... With Tejada back, the Orioles have three backup infielders: Chris Gomez, Brandon Fahey and rookie Luis Hernandez, who took a .321 batting average into Friday. ``To be honest with you, and I don't say this very often, I think Hernandez earned the opportunity to be here,'' interim manager Dave Trembley said.

RHP Matt Clement (right shoulder surgery) has joined the team for the weekend series at Tampa Bay and will throw a bullpen session. He has been working out at the Red Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. ... RHP Brendan Donnelley (strained right forearm) threw at 110-feet before the game. ... LHP John Lester, who allowed two runs over six innings to beat Cleveland on Monday in his first start since undergoing treatment for lymphoma, will make his second start Saturday against the Devil Rays. When asked what he wanted from Lester, manager Terry Francona smiled and said, ``Complete game shutout.'' ... 2B Dustin Pedroia was rested.

CF B.J. Upton, who left Thursday's game with leg and lower back cramping, was in the starting lineup. ``I talked to him and he felt good,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``I'm anticipating full-speed ahead.'' ... LHP Casey Fossum rejoined the team after leaving earlier this week to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's third child. Andrew Casey Fossum was born on Tuesday.

TEXAS: Rangers manager Ron Washington said he would platoon Frank Catalanotto and Brad Wilkerson in left field, although both are left-handed hitters. He said Wilkerson would start against left-handed pitchers. ... Minor league C Max Ramirez, who was acquired for Kenny Lofton, went 1-for-3 with a double and scored a run in the All-Star Futures Game earlier this month. His .418 on-base percentage ranked second in the Carolina League before the trade. ... The Rangers have been outscored 71-40 in the first inning. ... Texas entered Friday night with a 3.60 ERA in July, which tied Boston for the best ERA in the month.

2B Mark Grudzielanek singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to nine games, his longest of the season. ... LHP Jorge De La Rosa has started the Royals' past three shutouts: Thursday vs. the Yankees; June 27 vs. the Blue Jays; and Sept. 5, 2006, also against the Yankees. ... RHP Brandon Duckworth, who is on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, is scheduled to throw off the mound on Saturday for the third time since his June 13 injury.

TORONTO: During Toronto's five-game winning streak, their starting pitchers won each game. It was the first time Toronto starters won five straight decisions since June 8-13 2003. ... C Gregg Zaun caught 37 straight scoreless innings before the Twins scored a run in the fourth inning on Wednesday. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the longest streak in club history and longest since C Javy Lopez caught 42 scoreless innings for the Braves in 1998. ... Since the All-Star break, OF Alex Rios has hit .386 in 13 games. ... DH Frank Thomas makes his first return to Chicago since hitting his 500th home run. He played 16 seasons with the White Sox before parting ways after the 2005 season as a free agent. Thomas is hitting .255 on the season with 16 home runs. He was honored on the jumbotron for his achievement before the bottom of the first inning. He acknowledged the fans by tipping his hat.

The White Sox will purchase the contract of 2B Danny Richar from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday. With second base vacated by Tadahito Iguchi, who was traded to the Phillies on Friday for a single-A reliever, Richar will play second base on an everyday basis for the Chicago White Sox. He hit .346 with five home runs for Charlotte in 32 games. ... Iguchi is excited to see OF Aaron Rowand again. Iguchi played with Rowand during the 2005 world championship season. ``I will definitely be a lot more comfortable with Aaron Rowand there, who I played a full season with. As well as Ryan Howard, who I got to play with during the Japan Series. So yes, it is very comforting to know that I know a couple of people there,'' said Iguchi through a translator. ... Iguchi will be a free agent after the season and he didn't rule out a return to the White Sox. ``There is a lot of things going through my head right now, I'm always opened to all angles, obviously I'm going to leave my family here for the last two months of the season. I'm always opened minded,'' Iguchi said. ... Iguchi will be back in Chicago on Monday when the Phillies begin a four-game series against the Cubs. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen gave 1B Paul Konerko the night off.

The Tigers placed RHP Zach Miner on the bereavement list due to a family emergency and recalled RHP Jose Cappelan from Triple-A Toledo. ... DH Gary Sheffield was back in the lineup after missing two games because of a sore shoulder, which he aggravated in a collision with 2B Placido Polanco last Saturday while playing right field. Sheffield, who had a cortisone shot on Wednesday, entered Friday 22 home runs away from 500. But that's not what drives him. ``It's a non-factor, really. I play this game for different reasons that that. I want to win another World Series. I had a taste of that feeling before, and I want it at least once or twice more. That's why I go out and do it.''

