MLB News and Notes August - 8

MLB News and Notes August - 8

Notes from Tuesday's AL games
August 7, 2007

NEW YORK: DH Jason Giambi was activated from the 15-day DL before Tuesday's game in Toronto. Giambi has not played since May 30, when he tore tissue in his left foot. The Yankees also purchased the contract of RHP Joba Chamberlain from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre, optioned RHP Brian Bruney to their top farm club and designated INF Miguel Cairo for assignment. ... OF Hideki Matsui got the day off but will start in the outfield Wednesday, manager Joe Torre said. Johnny Damon started in left and Shelley Duncan was the DH.

TORONTO: RHP A.J. Burnett (sore shoulder) is expected to come off the 15-day DL Sunday to pitch at Kansas City. Burnett is 5-6 with a 4.31 ERA in 15 games this season. He has not pitched since June 29. ... SS Royce Clayton was released Tuesday, four days after he was designated for assignment. ... Both 3B Troy Glaus and 1B Lyle Overbay were slumping heading into Tuesday night's game. Glaus had just two hits in his last 34 at_bats, while Overbay was batting .222 (16-for-72) since coming off the DL on July 12.


SEATTLE: OF Ben Broussard missed Tuesday's game to be with his wife, Brenda, after the birth of their second daughter, Laynie Brooke, on Monday. He was expected to rejoin the team in time for Wednesday's game. ... OF Ichiro Suzuki loves playing against Baltimore. He entered Tuesday's game batting .376 (97-for-258) against the Orioles in his career and had a .383 (44-for-115) average at Camden Yards, both career bests against an AL team and in an AL park. He singled in his first at-bat Tuesday. ... Five Mariners opened the series with lifetime batting averages of .354 or better against the Orioles, all with 48 or more at_bats.

BALTIMORE: Manager Dave Trembley will send LHP Erik Bedard to the mound Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. Baltimore had an off day Monday, and Trembley decided it would be better to keep Bedard working on four days' rest instead of pushing each starter back a day. So Brian Burres will start Saturday on six days' rest. ... Utility player Freddie Bynum's return from the 15-day DL has been delayed. Bynum is over the strained hamstring that put him on the DL, but received five stitches in his left hand sliding into a base during a rehab assignment with Class-A Delmarva on Sunday.


MINNESOTA: 1B Justin Morneau doubled in the second, snapping an 0-for-17 skid. ... The Twins hit .229 and scored only 17 runs with one home run in their just completed 4-3 homestand, while the pitching staff logged a 2.53 ERA. In the past nine games, the pitching staff has a 2.30 ERA. ... LHP Johan Santana, who starts Wednesday at Kansas City, is 11-3 with a 3.63 ERA in 28 appearances, including 17 starts, against the Royals. ... OF Rondell White started for the first time since July 30.

KANSAS CITY:
LHP Jorge De La Rosa, who went on the DL Aug. 1 with a left elbow strain, had an MRI exam Monday, which detected nothing major. De La Rosa played catch before the game. Manager Buddy Bell said De La Rosa would need at least one minor league rehab start before returning to the rotation. ... RHP Joe Nelson, who logged nine saves in 10 opportunities as a rookie last season but required shoulder surgery in March, joined the club Tuesday for the first time since spring training. Nelson, who lost 25 pounds after a pulmonary infection, is throwing off the mound. He is optimistic he will be able to pitch in September. ... RHP Brandon Duckworth, who is on the DL with a strained left oblique, made his first minor league rehab start since the June 13 injury, throwing 2 1-3 scoreless innings for Class-A Wilmington (Del.).


CLEVELAND: OF David Dellucci, who is on the 60-day DL with a strained left hamstring and is coming off surgery, has started running, taking batting practice in the cage and throwing. He is eligible to come off the DL on Aug. 19 and team trainer Lonnie Soloff said he is ``progressing well.'' ... INF Asdrubal Cabrera, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, is expected to play third base, shortstop, and second base for the club. Manager Eric Wedge expects him to fill in as a starter at times. ``He's had a very good year, offensively and defensively, switch-hitter, he gained some experience this spring as well,'' Wedge said. ... The Indians signed INF Russell Branyan to a minor league deal Tuesday and assigned him to Triple-A Buffalo. But Wedge isn't expecting him to help the Indians. ``We just signed him to go to Buffalo to help them out. There is nothing more to comment,'' Wedge said.

