What's buzzing:

National League notebook -- Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: CF Chris Young was given a start off after starting the previous five games since being activated from the disabled list Friday. "He probably came back a little too early," manager Kirk Gibson said. With an off day today, Young will get two days off. ... C Miguel Montero (groin) rode a bike, played catch and took some swings before the game. "Hitting is a little challenging because you have to stretch out your back leg," Montero said. The D-back are hoping Montero can return Friday.

Atlanta: C Brian McCann (flu) had to be scratched from the lineup for the second straight day, and that truly was a loss considering he had batted .500 (9 for 18) with four home runs against the Reds' starter, RHP Bronson Arroyo. IF/OF Eric Hinske got the start in right field, partly to give RF Jason Heyward a start off but also because Hinske was 14-for-33 (.424) against Arroyo. ... CF Michael Bourn was 1-for-17 (.059) on the road trip until he went 3-for-4 Tuesday with two home runs. It was his first career multi-homer game.

Chicago: 1B Bryan LaHair, stuck in a 1-for-20 skid that included 10 strikeouts, was not in the lineup for the second straight game. The Cubs faced Astros LHPs J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez in the two games, and manager Dale Sveum figured it was a good time to give the lefty-hitting LaHair a breather. ... Sveum missed the game because he returned to Scottsdale, Ariz., to attend the high school graduation of his son, Rustin. Sveum is scheduled to rejoin the team Friday.

Cincinnati: RH reliever Nick Masset, on the disabled list all season because of a sore shoulder, is scheduled to test it today. Masset had to be shut down when he tried to throw in late April. "We've got our fingers crossed," manager Dusty Baker said. "We're hoping for no pain, no discomfort. From there, he'll start progressing as tolerated. I know he's champing at the bit. He's ready." ... 2B Brandon Phillips' two-homer game Tuesday was the ninth multi-homer game of his career. Phillips has at least one two-homer game in each of his six seasons with the Reds.

Colorado: IF D.J. LeMahieu was recalled from Class AAA Colorado Springs, and IF Jonathan Herrera (right hamstring) was placed on the disabled list. LeMahieu was acquired from the Cubs along with OF Tyler Colvin in December for 3B Ian Stewart and minor league RHP Casey Weathers. ... SS Troy Tulowitzki made his eighth error Tuesday, heaving a throw over the head of 1B Todd Helton in the sixth inning that led to an unearned run. That gave Tulowitzki two more errors than he made all last season. He had a career-high 11 errors in 2007, his rookie season.

Houston: The Astros are planning to have new uniforms next season, and owner Jim Crane told the Houston Chronicle they will more closely resemble the gaudy jerseys they wore previously than the more traditional togs they've had the last 12 years. "We'll blend some of the new with the history of the team and some of the colors in the past," Crane said. The team has conducted focus groups and surveyed everyone in the organization to come up with the new design. ... 2B Jose Altuve admitted his 418-foot home run Tuesday is all that his 5-foot-5 frame will ever be able to provide. "I think that's all I got," he said. "I've never hit it like that before."

Los Angeles: IF Ivan De Jesus Jr., who missed nearly a year after breaking his leg in spring training in 2009 and wasn't even a September call-ups in both 2010 and 2011, became the Dodgers' latest unlikely hero Tuesday when he tied the game with an RBI single in the seventh and won it with a two-run double in the ninth. "I've been waiting for this moment," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I'm so happy. I'm just happy to be here. I'm just happy to help the Dodgers win games. I'm never going to forget today." ... OF Tony Gwynn Jr. went 3-for-5 Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to eight games. In nine games since CF Matt Kemp went on the disabled list, Gwynn was hitting .343 (12-for-35).

Miami: Team president David Samson said he expects RH reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo to pitch for the Marlins sometime this year. The team had no comment on an ESPN report that Oviedo had received his visa to return to the United States. Oviedo, formerly known as Leo Nunez, admitted to falsifying his identity last September and has been entangled in the legal system in his native Dominican Republic since. ... 2B Omar Infante was back in the lineup for the first time since Saturday. He left the team Sunday to return to Venezuela for his grandfather's funeral.

