Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones hoped to be in the starting lineup Thursday after taking live batting practice Wednesday and drawing a walk in a pinch-hit appearance. But his left leg bruise was worse, spreading from the ankle up the calf, after the training staff worked to get the blood out. ... C Brian McCann (flu) and 1B Freddie Freeman (blurred vision) both were out of the lineup. McCann missed his third straight start, and Freeman continues to have trouble picking up the ball after a recent bout with corneal abrasions. Chicago: RHP Jeff Samardzija has been handled cautiously in his first full year as a major league starting pitcher. Wednesday, acting manager Jamie Quirk removed Samardzija after six innings and 90 pitches. "I said, 'Hey, you have a career. This is your first year starting and we have to watch it, and you have a long career ahead of you. Save some pitches right now,' " Quirk said. ... 3B Ian Stewart's batting average has fallen to .197 one year after he hit .156 and spent most of the year in the minors. All four of his homers have come against right-handed pitchers, which is why he was benched the last two games when the Astros started lefties. Cincinnati: RH reliever Nick Masset (shoulder) threw for the first time since late March. "I felt about as good as you can for the first day," Masset said. "I hadn't thrown in two months. It's a situation like you're starting to throw again after the offseason -- three months off, whatever. You've got to get the rust out. Overall, I felt good. I thought the ball was coming out OK." Masset threw 30 pitches from 60 feet. ... Manager Dusty Baker said he is considering giving RF Jay Bruce a day off but might let him swing his way out of his slump. Bruce was 1 for his last 27 going into Thursday. Colorado: The Rockies are 5-16 this month, but owner Dick Monfort remains undeterred. "There is no way that we are as poor of a team as we are playing," he said. "And if we are, then I fell in love with our own guys and couldn't look through the forest to the trees. But I don't believe that's the case." ... RH reliever Adam Ottavino has made five scoreless appearances, totaling six innings. Opponents are hitting .190 against him -- .214 by right-handed hitters (3-for-14 with six strikeouts) and .143 by lefties (1-for-7 with three strikeouts). Houston: RH closer Brett Myers led the Astros' bullpen in a promotional video shoot with their self-given title, "The Regulators." The first reliever out of the bullpen at each home game takes the mound to the song "Regulate" by Warren G. and Nate Dogg. ... SS Jed Lowrie's establishment as one of the Astros' top hitters has led to the unusual scenario of an offense being paced by its middle infielders. Lowrie and 2B Jose Altuve rank 1-2 on the team in on-base percentage plus slugging percentage (OPS). Los Angeles: RH reliever Matt Guerrier shut down his rehab Wednesday because of pain in his right elbow. "Rest is the more likely bet," Guerrier told MLB.com. ... IF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. played left field in a rehab assignment with Class AAA Albuquerque on Wednesday and was scheduled to play second and third base for Albuquerque on Thursday night. Hairston is expected to be activated from the disabled list today. Miami: CF Emilio Bonifacio said he will have surgery today on his left thumb and will be out 4-6 weeks. Bonifacio was placed on the disabled list Sunday because of what was initially diagnosed as a sprain. ... OF Austin Kearns was put on the disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, because of a right hamstring strain, and OF Kevin Mattison was recalled from Class AAA New Orleans. Manager Ozzie Guillen said Chris Coghlan, Greg Dobbs and Bryan Petersen will split time in left and center field. Milwaukee: RHP Marco Estrada was placed on the disabled list one day after he strained his right quadriceps running the bases, and RHP Mike McClendon was recalled from Class AAA Nashville. In an earlier stint with the Brewers, McClendon allowed 10 hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings (10.13 ERA). ... IF Cody Ransom, claimed on waivers from Arizona, will join the Brewers today. Ransom is seen as a right-handed alternative at shortstop to Cesar Izturis, a switch-hitter who is batting .111 from the right side. New York: 1B Ike Davis has been told that the Mets will not send him to the minors, even if he continues to struggle at the plate. Davis is batting .159 with a .213 on-base percentage, leading manager Terry Collins to say last weekend that the team might consider demoting him. Instead, the Mets will keep Davis around, sitting him periodically against tough left-handed starters. ... CF Andres Torres returned to the lineup after a two-game absence but did not lead off. Torres began the game in a 1-for-34 slump, leading Collins to bench him twice this week in Pittsburgh and slot him seventh in the lineup upon his return. Philadelphia: SS Jimmy Rollins was reinstated from the paternity leave list, and C Erik Kratz was returned to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.). ... 