CHICAGO: In just two weeks, the White Sox have made up six games in the AL Central. They were 16.5 games off the lead on July 23. ... Before Tuesday's game, closer Bobby Jenks had retired 32 straight batters, which is a White Sox record. It's the longest streak in the majors since Greg Maddux retired 32 straight for the Dodgers in 2006, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Jenks' streak began at Cleveland on July 17. ... Since the All-Star break, OF Jermaine Dye leads the AL with 19 extra-base hits and ranks second with 10 home runs. ... Manager Ozzie Guillen has RHP Jose Contreras in his bullpen. But Guillen said Contreras will at some point return to the rotation.


DETROIT: Placido Polanco started Tuesday's game at DH, temporarily halting his run at Luis Castillo's record for consecutive games at second base without an error. Polanco has not made an error in his last 139 games, four short of Castillo's streak that ended on June 7. ... Curtis Granderson hit his 30th double in the first inning, making him just the second player in Tigers history to have 30 doubles, 15 triples, 15 homers and 10 steals in the same season. Charlie Gehringer had 47 doubles, 15 triples, 16 homers and 19 steals in 1930. ... OF Marcus Thames started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday, and could be back with the Tigers as soon as Thursday.

TAMPA BAY: C Dioner Navarro's third-inning homer was his third since July 20. He had only hit one in the first two-plus months of the season. ... 1B Carlos Pena still holds the record for the longest home run in Comerica Park history, a 461-foot shot onto the concourse in right-center in 2005, his last season with the Tigers. ... Rookie SS Josh Wilson hit eighth for just the third time this season, with Navarro hitting ninth. Wilson had hit ninth in 25 of his previous 30 starts this year.


OAKLAND: The 21 strikeouts by A's pitchers against the Rangers in Monday night's 13-inning game marked the third time in Oakland history that the team struck out 20 or more in a game. The club record is 26 strikeouts in a 20-inning game against the Angels on July 9, 1971. ... The A's took batting practice in the indoor cages to stay out of the heat.

TEXAS: SS Michael Young had a rare ejection when he was tossed for mildly protesting a called third strike by plate umpire Bill Miller in the 11th inning of Monday night's game against Oakland. ``It didn't take much, but every umpire is different,'' Young said. ``He thought I crossed the line and that was it. I'm not going to waste time thinking about it.'' Manager Ron Washington also was ejected for rushing onto the field to protect his player and picking up the argument. ``It was obvious to us that it was a pitch that was a ball and he called it a strike,'' Washington said. ``I shouldn't be suspended. I never touched him or bumped him. We didn't have that kind of confrontation. I just said what I had to say.'' Young and Washington were both ejected for the first time this season. ... Washington said he wasn't concerned about his team's club-record 21 strikeouts in Monday night's 13-inning game won by the A's, 9-7. ``When you look at the lineup we're putting out there, those guys are going to swing and miss a lot,'' Washington said. ``Hopefully they'll start swinging and hitting a lot.''


BOSTON: LHP Jon Lester's start on Wednesday will be his first at Angel Stadium since Aug. 23, 2006, when he pitched his last game in the majors before undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. This will be the fourth start of his comeback - all on the road. He finally gets to pitch at Fenway Park next Tuesday against Tampa Bay, and his parents will be in the stands - just like they were at Cleveland for his first game back after undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma. ``I think it'll be a little more exciting getting back to Fenway,'' Lester said. ``It's one of my most favorite places to pitch, so I can't wait to go back to see the fans and do it there. It's going to be fun.'' ... OF Bobby Kielty, who was signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox on Tuesday after getting released by Oakland on July 31, joined Triple-A Pawtucket for a series in Scranton, Pa., and will play his first game on Wednesday. ... Manager Terry Francona plans to start RF J.D. Drew in CF for the first time this season on Wednesday so that switch-hitting Coco Crisp can get some much-needed rest. Crisp, who has started in 100 of Boston's first 113 games, had only one RBI in his previous eight games. ``I think Coco's running on fumes,'' Francona said. ``I would have preferred to do it tonight, but they've got a lefty going. So I said to Coco, `If you can make it one more night, we'll give you two in a row.' And he said, `Okay.'''