Milwaukee: RHP Marco Estrada left the game in the bottom of the first inning after he strained his right hip flexor while legging out a two-run double in the Brewers' six-run rally. Estrada was scheduled for an MRI. ... IF Cody Ransom was claimed off waivers from Arizona, and IF Edwin Maysonet was optioned to Class AAA Nashville. The Brewers are looking for more offense at shortstop, where Cesar Izturis is hitting .200 as a replacement for Alex Gonzalez, who was lost for the season because of a knee injury and was transferred to the 60-day DL on Wednesday.

New York: CF Andres Torres, mired in a 1-for-34 slump, was benched for the second straight game, and OF Mike Baxter started for the fourth time in the last five games after spending the first six weeks of the season primarily as a pinch-hitter. Baxter could get even more frequent starts in the outfield if Torres continues to scuffle. ... RH reliever Bobby Parnell's fastball velocity is down this season, but that is mostly by choice. The reliever has cracked triple digits on multiple occasions but has had more success by changing speeds.

Philadelphia: 2B Chase Utley (left knee) has been taking groundballs during batting practice for the last week but still doesn't have imminent plans to take his rehab to Clearwater, Fla., to begin playing in games. ... SS Jimmy Rollins, on paternity leave since Tuesday after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child, daughter Camryn Drew, on Sunday, remained out of the lineup. Rollins had the option to wait until Friday to return.

Pittsburgh: 3B Pedro Alvarez is hitting .127 (7 for 55) since being moved to cleanup. He hit .462 (12 for 26) in his previous seven games, all lower in the order. ... The Pirates are averaging 2.8 runs per game, batting .217 with 35 home runs and striking out at a 4-to-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio that, if it holds up, will be the worst in baseball history. The 1968 Mets are the only team ever to be greater than 3-to-1.

St. Louis: IF-OF Matt Carpenter became the fifth Cardinal in the last week to go on the disabled list. Carpenter strained a muscle in his right side during a first-inning at-bat Tuesday, which resulted in a double. C-IF Steven Hill's contract was purchased from Class AAA Memphis. ... RHP Chris Carpenter, trying to rebuild strength in his right shoulder, weakened by a nerve condition, can't throw yet but has begun running. "At least you feel like you're doing something," he said. "I know it's hard for people to understand, but it's actually easier to stink than being hurt. If you stink, you can go out and try to get better. When you're hurt, you can't do anything."

San Diego: 3B Chase Headley was back in the lineup after missing his second game of the season Tuesday because of a recurrence of a lower back problem that first sidelined him for more than a week in spring training. "Chase's back has been a little tight the past few days," manager Bud Black said. ... RH reliever Matt Palmer on Tuesday became the 39th player to be used by the Padres this season. That is the highest total in the major leagues.

San Francisco: IF Ryan Theriot is expected to be activated from the disabled list today and likely will play second base. 2B Charlie Culberson was sent down to Class AAA Fresno after Wednesday's game in anticipation of Theriot's return. Emmanuel Burriss, who has gotten most of the starts at second with Theriot out, didn't run to first base on a popup near home plate Tuesday and is hitting only .202. Burriss was chewed out in the dugout by manager Bruce Bochy after the play. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval (fractured left hamate bone) Tweeted that he had no pain after taking 25 swings at extended spring training in Arizona. Sandoval's projected return is early to mid-June.

Washington: RH reliever Tyler Clippard said he had been "over-stepped" for the closer role a couple of times, but Tuesday he got his chance to close and recorded the second save of his career. Manager Davey Johnson has said he would like to keep Clippard as the setup man but also will rely on a bullpen-by-committee after RH reliever Henry Rodriguez struggled in the ninth Monday. ... SS Ian Desmond's home run Tuesday was his team-best eighth of the season. Desmond was hitting .375 (6 for 16) in the No. 5 spot in the order compared to .272 at leadoff.
View Comments (0)