American League team-by-team notebook -- Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeAugust 8, 2012

Baltimore: RH reliever Stu Pomeranz was scheduled to work out Monday in Sarasota, Fla., but he didn't throw because of discomfort in his leg related to a back injury. Pomeranz went on the disabled list in late May due to a pulled side muscle. ... RHP Jason Hammel may be able to starting throwing off a mound within two weeks. For now, he's throwing on flat ground as he works his way back after having arthroscopic right knee surgery in mid-July.

Boston: DH David Ortiz, out since July 17 due to a strained right Achilles tendon, said he felt OK after taking batting practice. He is targeting a return to action at some point this weekend in Cleveland. "This is the first time I kind of feel like it's getting a little better," Ortiz said. ... RH reliever Scott Atchison got a positive report from orthopedist James Andrews, who determined that Atchison doesn't need immediate surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Atchison hopes to rejoin the bullpen in September.

Chicago: 3B Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup due to right knee soreness, while CF Alejandro De Aza, the regular leadoff hitter, missed his second start in a row due to back tightness. OF Jordan Danks filled in as the leadoff man Monday, and 2B Gordon Beckham topped the lineup Tuesday. ... Manager Robin Ventura plans to switch back to a five-man rotation for the time being, with RHP Philip Humber bumped to the bullpen. "This season already has had ups and downs, but I'm thankful for the opportunity in the bullpen as much as starting," Humber said.

Cleveland: RH reliever Frank Herrmann was recalled from Class AAA to help out the bullpen, which had been overworked during the club's losing streak. In 39 appearances for Columbus (Ohio), Herrmann was 2-2 with seven saves and a 4.28 ERA. IF Jose Lopez, who hit .249 in 66 games, was designated for assignment for the second time this season. ... DH Travis Hafner missed his second consecutive start due to a sore lower back. Manager Manny Acta said if Hafner is not any better Wednesday, he may undergo further tests, including an MRI.

Detroit: Nick Castellanos, a top prospect, will get some instruction from a Hall of Famer at his new position. Al Kaline was set to go to Class AA Erie (Pa.) to teach Castellanos some fine points of right field. After the All-Star break, Castellanos was shifted from third base, where he was blocked in Detroit by Miguel Cabrera, to the outfield. ... RHP Justin Verlander's 132 pitches Monday matched his career regular-season high. He also threw 132 pitches in a May 29, 2011, start against Boston. He threw 133 in the playoffs last year against Texas.

Kansas City: 3B Mike Moustakas, who sat out three of the previous four games while receiving treatment for a right knee bone bruise, was back in the lineup. Moustakas first injured the knee diving on a fielding play July 28 at Seattle. ... SS Alcides Escobar, who had started all but two games this season, was out of the lineup for a breather. 2B Chris Getz replaced Escobar in the No. 2 slot in the batting order, and Tony Abreu started at shortstop.

Los Angeles: RHP Jered Weaver's shutout of the A's on Monday ran his record to 15-1. He is the sixth pitcher since 1969 to win 15 of his first 16 decisions in a season, joining Orioles LHP Dave McNally (1969), Indians RHP Gaylord Perry (1974), Yankees LHP Ron Guidry (1978), Yankees RHP Roger Clemens (2001) and Rockies RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (2010). ... Mike Scioscia managed his 2,055th game, tying him with Felipe Alou for 50th on the all-time list. Scioscia's .548 winning percentage going into Tuesday's game ranked 14th all-time among the 54 managers with at least 2,000 games.

Minnesota: 1B Justin Morneau became the fourth Canadian-born player to hit 200 career homers when he went deep twice Monday. The Canadian homer leaders are Larry Walker (383), Matt Stairs (265) and Jason Bay (208 through Monday). Morneau is the seventh player to hit 200 homers as a Twin, joining Harmon Killebrew (475), Kent Hrbek (293), Tony Oliva (220), Bob Allison (211), Kirby Puckett (207) and Gary Gaetti (201). ... 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka went 0-for-5 with two errors Monday in his first major league game of the season. "You could see he was rushing a little bit," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

New York: After allowing seven runs in 5 1/3 innings Monday at Detroit, RHP Ivan Nova is 0-3 with an 8.36 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. Manager Joe Girardi said he plans to keep Nova in the rotation despite the recent struggles, citing his success over the past year and a half. ... LHP Manny Banuelos has been shut down for the remainder of the regular season with a left elbow injury. Banuelos, ranked as the team's top prospect before the season, was 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts in Class AAA this season.

Oakland: SS Cliff Pennington, out since July 20 due to left elbow tendinitis, was activated from the disabled list. Pennington went 5-for-11 with a double, three walks and a steal in a three-game rehab assignment with Class AAA Sacramento (West Sacramento, Calif.). LH reliever Pedro Figueroa was optioned to Sacramento after a two-day major league stint in which he pitched three shutout innings. ... Yoenis Cespedes returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after missing Monday night's game due to right wrist soreness. The same ailment kept him from starting Saturday.

Seattle: LH reliever Charlie Furbush has had two one-inning, one-run rehab outings for Class AAA Tacoma (Wash.), and he will pitch in the minors again Wednesday, according to manager Eric Wedge. Furbush, out since July 18 due to a left triceps strain, might be ready to rejoin the Mariners soon. ... SS Brendan Ryan missed a third consecutive start because of a bruised left elbow. "He's not ready to play yet. I think we're close, but he still has a lot of inflammation," Wedge said.

Tampa Bay: Evan Longoria, who had missed 85 games, returned to the lineup as the designated hitter. He will continue to serve as the DH until he proves his left hamstring is 100 percent, according to manager Joe Maddon. IF Brooks Conrad, who was optioned to Class AAA Durham (N.C.) last week, was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Longoria. ... RH reliever Kyle Farnsworth enjoys watching the Olympics. He likes the archery and shooting events because he currently participates in both disciplines recreationally, and also tae kwon do, as he considered training for the Games in that sport as a teen.

Texas: SS Elvis Andrus, who left Sunday's game with a sore right shoulder and didn't play Monday, was back in the lineup. On Monday, Michael Young made his second appearance at shortstop since 2008. ... RH reliever Mark Lowe (right intercostal muscle strain) threw one scoreless inning and struck out two Monday in a rehab appearance for Class AAA Round Rock (Texas). He will throw once more before the Rangers consider activating him.

Toronto: RHPs Dustin McGowan and Drew Hutchison are due to undergo surgery Thursday. McGowan will have an arthroscopic shoulder operation. He was sidelined since spring training, originally due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Hutchison will have season-ending Tommy John surgery. He had been trying to rehab his elbow since mid-June. ... CF Colby Rasmus was back in the starting lineup after missing the two previous games with a groin strain. However, 3B Brett Lawrie missed a third start in a row because of a sore rib cage.