National League notebook -- May 8, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: RHP Daniel Hudson (shoulder) reported that his arm felt good after he threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session, the first time he has thrown off a mound since April 18. Hudson is scheduled to throw at least one more bullpen before facing hitters, manager Kirk Gibson said. ... First base coach Eric Young was not with the team after his father had a stroke Sunday night and died soon after. Bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock is serving as first base coach.

Atlanta: 3B Chipper Jones' surgically repaired left knee continues to make progress; it didn't swell with fluid after the team's flight from Atlanta to Denver last week, and it didn't prevent him from getting back in the lineup Monday after the flight from Denver. ... 1B Freddie Freeman, who has replaced Jones in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, hit .367 (11 for 30) with three home runs and 10 RBI in a seven-game stretch last week. "I think this is your 3-hole hitter for a long time to come," Jones told manager Fredi Gonzalez.

Chicago: RH reliever Carlos Marmol, who has been demoted from the closer role because of control issues, walked the first two batters he faced in the eighth inning Monday with the Cubs ahead 3-1. With the crowd booing, he got a lineout and two strikeouts. "Not listening to the fans," he said of how he remained focused. "But you know what? That made me go because I needed to do better and throw strikes." ... IF Adrian Cardenas, called up from Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa on Monday, made his first major league start Tuesday, at second base. Getting a rest was regular 2B Darwin Barney, who was 3-for-16 on the homestand and was hitting .245 for the season.

Cincinnati: SS Zack Cozart, who started 5-for-34 in the leadoff spot, went into Tuesday's game 6 for his last 18 with a home run and three RBI in that role. "He's done it before," manager Dusty Baker said. "That's why I wasn't real apprehensive about putting him there. I told him to be himself. Don't worry about what the spot in the batting order dictated him to be." ... RF Jay Bruce's home run Monday in Milwaukee cleared everything in right-center field and traveled an estimated 463 feet. His farthest ever? "I don't know," Bruce said. "Definitely close. That's easily as good as I can hit one."

Colorado: 3B Casey Blake, 38, announced his retirement. Blake went to spring training with the Rockies but was not ready to start the season because of continuing problems with his neck. ... Jerry McMorris, the Rockies' former chairman, president and CEO, died of pancreatic cancer. He was 71. McMorris stepped up after the ownership group that had been awarded the Rockies franchise in 1992 encountered legal and financial problems, and he found other investors to purchase a controlling interest in the club. ... RHP Alex White was called up from Class AAA Colorado Springs to start Tuesday's game, and LHP Christian Friedrich will be called up to start today in his major league debut, according to reports.

Houston: 1B Carlos Lee might have done the most damage of any hitter on the Astros' poor offensive night Monday when he fouled a ball back to the radio booth and shattered the blue star that Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton illuminates after a great defensive play. ... RHP Aneury Rodriguez was called up from Class AAA Oklahoma City to start Tuesday's game. RH reliever Enerio Del Rosario was sent down to Class AAA to create a roster spot.

Los Angeles: RH Kenley Jansen replaced RH Javy Guerra as the closer. Jansen's 27 strikeouts through Monday led all major league relievers, and Guerra has three blown saves, prompting manager Don Mattingly to say, "It's just been too much. The uncertainty of it really tells me I have to make that move." ... LHP Ted Lilly won his fourth straight decision Monday. Lilly has allowed five earned runs in five starts in 2012, good for a 1.41 ERA.

Miami: RHP Carlos Zambrano's ERA dropped to 1.98 with his complete-game shutout Monday, and he finally got his first win of the season. He has pitched at least six innings in all six of his starts. Twice earlier this year, the Marlins were shut out during Zambrano starts, and three times he was in line for the win until RH closer Heath Bell blew a ninth-inning lead. ... The Marlins' temporary closer, RH Steve Cishek, was up in the bullpen in the ninth inning Monday but didn't have to come in the game because Zambrano went the distance. Manager Ozzie Guillen said Monday he hopes Bell can return to the closer's role soon.