LOS ANGELES: C Mike Napoli, sidelined for the last 11 games with a strained right hamstring after injuring himself stealing second base, is on pace to be activated when he is eligible to come off the 15-day DL on Aug. 12. He is running, doing treadmill work and hitting in the cage. Despite the manner in which he was injured, manager Mike Scioscia said he would not discourage his first-string catcher from trying to steal bases. ... 2B Howie Kendrick, sidelined since July 9 because of a broken left index finger, is taking dry swings and is scheduled to be re-evaluated on Friday before the club gives him the green light to begin a minor league rehab assignment. ... There appear to be even more questions concerning DH/LF Juan Rivera's recovery from a broken left leg in the offseason than there were four months ago. ``It would be tough to evaluate a guy like that,'' Scioscia said. ``He's making progress, but the medical department feels that he's not ready to get into rehab games. It's their call. Every day that goes by works against us.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Notes from Tuesday's NL games
August 7, 2007

FLORIDA:
LF Josh Willingham had another episode with a kidney stone after arriving in Philadelphia and was held out of the lineup. ... C Miguel Olivo batted cleanup for the first time this season. ... Ricky Nolasco (elbow) threw 44 pitches over three innings for Class-A Jupiter on Monday. He walked none, struck out two and didn't allow a run. Nolasco is expected to make his next rehab appearance Friday. ... OF Alejandro De Aza (ankle) could return from the 60-day disabled list during the current six-game road trip. ``The reports are good, and anything is possible,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

PHILADELPHIA: The Phillies gave updates on several players on the disabled list. All-Star 2B Chase Utley had stitches removed from his right hand on Tuesday. He hasn't been cleared to swing a bat, however. ... RF Shane Victorino (calf) began a running program Monday. He could start a rehab assignment this weekend. ... RHP Freddy Garcia (shoulder) was scheduled for a bullpen session Tuesday. ... OF Michael Bourn (ankle) could be ready for a rehab stint in two or three weeks. ... RHP Ryan Madson (shoulder) will not throw for one or two more weeks.


ATLANTA: The Braves recalled infielder Martin Prado from Triple A-Richmond, where he was hitting .320 in 93 games. To make room on the roster, RHP Joey Devine was optioned to Richmond. ... RHP Tyler Yates turned 30 and SS Edgar Renteria marked his 32nd birthday on the disabled list. Renteria's sprained right ankle could cost him a shot at 200 hits. If he returns when eligible, he would need 58 hits in about 40 games to become Atlanta's first 200-hit man since Marquis Grissom (207) in 1996. ... INF Julio Franco cleared waivers and agreed to report to Atlanta's Single-A club at Rome, N.Y. Franco will be 49 on Aug. 23.

NEW YORK: The Mets will honor 300-game winner Tom Glavine with an on-field ceremony before Sunday's game against the Florida Marlins. ... Through 53 home games, New York is averaging 45,525 fans, third in the majors behind the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. The team has sold over 3.5 million tickets to date. ... Mets went into Tuesday night's game with a 24-12 record for the first game of series, best in the majors.


LOS ANGELES: It was 97 degrees at the first pitch. ... 2B Jeff Kent was back in the starting lineup after missing five games because of a strained left hamstring. His single extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He has reached base safely in his last 39 games, the longest current streak in the majors. ... LHP Mark Hendrickson doubled in his first at-bat, breaking an 0-for-21 start to the season. The hit left Hendrickson 4-for-56 career with one homer. ... RHP Chad Billingsley will make his first career start in his home state of Ohio on Wednesday. Billingsley, the 24th overall pick in the June 2003 draft, grew up in Defiance in the northern part of the state. He pitched in relief against the Reds on May 13 in Los Angeles.

CINCINNATI: LHP Eddie Guardado was added to the roster, 11 months after he had reconstructive surgery on his left elbow. The Reds will break him in slowly and see how the elbow reacts. ... OF Ryan Freel will have surgery Wednesday to repair cartilage damage in his right knee. If doctors can fix it easily, Freel could return in two weeks. If the damage is more extensive, Freel will be out for the season. ... INF Juan Castro had reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. He expects to be fully recovered by spring training. ... The Reds are one of six NL teams currently carrying 13 pitchers.


SAN DIEGO: OF Milton Bradley (right hamstring) did not start for the fourth straight game and manager Bud Black said he was ``still a few days away'' from returning to the lineup. If the injury lingers, the Padres will consider placing him on the DL. ... RF Brian Giles (ankle) was in the lineup for the second straight day. He was replaced in the sixth on Monday by Scott Hairston. ``He felt a little bit of swelling as the game went on, but nothing that should keep him from playing,'' Black said. ... OF Terrmel Sledge, recalled from Triple-A Portland on Tuesday when RHP Mike Thompson was sent down to Portland, gives the Padres insurance with both Giles and Bradley hampered.

