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National League notebook -- Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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Arizona: SS Stephen Drew (right ankle surgery) will be activated from the disabled list and start today's game, manager Kirk Gibson said. Drew's 20-day rehab assignment at Class AA Mobile (Ala.) ended Monday. He is not expected to be a full-time starter when he returns. ... RHP Trevor Bauer was officially announced as the starter for Thursday, when he will replace LHP Joe Saunders (shoulder) in the rotation. Bauer, the third player taken in the 2001 draft, was 11-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 16 minor league starts, dominating at Mobile and Class AAA Reno. Bauer, 21, leads the minor leagues with 116 strikeouts after breaking RHP Mark Prior's Pac-12 season record with 203 strikeouts at UCLA in 2011.

Atlanta: RF Jason Heyward's recent aggressiveness at the plate earned him a promotion to the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Manager Fredi Gonzalez wanted his three hottest hitters -- CF Michael Bourn, Heyward and LF Martin Prado -- going back-to-back-to-back. ... RHP Brandon Beachy, who underwent Tommy John surgery Thursday, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that doctors said he had pitched with the torn ligament in his elbow for months and possibly years. "It wasn't something I did that night," he said.

Chicago: 1B Anthony Rizzo was in the No. 3 spot in the batting order for his Cubs debut. The Cubs recalled Rizzo, 22, from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. IF Adrian Cardenas was optioned to Iowa to make room for Rizzo. ... 3B Ian Stewart said his left wrist, which has bothered him for a year, is still sore. If the wrist doesn't get appreciably better, surgery would be the final option, he said.

Cincinnati: CF Drew Stubbs put the strained muscle in his left side to a major test on a stolen base Monday in his first game back from disabled list. Stubbs did a pop-up slide and had to contort to stay on the bag after he lost his balance. "That was that moment where you realize you're well or something is still going on," manager Dusty Baker said. "We all held our breath." Stubbs said he felt no pain. ... RHP Mat Latos threw 26 consecutive strikes from the first to the fifth innings Monday. That's the most by a Red since they began keeping track in 1988.

Colorado: Bob Apodaca, the Rockies' pitching coach the last 10 years, asked to be re-assigned. He told team officials he is tired and needs a break, and he will be a special assistant to GM Dan O'Dowd instead. Bullpen coach Jim Wright and Class AAA pitching coach Bo McLaughlin will share the pitching coach duties for the rest of the season, O'Dowd said. ... IF Marco Scutaro appeared to be OK after getting hit in the helmet Monday night by a fastball thrown by Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg. Scutaro was not in the lineup Tuesday, however.

Houston: OF Justin Maxwell (left ankle) was placed on the disabled list, and IF Scott Moore, who ranked second in the Pacific Coast League in doubles with 26, was recalled from Class AAA Oklahoma City. Maxwell is expected to be out 4-6 weeks because of loose bodies in his ankle. ... 2B Jose Altuve (right hamstring) was out of the lineup for the second straight day. He's day-to-day. ... Monday marked the first time since 2008 that the Astros lost a game in which they had nine walks. They also had 11 hits but stranded 13 runners. "There (were) a lot of things offensively that happened good," manager Brad Mills said. "It's just when you have all those opportunities, you'd like to take advantage of them."

Los Angeles: Mickey Hatcher, fired earlier this season as hitting coach for the Angels, was hired as a special assistant to the general manager, GM Ned Colletti announced. Hatcher, who starred for the Dodgers in their 1988 World Series victory, will assist the major league staff and also help with player development. ... 3B Juan Uribe was held out of the lineup for the third time in five games. Uribe was 1-for-17 on the current road trip through Monday.

Miami: IF Greg Dobbs got another start at first base because he was 7 for his last 18. Gaby Sanchez, Miami's opening-day first baseman, was hitting .195. "I think Dobbs is swinging the bat better," manager Ozzie Guillen said. ... RH closer Heath Bell didn't mince words after he blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning Monday. "Slap me in the face because I sucked tonight," he told reporters. "I let everybody down." He hadn't given up an earned run in his previous 10 appearances.

