National League notebook -- Monday, June 4, 2012

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Arizona: SS Stephen Drew (fractured right ankle) is expected to start a rehab assignment for Class AAA Reno on Thursday, manager Kirk Gibson said, who added that Drew will be there "for a while." Position players are allowed 20 days to complete a rehab assignment. ... RH reliever Takashi Saito (right calf) is scheduled to pitch one inning on a rehab assignment for Reno tonight. Saito was injured two days before the start of the regular season and has not pitched for the D-backs this season. He was shut down on an earlier rehab assignment when he aggravated the injury.

Atlanta: RHP Jair Jurrjens, trying to pitch his way back onto the Braves' roster after he was sent down to Class AAA Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.), feels as if he has no future with the team now that RHP Kris Medlen has been sent to Gwinnett in the hope that he can return to the Braves as a starter. "I understand it's a business, and they need to do what they need to do," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "But you have feelings, and it hurts when you feel like you're not wanted somewhere." Jurrjens and Medlen both were hit hard in their weekend starts. ... IF/OF Martin Prado ranked fourth in the majors (minimum 75 at-bats) with his .381 batting average in May.

Chicago: LF Alfonso Soriano will serve as the primary DH for interleague games in American League parks, manager Dale Sveum said. That means the Cubs do not plan to bring up first-base prospect Anthony Rizzo, about whom there was DH discussion. ... RH reliever Michael Bowden, designated for assignment last week, cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Class AAA (Des Moines) Iowa. The Cubs obtained Bowden on April 21 in a trade for CF Marlon Byrd. ... LH reliever Hong-Chih Kuo was signed to a minor league contract.

Cincinnati: RHP Bronson Arroyo was 8-0 in his last eight starts against Houston before losing Sunday. The Astros used every left-handed hitter they had but one. "I felt decent (against the lefties)," he said. "I was running a two-seamer in there and freezing those guys for punch-outs. Ultimately, it was right-handers that broke our backs." ... 1B Joey Votto is hitting .427 at Houston's Minute Maid Park, where he has hit safely in 21 consecutive games. "I'm sorry they're going to the American League," he said.

Colorado: The Rockies, who could use an experienced starting pitcher, will see if LHP Jeff Francis wants to return, GM Dan O'Dowd said. Francis had a June opt-out clause in his contract with the Reds and exercised it after throwing a shutout Sunday for Class AAA Louisville. He allowed seven hits and one walk and threw 73 of 114 pitches for strikes. ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie will try tonight to win consecutive starts for the first time this season when he makes his first career start against the Diamondbacks at Arizona. Guthrie is 2-1 with a 2.22 ERA in four road starts and 1-2 with an 8.87 ERA in four home starts this season.

Houston: RHP Jordan Lyles will remain in the rotation after four separate call-ups and after giving up two runs in seven innings against the Reds Sunday. "I think it's gonna benefit me a little bit staying here," said Lyles, who has a 4.97 ERA through five starts. ... The Astros allowed 67 runs (8.4 per game) in the eight-game losing streak that ended Sunday.

Los Angeles: RH reliever Javy Guerra (right knee) was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 3, OF-1B Scott Van Slyke was sent to Class AAA Albuquerque, OF/1B Juan Rivera (left hamstring) was activated from the DL and RH reliever Shawn Tolleson was called up after posting a 2.82 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings between Class AA Chattanooga (Tenn.) and Albuquerque this season. RH reliever Matt Guerrier was moved from the 15-day to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Tolleson. ... LHP Chris Reed, the Dodgers' first-round draft pick in 2011, was promoted to Chattanooga after striking out 38 batters in 35 innings with a 3.09 ERA with high-A Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.).

Miami: RHP Carlos Zambrano's new Marlins teammates were in awe of his 418-foot home run Sunday. "You were just put on this earth to play baseball, weren't you?" C John Buck said he told Zambrano when he entered the dugout after crossing home plate. ... OF Justin Ruggiano is 3-for-8 (.375) in his first four games after coming to Miami in a minor league trade with Houston. "I like the kid, Ruggiano," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He might be getting more playing time."

Milwaukee: With his Nos. 3-4 hitters, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez, out, manager Ron Roenicke used his 17th consecutive different lineup Sunday. Asked about putting together a batting order under those circumstances, Roenicke smiled and said, "It took some discussion." ... 2B Rickie Weeks has had just one multi-hit game (Saturday) since April 17 and only four all season.

New York: RHP Chris Young will make his season debut tonight. Young signed a minor league deal in spring training while rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn capsule in his right shoulder. The Mets plan to proceed temporarily with a six-man rotation, using Young's return to give LHP Johan Santana an extra day of rest. ... LF Jason Bay is expected to return from the disabled list. Bay, who was batting .240 with three home runs in 15 games before fracturing a left rib, has been on the DL since April 24.

Philadelphia: 2B Chase Utley went 3-for-4 with a home run as the DH in his first game at extended spring training in Clearwater, Fla. Manager Charlie Manuel would not rule out the possibility of Utley moving to a less demanding position to try to protect his chronically sore knees but also told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "If he's going to have pain, he can have pain at first base, left field, right field, wherever. Just like he would have at second. ... We should sit him down and really ask him that before we do that." ...

Pittsburgh: RHP James McDonald has yet to give up more than three runs in any of his 11 starts, mostly because of a more aggressive approach early in counts. "If I get in a jam, be the same pitcher with the same focus: Go at 'em," McDonald said. ... The Pirates have won just six of their last 45 games at Milwaukee's Miller Park, dating to the beginning of the 2007 season. That includes taking two of three over the weekend.

St. Louis: RHP Jake Westbrook has worked only 25 innings in his last five starts, none of them wins, and has given up 39 hits and 23 earned runs in that span. His loss Sunday dropped his career record to 89-89. ... OF Shane Robinson was out of the lineup Sunday and Monday because of a migraine. ... 3B David Freese ended an 0-for-14 dry spell when he singled in the eighth inning Sunday, then had two more hits Monday. Freese's average, over .300 much of the season, has dipped to .263.

San Diego: RHP Ross Ohlendorf was signed by the Padres, and RH reliever Matt Palmer was designated for assignment. Ohlendorf went 4-3 for Pawtucket (R.I.), the Red Sox's Class AAA affiliate. Palmer had a 9.00 ERA in three appearances. ... OF Will Venable (strained muscle in right side) is a candidate for the disabled list. The Padres have only one outfielder, Blake Tekotte, on the 40-man roster at Class AAA Tucson, and he has been called up twice this season.

San Francisco: 3B Pablo Sandoval (fractured hamate bone in left wrist) has begun taking right-handed swings during batting practice and could move his rehab assignment to Class AAA Fresno today, manager Bruce Bochy said. However, Bochy told reporters that Sandoval might not be activated in time for this weekend's series against Texas. ... RH reliever Sergio Romo, who appeared to hurt his leg while making the play on the last out of Sunday's game, was available Monday but was not used. LH reliever Jeremy Affeldt got a two-inning save instead.

Washington: 3B Ryan Zimmerman is hitting only .239 with one homer and 11 RBI since coming off the disabled list May 8. "I just stink right now," he told the Washington Post. "It's frustrating." ... RHP Josh Wilkie, who was pitching for Class AAA Syracuse, was suspended for 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy. Wilkie, 27, told he was suspended for using Spice, which is mixed with tobacco. "I'm very disappointed and embarrassed," Wilkie wrote in a text to

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