1B Ryan Howard (left Achilles) took part in a simulated game at extended spring training in Clearwater, Fla., and 1B Jim Thome (back) hit in an extended spring training game. The Phillies wanted Howard to face live pitching rather than batting practice tosses from coaches. ... C Carlos Ruiz was back in the lineup. His right wrist was bruised by a foul ball Wednesday. Pittsburgh: LF Jose Tabata and 3B Pedro Alvarez are expected to be back in the lineup tonight after being given Wednesday off. Tabata, the leadoff man, is batting .222 and slumping again. Alvarez is expected to remain in the cleanup spot despite batting .127 since being moved there in early May. "I wanted to give them a day down, trying to spark something," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Maybe that will help them get their legs back under them a little bit." ... RH reliever Jason Grilli has 30 strikeouts in 17 innings. He has had at least one strikeout in all 18 appearances and twice has struck out the side. St. Louis: 1B Lance Berkman's right knee surgery in Houston had to be postponed from Thursday morning to today because of a doctor's scheduling conflict. The arthroscopic procedure, to repair torn meniscus, could be only the first in a two-step process should doctors determine Berkmam's ACL is compromised. ... Manager Mike Matheny wants to play RF Carlos Beltran as much as possible with so many players on the disabled list but also doesn't want to hurt him further. Beltran has been bothered by a sore right knee. "We've got to let him fight through it," Matheny said. "He covers a lot more ground than people think -- although it doesn't always look like he's running at top speed." San Diego: RHP Jeff Suppan was 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA after his first two starts as a Padre but has a 6.32 ERA in his last three -- and lost all three. Wednesday, Suppan allowed five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in St. Louis. "The execution for some of my pitches was there, for some it wasn't," he said. ... The Padres' middle-infield situation hasn't improved with the arrival from the minors of SS Everth Cabrera and 2B Alexi Amarista. Cabrera was 2-for-21 through Wednesday, and Amarista was 4-for-23. San Francisco: IF Ryan Theriot (right elbow) was activated from the disabled list, as expected, but was not in the lineup, which also had been expected, because he made a long trip from Arizona to Miami. Manager Bruce Bochy said Theriot will be in the lineup tonight. ... SS Brandon Crawford went into Thursday with 10 errors, but team officials say they remain committed to him. Furthermore, the Giants have little depth at the position. "He's had his rough days, but he's bouncing back well," Bochy said. "That's what you need from the kid. He's done that with the bat; he's done it defensively." Washington: 3B Ryan Zimmerman has only eight extra-base hits, two of them homers, in 30 games. By contrast, RF Bryce Harper has 13 extra-base hits, including two homers, in 24 games. ... LF Michael Morse (back muscle) is expected to take part in an extended spring training game today. The target date for Morse to return is June 8. Also, RH reliever Brad Lidge threw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since hernia surgery. He was scheduled to report to Viera, Fla., for extended spring training games and hopes to return by June 12 or 13.
Buzzing News from Woj:
By The Sports Xchange May 24, 2012 8:00 PM
Josh Collmenter tweaked his delivery slightly after being moved to the bullpen in late April and has given up only one run and eight hits, all singles, in four relief appearances covering 10 innings. He was 0-2 with a 9.82 ERA in four starts before being replaced by rookie LHP Patrick Corbin.Arizona: 1B Paul Goldschmidt has come alive in May, batting .294 with eight doubles, a home run and eight RBI in 20 games. He has nine hits, including four doubles, in his last 23 at-bats after reaching base four times Wednesday on a double, two walks and a hit batsman. ... RH reliever