LOS ANGELES: Kelvim Escobar and John Lackey both are being given an extra day's rest before their next start. RHP Dustin Moseley will make his fifth big league start and third this season on Sunday in place of the injured Bartolo Colon. Moseley started two games in April, allowing a run and five hits in each game. He pitched six innings in a 5-2 victory against Oakland, then went five innings in a no-decision against Cleveland. ``Dustin has the versatility to step out of the pen and start, and he did a terrific job for us starting earlier this season,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``It's a concern, to take a guy from 50 pitches to 100. But if he's pitch-efficient, he have enough of a pitch count to get deep enough into a game, for what our needs are.''

PITTSBURGH: The Pirates gave up two runs in the first inning and have allowed eight first-inning runs in the last four games. ... The Pirates faced a left-handed starter for the third straight game. ... Pittsburgh is playing the Phillies for the first time since last July and has a winning record against Philadelphia since 2003.

PHILADELPHIA: It was a busy day on the transaction wire for the Phillies. All-Star 2B Chase Utley underwent surgery to have a pin placed in his broken right hand and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Utley was struck by a pitch from Washington's John Lannan in the fifth inning of the pitcher's major league debut on Thursday. ... CF Aaron Rowand was not in the starting lineup against the Pirates. Rowand said he ``tweaked'' his left shoulder while playing tag with neighborhood kids after Thursday's game, and was day to day. ... RHP Brett Myers was activated from the disabled list and was ready to pitch for the first time since late May. ... They also acquired 2B Tadahito Iguchi from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Michael Dubee. ... The Phillies also purchased the contract of utility player Joe Thurston from Triple-A Ottawa. To make room on the 40-man roster, INF Danny Sandoval was designated for assignment. LHP Mike Zagurski was optioned to Ottawa.

WASHINGTON: Washington came into Friday night's game with 11 wins in July, surpassing their total of 10 for the month of June. ... LHP John Lannan, ejected from his major league debut in Thursday's game at Philadelphia after he hit Ryan Howard with a pitch, became just the fifth player in major league history to be ejected from his first big league game, according to Society for American Baseball Research statistician David Vincent. ...The Nationals bullpen came into Friday night's game with a major league high 372 1-3 innings pitched. Washington's bullpen has a 1.92 ERA in July, best in the National League.

Through 49 home games, Mets are averaging 45,228 fans, third in the majors behind the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. Mets attendance for the season was at 2,216,150 before Friday, an increase of 215,770 over last year. ... Former Met 2B Tim Teufel, manager of the Savannah Sand Gnats, has been picked as a coach for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. ...Saturday's day-night doubleheader will be just the second in Shea Stadium history. The only other one was May 11, 1972, against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tom Seaver won his 100th game in the first game that day.

CHICAGO: The Cubs optioned RHP Billy Petrick and C-IF Jake Fox to Triple-A Iowa on Friday and recalled OF Matt Murton and RHP Rocky Cherry from Iowa. Cherry is in his third stint with the Cubs this season and Murton is in his second. ``It seems like I'm shaking hands with these guys three or four times this season,'' manager Lou Piniella joked. ... Going into Friday's game, Cubs' batters were just a combined 2-for-20 (.100) in their last six games. Despite being shut out in those innings, Chicago still had scored a total of 73 runs in first innings this season, more than in any other inning. ... At 53-47, the Cubs were 14 games better through their first 100 games of this season than last year's 39-61.

CINCINNATI: The Reds sent RHP Kirk Saarloos outright to Triple-A Louisville on Friday and recalled RHP Victor Santos. Saarloos was 1-4 with an 8.19 ERA in 29 games - including two starts - in two stints with Cincinnati this season. The last 10 batters he'd faced this season all reached base. ``We'd like to see him get back to throwing that sinker effectively,'' manager Pete Mackanin said. ... C David Ross returned to the starting lineup Friday after leaving Wednesday's game with a dislocated right pinky finger. ... RHP Matt Belisle will make his next scheduled start Sunday. Belisle hasn't won in nine starts since May 29, but Mackanin said the rotation won't change for a while, unless a July 31 deadline deal forces a move.