ST. LOUIS: The Cardinals tied a major league record with 10 consecutive hits in the fifth inning, and are one of 11 teams to do it. The last team was the Royals in the first game of a doubleheader on Sept. 9, 2004 at Detroit. The Cardinals also did it in 1920 and 1922. ... Manager Tony La Russa had the pitcher batting eighth for the fourth straight game, with Anthony Reyes hitting ahead of Aaron Miles. Miles also batted ninth on Monday and both he and pitcher Braden Looper had two hits in the fifth inning. ... Chris Duncan batted second for only the second time since June 9, with La Russa stacking left-handed hitters first, second and fourth in the order against Jake Peavy. ``I've got my reasons for doing it,'' La Russa said, declining to elaborate.


CHICAGO: Eric Patterson was called up from Triple-A on Monday and got his first major league start on Tuesday, playing left field. Patterson eagerly called his brother, Corey, who played for the Cubs from 2000-2005 to tell him about his experience. ``I'm excited,'' Eric said. ``I talked with Corey by phone yesterday and the day before. This is nice, just being able to share a common bond with him.'' ... The Cubs have called up 10 rookies from the minors this season. ``We're giving a lot of them a chance to play,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ``We've been fortunate so far with our young kids. But we're getting a lot off them now.'' ... 3B Aramis Ramirez rested Tuesday night, but Piniella said he'd be back in the lineup on Wednesday.

HOUSTON: LF Carlos Lee finds himself in an unusual statistical position, tied with Hunter Pence for the team lead in stolen bases (8). Lee traces the anomaly to the element of surprise. ``I'm the invisible man out there,'' the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Lee said with a laugh. ``It takes me five seconds to get to second base. But by the time they realize I'm going, it's too late.'' ... Pence hit off a tee for the third straight day, continuing his rehab from a right wrist sprain suffered July 23. He also took some full swings at soft-toss pitches and will repeat the drill on Wednesday. ``It's a little better every day,'' said Pence, who was expected be out 4-to-6 weeks. ``It's definitely progressing ahead of schedule.'' ...Manager Phil Garner says Jason Lane will continue to start in center field despite his .165 batting average. ``He does a good job on defense,'' Garner said. ``That's the reason he's out there.''


MILWAUKEE: OF Corey Hart needs two homers and two steals to become the fifth player in club history with 20 of both in the same season. The last player to do it was Marquis Grissom, in 1999, when he had 20 homers and 24 stolen bases. ``He can hit some homers and has nice base-running instincts,'' manager Ned Yost said. ``He has a nice blend of power and speed. He can get hot and carry a team.'' Wednesday's scheduled starter, RHP Yovani Gallardo is 4-0 with a 2.47 ERA in his seven starts, including six quality starts.

COLORADO: LHP Brian Fuentes threw off a mound for the first time since being placed on the DL on July 13. ``Brian threw 25 pitches, threw every pitch and threw them well,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``We'll decide our next step on Wednesday.'' ... C Edwin Bellorin made his first start since being called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday. ``He knows Jason Hirsh,'' Hurdle said. ``He caught three of Hirsh's rehab starts.'' ... OF Ryan Spilborghs hit sixth in the batting order to get him more chances to drive in runs. ... RHP Ryan Speier's role out of the bullpen will be to work the fifth or sixth innings.


WASHINGTON: 3B Ryan Zimmerman was able to chuckle about getting hit in the helmet by Giants rookie pitcher Tim Lincecum on Monday night. ``It's scary when you have a guy like Lincecum out there who throws the ball so hard,'' manager Manny Acta said. ``But you could tell it didn't hit him solid. He was actually joking around when we got to the plate.'' It was the third time Zimmerman has been hit by a pitch. ... 1B Dmitri Young has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts now that he's back in the NL. After five years with Detroit, including an injury-plagued season in 2006, he's hitting over .300, something he never did with the Tigers. If he maintains his average, it will be his fifth season with a .300 average or better. He's third in the NL with his .339 average entering play and could remain in contention for a batting title. ``That would mean a lot to him, especially after what he went through last year,'' Acta said. ``From day one he's had solid at_bats and has worked closely and hard with (hitting coach) Lenny Harris. He's legit. He's a good guy not just to me but in the clubhouse with the players and to the organization.''