Milwaukee: The Brewers are considering trading RHP Zack Greinke if they cannot sign him to a long-term contract before July 31, FoxSports.com reported. Greinke is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. ... RHP Marco Estrada (right quadriceps) was activated from the disabled list to make the start. Estrada missed nearly a month because of the injury and tuned up with two minor league rehab starts for Class AAA Nashville.

New York: RH reliever Jenrry Mejia (Tommy John surgery) was supposed to be nearing a return to the Mets, but manager Terry Collins said Mejia could likely continue his rehab work in the minors instead. Collins also said Mejia could return to starting after moving to the bullpen, though he still projects as a reliever in the big leagues long-term. ... RH Bobby Parnell is back in the closer role with RH closer Frank Francisco on the disabled list, and Collins said he Parnell should be ready. "He had some ups and he had some downs and he's learned how to deal with them all, and he's come back better," Collins said. "This is his chance to show what he's learned."

Philadelphia: 2B Chase Utley (sore knees) is expected to return to the lineup this week, and 1B Ryan Howard apparently is close to starting his rehab assignment. Howard will be in Philadelphia for "functional testing" on his Achilles tendon today, the Phillies announced. If those tests indicate his Achilles is strong enough, Howard will start his rehab assignment Thursday with low-A Lakewood (N.J.). ... RHP Joe Blanton is on his second three-game winning streak of the season. When Blanton pitches seven innings or more, he is 6-0 with a 2.03 ERA in seven starts with two complete games.

Pittsburgh: C Rod Barajas (bruised left knee) was not available to play, prompting the recall of C Eric Fryer from Class AAA Indianapolis. Barajas was hurt Tuesday on a play at the plate. 1B/3B Matt Hague and LH reliever Doug Slaten were optioned to Indianapolis to clear space on the 25-man roster for Fryer and recently acquired IF/OF Drew Sutton, and LHP Daniel Moskos, the Pirates' first-round draft pick in 2007, was designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster for Fryer. ... RH reliever Jared Hughes was considered for the disabled list because of an undisclosed, non-arm related injury, but he threw off flat ground Monday and was cleared to continue pitching.

St. Louis: LF Matt Holliday pushed his batting average over .300 for the first time this season with a 11-for-17 run culminated by . That left him at .304. ... RHP Joe Kelly, a rookie who has been in the majors less than two weeks, had to pinch hit in the 10th inning Monday because the Cardinals were out of position players after a lineup mixup. But he got his first big-league hit, a run-scoring infield single with the bases loaded. "I was the most nervous I could be," he said.

San Diego: RHP Kip Wells was called up from Class AAA Tucson and became the 13th pitcher to start a game for the Padres this season. Wells had not pitched in the major leagues since he split the 2009 season with Washington and Cincinnati. In the interim, he had pitched with Mazatlan of the Mexican Winter League and Long Island of the independent Atlantic League. ... RHP Nick Vincent was called up from Class AA San Antonio, and RH reliever Brad Boxberger and IF Andy Parrino were sent to Tucson. RHP Joe Wieland was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Wells.

San Francisco: 1B Aubrey Huff spoke to reporters for the first time since he sprained his right knee climbing over the railing to celebrate Matt Cain's perfect game, and he vowed to return. "I've never been a quitter," he said. "I've always tried to finish something I've started. I don't want to raise my kids thinking it's OK to quit." ... LHP Barry Zito's victory Monday was his first over the Dodgers in five starts, dating to May 8, 2009. He has six wins overall this year; his best since joining the Giants is 11 in his first year, 2007/.

Washington: With the team mired in a slump, manager Davey Johnson defended his hitting coach. "Rick Eckstein's approach to teaching hitting it second to none," Johnson told The Washington Post. Eckstein has been the team's hitting coach for nearly four years. ... Johnson did not believe RHP Stephen Strasburg's concentration was altered after he hit Rockies IF Marco Scutaro in the head with a pitch Monday. "I don't know if anything changed about him," Johnson said. "I know he didn't mean to hit him on purpose. That is part of the game."
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