Fantasy Pickups of the Week:

National League notebook -- Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: RF Justin Upton did not start for the second straight game and for the third time in the last five, a day after managing partner Ken Kendrick called Upton an "enigma" and said at age 24 Upton should be more consistent. "I agree 100 percent," said Upton, who exchanged texts with Kendrick. "I want to be consistent. The fact that I am not is frustrating for both of us. To be brutally honest, he's the one who is forking out the money for me to be here, and I'm not performing to that level. He has every reason to be frustrated." ... OF A.J. Pollock was recalled from Class AAA Reno when 1B Lyle Overbay was placed on the paternity list.

Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones had the stitches removed from his left calf where a procedure was performed May 26 to drain the hematoma that put him on the disabled list. Jones did some running before batting practice. ... LHP Mike Minor was leading the league through Tuesday with 13 home runs allowed, and in only 58 innings. Most of them came on changeups, which in the past has been his best pitch. "Supposedly," he said.

Chicago: RH reliever Blake Parker (stress reaction in elbow) was placed on the 60-day disabled list, and RH reliever Manny Corpas' contract was selected from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. Corpas has not pitched in the big leagues since 2010 with Colorado. He went to spring training with the Cubs as a non-roster player. ... LF Alfonso Soriano's homer Tuesday gave him home runs in eight straight series. He's the first Cub to accomplish that since Derrek Lee and Corey Patterson each homered in eight straight series in 2004.

Cincinnati: IF-OF Kristopher Negron, 26, was called up from Class AAA Louisville to replace IF Mike Constanzo, who was optioned to Louisville. Negron was hitting only .212 at Louisville and was hitless in his last 21 at-bats, but he got the call partly because CF Drew Stubbs has a slightly strained muscle in his side. Constanzo was 0-for-13 as a pinch-hitter and 1-for-17 overall. ... RHP Homer Bailey's three-inning outing Tuesday was his shortest of the season, and the six runs he allowed matched his season high.

Colorado: RHP Jeremy Guthrie said he wouldn't be surprised if he didn't start again for the Rockies after giving up 11 hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings and losing 10-0 at Arizona on Tuesday. Guthrie, a huge disappointment this season, is 3-4 with a 6.35 ERA, but manager Jim Tracy voiced faith in him. "We're going to keep pitching him," Tracy said. "Simply put, he's a guy that we need. We've got kids in this rotation." ... C Eliezer Alfonzo was released. His 100-game suspension for a second positive drug test was dropped last month because of procedural issues.

Houston: The Astros reached an oral agreement with their top draft pick, SS Carlos Correa, owner Jim Crane told the Houston Chronicle. The deal was pending a physical. ... 2B Jose Altuve's 4-for-5 night Tuesday was his fourth game in his last six with at least three hits. Altuve was 14-for-28 in his last six games. ... CF Jordan Schafer (ill) remained out of the lineup for the second straight game.

Los Angeles: IF-OF Elian Herrera had at least one hit in 14 of his 16 starts through Tuesday. His 15 games with a hit was tied with Steve Sax for the fourth most by a Los Angeles Dodger in his first 20 career games. ... SS Dee Gordon hit .314 with a .364 on-base percentage in 15 games through Tuesday since getting benched on May 19. Gordon also had a hit in each of his first three games after returning to the leadoff role Sunday.

Miami: Manager Ozzie Guillen said he has no plans to bat his pitchers anywhere other than ninth. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez hit his pitcher eighth in the order again Wednesday, a day after pitcher Tim Hudson went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI batting eighth in Atlanta's 11-0 win over Miami. "It worked for Gonzalez. They kicked our butts. But I never thought about it," Guillen said. "I have to have a great answer to convince me." ... OF Austin Kearns (right hamstring) is expected to come off the disabled list today, Guillen said. Kearns has been on a rehab assignment with high-A Jupiter (Fla.).

Milwaukee: OF Lance Roenicke of UC Santa Barbara, son of Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, was taken by Milwaukee in the 25th round of the draft. The proud papa said his son was "fired up" about the opportunity to go pro. ... 3B Aramis Ramirez (left quadriceps) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. Ramirez said he expected to be able to play today.

New York: LF Jason Bay (fractured left rib) and RH reliever Pedro Beato (shoulder) were activated from the disabled list, and 1B Josh Satin was designated for assignment. Bay did not start because he was batting a head cold and the effects of a long travel day. ... RHP Chris Young was placed on the paternity list after his wife, Liz, gave birth to a son, Grant. Young, who has two other children, made his season debut the previous night in his comeback from right shoulder surgery.

Philadelphia: 1B Ryan Howard was 2-for-4 with two walks and 2B Chase Utley was 2-for-5 with a double and a home run in an extended spring training game against Blue Jays minor-leaguers in Clearwater, Fla. It was Howard's first game since he tore his Achilles last October; Utley's first game was Monday. ... 1B Jim Thome (lower back) was activated from the disabled list, and IF Pete Orr was sent down to Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Pa.). ... 3B Placido Polanco is expected to be out a few days because of a cut finger, sustained when Dodgers C Matt Treanor slid into him Tuesday.

Pittsburgh: RHP A.J. Burnett, cast away by the Yankees over the winter, is drawing effusive praise in Pittsburgh not only for his 5-2 record and 3.76 ERA but also for being the unquestioned leader of the majors' No. 2 pitching staff. "At this point in my career, I'm not here for my numbers," Burnett told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I'm not here to be an All-Star or to win the Cy Young. I'm here to help my team get better. I'm here to win games." ... 3B Pedro Alvarez was held out of the lineup a third consecutive game as manager Clint Hurdle and hitting coach Gregg Ritchie work to get him out of his latest swing. He could return today.

St. Louis: The Cardinals chose the sons of manager Mike Matheny, third-base coach Jose Oquendo and bench coach Mike Aldrete on the final day of the first-year player draft. CF Tate Matheny, 18, of Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis, went in the 23rd round; SS Eduardo Oquendo, 19, of Olney (Il.) Central College, went in the 32nd round; and RHP Michael Aldrete, 21, of San Jose State, was taken in the 39th round. ... 1B Lance Berkman, who had right knee surgery last month, is still hobbled but rejoined his team in the dugout in Houston, where he lives. Berkman is shooting for a mid-July return to the lineup, saying his recovery is "way ahead of where I expected to be."

San Diego: RHP Jason Marquis, signed by the Padres last week after he opted out of his minor league contract with the Red Sox, will be activated in time to start today's game. Manager Bud Black said the Padres didn't want Marquis to have too much time between starts. ... LF Carlos Quentin's five homers in 23 at-bats through Tuesday made him the first player in Padres history to hit more than three homers in his first six games as a Padre. Russell Branyan and Ed Sprague Jr. both had three homers in their first six games.

San Francisco: 3B Pablo Sandoval (broken hamate bone in left wrist) will return by no later than Tuesday, manager Bruce Bochy said, adding that Ryan Theriot will remain at second base. There had been speculation that IF Joaquin Arias, who has been filling in at third, would move over to second when Sandoval comes back, but Theriot has been one of the Giants' hottest hitters. ... CF Angel Pagan has hit safely in 45 of 47 games and has a 14-game hit streak. He has had three separate hit streaks of 11 or more this season, topping at 20.

Washington: SS Ian Desmond on Tuesday became the first player to tie a game three separate times in the eighth inning or later since Art Shamsky of the Reds on Aug. 12, 1966, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ... C Sandy Leon was scheduled to head to Viera, Fla., to continue his rehab from a high right ankle sprain. He is expected to play in extended spring training games for two weeks.
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