SAN FRANCISCO:
LHP Steve Kline has pitched on seven straight days in relief for the Giants, allowing one run in 3 1-3 innings in that span. Manager Bruce Bochy said his rubber-armed reliever was ready to go again if needed. ``You ask him and he kind of laughs at you, 'You can't hurt me,''' Bochy said. ``I don't know whether we'll use him or not, but he is available.'' ... SS Omar Vizquel was scratched from the lineup after bruising his knee Monday night. Kevin Frandsen started in his place. ... LHP Noah Lowry, who lefty his start Sunday after three innings with tightness in his forearm, will throw a side session Wednesday and a bullpen session Friday before the Giants determine when he will next be able to pitch. ... If Barry Bonds didn't break Hank Aaron's record Tuesday, ESPN planned to televise Wednesday night's game against Washington. That would be the 11th Giants game added since Bonds approached the record.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Yankees call up Chamberlain, activate Giambi from disabled list
August 7, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -Joba Chamberlain joined the New York Yankees' bullpen on Tuesday, adding a hard-throwing pitcher to a bullpen that has struggled.
   
The 21-year-old from Lincoln, Nebraska, was taken by the Yankees with the 41st pick in last year's amateur draft and sped through their minor league system. He said it felt ``surreal'' when he walked into the visiting clubhouse.

``Things are starting to slow down a little bit and the best is yet to come,'' he said. ``I'm ready to explode. I can't wait to go out there and let it go.''

Chamberlain was 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA at three stops this year, striking out 135 batters in 88 1-3 innings and holding batters to a .198 average.

``It's been an adjustment but learning on the job is the best way to do it,'' Chamberlain said.

New York also activated Jason Giambi, who had been on the disabled list since May because of a foot injury.

After playing for the University of Nebraska, Chamberlain pitched in the Hawaiian Winter League, then began the 2007 season at Class-A Tampa before working his way to Triple-A, where he was converted into a reliever.

``It's one of those things that seemed to be crying out to happen because of what he's been doing,'' Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Chamberlain started the year at Class-A Tampa, going 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in seven starts, then was promoted to Double-A Trenton, where he went 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts and one relief appearance. The Yankees moved him to the bullpen, and he didn't allow a run in eight innings during one start and two relief appearances at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. He struck out eight batters in three scoreless innings of relief.

``You hear so many positive things about him,'' Torre said. ``We just have to make sure we understand how old he is, how much experience he has and just go accordingly from there. At this point I don't know how we're going to use him but we'll get him a taste.''

Torre said he will be cautious with Chamberlain and intended to bring him in to start an inning for his debut.

``This is all new for him,'' Torre said. ``This is not something he's been doing all year. We'll take it slow.''

Roving pitching instructor Nardi Contreras said Chamberlain was ``like a man among boys'' when he first saw him at Tampa.

``His curveball is probably as hard as some guys' slider in the big leagues,'' Contreras said. ``He's very special. He's altogether different than other guys we've brought up.''

Chamberlain's promotion led to a flood of congratulatory messages from family and friends.

``I think I've got about fifty thousand text messages to respond to,'' Chamberlain said, adding that his parents plan to join him either in Toronto or when the Yankees head to Cleveland for the weekend.

To make room on the roster, the Yankees optioned right-handed reliever Brian Bruney to Triple-A and designated infielder Miguel Cairo for assignment.

Giambi tore tissue in his foot May 30 and started a rehab stint last weekend at Tampa, where he played four games. He played four more with the Red Barons, going hitless after a solo home run in his first at-bat.

Giambi batted .262 with seven homers and 23 RBIs in 45 games before the injury.

``I'm just excited to be back,'' Giambi said. ``The team is playing great. I just came back to try and help the ballclub any way I could.''

Giambi played some first base during his rehab stint to make himself more versatile, but Torre said he'll likely use Giambi as a DH before putting him in the field.

``I'd like to have that option,'' Torre said. ``I have no plans to do that right now.''

Bruney was 2-1 with a 3.40 ERA in 50 games. He struggled in July, allowing nine of his 18 total earned runs this season over 10 appearances totaling 6 2-3 innings.

Cairo batted .252 with no homers and 10 RBIs in 54 games. The Yankees have 10 days to trade Cairo, release him or send him to the minor leagues.

``Right now I don't want to think about it,'' Cairo said. ``Right now I'm just trying to deal with it and take it.''

Torre said the emergence of outfielder Shelley Duncan and the acquisition of infielder Wilson Betemit made Cairo expendable.

