National League team-by-team notebook --Thursday, August 9, 2012

The SportsXchange

Arizona: IF Willie Bloomquist (back) was a late lineup scratch. He has missed eight of the last 10 games. ... LHP Joe Saunders (6-8) made his eighth quality start in his last nine appearances, giving up two earned runs in seven innings. Saunders has won only two of those starts because the D-backs have scored a total of 24 runs while he was in the game.

Atlanta: SS Jack Wilson, on a rehab assignment with Class AAA Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.), is still feeling discomfort in his dislocated right little finger. In his first 10 games with the B-Braves, Wilson hit .212 with seven hits and four RBI. But three of those hits and three of the RBI came as the DH in his first game. ... 1B Freddie Freeman has 69 RBI this season, and nearly half -- 34 -- have come with two out.

Chicago: RHP Matt Garza (elbow) said he hopes to pitch again this season. He won't pick up a ball for the next two weeks. "I was definitely surprised," he said of having to go on the disabled list. "I was throwing through this thing. I thought it was just another little bump. Doc said, 'You've got to shut it down.' Got to listen to the doc." ... The Cubs have only six players remaining from their 2011 opening-day roster: Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell and Carlos Marmol.

Cincinnati: Manager Dusty Baker, who has managed five playoff teams and made the playoffs four times as a player, is acutely aware of resting his regulars. "I know how to run this race," he said. "If you look at my record with the teams that won, look at my record in the last month of season. We always did very well -- partly because of the personnel and partly because of how we program them." ... RHP Homer Bailey is scheduled today to take his third shot at what would be a single-season career-high 10th win. Bailey has posted a 2.92 ERA in two career starts at Wrigley Field.

Colorado: 3B Jordan Pacheco has nine doubles in his last 12 games, bringing his season total to 20. He has hit .348 in that span with five RBI and four runs scored. ... RH reliever Carlos Torres has been scored upon in four straight outings after a stretch of seven consecutive scoreless games in which he allowed one hit in 12 innings with 12 strikeouts and four walks. In his last four games, Torres has allowed 13 hits and nine runs in 6 2/3 innings with four walks, one hit batter and three strikeouts.

Houston: 2B Tyler Greene was acquired from St. Louis for a player to be named or cash considerations after the Astros claimed him on waivers. Green is hitting .218 and was booed by Cardinals fans after making a key error on a potential double-play ball Wednesday. IF-OF Brian Bixler was designated for assignment to create a roster spot for Greene. ... C Jason Castro could return as soon as early next week should his big test this weekend go well. Castro is scheduled to catch nine innings for Class AAA Oklahoma City both today and Saturday to make sure his drained right knee can handle it.

Los Angeles: OFs Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn Jr. cleared outright waivers and accepted their assignments to Class AAA Albuquerque. Both could be September call-ups when rosters expand. ... SS Hanley Ramirez will play in Miami tonight for the first time since getting traded by the Marlins on July 25. Ramirez is batting just .226 in 14 games with the Dodgers, but he has driven in 12 runs.

Miami: LF Logan Morrison (sore right knee) was told by knee specialist Richard Steadman to rest for three weeks before having the knee re-evaluated. That means the best-case scenario would have Morrison returning in September. ... RF Giancarlo Stanton, who came off the disabled list earlier this week after recovering from right knee surgery, did not start Thursday's game after hitting two homers Wednesday because the Marlins are trying to give him at least one day off a week as a precaution. "You have to. Don't want it to get repeated," he said.

Milwaukee: CF Carlos Gomez, who platooned with OF Nyjer Morgan last season, has been getting more playing time and is taking advantage of it. Gomez has batted .328 (19 of 58) over his last 15 games with five home runs and 12 RBI. ... RHP Johnny Hellweg, one of three minor league prospects acquired from the Angels for RHP Zack Greinke, was placed on the disabled list at Class AA Huntsville (Ala.). Hellweg is not injured, but the Brewers want to protect his arm by limiting his innings over the final weeks of the season.

New York: LH reliever Tim Byrdak has opted to undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder. He hopes to pitch again in the second half of 2013 but acknowledged the possibility that, at age 38, his career might be over. ... SS Ruben Tejada extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the third inning and added a second single in the fifth. Tejada has had multiple hits in a game eight times during his streak.

Philadelphia: 3B Placido Polanco is expected to take batting practice today as he continues to rehab his lower back problem. Polanco took fielding practice Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list. ... LH reliever Antonio Bastardo has a 5.48 ERA since Aug. 21, 2011, the date he blew a save at Washington. He has a 1.51 WHIP (walks/hits to innings pitched ratio) since then.

Pittsburgh: 3B Pedro Alvarez, mired in a 1-for-14 slump, was out of the lineup for the third time in five games. He leads the Pirates with 21 home runs but hasn't gone deep since July 22. ... SS Jordy Mercer made back-to-back starts for the first time all season. The rookie hit his first major league home run Wednesday when he connected off Arizona RHP Josh Collmenter.

St. Louis: 1B Allen Craig (bruised chest) and SS Rafael Furcal (back) were back in the lineup after missing Wednesday's game. Furcal got an epidural injection in an attempt to relieve his back pain. ... 1B Lance Berkman has had recent cortisone shots in both knees, and now his left knee has flared up more. GM John Mozeliak said Berkman, who talked his way out of a rehab assignment the last time he came off the disabled list following his May knee surgery, will need to get some at-bats in the minors this time.

San Diego: C Nick Hundley was recalled from Class AAA Tucson, and C Eddy Rodriguez was sent down. When C Yasmani Grandal went on the disabled list July 31, Hundley was on the seven-day DL at Tucson because of a hamstring strain. ... 1B Yonder Alonso was 3-for-8 with two RBI and a run in two games against the Cubs this week. Anthony Rizzo, who was in line to be the Padres' first baseman before he was traded to the Cubs, was 1-for-12 with three strikeouts.

San Francisco: CF Gary Brown, the Giants' top position-player prospect, was hit in the head by the bat of a Class AA teammate. A CT scan was negative, and he is expected back soon. He could be a September call-up, manager Bruce Bochy said. ... C Buster Posey was surprisingly in the lineup even though it was a day game after a night game. Bochy said Posey will be rested tonight or Saturday instead.

Washington: RF Bryce Harper was not in the lineup after going 0-for-11 in the first three games of the series at Houston. Manager Davey Johnson said he felt as if Harper needed a "mental break." ... LF Michael Morse's career-high 17-game hit streak through Wednesday was the longest for the franchise since 3B Ryan Zimmerman's 19-game hit streak that ended Aug. 11, 2011.
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