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National League team-by-team notebook -- Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: LHP Tyler Skaggs was shut down for the rest of the season after reaching 151 2/3 innings at three levels in 2012. RHP Josh Collmenter started Tuesday in San Francisco and is expected to take the final turn in that rotation spot Sunday. ... RHP Trevor Cahill has induced 22 groundball double plays this season after getting two more on Monday, running his total to 23, third in the league with one scheduled start remaining. Cahill has 84 double plays in his four seasons in the majors.

Atlanta: CF Michael Bourn remained out of the lineup, but his jammed left thumb has no structural damage, team hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie said. Bourn said the soreness in the thumb, which previously was surgically repaired, has abated in the last two days. ... IF Jack Wilson, 34, announced his retirement. He played in 40 games for the Braves this season before he was placed on the disabled list July 15 and then released on Aug. 31.

Chicago: RF Dave Sappelt, called up from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa on Sept. 1, was in the lineup as the leadoff man for the first time this season. Sappelt became the eighth different leadoff hitter for the Cubs this year. ... 3B Josh Vitters was in the lineup for only second time since Sept. 15. Manager Dale Sveum said he wanted to use the best lineups possible against contending teams but feels more comfortable using Vitters, batting .114 before Tuesday, against also-rans like the Rockies.

Cincinnati: Manager Dusty Baker suffered a "mini-stroke" while he was hospitalized because of an irregular heartbeat last week during a series in Chicago, the Reds announced. He is expected to make a full recovery and hopes to return to the dugout for the final series of the regular season next week. ... Dioner Navarro started at catcher Tuesday night as acting manager Chris Speier decided to give Ryan Hanigan an extra day after being hit in the Adam's apple and right collarbone with a foul tip Sunday night.

Colorado: CF Dexter Fowler (left wrist) and LF Carlos Gonzalez (left hamstring) were not in the lineup -- Fowler for the third straight game and Gonzalez for the fifth straight game. ... RH closer Rafael Betancourt, who earned his 30th save Monday, went into Tuesday with a 2.29 ERA, the second lowest for a Rockies closer with a minimum of 30 saves. Manny Corpas had a 2.08 ERA in 2007.

Houston: OF J.D. Martinez is scheduled to undergo surgery today to remove the hamate bone in his left hand. Recovery time is expected to be up to six weeks, and he might not be able to play winter ball. ... 2B Jose Altuve (groin) was back in the lineup. He was re-injured Sunday and didn't play Monday.

Los Angeles: RH closer Kenley Jansen went into Tuesday with 90 strikeouts. That's just six shy of matching his career high, set in 2011, even though he recently missed three weeks because of an irregular heartbeat, and he did it in only 59 innings. ... RH reliever Brandon League had converted all five save opportunities in September going into Tuesday and had allowed just one run in his last 17 appearances. Since joining the Dodgers on July 31, League had a 2.70 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings and had held batters to a .175 batting average.

Miami: RH reliever Heath Bell said he wasn't criticizing manager Ozzie Guillen when said in a radio interview Monday, "It's hard to respect a guy that doesn't tell you the truth." Tuesday, on a different radio show, Bell said, "I never said I don't respect as a manager or a person." ... RF Giancarlo Stanton was out of the lineup for the seventh straight game because of a strained muscle on his left side. He said he hopes to play before the end of the season but probably won't be back until this weekend at the earliest.

Milwaukee: RHP Marco Estrada was 4-1 with a 1.23 ERA in his previous six starts before falling apart in a six-run fourth inning Monday. He wasn't helped when CF Carlos Gomez lost a flyball in the sun for a two-run double, but he later surrendered a three-run homer. ... SS Jean Segura, one of three prospects acquired from the Angels for RHP Zack Greinke on July 27, is finishing strong. He went into Tuesday batting .386 in his last 14 games.

New York: LF Jason Bay was scratched from the lineup because of back stiffness. He began feeling discomfort in his back Monday, and it had not subsided by the time he arrived at the ballpark Tuesday. ... RHP R.A. Dickey will get to choose whether he starts the Mets' final game of the season or their second-to-last game next week in Miami. Dickey will make his first attempt at a 20th win this Thursday at Citi Field.

Philadelphia: RHP Roy Halladay wants to make one more start this season and is scheduled for a bullpen session today. If he looks and feels OK, he will start Saturday's game. ... OF Darin Ruf got his first major league start, playing left field. Ruf spent the season at Class AA, where he hit 38 home runs playing mostly as a first baseman.

Pittsburgh: LHP Justin Wilson will pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the season after the Pirates gave some thought to giving him a late season start. Wilson moved from the rotation to the bullpen late in the season at Class AAA Indianapolis, and the Pirates seem to believe he profiles best as a reliever because of his ability to throw hard in short stints. ... OF Travis Snider struck out as a pinch hitter Monday, which made him 4-for-35 (.114) with no extra-base hits since Aug. 31.

St. Louis: 3B David Freese (sprained right ankle) is expected to miss the rest of the Houston series. He was injured when he stepped in a soft spot in the visitors' batting cage before Monday's game. X-rays were negative. ... RHP Lance Lynn, who has won three straight starts, has given up only two runs in 19 1/3 innings since he was sent to the bullpen for nearly three weeks. "I see him with a whole different demeanor," manager Mike Matheny said.

San Diego: 3B Chase Headley has followed his 10-homer, 29-RBI August with seven homers and 25 homers in September going into Tuesday. But he struck out at least once in 15 of the first 20 games this month and had a total of 20 in 80 at-bats. ... 2B Logan Forsythe had 14 multi-hit games in his last 36 games going into Tuesday. Overall, he was hitting .336 since Aug. 7 with seven homers, a triple, three homers, 13 RBI and 24 runs scored.

San Francisco: Manager Bruce Bochy said he wants to keep the Giants' recent hot streak going -- within reason -- now that they have clinched the division title. "The best way to approach this is to try to win every game, as we did the whole season. ... But we don't want to grind these guys down to pass the Reds," he said. ... C Buster Posey went into Tuesday hitting .350 in September and .407 with four homers and 13 RBI in his last 15 games. Since the All-Star break, he was at .383 with a .455 on-base percentage, both tops in the majors.

Washington: LF Michael Morse (left wrist) returned to the lineup. He said he was given a B-12 shot to help ease the pain. ... RF Jayson Werth said the sunlight in the eyes of the outfielders during day games at Nationals Park is the worst he has ever had to play in. Outfielders from both the Nationals and Brewers dropped flyballs during the three games played in the afternoon last weekend.
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