Duncan started at designated hitter Tuesday as outfielder Hideki Matsui got the day off after starting at DH on Monday. Torre said Matsui will return to the outfield for Wednesday's series finale.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Guardado, Majewski back in Reds' latest bullpen shuffle; Freel to have knee surgery
August 7, 2007

CINCINNATI (AP) -Eleven months after he got his pitching elbow rebuilt, veteran lefty Eddie Guardado is back in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen.
   
The former closer was activated Tuesday as part of the team's latest move to improve the NL's worst bullpen. The Reds also recalled right-hander Gary Majewski from the minors and optioned rookie left-hander Jon Coutlangus to Triple-A Louisville.

Meanwhile, outfielder Ryan Freel went on the 15-day disabled list and was scheduled for knee surgery that could sideline him for the rest of the season.

Also, infielder Juan Castro had reconstructive elbow surgery on Tuesday. Castro had a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and had anticipated surgery for the last few weeks.

The 36-year-old Guardado had hoped to be back by the All-Star break, but developed stiffness in his left forearm while pitching in the minors last month. The setback slowed his comeback, which was still ahead of schedule.

``I just feel relieved, actually,'' Guardado said. ``I didn't think this day would ever come. It felt like a century.''

The closer once known as ``Everyday Eddie'' for his durability will have to take it easy for the rest of the season. David Weathers is the closer now, and the Reds are going to try to break in Guardado slowly to see how his elbow reacts.

``I just want to get him through his first inning, see how it looks and go from there, see how he reacts,'' interim manager Pete Mackanin said. ``We'll see how he's going to fit in, see if he's going to be able to help.''

The bullpen can use a lot of help. Its collective 5.00 earned run average going into Tuesday was the worst in the National League. Aside from Weathers, no one else has been consistent.

General manager Wayne Krivsky tried to fix the problems last year with a midseason, eight-player trade with Washington. Majewski, who was one of the key acquisitions, hasn't done much because of shoulder problems.

He opened the season on the disabled list and was added to the roster on May 24. He went 0-1 with a 15.88 ERA in 10 games before being sent down to figure out why his sinker was staying straight.

Majewski experimented with his grip on several pitches and started getting better results. He also shaved his goatee and cut his shoulder-length hair for the first time in about four years.

``Needed something new, just to change it up a little bit,'' he said.

The moves left the Reds with 13 pitchers - five other NL teams also have that number. Mackanin expects the Reds to go back to a dozen pitchers soon.

The large number is largely a function of the bullpen's ineffectiveness.

``It's just to be on the safe side to protect what we have in the bullpen and not have to use the guys I want to use to hold a lead in a close game,'' Mackanin said. ``We can use the other people when we're behind big or way ahead, and save those (other) guys for the close games.''

Freel has torn cartilage in his right knee, which has bothered him for a while. He said doctors aren't sure whether they can easily remove a bone spur and fix the cartilage damage, or whether the operation on Wednesday will have to be more extensive.

If it's more extensive, his disappointing season will have a downbeat finish.

Freel opened the season as the starting center fielder, but struggled at the plate and missed 30 games with a concussion after running into a teammate while catching a fly ball. He's hitting .245 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

``It's been a disappointment for me - hurt half the year and didn't play as well as you'd have liked to, and the team hasn't done as well as you expected,'' Freel said. ``It could have been a lot better. This was a bad-luck season, I guess.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Cubs recall RHP Gallagher, option Ohman
August 7, 2007

HOUSTON (AP) -The Chicago Cubs recalled right-hander Sean Gallagher from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday and optioned left-hander Will Ohman to their top farm club.

Gallagher has a 5.73 ERA and one save over 11 innings with the Cubs this season. He is up with Chicago for the third time this year.

He also has played for Double-A Tennessee and Iowa, and has a 10-3 combined record with a 3.03 ERA in 16 starts.

``We did it to give us some more innings in the bullpen,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ``He has been throwing the ball well in Triple-A. We'll use him in long relief, to eat up innings.''

Piniella said Gallagher may also get an occasional spot start.

Ohman was 1-4 with a 5.06 ERA for Chicago this season. He has a 4.34 ERA in 211 career relief appearances.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Baseball Today - August 8

SCOREBOARD Wednesday, Aug. 8

Seattle at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EDT). Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie are each seeking win No. 8.

STARS Tuesday

-Barry Bonds, Giants, hit home run No. 756 to break Hank Aaron's career record in San Francisco's 8-6 loss to Washington.