SAN DIEGO: C Michael Barrett dropped his appeal and decided to serve his one-game suspension Friday. The suspension stemmed from his being ejected Sunday for arguing a third strike with plate umpire Chris Guccione. ``There's no good time but we've got to do it some time,'' manager Bud Black said. ``We didn't want to wait and have this thing drag out.'' ... RHP Chris Young's next start has been pushed back at least until Tuesday. Young, whose 1.82 ERA leads the majors, has an oblique injury and the Padres want to give him at least another 24 hours before making a decision on his next start. ``We just want to see how he feels tomorrow, and then we'll reevaluate him,'' Black said. Young was scheduled to throw on the side Friday but didn't. ``He's probably not ready to pick up a ball yet,'' Black said. ``This is an injury that takes time to heal. He feels better today than yesterday. He's gaining on it. We're just not sure how long it will be.'' The team intends to bring up a pitcher from the minors to take Young's start on Sunday.

HOUSTON: Lance Berkman, who entered Friday's game hitting .260, has gone 9-for-31 (.290) over the last nine games. ``I'm seeing the ball better and making consistently better contact,'' Berkman said. ``It's hard to explain. If I knew exactly what it was, I would have done it a long time ago.'' Jason Lane hit .165 when he was with the Astros, playing intermittently during the first two months of the season. He went down to Triple-A and hit .308 playing every day in Round Rock. He returned to the Astros this week to fill in for injured CF Hunter Pence and started off 2-for-7 with three walks in his first three games. ``I think any player is better off playing every day,'' manager Phil Garner said. ``It makes a difference knowing you're not going to be sitting down a lot of the time. We know Jason can play defense. I've always thought he was one of our better overall defensive players.''

RHP Scott Linebrink arrived at Busch Stadium in plenty of time after making a stop in Houston to spend with his wife, who is scheduled have labor induced on Monday. It will be the couple's first child. ``It's a tad bit more important than a game,'' manager Ned Yost said. ... RHP Grant Balfour, 0-2 with a 20.25 ERA in three games, was designated for assignment to make room for Linebrink on the roster. ... RHP Manny Parra was to make his first career start on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. He's made two relief appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on July 16 after starting the year at Double-A Huntsville. ... Rookie Ryan Braun was batting .352 with 17 homers and 45 RBIs in only 54 games. ``The stats don't lie,'' Yost said. ``He's an extremely talented offensive player that has the utmost confidence.''

ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals dedicated the Busch Stadium press box to Hall of Fame sports writers Rick Hummel and the late Bob Broeg, both of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The announcement was made in Cooperstown, N.Y., where Hummel will be honored Sunday as the 57th recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. ... RHP Anthony Reyes, who has lost 12 straight decisions since last September and is 0-10 this year, was to be recalled from Triple-A Memphis to start the second game of Saturday's day-night doubleheader. ... Scott Spiezio (infected finger) is likely to be activated from the DL on Sunday, the first day he can return. Spiezio has close to full range of motion with the finger.

LOS ANGELES: A day after RHP Derek Lowe left a game in the fifth inning because of an injury, the Dodger said it didn't appear to be serious. ``We're glad it wasn't a problem,'' manager Grady Little said. ``The MRI showed it was an irritated hip and not a groin injury.'' ... RHP Brad Penny, injured Thursday while beating out an infield single, had a cramp and still felt sore. ... C Russell Martin was given a rest from the starting lineup Friday and is to be off from the lineup Monday. ... Little hasn't decided on whether LHP Randy Wolf (sore left shoulder) will need another rehab start.

COLORADO: RHP Rodrigo Lopez's pitching arm remained sore a day after he was taken out of a game because of arm. Lopez was removed in the seventh inning on Thursday night after striking out Matt Kemp. ``The soreness is centralized in the forearm,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We'll know more tomorrow. We're leaning toward (Lopez missing his next start).'' ... LHP Brian Fuentes threw again Friday. He's on the DL due to a mild back strain. ``It all went well,'' Hurdle said. ``We'll try it again tomorrow.'' ... RHP Jason Hirsh was to make a rehab start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday. He's been on the DL since July 3 with a sprained right ankle.

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

Johnson to miss rest of '07 season

PHOENIX -- Randy Johnson will have surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back next Friday and will miss the rest of the 2007 season, but plans on returning to the mound in time for Spring Training.

Johnson had a similar surgery performed last October and said at that time he was told there was a 5 percent chance that he could re-herniate the disk. That's what happened, as an MRI taken in June showed the reoccurrence.