Milwaukee: The contracts of GM Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke were extended in spite of the team's slow start. Melvin, who was promoted from executive vice president and general manager to president of baseball operations -- general manager, is now under contract through 2015, and Roenicke's deal is through 2014 with a club option for 2015. ... LF Ryan Braun will team with a good friend, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, to back a new restaurant outside of Milwaukee in Brookfield, Wis. The restaurant will be named 8*twelve, combining the numbers worn by the players. Braun's name already is on a Milwaukee restaurant, Ryan Braun's Graffitto. ... OF Norichika Aoki started in center field Monday after OF Nyjer Morgan started there the day before. With CF Carlos Gomez on the DL with a hamstring injury, manager Ron Roenicke said he will choose between Aoki and Morgan in center depending on who is swinging the bat better.

New York: C Josh Thole was placed on the seven-day disabled list because of a concussion he sustained when the Phillies' Ty Wigginton bowled him over Monday. C Rob Johnson was called up from Class AAA Buffalo to take Thole's place, and RH reliever Pedro Beato was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster. ... Three players out of the Mets' starting eight have spent time on the disabled list this season, and 3B David Wright almost landed there last month. But manager Terry Collins doesn't want to hear about it. "The 'woe is me' thing can't last very long. Your attention can only linger very shortly on what you immediately face," he said.

Philadelphia: RHP Roy Halladay had more life in his radar gun readings on Monday night than in recent starts, but was winless for the fourth consecutive start. It is Halladay's longest drought since joining the Phillies in 2010. ... 1B Ryan Howard on Monday took swings in batting practice for the first time since having clean-out surgery on his ruptured left Achilles' tendon wound on Feb. 27.

Pittsburgh: C Rod Barajas was batting .133 with no home runs or RBI entering the game Tuesday. "It's not easy," he said. "At the same time, I try to be a good teammate. The last thing you want to see is somebody with their head down, not engaging with their teammates. I guarantee you, as much as this is driving me crazy, I don't think the guys see it." ... RHP Jeff Karstens (shoulder) threw off flat ground again but still doesn't have a timetable for his return. If it takes too long, expect him to be plenty hirsute. He's growing a rather ragged-looking beard he doesn't plan to shave until he comes off the disabled list, which could be June. "It stays until then," he said.

St. Louis: RHP Lance Lynn was removed from his start Monday after five innings even though he was pitching a shutout. "I'm thinking about his health, long term," manager Mike Matheny said. "His first year as a starter in the majors, he doesn't know what kind of grind he's in for." ... RHP Chris Carpenter, whom Lynn is replacing in the rotation, is progressing but may not be pitching until July after battling an arm-strength problem relative to a nerve issue. GM John Mozeliak said, "The last word I got was that things went well (in treatment and his rehab). But as far as getting back on the mound, I haven't been given any timetable regarding that."

San Diego: LH reliever Alex Hinshaw was called up from Class AAA Tucson, where he had .206 opponents' batting average in 19 1/3 innings, and OF Blake Tekotte was optioned to Tucson. RH reliever Micah Owings was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Hinshaw on the 40-man roster. ... LF Carlos Quentin, who had surgery on his right knee on March 19, could make his debut as a Padre by this weekend. Quentin returned to San Diego on Monday after playing five games with Class AAA Tucson on a rehab assignment although only 11 innings were spent on defense. He was scheduled to play for high-A Lake Elsinore (Calif.) Tuesday and today.

San Francisco: CF Angel Pagan's hitting streak ended at 20 games Monday as he went 0-for-5 and didn't get a ball out of the infield. Teammate Pablo Sandoval began the season with a 20-game hit streak, the longest run in franchise history to open a season. ... LHP Barry Zito, coming off his worst outing of the year (seven walks in 3 2/3 innings), gave up three runs in six innings Monday to get credit for a quality start. He has a 2.21 ERA but is only 1-1. His last three starts, the Giants have scored five total runs.

Washington: GM Mike Rizzo was fined an undisclosed amount for his comments about Phillies LHP Cole Hamels, according to multiple reports. ... 3B Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) was activated from the disabled list and was back in the lineup, and RF Jayson Werth (broken left wrist) was placed on the DL. 1B Adam LaRoche (strained muscle in right side) also returned to the lineup, hitting fourth. Bryce Harper, who has replaced Werth in right field, moved up to second. ... LH reliever Mike Gonzalez was signed to a minor league contract. He was scheduled to be evaluated by pitching coordinator Spin Williams in Viera, Fla., before the Nationals decide how to proceed with him.

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