-Ryan Howard, Phillies, homered twice in Philadelphia's 11-1 victory over Florida.

-Raul Ibanez, Mariners, had two homers and four RBIs in Seattle's 10-3 win over Baltimore.

-Jake Westbrook, Indians, allowed one run and two hits in eight innings to help Cleveland beat the Chicago White Sox 2-1.

-Todd Helton, Rockies, hit two home runs in Colorado's 11-4 win over Milwaukee.

756

Barry Bonds hit No. 756 to the deepest part of the ballpark Tuesday night, and hammered home the point: Like him or not, legitimate or not, he is baseball's new home run king. Bonds broke Hank Aaron's storied record in the fifth inning, connecting on a 3-2 pitch from Washington's Mike Bacsik. Three days earlier, Bonds tied the Hammer with a shot to left-center in San Diego.

NEAR BRAWL

Alex Rodriguez got hit, and Roger Clemens made sure it didn't go unanswered. Rodriguez was hit on his calf by a pitch from Toronto's Josh Towers during the New York Yankees' 9-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday, and Clemens plunked Alex Rios in the middle of his back. Benches and bullpens emptied twice after Rodriguez was hit in the third inning. Clemens and Yankees manager Joe Torre were ejected after Rios was hit by the first pitch of the seventh. No punches were thrown.

SHUTOUT CENTRAL

Jake Peavy allowed three hits in six innings and San Diego beat St. Louis 4-0 on Tuesday night for its major league-leading 16th shutout of the season. St. Louis was blanked for the 10th time, tying Minnesota for the major league lead.

PICKUPS PAYING OFF

Two of the Texas Rangers' major acquisitions at the trade deadline gave their fans something to cheer about on Tuesday night. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in the tiebreaking run with a sixth-inning double and Kason Gabbard went six innings to earn his first win with Texas, leading the Rangers to a 8-6 victory over Oakland. Texas acquired both in major deals on July 31 - the deadline for making trades without waivers.

STREAKS

Cincinnati beat Los Angeles 4-0 on Tuesday night to hand the Dodgers their fifth loss in a row, their longest losing streak of the season. They've dropped 14 of their last 19 overall, a slump that has dumped them from first to third in the NL West. ... Jeff Kent singled in the first inning for the Dodgers and has reached base safely in his last 39 games, the longest active streak in the majors. ... Jake Peavy allowed three hits in six innings to extend his scoreless streak to 19 innings and San Diego topped St. Louis 4-0. ... The New York Yankees beat Toronto 9-2 to win their fifth straight and improve to 20-7 since the All-Star break.

SPEAKING

''I knew I hit it. I knew I got it. I was like, phew, finally.'' - Barry Bonds.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Guardado, Majewski back in pen; Freel to have surgery
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

CINCINNATI -- Eleven months after he got his pitching elbow rebuilt, veteran lefty Eddie Guardado is back in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen.

The former closer was activated Tuesday as part of the team's latest move to improve the NL's worst bullpen. The Reds also recalled right-hander Gary Majewski from the minors and optioned rookie left-hander Jon Coutlangus to Triple-A Louisville.

Meanwhile, outfielder Ryan Freel went on the 15-day disabled list and was scheduled for knee surgery that could sideline him for the rest of the season.

Also, infielder Juan Castro had reconstructive elbow surgery on Tuesday. Castro had a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and had anticipated surgery for the last few weeks.

The 36-year-old Guardado had hoped to be back by the All-Star break, but developed stiffness in his left forearm while pitching in the minors last month. The setback slowed his comeback, which was still ahead of schedule.

''I just feel relieved, actually,'' Guardado said. ''I didn't think this day would ever come. It felt like a century.''

The closer once known as ''Everyday Eddie'' for his durability will have to take it easy for the rest of the season. David Weathers is the closer now, and the Reds are going to try to break in Guardado slowly to see how his elbow reacts.

''I just want to get him through his first inning, see how it looks and go from there, see how he reacts,'' interim manager Pete Mackanin said. ''We'll see how he's going to fit in, see if he's going to be able to help.''

The bullpen can use a lot of help. Its collective 5.00 earned run average going into Tuesday was the worst in the National League. Aside from Weathers, no one else has been consistent.

General manager Wayne Krivsky tried to fix the problems last year with a midseason, eight-player trade with Washington. Majewski, who was one of the key acquisitions, hasn't done much because of shoulder problems.