The plan was for Johnson to try to pitch through the injury as he did when he won 17 games and compiled a 5.00 ERA for the Yankees in 2006. But after pitching against the Dodgers on June 28, it became clear that he would not be able to continue.

"I can deal with the pain, but the symptoms aren't allowing me to pitch," said Johnson, who lost strength in his legs as his outing against the Dodgers wore on.

Johnson threw a three-inning simulated game on Tuesday and felt good through the first two innings before noticeably tiring in the third. He was supposed to throw a bullpen session on Friday, but after a meeting with team officials earlier in the day he elected to have surgery.

"In the days leading up to today it didn't get any better," manager Bob Melvin said. "He didn't respond well enough and came to the decision today that he's just not getting any better so he's going to have surgery a week from today in Los Angeles."

Johnson said he'll have many questions when he meets with his surgeon, Robert Watkins, early next week. Chief among them is whether by having the surgery at the end of July rather than the end of August as he did last year will allow him to be ready at the start of Spring Training. This year he was forced to start the year on the DL as he recovered.

This will be the third time Johnson has undergone surgery on his back and with his legacy and first-ballot Hall of Fame status assured, he was asked why he would want to put himself through another grueling round of rehab. Retirement, though, was never something he considered.

"I'll cross the bridge of surgery right now and be willing to go through the process of rehabbing again because I know I can still pitch and I love pitching," said Johnson, who has 284 career victories. "It's been what I've been doing since I've been 7 years old and I still believe I can do it. I want to come back and pitch and pitch in front of the fans here and show that I can go out on a good note. I certainly don't want to end my career because I had surgery and I had to call it a career because of surgery. I'd much rather call it a career being healthy and being ineffective and saying, 'You know what? I can't do it anymore.' But that hasn't been the case."

Johnson's surgery will not have an effect on the D-backs as the trading deadline approaches, because it's a scenario that they already knew might play out.

The starting rotation, even with just 10 starts from Johnson, has been a strength for the D-backs. Arizona's starters lead the National League in innings pitched with 628 and rank fourth in ERA with a 4.08 mark. Johnson was 4-3 with a 3.81 ERA.

"We were hoping it was going to work out and obviously it didn't," right-hander Brandon Webb said. "Having him out is definitely going to hurt. Hopefully, we can fill his spot which we've done pretty much all year and be all right."

As soon as he's able, Johnson plans on returning to the ballpark and offering his teammates encouragement. When he came over in January in a trade with the Yankees, Johnson signed a two-year contract that runs through 2008 and pays him $26 million, with $2 million of that coming from the Yankees.

"The team is doing really good and I would have liked to have been a part of it," Johnson said. "But I'm looking at the big picture. Even in the little picture I wouldn't have been able to pitch that effective. The bigger picture is next year, but I'll be pulling for everybody this year."

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

D-backs' Sadler suspended for 50 games
July 28, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Arizona infielder Donnie Sadler was suspended for 50 games Saturday after testing positive for a drug of abuse under baseball's minor league program.

The 32-year-old has played for Boston, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Texas and Arizona in eight major league seasons. He was 0-for-1 this season with the Diamondbacks, who brought him up from Triple-A Tucson of the Pacific Coast on May 11, then designated him for assignment six days later and sent him back to the minors.

His ninth-inning flyout against the Astros' Chad Qualls at Houston on May 12 was his first major league plate appearance since 2004, when he had 23 at_bats for Arizona.

He is batting .214 in 52 games and 112 at_bats for Tucson this year with two homers and 17 RBIs. Sadler has a .202 career major league average with six homers, 46 RBIs and 25 steals in 418 games.

Sadler became the 20th player suspended this year under baseball's minor league program, the sixth for a drug of abuse. Two players have been suspended under the major league program: Tampa Bay pitcher Juan Salas (performance-enhancing substance) and Detroit infielder Neifi Perez (stimulant).

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Re: MLB News and Notes July - 28

Angels place C Napoli on DL
July 28th, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - The Angels placed catcher Mike Napoli on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained right hamstring.

The injury occurred in the second inning of the Angels' game against Detroit on Friday. Napoli is hitting .253 with nine home runs and 31 RBI this season.

To replace Napoli, the Angels purchased the contract of catcher Ryan Budde from Triple-A Salt Lake.

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