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MLB Roundup: Orthopedic surgeon Yocum dies of cancer

The SportsXchange

Lewis Yocum, an renowned orthopedic surgeon admired for his skill in performing the Tommy John elbow ligament replacement procedure that saved the careers of many baseball players, died Tuesday at age 66 of liver cancer.

Yocum served as the Angels' team physician and was with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic founded by Frank Jobe, who developed the technique n 1974.

"Dr. Lewis Yocum was a giant in the field of sports medicine," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "He was an invaluable resource to not only the Angels franchise but players throughout all of Major League Baseball."

---Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jered Weaver is scheduled to return from the disabled list to start Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers.

Weaver has been out since early April after suffering a fractured elbow in his non-pitching left arm but is expected to be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the Angels' rotation. The 30-year-old pitcher worked 5 2/3 innings in an extended spring training game on Wednesday, throwing 75 pitches, and apparently showed the Angels that he's ready.

The Angels designated Billy Buckner, who started Saturday's game, for assignment and hope to have right-hander Tommy Hanson back from the restricted list to start Friday against the Houston Astros. Hanson has been out since May 4 after the death of his step-brother.

---St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Michael Wacha will make his major-league debut Thursday, less than a year from being selected 19th overall in the draft.

The 21-year-old will face the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium. Wacha didn't allow a run in major-league exhibition games and was barely challenged in nine starts at Triple-A Memphis, where the righty went 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA and allowed just 35 hits in 52 2/3 innings.

The Cardinals are likely to place Jaime Garcia on the 60-day disabled list to make room for Wacha on the 40-man roster, but will still need to create space on the 25-man roster.

---Injured Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez was diagnosed with mild tendinitis of his right rotator cuff and won't throw for 5-7 days.

Perez had an MRI Monday. If he remains pain-free, he will be allowed to resume throwing with the goal of coming off the disabled list when he's eligible.

---San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal rejoined the team Tuesday after serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

Grandal, 24, batted .306 in nine rehab games with Triple-A Tucson, with three doubles. He is coming off a rookie season in which he belted eight homers in 60 games, while hitting .297.

To make room on the roster, the Padres sent John Baker to Triple-A Tucson.

---The Arizona Diamondbacks optioned pitcher Tyler Skaggs to Triple-A Reno, one day after he started the first game of a Monday's doubleheader against the Rangers.

The lefty struck out nine and allowed three hits in six scoreless innings, and sported an improved change and biting curveball. He was recalled to replace Ian Kennedy.

---The San Francisco Giants purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham from Triple-A Fresno Tuesday to replace injured Ryan Vogelsong in the rotation.

Kickham, 24, had a 4.33 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 54 innings over 10 starts at Triple-A. He was drafted by the Giants in the sixth round of the 2010 draft out of Missouri State University.

---The Houston Astros recalled pitcher Brad Peacock from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday, to take the roster spot of outfielder Robbie Grossman.

Peacock, 25, was demoted after posting a 9.41 ERA in six appearances earlier this season. The righty went 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings for the RedHawks. He'll likely pitch in middle relief. Grossman, 23, collected 111 at-bats in 28 games for Houston, but batted .198.
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