He opened the season on the disabled list and was added to the roster on May 24. He went 0-1 with a 15.88 ERA in 10 games before being sent down to figure out why his sinker was staying straight.

Majewski experimented with his grip on several pitches and started getting better results. He also shaved his goatee and cut his shoulder-length hair for the first time in about four years.

''Needed something new, just to change it up a little bit,'' he said.

The moves left the Reds with 13 pitchers - five other NL teams also have that number. Mackanin expects the Reds to go back to a dozen pitchers soon.

The large number is largely a function of the bullpen's ineffectiveness.

''It's just to be on the safe side to protect what we have in the bullpen and not have to use the guys I want to use to hold a lead in a close game,'' Mackanin said. ''We can use the other people when we're behind big or way ahead, and save those (other) guys for the close games.''

Freel has torn cartilage in his right knee, which has bothered him for a while. He said doctors aren't sure whether they can easily remove a bone spur and fix the cartilage damage, or whether the operation on Wednesday will have to be more extensive.

If it's more extensive, his disappointing season will have a downbeat finish.

Freel opened the season as the starting center fielder, but struggled at the plate and missed 30 games with a concussion after running into a teammate while catching a fly ball. He's hitting .245 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

''It's been a disappointment for me - hurt half the year and didn't play as well as you'd have liked to, and the team hasn't done as well as you expected,'' Freel said. ''It could have been a lot better. This was a bad-luck season, I guess.''

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Brewers release P Dessens
August 8th, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Brewers released pitcher Elmer Dessens Wednesday.

The veteran was 1-1 with a 6.60 earned run average in 12 relief appearances for the Brewers this season. He had been designated for assignment on Saturday.

In 351 career major league games -- with Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Arizona, the LA Dodgers, Kansas City and Milwaukee -- the right-hander is 47-60 with a 4.44 ERA and five saves.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Padres to cut ties with David Wells
FOXSports.com

The Padres plan to cut ties with veteran left-hander David Wells on Thursday.
According to a major-league source, Wells, 44, will be designated for assignment and simultaneously placed on release waivers, giving the Padres three days to trade him.

Wells is owed just slightly under $1 million for the rest of the season and is earning approximately $170,000 per start in incentive bonuses. He could appeal to another contender in need of starting pitching, including possibly the Padres' NL West rivals, the Dodgers.

However, Wells has pitched poorly in his last four starts, going 0-3 with a 14.33 ERA during that stretch. He also has rankled commissioner Bud Selig with his recent comments about umpires.

The departure of Wells will coincide with the return of right-hander Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list.

If this is the end for Wells, he will head off into retirement with a career mark of 235-156.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Bellorin placed on 15-day DL by Rockies
August 8, 2007

DENVER (AP) -Two days after being called up to the majors leagues for the first time, catcher Edwin Bellorin was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. 
 
Bellorin, brought up Monday from Triple-A Colorado Springs, made only one plate appearance in his brief stay. He hit into a double play in the second inning and strained a hamstring while running out the play.

Colorado purchased the contract of catcher Alvin Colina from Colorado Springs. Colina was hitting .204 and had five homers and 29 RBIs in 64 games with Colorado Springs.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Marlins activate rookie outfielder Alejandro De Aza
August 8, 2007

MIAMI (AP) -Florida Marlins center fielder Alejandro De Aza was activated from the disabled list Wednesday after missing nearly four months with an ankle injury.

De Aza, a rookie, started on opening day and batted .303 in nine games before being sidelined.

Outfielder Joe Borchard was designated for assignment. He batted .196 in 85 games.

Right-hander Logan Kensing was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. He's coming back from elbow ligament replacement surgery a year ago.

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Re: MLB News and Notes August - 8

Cubs place Pagan on DL; recall Pie
August 8th, 2007

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - The Chicago Cubs recalled outfielder Felix Pie from Triple-A Iowa Wednesday, and announced outfielder Angel Pagan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with colitis.

Pie will rejoin the club for his third stint in the majors this season. He has hit .216 with two home runs, 19 runs scored and 18 RBI in 48 games with the Cubs thus far.

The 22-year-old hit .360 with nine homers and 42 RBI in 54 games in Iowa. He had a .407 on-base percentage and .559 slugging percentage.

Pagan was batting .264 with four homers and 21 RBI in 71 games for Chicago, which is fighting for the top spot in the National League Central division. The Cubs suffered a big blow this week, however, when Alfonso Soriano went down with a torn right quad that could keep him sidelined for the next month.

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